The new ‘Tesco to Avios’ conversion incentive is ….

Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (www.shopperpoints.co.uk), which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk!  Why not check it out now?

It is Tesco Clubcard voucher time again.  Your vouchers for any Clubcard points earned in the last quarter should start to arrive soon.  People with auto-convert may find that they are already there.

Virgin Atlantic, as I wrote last week, is offering a 20% bonus when you convert your Clubcard points into Virgin Flying Club miles.  That means you receive 300 miles per £2.50 voucher.  Full details are in my article here and on the Tesco site here.

British Airways is NOT launching a conversion bonus.

Instead, there is another competition.

Clubcard vouchers

For every £5 you convert into British Airways Executive Club Avios before 18th June, you will receive one entry into a prize draw.

The prizes, to put it mildly, are not outstanding:

4 winners will each receive 7,500 points

6 winners will each receive 4,500 points

40 winners will receive an amazing 1,500 points.

Why they couldn’t just give away 50 lots of 7,500 points – which in itself is not hugely exciting – I don’t know!

This promotion is not yet live on the Tesco / British Airways webpage but should appear in the next day or so.

Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (www.shopperpoints.co.uk), which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk!  Why not check it out now?

REMINDER: exclusive HFP offer of 1000-7000 bonus Avios with Kaligo.com hotel bookings ends Monday
Up to 115,000 bonus Avios or American Airlines miles for transatlantic travel
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Comments

  1. Given the recent announcement by Tesco of annual losses something akin to the UK national debt, I don’t personally see ClubCard being around for much longer. Those of us who only fly for pleasure and can only afford Y, who save Avios for that one off special trip in C or F, will be doomed to sit down the back for ever!

    • I suggest you have a look at some of the J cash deals such as the article today for Qatar.

      Given that a J redemption (without a 2for1) will set you back at least 100,000 avios/just over £400 in clubcard vouchers plus substatial taxes and fees you could even find the cash deals are cheaper than face value of the vouchers.

      Even if you want to go to the US, its worth looking at the comparison sites for flights starting in Dublin for example. For a little added hassle of a detour on the outbound you may be surprised what you can get even outside of any sales.

      Lastly I wouldn’t write off the club card scheme just yet. It is probably one of the things Tesco is actually doing right, and has contributed to their success in the past.

    • James67 says:

      Try to avoid becoming avios-focussed. There have been great deals on long haul business class during past 6 months where business class seats on the likes of Qatar, Etihad, Turkish and even BA have been as little as £200 more than economy flights on similar routes. when you factor in miles earned that extra £200 becomes more justifiable. Granted that these fares have often been exEurope but you can turn that to your advantage to have a low-cost short break using RFS or LCC in conjunction with hotel points. There also have been some great credit card deals of late, particularly Etihad and Virgin which are very much worth doing if you can meet the target spends without straining your budget. Apart from the credit card you can currently earn 500 Etihad miles for signing up, up to 1500 per month for holidaycheck reviews, 1100 fir joining Heathrow rewards and spending £25, 5000 from first rocket miles booking, 1000 from Gilt spend over $50, 25% hotel MR and Heathrow Rewards transfer bonus, triple miles for return economy flight by end February next year, and I believeKaligo also a partner. Virgin has their highest ever credit card signup supported by better conversion from tesco and probably MR too, the ISA, and award charts that have not yet been devalued. At the moment Eitihad looks good to me and is my collection focus. Although somewhat pricey their awards are flexible at low or zero cost, taxes and fees are low, and as Rob has highlighted 75% miles plus cash options are great value.

      • James

        Are they flexible on the 75% miles and cash? Etihad that is?

        • In what sense? They are flexible in that you can use any number of miles between 75% and 100%, down to last exact mile, and pay a tiny sum to cover the rest. They are not flexible in letting you go below 75%.

          • James67 says:

            Rob, I think Jason may mean flexible in sense of changes and cancellations which is what I was refering to. I had a look at this last night. I was surprised at how generous Etihad Guest was concerning changes and cancellations. For example first chsnge appears to be totally free. I have no idea whether the same rules apply to cash and miles flights though because there was a confusing statement to the effect that the rules for the more expensive open reward tickets were the same as for the equivalent revenue ticket.

          • James/raffles

            I was referring to being able to cancel and change flights, not the flexibilty between the 75-100% part.

          • Usual cancellation rules for redemptions – it is treated as a redemption seat and not a cash seat

      • I agree James. ..but if we can still collect avios plus the 241 and use them for F on BA only it’s still a treat. But for those not lucky enough to be able to collect enough by cards or tesco avios..yes Qatar are a dream to fly in J, the nearest thing to BA F around. It’s Def worth flying ex EUROPE on J for around£200 more than Y.

