Credit & Charge Card Reviews (19): Tesco Clubcard MasterCard

This review was updated in September 2016 and all the information is correct as of that date

This is my review of the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard credit card.

It is part of my series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether or not they are worth applying for.  These articles will be linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Cards Update‘ page.  My other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.

If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here to get your free Equifax credit report and score.  Your first 30 days are free then it’s £14.95 per month.  You can cancel at anytime.

As with all rewards cards, this is not a suitable product for you if you do not clear your balance in full every month.  You should focus on a credit card with a low interest rate such as the AA Low Rate Card. This has a very attractive representative APR of 6.4% variable on purchases and balance transfers.

Key link:  Tesco Clubcard MasterCard application form

Key facts:  No annual fee

The representative APR is 18.9% variable

About the card

The Tesco Clubcard MasterCard is issued by Tesco Bank, which is now wholly owned by Tesco following its acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotland’s stake a couple of years ago.

Tesco Clubcard MasterCard credit card review

What is the sign-up bonus?

Nothing.  However, some comparison sites are currently offering 1,000 Clubcard points if you apply via them.

Any other benefits?


What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?

You earn 1 Clubcard point for every £8 spent on the card on a ‘per transaction’ basis.

Transaction in Tesco stores will earn double points.

It is important that potential applicants understand what this means. At the most extreme, if you bought 100 items at £7.99 in separate transactions, you would earn zero Clubcard points. A £15.99 transaction would only earn one point, whilst a £16.00 transaction would earn two points.

One Clubcard point is worth 2.4 Avios or 2.5 Virgin Flying Club miles, so every £1 spent on the card gets you up to 0.3 Avios or 0.312 Virgin miles.

You will receive a statement once a quarter containing your Clubcard vouchers, and you can convert these online to Avios or Virgin or redeem them for any of Tesco’s other ‘Clubcard Boost’ deals. You can even spend the vouchers in-store at Tesco at their face value, although this is a poor use of them.

Tesco used to run fairly regular transfer bonuses with Avios.  After a three year gap these restarted in Autumn 2015, although the bonus was restricted to 20% and limited to £100 of converted vouchers per account.

On the face of it, this is the most generous free Visa or MasterCard card available for earning Avios.  0.3 Avios per £1 is better than you get from the cheaper Lloyds Avios Rewards cards.  However, my enthusiasm for the Tesco card has dropped since it halved its earning rate:

the ’rounding down to the nearest £8′ rule will have a MAJOR impact on the points you earn.  Unless you only use the card for major (£100+) purchases, you will find that your average earning rate per £1 spent is far lower than the advertised 0.125 Clubcard points / 0.3 Avios.

if you get the £24 Lloyds Avios Rewards card (0.25 Avios per £1 on the MasterCard – which may be more than you get in reality from the Tesco card after rounding down), your spend will also count towards the flight upgrade voucher issued at £7,000 of spending. 

The major virtues of the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard are:

it is free, whilst the Lloyds Avios Rewards card costs £24 per year

you don’t have to deal with Lloyds!

if there is now going to be a return to regular ‘Clubcard to Avios’ transfer bonuses, your earnings rate will be better than you think

you can use your Clubcard points for something else if you change your mind about taking Avios

If you meet the stringent wealth criteria for getting the card, remember that the HSBC Premier MasterCard offers an unbeatable 0.5 Avios per £1 – and the card is free.  I compare the various alternatives to the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard in detail in this article.

Any other quirks?

Yes.  Your credit card doubles up as a standard Tesco Clubcard.

It is perfectly acceptable to hand over your Tesco credit card in a Tesco store and ask them to swipe it as a Clubcard.  You can then pay for your shopping on a more lucrative credit card!

What is an Avios point worth?

This post outlines my view of what an Avios point is worth, based on your typical redemption patterns.

One key benefit of Tesco Clubcard points is that you do not have to convert to Avios.  Unlike dedicated airline credit cards, you have the option to convert to Avios or Virgin miles, but there is also the flexibility to use them for any other good Tesco deals that come along.  I use a large pile of vouchers to pay a regular Safestore bill ….

How does this compare to a cashback credit card?

The best cashback card on the market which offers a) a MasterCard or Visa, b) no annual fee and c) unlimited cashback is the ASDA Money card, which pays 0.5% in ASDA vouchers.

Whilst the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard is the most generous free Visa or MasterCard option for earning Avios for most people, you should still consider whether a non loyalty card would be a better deal.

Remember that the Tesco card has an FX fee of almost 3% for foreign currency transactions.  You may want to consider getting a separate card to use abroad which charges no foreign exchange fees.  I recommend the Lloyds Avios Rewards card which also earns Avios points – even on your 0% FX transactions!  It comes with a 4,500 Avios sign-up bonus if I refer you.  My review of the Lloyds Avios Rewards card is here.

