Exclusive – Tesco Premium Credit Card launched this morning

I was on my way to Starbucks with my little ‘un an hour ago when I got a call from Tesco Bank telling me that the Premium Credit Card was now open for applications.

I am dashing off to Heathrow in a few minutes so a full review will have to wait until Monday.

You can check out the details here.  The representative APR is 56.5% variable, including the fee, assuming a £1200 credit limit.

I am interested in your thoughts.

Tesco Premium credit card

It is not as bad as we first thought, but it is still not great:

5,000 bonus points for spending £5,000 per year IN TESCO is very tough

The ‘£50 off a Club Europe flight’ voucher could be valuable but the code expires after two months

I haven’t looked at the small print of the travel insurance to see if it is comprehensive

The lack of a sign-up bonus means you might want to wait

I will ponder it over the weekend ….

There is one bit of good news though.  The British Airways £50 discount, and the various mentions of Avios and Flying Club miles on the card website, should put to rest any thoughts that Tesco Clubcard will be withdrawing from Avios.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Heathrow Express raises peak times fares by 10% - and how to save money instead
'Credit Cards' page updated for June 2016 - what are the best deals this month?
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  1. ‘Collect 5,000 bonus Clubcard points – worth up to £200 with Tesco Clubcard Partners – when you spend £5,000 (around £100 a week) on your Premium Credit Card at Tesco in any year. This includes in store, online & Tesco Fuel’

    That’s possible but tough. 5000 clubcard = 12000 Avios = c.£120 so hardly earth-shattering.

    No lounge pass deal with eg Dragonpass, then – which would have been enough (say, 6 DP passes) for me to go for it.

    I can’t see I’d get anywhere near £150 in value, ie breakeven.

    A sign-up deal worth 7500-10000 clubcard points would swing it.

    Advice from me: bide your time & wait for the sign up bonus

    • That would be my view too.

      • James67 says:

        Me too, but excepting the lucky few, we have all been waiting years already for 10k bonus on the current account. Safe and pleasant trip Rob.

        • There are people who would get (say) £80 of value from the insurance. Plus spend enough to get value from the extra points for Tesco purchases.

          But Tesco Marketing people have badly misunderstood the [Tesco] ‘premium’ customer’s needs & spending patterns. Massive ccok up if you ask me. We are not talking Plat premium customers, they do not have a hope of acquiring those customers, unless you’re gaming it for the Avios. But your bog standard ‘mark’?

          Spend requirement should have been £2000 pa (to get 5000 clubcard points).
          A bonus sign-up should have been in place from day 1 to get things going swimmingly.
          BA £50 credit idea should have been more generous across fares, eg £25 off HBO/ luggage fares.

          It’s not rocket science, the marketing people are simply dullards, not thinking in sexy marketing ways or understanding their consumers.

          • Put it this way: I don’t think anybody is going to flash the Tesco premium credit card and pull the girl on the till with an invite to the pub later

            • James67 says:

              Hmm, they even forgot to call it Tesc’s Finest!

              Or perhaps what we have already is Everyday Value, this is Tesc’s own brand and we can all look forward to the amex platinum-competing Finest card next year.

            • Tom.Murray says:

              You miss the point of brandishing your Tesco card! – it’s a ‘who cares’ moment :)
              Just like turning up at a social occasion in my Hilux or ancient Subaru Forester and parking alongside the black Range Rovers. I could have one but choose not to!

    • Frenske says:

      There is the travel insurance for whole family too. This could be worth something like £80.

      That said I already have travel insurance with Nationwide Flexplus account.

  2. Including fuel purchases makes it easier to hit, would like to see the detail on travel insurance (single person or family, pre existing conditions etc).

  3. Andrew* says:

    5000 bonus points not awarded until after card year, so they don’t post in the same way as Amex bonuses do when the qualifying transaction hits…

    • Could you cancel before the following year’s fee is charged and still get the points. If not then it really is quite pricey.

  4. I wonder who will be the first person to buy £5000 of gift cards in Tesco with this card?

  5. Pretty uninspiring, going to wait until something decent appears by way of sign-up or new benefit.

  6. Tilly71 says:

    Achievable if 3V around still.

  7. If you are travelling with a (large) family, the £50 BA credit may actually make the card quite attractive…
    If I’m not mistaken you can get £50 off EACH for up to 9 people travelling on the same booking. So this could equate to a maximum £450 flight discount.