        • James67 says:

          Polly, my current strategy has become very open ended. Have 4 schemes on the go (avios, AA, FC and EG) all with very low balances but I am booked up through April next year. In meantime I will just collect what I can at zero cost in real terms and will not consider buying via any means unless price dips below 0.6p/mile. EG is most attractive to me at moment because of cc and other useful promotions so me, my partner and my dad all signed up and will pool in family account. Depending on spending plans over next few months I might also be able to take up Virgin Black but with only HKG of interest to me and a very likely devaluation that is not a high priority. Only place my strategy is cracking is spg points. Currently have only 18k of those so may top up to 40k via 25% discount and MR to transfer them to either EG, AA or Alaska. Alaska on CX on 42.5 ow J but restricted HKG-Europe single leg. AA 52.6k ow J with endless multisector possibilities bust expensive to change or cancel. EG more expensive but more flexible. So it’s a dilemna. Will continue to pass on the cheap fares for now in favour of redemptions as the firmer often nonrefundable and too expensive to change. I am hoping for more good BA fares this Xmas that will allow me to cancel 2 BA redemptionx to BKK, freeing up 120k avios and earning thousands more.

          • Phillip says:

            For OW redemptions, I am finding CX’s Asia Miles a very handy transferable currency too (from MR predominantly). Playing around with the zones has allowed for some generously cheap redemptions! I second everything else James67 mentions. I find EY’s family membership really easy to sign up to and flexible to use. I would add PointsHound as an earner and would always check prices in USD/EUR/GBP and compare not only the actual price but the miles given which can vary significantly between currencies and in some cases, I’ve had more miles awarded to the cheaper version of the price.

          • James67 says:

            I have never considered Asia Miles due to my perceived lack of collection opportunities but will have a look this weekend. Thanks for tip on pointshound billing currency.

          • James, You might get lucky, that was a v g BA sale last Xmas which we benefitted from. Boy, you have a lot of juggling going on there. And it is time consuming. As we only concentrate on Asia routes also, am not buying avios, unless v low price, just collecting when I can with tesco and cc referring each other. However, if these types of sales continue, we might just stop altogether and plan trips via sales. ATM we have enough collected for our next 241 in F to HKG then Bali on Cx like last year. Having cancelled the other 241 to go QR to HKT in the sale, like you, we will earn plenty more avios that way, which I forgot about!

          • James67 says:

            HfP takes the hard work out of it so lots of thanks to Rob and other contributors here. True we may miss a few things but not many. I rarely ever visit FT these days which was much harder work. As you know I appreciate your point on sa.es but not a reason to stop collectingmiles. Even if you end up with just few points in diversified porfolio they can prove useful for short hops in Asia, Europe and positioning flights. For example, I have just over 20k flysmiles which is enough for European business class flight or on Sri Lankan between HKG and BKK. I see QR going double daily on a380 to BKK from autumn.

    • I suspect that many of us here – such as myself – though we are tiny in number in the big scheme of things – are sitting on a couple of million Avios if the bonus conversion Tesco rate comes good again.

      Not all of us earn Avios FOC (perfectly properly) like Big R through running a useful site & various commissions.

      We fought hard for them, we hope the conversion will come back. Do we hope in vain? Is it all going itts up?

      I am optimistic.

  2. “… you receive 300 miles per £2.50 voucher” – this is the rate per £1 not per £2.50 voucher. Feel free to delete comment when updated Rob.

    • Ed

      It’s 240 miles per £ :-)

      • Ed is quite right. Normally 625/£2.50 voucher, but the 20% bonus makes that up to 750/£2.50 or the equivalent of £300/£1 for Virgin conversions.

      • Sorry i was refeeingbtomavios conversion as I hadn’t read the article properly and didn’t notice it was being compared to the Virgin offer!

  3. Thanks for the heads up, I actually thought a bonus this quarter was likely than for a long time given the 50% bonus for buying miles they had a couple of months ago.

  4. Simon85 says:

    Virgin it is then. For this quarter anyway.

  5. What do you think the chances are in the BA draw? I have £90 of vouchers, wondering whether it’s worth converting or waiting till next period.

  6. LoyalBA says:

    Given the current Virgin credit card incentives and yet another lack of BA club card to avoid bonus I’m finally and the increase in Avios required to book, I am finally waving goodbye to BAPP and going with Virgin, had a good seven year run but time to change.