Other points to note

There are a number of variants of the card available, offering different combinations of interest rate, balance transfer rate and 0% interest rate periods.  These are outlined on the Tesco Bank site.  If you always clear your bill at the end of the month, it is immaterial which version you choose.

This is not a sexy credit card, and the girls (or guys) are unlikely to be impressed when you pull it out in a bar or restaurant!


Assuming you convert your Clubcard vouchers to Avios points, the earning rate of 0.3 Avios points per £1 is not great.  It may be better than the alternative Avios Visa and MasterCard options but that is not saying much.

If Tesco continues to run conversion bonus to Avios then this rate will look better.  Conversion bonuses to Virgin Flying Club from Tesco are more common so you may rate the card higher if you collect Virgin miles.  If not, you may want to look at cashback MasterCard or Visa cards instead.

The application form for the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard can be found here.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

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  1. The Lloyds upgrade voucher on the £24 card pack is issued at £7000 spend, not £7500. At least it was on mine.

  2. I have the old Tesco World MC which I haven’t used for months but I did a petrol test last month. I was on the old earning rate of 1 c/c pt per £2. For Tesco fuel for £20 I got 20 pts for using my club card and 10 pts for using the credit card.

    • Liz, are you sure? I checked my statement, and it shows 1cc pt per £ at petrol using the credit card as a club card. But my daughter only earns a cc pt per every £2 spent on petrol using a normal club card. That seems to be the standard earning. But this is when paying with an entirely different card eg amex.

      PJK, use the MasterCard as club card only, but don’t pay with it too! See above. Petrol.

      Avidsaver, are you not double dipping? Ie. paying with an amex card, but using your MasterCard as a clubcard, then you def get 1 cc pt per £ spent. Much more lucrative. Just thinking you might have an amex if you are on this forum! You might just be missing a trick!

      • avidsaver says:

        Hi Polly
        I do use my Tesco MasterCard as a club card and as a payment card also when buying petrol at Tesco. For me it works:
        £20 petrol spend = 20 cc points (using as club card)
        plus 10 cc points (using as payment card)
        Total 30 cc points = 96 avios (grandfathered 800 rate)
        If I used your method:
        £20 petrol spend = 20 cc points (using as club card)
        = 64 Avios (grandfathered 800 rate)
        plus pay with Amex = 20 MR points (20 avios)
        Total = 84 avios

        • avidsaver says:

          NB Should have said I have the old Tesco WORLD MasterCard!

          • Lucky you still have that older WORLD card then… Great way to accumulate avios too. I was just thinking of newbies who might benefit from the double dip, which is about the best we lot are left with using tesco, that is!

        • I use my gold Amex 2 MR points/£ plus tesco credit card as club card :)

          • avidsaver says:

            Yes I did too in the past. Sadly this only applies to your first year on the Gold Amex old T & C’s (i.e. 2 MR points on supermarket and petrol spend).

          • I’m in my 2nd year and I have 2 MR points /£ and 4 MR Points travel and hotel for 6 months :)
            They offered that when I said I was considering cancelling the card.

          • You must be higher status that we are – they just sort of sneered (in a very polite Amex way) when I was in the same situation – not that I tried too hard, as I prefer the starter bonus.

            Give me Sky cancellations any day – they’re a walkover :)

      • Yes definitely 20 pts for using my credit card as a club card and then 10 pts for the credit card spend. Still better off using the BAPP or Virgin Black to pay. I just wanted to test it out to see how it worked after the devaluation. So I won’t be using it again to pay for fuel.

  3. It’s a good point worth remembering Mark, that using a Tesco Clubcard credit card as a Clubcard when buying fuel from Tesco (and then paying with that, or any other more lucrative card) gives you double the number of Clubcard points for your fuel purchase, or at least it used to.

    That is still the case isn’t it Raffles?

    • I don’t know. I deleted a line on that from the review because it was not clear if it still worked.

      • I does still work. Last tried a few days ago. This is pretty much the only use I have for the Tesco card now.

    • On 12 July 1990, petrol in the UK was 42p/litre. I filled the car up before going to France for my birthday, because French petrol was significantly more expensive.

  4. avidsaver says:

    I too have stopped using my Tesco World MasterCard outside Tesco. However, it still returns one cc point for all £2 Tesco transactions instore, online and petrol which I think for me is a good return compared to most other free options for Tesco shopping. Unless I’m missing a trick? I’m also on the grandfathered 800 Avios/cc rate so I get 3.2 Avios per cc point (1.6 Avios per £1).

