Bits: Tesco trialling 12,000 Avios bribe for Premium Credit Card, developments at Aer Lingus

News in brief:

Tesco trialling a 12,000 Avios sign-up bonus for the Tesco Premium Credit Card

I was unexcited in my review of the Tesco Premium Credit Card when it launched a couple of months ago.  Whilst the benefits package could work for some people, most would struggle to get any value unless you spend £5,000 per year in Tesco to trigger the annual bonus.

There aren’t many of those people.  I would also guess that many of those who do are feeding large families – not filling their trolley with lobster – and wouldn’t want to pay a £150 annual fee for a credit card.

I get a feeling that my lack of enthusiasm has been contagious.  A reader sent me a targetted email yesterday offering him 5,000 Clubcard points – 12,000 Avios – as a sign-up bonus.  There wasn’t even a spending target to hit!

Given the £150 fee, even 5,000 Clubcard points doesn’t necessarily make the card worth it.  As I don’t need the travel insurance benefit, am not planning on buying any Club Europe flights in the next two months and won’t spend £5,000 this year in Tesco, it wouldn’t swing it for me.

If you were thinking of getting the card I would hold off.  An ‘open to all’ sign up deal may be on the way.

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

Tesco Premium credit card

Interesting Aer Lingus traffic statistics

Aer Lingus sent me a lengthy press releases yesterday to remind me how wonderful it is.  I will spare you the details but there were some interesting numbers in it which made it clear how successful the airline has been in picking up North America traffic from the UK regions.

you can now connect to North America flights on Aer Lingus from 19 UK airports

Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool have seen 18% year on year growth in Aer Lingus departures to North America via Dublin

Manchester is the most popular Aer Lingus starting point for a US trip, followed by Birmingham

Dublin was the fastest growing major European airport in H1 2016

For Head for Points readers, the more important facts about Aer Lingus are:

You can redeem Avios points on Aer Lingus, but only by calling British Airways (see this article for details)

Tax in Business Class is under £75 return if you ticket from Dublin to avoid UK APD

Dublin to Boston is under 3,000 miles and so costs only 75,000 Avios return in Business Class

You can clear US immigration and customs in Dublin, allowing you to enter the US with no delays

There is a brand new lounge just after US immigration at Dublin Airport

Whilst delayed, Aer Lingus will be launching its own Avios scheme, AerClub, very soon.  I am currently thinking about how we will integrate this into HFP.

I am also very keen to review the new Aer Lingus business class seat and the Dublin lounges and this will be our key travel priority for the Autumn.

The Leaders Club entices me back with a freebie .... where should I go?
If you missed my interview on CNBC on Wednesday ....
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  1. I think I read that the average weekly basket in most supermarkets is between £100 and £150, so £5000 is probably easily achievable.

    • In my little London bubble no-one has a car (or never drives it if they do) and do 3-4 small Metro-type supermarket visits a week. Haven’t driven to a supermarket for probably 20 years. Rather like Teletext and phones with dial wheels it is something I assume doesn’t happen any longer :-)

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        In my little Cheshire Bubble everyone gets a weekly delivery from Sainsburys, Tesco, or Waitrose. Most will spend north of £100 a week.

        Our Tesco service cost us less than £20 a year and it works very well. I can’t recommend it enough.

        Oh, we also all have Range Rovers which are thirsty beasts.

      • If the relevant Metro is Tesco, then that’s c150 visits a year.
        If £35 each time, then one has reached £5k.

        Very doable if wine is included (i.e. if their wine prices are competetitive)
        As a bachelor living above Tesco in Covent Garden I probably did £2k p.a.

        • Hello neighbour! I have cut my shopping there as much as possible after the various rat infestations! If only I could turn Nectar points into something more useful.

  2. Direct, Wines & Petrol are included so with a little judicious manufactured spend I don’t think £5000 is that difficult. The weakness being: you do have to wait 12 months to get the annual 5000 point bonus, by which time you have incurred a second £150 annual card fee (not sure if the second one can be refunded pro rata, I’ll assume not).

    So crunching the math, you spend £5000 and get back a rose-tinted 20,000 Tesco points (5000+10,000+5000) = 48,000 Avios.
    Cost 2x£150 = £300 or 0.625p/ Avios
    + some insurance benefits
    + the rather mean BA Club Europe deal (pointless for us)

    You could have spent the £5000 elsewhere & picked up points & welcome bonuses, let’s assume the basic Gold card 22,000 bonus incl referral + another 9000 for your partner + 5000 MR points on spend = total 36,000 Avios for near zero cost if you cancel the card. I’ll ignore the annual 10,000 MR point bonus if you hit £15K spend.

    Of course, you could do both those & plenty of others.

    I think if I were a regular Tesco grocery shopper – I’m not – I might have just gone for it as another string to the bow & this beats my 2 MR point legacy BMI card on Tesco instore spend. If the second year £150 is refundable pro rata, that would also make the decision much easier, maybe somebody could dig? (Tesco credit card helpline 0345 300 4278)

    • Sussex Bantam says:

      I am a regular Tesco shopper – I dread to think how much we spend there but it is way over 5K per year. I also put much of my business expenditure through cards and so regularly exhaust churning options.

      I’m therefore interested in this card for spend not directed at sign-up bonuses. Harry’s maths above shows that for £5000 spend in Tesco I would earn 48,000 Avios for a cost of £300.