  7. Frenske says:

    I have been using club card points for other purposes. There are quiet good deals out there. More specific Eurotunnel (3x voucher value) is an excellent deal and also Pizza Express during the last Boost was good.

    The house hold is sitting on a slowly-increasing pile of 350K Avios and little chance to spend the lot of it when having a 6-month old baby. I think a lot of people are so focussed on gaining Avios (like it is some kind of pension) that they forget to look around for better redemptions.

    • Couldn’t agree more. It’s always worth re-assessing your plans from time to time, especially when there’s a major change. I’ve reached the 200k Avios I need for a planned holiday next year. Currently I think transferring Clubcard points to Hilton via Virgin, Eurotunnel, and a couple of other options provide better value than Avios for me. If BA did a 50% transfer bonus then clearly I’d reconsider again (and probably use it).

  8. Andrew says:

    I won 1500 avios in the last competition after I converted £75 worth of vouchers which were about to expire. The bonus points showed up at the end of the quarter and about three weeks later I received a letter informing me of my win. Better than nothing but hardly life-changing

  9. Is there any benefit in having your points credited directly to your Virgin account? I chose that option a few months ago and I’m still waiting for my points to post. Is this normal?

    • JoshBosh says:

      Double check the settings inside the clubcard account. I had mine set to automatically convert to BA avios, and it worked for one period, then the next it didn’t. Turns out the account had managed to keep the automatic conversion, but lose any exec club number.
      A call to the clubcard hotline, and about a 6 week wait ensued before the vouchers were credited back to my clubcard account.

    • It can be quick or it can take a while. I’ve had autoconversions go through in a few days. This time round, I set up an auto conversion to Virgin to get the extra 1000 points for opting in, but the transfer hasn’t gone through yet. I know I put my Flying Club number in when I changed the settings, but last time I did a manual conversion, it took 3 lots of chasing Tesco to get the points to appear.

    • Mine appeared in my Virgin account today, but the transaction was dated 11 May.

  10. TrollBasher says:

    Count me as another in the “Unimpressed but not surprised” camp, if there’s room for one more…

    Tesco seem, at the risk of stating the bloody obvious, to be in cahoots with BA in intentionally pushing people away from the Clubcard partnership they have; there are so many better alternatives out there now and incentives to stay are as rare as rain in Southern California.

    If your travel is focussed stateside or to your non-dom plushville somewhere in the Caribbean, then hopping over to Virgin is very tempting, even from the regions now.

    Going the other way, one of the ME3 megalomaniacs is always trying to outdo one of the others with crazy deals, and it makes sense to spend cash than burn miles.

    But, like the lemming I am, and many others are, I’ll give them “one more chance” and tuck the points away in the hope, vain or hopeless as it maybe, that there might be a bonus or reward coming round the corner some time soon…

  11. The_Real_A says:

    And dont forget Tesco double up begins on Monday. This makes every point worth 2p avilable in a number of deptartments across the store.

    To me, i see better value in making up a couple of frames of glasses than Avios!

    • Are the categories out yet? Need to have a dig.

      • The_Real_A says:

        From MSE:

        Garden & BBQs
        Opticians
        Clothing
        Toys
        Home, cook & dine
        Mobile phones & accessories
        Skincare, cosmetics & fragrance
        Electricals
        Entertainment & books
        Gaming
        Sports & leisure
        Travel & camping

  12. As someone from north of Watford Gap & the preferred destination West, Virgin is an obvious choice now
    W
    e are keeping a few Avios back on the off chance we can get Monarch availability to Europe or internally within the US

  13. The Pay.com cards are now getting distributed in Tesco. Widely reported.

    (3V replacements).

    Anybody seen them? Where?

    I’ll have a look tomorrow but not holding out any hope that usability will be any better (ie council tax etc) than 3Vs.

    • When I find one, I will write it up!

    • I’ve started paying my council tax at the Co-op with Paypoint using my Amex – no problems!

      • sandgrounder says:

        Co op are generally quite flexible, but staff have been briefed against taking amex for paypal. Only one vigilant lady has ever mentioned this, but she was overruled by her supervisor :-)

        I have also heard that the stores in East Anglia don’t take Amex, but this is second-hand info so I am not sure if this is correct.

        • I live in Chelmsford, and the local Co-op doesn’t take Amex!

        • BTW, after trying the local Co-op and post office with no avail I gave up and paid my council tax with IHG Visa (somehow it’s recgonised as a debit card and no premium is added). Do you know if Co-op widely accepts Amex and East Anglia is only an exception? Might bring the pay card with me and try it out in London if they accept Amex there.