    • Can’t see that’s particularly attractive when you’re talking CE only. If it had included other fares, this would have been a cracker. But nearly all flights in Europe are not long enough to justify the CE premium, and the Tesco £50 discount just makes that ‘sort of OK’, mainly given the lounge – but I suppose the other extras are worth having (even if not worth paying much for, on such a short journey).

      • Just checked next T-355 coming up, ie May/ June half term 2017.

        Not popped up yet – too early – but (close dates) our route is giving £600+ for CE vs £75/85 for HBO/ luggage.

        I can’t see that a £50 discount makes an awful lot of difference lol

        • Sounds like a one way price or a non-Sat night price.

          • You’re right, I checked – 1-way price. Return is £400 so my point is valid, if not quite as valid. £50 discount always worth having if you were going to spend it anyway, though I would have hoped (for the idea to be successful) that the discount would almost make CE as cheap as Economy.

            (Why do they price it like that?)

            • And BTW just seen some amazing never-seen-before prices on BA to our place -T-340 or so – £85 return in HBO. That’s more like an Amsterdam cheapie but we are 2-2.5 hrs away. They really are challenging the LCCs. Obviously off peak and no good to us (we need school hols).

            • Robman says:

              Harry, where is the “our place” you can get to for £85 return HBO. I might be coming!

            • Look at March returns, pick anywhere in Europe. I just checked a handful & can see
              Vienna 2 x £45
              Prague 2 x £49
              Rome 2 x £47
              Milan 2 x 45

              etc etc

              Amazing prices! Probably not just March.

            • Istanbul 2 x £45 must be the best value & I defy you to find better from your LCC provider :)

              Moscow not playing ball (2 x £149) but I imagine every other European destination served by BA will be cheaper than £100 return, that’s real hardball vs the cheapies in my view but you certainly need to be planning your trip way in advance.

  8. Slight OT…

    Hit my BAPP Amex 241 target sooner than expected. (6months in)

    Can I cancel and…
    1) keep the certificate without redeeming on a flight (waiting til Xmas)
    2) get a pro rata refund

    TIA 😀

    • Charlie says:

      I believe you need to keep a BA Amex card until redeemed. Could downgrade to the free one.
      And yes.

      • You definitely need some form of Amex to pay when using a 241 but it doesn’t have to be a BA Amex. Slight risk if cancelling 241 booking and not having BA Amex of some form but don’t think anyone has actually reported an issue – the voucher gets applied to your BAEC account so should remain there regardless of what you’re doing with Amex.

  9. Olivula says:

    1) Spend requirement too high
    2) Reward far too low
    3) insurance age limits too low compared to Nationwide.

    Won’t press any buttons for me

  10. Troll Basher says:

    “Every Little Helps…”

    Sorry Tesco, that’s just too little.

    I’ve noticed my Tesco spend has dropped markedly this year.

    I’m sure I’m not alone.

  11. I think I can live without this.

  12. The earning rate (1 point for every £4 outside Tesco) is uncompetitive with other cards and too low for the £150 fee. Giving 1 point on multiples of £4 (so 1 point for £7.99 spend) is exceptionally mean. The two month restriction on the CE voucher makes it almost unusable (a sleight of hand). A discount on ET or CE, valid for 12 months, which renewed each year would be competitive. The restrictions on the travel insurance are pretty shocking (they are hoping people do not read the small print). For example, you cannot claim for something that has anything to do with the illness of other people, who are not covered under this policy, which affects your trip, such as a travelling companion or business associate, even though you have no way of knowing and are certainly not entitled to know what their state of health is. The restrictions for pre-existing conditions for the claimant are even more severe: a claim arising indirectly from a medical condition that you last had 23 months ago and for which you were prescribed medication is not covered, even though there has been no recurrence and no further treatment; any claim arising indirectly from a respiratory condition for which you have ever received medication (that would include Tunes or Benylin as a child) is not covered.

  13. Mr Dee says:

    1. Awful earning rate for the annual fee 0.6 avios per £1 (0.25*2.4)
    2. £50 discount too limited and short timeframe
    3. Limited travel insurance barely worth anything especially as Nationwide will give you a much better offer with their flex accounts.
    4. No signup bonus

    I think this credit card will be so unpopular that barely anyone will apply and it will be completely overhauled or some mega signup bonus within 6-12 months or close completely.

  14. I already get a discount from tesco by using my Santander 123 credit card, so would have to spend even more to make it worthwhile.