  5. OT but I applied for IHG annual fee card a few days ago to get the extra bonus but I’ve still not heard back if I’ve been accepted.

    Have I wasted my time and missed the bonus?

    • I’m sure as long as your application was before the cut off date you’ll be fine if you’re accepted.

    • I got the bonus when I applied last year despite getting “referred” until after the deadline.

  6. ***TESCO GLITCH***
    supposed to be 100 points but they’re giving away 215 – my link seems to have sent the post into the ether so go on Tesco Direct & search nowtv

    They’re actually giving away 215 clubcard points with each box.

    Order 5 for 1075 points = 2580 Avios

    • O/T but I’m quite pleased.

      The rest of them went off to see rellies.

      I repaired a really decent PC that just went phut – I personally restarted it this morning, it went phut so I’m glad it was me & not one of the kids. Luckily I had made W10 recovery media in the summer so did a clean install & she’s running sweet.

      Had a nice peaceful afternoon.

      Made maybe 3000 free Tesco points which I already told you about.

      • heh heh double dipped :)

      • Hi Harry – are you aware of any other decent CC earning ops at the moment?

        • the Epson printers maybe?

          not for me as too fussy – but easy opp to turn a (small) profit

      • Just done a check & that old PC scores 2854 on CPU benchmark – might be end of life but still quick, for comparison my i5 scores about 5000 – but glad I managed to save that old beauty, it was looking touch & go at about 8am, she wouldn’t respond to anything including recovery media but I held my nerve…

    • Johnnycl says:

      Thanks for the tip, have ordered a couple of these.

  7. If anyone is able to apply for the Irish version of this card you get an excellent 1 point per €2. Although I’ve moved to UK, I still use it for euro purchases as I then pay no forex fee and get good points return. Need an address in Irl of course…

  8. Printer point glitch.
    Brother HL-1112 printer on direct, shows 500pts on banner but add to basket it adds 1000 pts for £39.

  9. Lady London says:

    Anyone know if the nowtv box works abroad? thinking it might be useful to have in hotels when travelling?

    Harry the 215 is right btw. There are 2 offers and you’d qualified for both as well as the base amount.

    • hadn’t spotted that

      they go for £20+

    • should work abroad, we have the white nowtv box, it just works off the internet connection, OK there is catchup eg BBC iplayer to think about & its restrictions

      try, just gives us live UK TV right now (abroad)

    • Doesn’t work abroad as content is uk restricted, sky, bbc etc. You can use a vpn to watch a now tv account on iPad/pc etc but not sure how you’d manage to do it with the actual box.

  10. Lady London says:

    If anyone can tell me the nowtv box works abroad, I’ll pull trigger on it right away. Really tired of hotel selections when travelling. I can usually find good wifi in the various places I travel to, just need to know will the nowtv box worked if plugged into foreign wifi? Anyone?

    • I don’t think it will directly though no first hand experience. Netflix and Amazon Prime don’t work directly but do through a VPN.

      • Lady London says:

        @Pol @Genghis thanks. will give it a miss till I’ve looked into it then. I’m using vpn now in this situation. so cant see how the box would add much. thanks again.

    • No, it needs to access a VPN – you’d therefore need to carry your own router with you running VPN software. It’s do-able (I’ve done it in Oz for the past year using my white NOWTV box!) but I wouldn’t even think of trying to do it using hotel WiFi, in the majority the speeds are too poor to even attempt it anyway!

  11. I have also largely stopped using my old Tesco Mastercard. i use it as the clubcard when in Tesco but for nothing else really.

    I imagine Tesco have seen a lot less traffic on their credit cards.

  12. MJ Jones says:

    I use my Amex Platinum whenever possible.

    If a merchant doesn’t accept Amex or I am in Tescos (there are 2 within 10 mins of where I live in London) then I use this Tescos MC card.

    In general I find the App and customer service for Tesco bank to be pretty good.

    I recently tried a standard HSCB advance Visa Credit Card and found the online interface extremely clunky, the customer support poor, and also they would only give me a £500 credit limit to start with compared to an existing £10k limit on Tesco card. All in all I think this is a good option to have as a back up, especially as it doubles as a club card too – so chances are that most of us have a club card in our wallet so therefore why not have a club card and a credit card in one.

    In terms of having the points rate – this is a shame but as we know it is due to the interchange caps and not much Tesco can do about this, as I know from working in this area that if they had kept the old benefit rate then they would likely have been loss making.

  13. Colin hawker says:

    Does anyone know if there has or will be a change to the old clubcard plus accounts?

    These earn 1p per £1 spent and if this is here to stay it that’s to be the best non fee, non Amex earning rate.

    I appreciate CC+ has been closed to new clients for many years but I’m sure, like me, there are a sizeable number who still have one