          • Most Co-Ops take Amex for PayPoint transactions.

          • sandgrounder says:

            Co op has a regional structure and as far as I know it’s only East Anglia that don’t accept Amex.

          • Thank you guys!

          • I am in Dundee – I tried it out on my mother-in-law’s council tax first as she normally pays hers by cheque. It worked so I cancelled my direct debit and got the council to send me another bill with the bar code on it. Paid for my own now as well for the month of May. Got 2 target credit card spends to get through in the next 2/3 months so it will come in handy!

          • Went into my local Co-op this evening to attempt to pay Pa’s council tax. They said I could only pay with cash, not credit card. Seems a bit odd to me, but I wasn’t going to argue. I’ll either find another one, or I can use 3V cards. I checked it out last night and paid 3 x £25 onto his account. I’ve got a few I bought the other day from Boots to get the Amex credit and I’m hoping my local Tesco will get a stock of the new Pay.com cards any day now.

        • jonathan smy says:

          I live in Ipswich and they don’t take Amex.

          • You can use PayPoint to pay your CT anywhere in UK so if Ipswich is no go, think about next time you visit civilisation, bring your bill and pay some CT thru Co-Op then?

    • I found 20 in Lewisham yesterday. Had 18 of them – one wouldn’t activate, so I left it and another behind. None in Woolwich or Old Kent Road, which is going through a gift card store refurbishment. I’ll be busy sweeping out the remaining South East London stores tonight if someone hasn’t beaten me to it.

  14. has anyone actually had the experience of actually winning this before??..

  15. Robbie says:

    Ouch, people still collect Avios then I take it? Condolences.

    • There are (at least) 2 ways of looking at it:

      1. What value you are getting per Avios vs other ways to get/ pay for the same flight/ deal.

      2. What you actually paid to get the Avios in the first place vs other ways to get/ pay for the same flight/ deal.

      Ie when I paid (say) 0.3p each to accumulate my Avios and have therefore got myself a European flight for about £25, I am relaxed & sanguine.

      • I know others could argue: Avios is a de facto currency, so when you buy a European flight for 7500 Avios, you are spending £x actual, not £y based on what you paid for that currency.

        But my (nearly) sole purpose in accumulating Avios is to pay for European flights.

        So I stand by my logic.

        • James67 says:

          So are you near LHR pj or has your investment been hit by half following devaluation?

          • I use LHR.

            As mentioned elsewhere here, I tend to accumulate Avios @ 0.3p/ unit so the scheme still represents great value for us.

            European flights on BA from LHR – scheduled x 3 daily – food/ booze/ luggage – @ £25/ flight = pretty good value vs the cheapies.

          • idrive says:

            I kind of agree with you pj, de facto Avios availability means i can cap my flight expense and allows me flexibility (cancellations or last minute booking). i tend to option myself sometimes as I am not sure where I will end up (my family is spread so i never knw where next Christmas would be, but a cash ticket would cost 200-400£ on the spot if bought over the last couple of months. I tend to value based on the Cash price of the flight most of the time but if I am not willing to spend more than X for a trip, that helps me. I use LHR and LGW. Also this means i can travel more than expected otherwise. My strategy indeed got hit by devaluation for the LH premium class I was after…BUT i will definitely find a way to make the best use of Avios/Tesco CC in any case! for example, if I wanted to go to Ibiza and benefit of the current Monarch promo, I would get 2p on the spot easy. In terms of fidelity to BA, well that to say..I am now pondering every decision…but to be honest, as I travel with luggage, i still find value by selecting seats and bringing more luggage if needed. Also, I am very lucky as I never travel in peak periods so less troubles and more availability.

        • Agree, I am always glad of them for last minute trips to Dub for family stuff. Really good value, so well worth still,collecting them. not a sign of the new pay.com in my big tesco today. Is the long wait over then? Have been using my amex and tesco cm in the meantime to keep paying the bills.

  16. Kathy H says:

    Just got the email to say the “incentive” is now available. Don’t all rush at once.

  17. Results: about 40 Pay.com cards sitting on the hooks in my smallish Tesco supermarket.

    • Managed to find some myself today too, so the water bill has been paid now! :)

      Two whole hooks full in Tesco Uttoxeter.

  18. It does lead to the natural questions (since nothing much has changed):

    – why the name change?
    – why the de-stocking & hiatus?
    – what HAS changed?

    I suggest that ye get in quick since the only valuable thing is 150 points.