    So, I’m out

  15. Robert says:

    It looks like the earning rate in tesco is 1 point/£ + normal clubcard points (compared to the old card which was normal clubcard points + 1point/£4 (then £8). So a £5k tesco spend would earn 5,000 base credit card points + 5,000 bonus credit card points, which makes the maths a bit more favourable:

    “Collect double the amount of Clubcard points on your shopping in Tesco. That’s because your credit card is also your Tesco Clubcard, so for every £1 you spend on your card, you’ll get your normal 1 Clubcard point plus an extra point on top”

    • That’s true, but this is still a heavy Tesco spend target.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Not if you fill up at tesco and do a bit of shopping and if gift cards count this would do me fine as I must have spent £2k on gift cards alone this year

        2.4 avios/2.5 flying club per £1 isn’t bad but need something else to make that £150 worth it, a joining bonus and exclusive tesco money off / bonus point deals maybe?

      • Callum says:

        That’s £95 a week. Any family who uses Tesco as their main supermarket should pretty easily meet that – even with no car. (Especially if you’re the type of family who would fly BA CE on holiday!)

        If you’re not a regular Tesco shopper it won’t be feasible, but it’s hardly a shock that Tesco is targeting Tesco customers!

        • But who does that now? The ‘one trip a week to buy processed food that won’t go off’ model of my youth is dead. Today you may do one average shop and 3-4 top ups of fresh stuff, often at a different place.

  16. WillPS says:

    I wonder if there’s a reason that they’ve changed the wording from “Platinum” to “Premium” at the last minute?

  17. I spend a lot at tesco – groceries, gift cards, wine, tesco direct – probably £10-15k per annum. I think the card makes a lot of sense with this sort of spend, particularly as the MasterCard rate for places which don’t take Amex is pretty good.

    • Really? Going for £10K spend and making it look good (your Tesco points will be a fair bit lower than this because of the rounding down rule), you might target 10,000 points + 5,000 bonus = 15,000 Tesco points. (Just looking at your Premium card points, because you would earn your additional 10,000 ‘Clubcard points’ anyway).

      15,000 points on Premium card that have cost you a focused spend at Tesco (perhaps denying you savings elsewhere, but I’ll ignore that) & the £150 card fee, you get travel insurance included in that £150 which may carry a value for you but I’ll assume the insurance is a ‘nice to have’ but otherwise valueless.

      You pay £150, you get 15,000 Clubcard points = 36,000 Avios = £360 @ 1p (many would give a harsher valuation but we’ll stick with 1p).

      Your net ‘profit’ for focusing £10,000 of spend through Tesco Premium card is £360 minus £150 = +£210.

      If you had used your basic free [£1 = 1 MR point] Amex card instead, you’d have earned 10,000 MR points (=£100) so you might think you’re doing OK with the Tesco card. £110 better?

      However, by doing the simplest of churns, ie 2 x Gold cards (‘his & hers’) per annum, with the same spend to hit bonus targets, you’d have earned an extra 2x 9,000 (referrer) + 2x 22,000 MR points = 62,000 MR points (= £620).

      Suddenly the Tesco Premium card doesn’t look so good.

      Perhaps you are a big spender and could do the Tesco Premium card spend AND the churning. Fine.

      But maybe you have a 2 point Amex card (such as my BMI Diamond Club card or the Lloyds 2 point card [first 6 months]).

      My £10,000 spend in Tesco gets me 20,000 MR points (= £200) vs your £210 ‘profit’. Nothing in it.

      Except I am free to shop wherever I like (that takes Amex) and not ‘tied into’ spending £200 a week at Tesco.

      I guess the arguments could be made about the insurance having a real value etc, but – without a decent starting bonus (7,500-10,000 Tesco clubcard points) – the Premium card is a ‘miss’ for me, a complete non-starter given the spend you need to send Tesco’s way and what looks like fairly paltry rewards.

      • Genghis says:

        Good arguments Harry

      • Hard to argue with a genuine 3x, eg Eurotunnel.

        If there were a PFS (petrol/ diesel) near us, that would help change my mind – there isn’t.

        Main exclusions unfortunately include Paypoint:
        [7.Points will not be awarded for non-qualifying products, including tobacco or tobacco related products, lottery, stamps, prescription medicines, infant formulae milk, Tesco Gift Cards, saving stamps, in store concessions, Paypoint payments or for purchases of some Tesco Bank products. Other products may also be excluded from the scheme at the discretion of Tesco.]

        But most giftcards are allowed.

  18. There are routes where the £50 discount works, (ie competitive with HBO/ luggage, given the extras), sadly not mine

  19. Eg I just picked Amsterdam Feb 2017 – the CE premium is only about £30 EW, so you could easily justify £60 – £50 Tesco discount ie a net £10 for all the extras

  20. Sounds a bit sophisticated for Tesco!