      The alternative (for example) would be to leave that £5000 spend on a BAPP. For that I would earn 7500 Avios plus 5000*2.4 from CC = 19500. Therefore the £300 fee is buying me 28,500 Avios .

      Alternatively I could leave the £5000 on a Gold card and earn 5000 + 5000*2.4 = 17000. In this instance the £300 fee is buying me 31,000 Avios.

      Of course this changes dramatically if the fee is £150 rather than £300 (which it would for year 2 and beyond) but unless we can get some confirmation that you can cancel at end year 1 and still get annual bonus I can’t see how this card can work. Am I missing something ?

      • You can be fairly sure that, if you don’t use the card after your anniversary date, you won’t have the fee imposed for year 2.

        The regulator would take a very dim view of such behaviour. MBNA already has this policy.

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          In which case I may well be tempted. Well at least if the sign up bonus becomes available to all…

  3. Sandgrounder says:

    I spend over £100 per week on fuel. Consider the first 5k p/a:

    Now: 2 avios (Diamond Club) + 2.4 avios (1 Clubcard point) per £, x £5000 = 22000 avios. (I get 1 cc point/£ as I have the standard Tesco credit card)

    ‘Premium’ credit card: 4.8 avios (2 Clubcard points) per £ x £5000 = 24000 avios, + 12000 avios (bonus) = 36000 avios.

    14000 avios for £150? Not great. In the first year with this targetted signup bonus, this increases to 26000 avios for £150 = .577p/ avios- worth considering.

    So Tesco- email the signup deal to Mr (or Mrs) Sandgrounder and I will give it some thought!

    If they pull the Diamond Club cards, things obviously change in Tesco’s favour. Earning clubcard points also gives you the choice to credit to Virgin as well, which is welcome added flexibility.

  4. I used Aer Lingus a few years ago when I needed a cheap one way flight to NYC. I was very impressed. Loved the pre clearance and arriving into a domestic terminal at JFK. Liked their economy class as it’s 2-4-2 and seat reservation was free. And the flight being a little shorter made it more bearable.

    Wouldn’t particularly want to fly home via Ireland though.

  5. 2 for 1 conversion – existing members have done OK, haven’t they?
    At what rate will my Gold Circle Points be converted to AerClub points? 
    If you are a Gold, Prestige or Elite tier member you will receive 2 Avios points for every 1 Gold Circle Point.

    And looks like AerClub members will have full Combine my Avios privileges.

    • It will. But …. AerClub will be revenue based redemption (I guess 1 cent per Avios, so around 300,000 for business class!). However, via combine my Avios, you can move them to BA for a redemption table based flight. How will that work?

      • Where does it say it will be revenue based redemption? I only see revenue based earning being mentioned.

        • The wording on that site changes every few weeks as they push back the launch date!

          The original version said: “You can use your Avios to get a discount on the cost of your Aer Lingus flights. You will also be able to spend your Avios with an extensive range of travel and leisure partners.”

          This could of course just mean that they will be doing ‘part pay with Avios’ PLUS full miles redemptions.

          There is a reason that this scheme will launch 6-8 months later than originally announced …..

  6. Interesting update re Tesco Premium. Has anyone actually received the 5,000 Clubcard point signup bonus offer? Have seen a 2,500 one. If you shop at Tesco anyway, this is a good deal.

  7. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    I always found a use for my CC points within Tesco whilst Boost was running. There was always the opportunity to buy something I needed which represented a genuine saving. With Boost gone (and no replacement announced) I’ll probably hold off. Their partner deals can be good but they dont fall into the ‘need’ category and thus represent an actual saving. I write this as someone who would easily hit the £5,000 spend.

  8. OT: Sorry to go off topic so early but it is the bits thread. Has anyone any experience as to whether or not you get hotel benefits/status if booking through Amex travel (not FHR)? Or are they treated like any other OTA? I’ve not used them before and oddly they are the cheapest option by miles due to a free night offer. I was planning to use my GHA platinum status (cheers HfP!) but the current Amex price saves about £200 and I’m not so bothered about the room upgrade- but would be nice if it happened obviously.

    • Sorry I’ve just read today’s other post and can see that this question would fit better there so I’ll re-post in that thread. Ignore this one.

  9. Andy Lea says:

    For the Tesco premium card to tempt me – I would need circa 25k Avios signup and circa £100 annual fee

  10. Bernard Peller says:

    I flew the new Aer Lingus Business class seat back in March from AGP to DUB, during the summer season the fly an A330 to AGP on the morning flight, that same aircraft then does the afternoon flight to JFK. As AGP is classed as short haul Europe I paid €80 supplement just to try the seat, there is no service difference from economy, you pay for your luggage, you pay for a drink etc. The seat is a vast improvement on the last angled incarnation but unless there was a huge sale on I would not pay business class money to fly with EI as I would not earn any Avios or tier point. But for some added comfort on a 3 hour flight I would pay the €80 extra every time. The seat layout is 1-2-2/ 1-2-1 All the A Seats are single but the single seats in row 3 & 5 K have extra shelf space so are great seats if you want to work or relax with you laptop etc.

  11. The 500 Marriott points for following them on Instagram have arrived:

  12. Will Squires says:

    Still waiting for a sign up bonus on the current account :(

  13. RE: DUB pre-clearance. If I book a flight from GLA > DUB > MCO with only about 90 minutes layover in DUB, will I be able to pre-clear or won’t there be time?

    • You have to pre-clear, or you won’t get on the flight – it is not an optional step (the US-bound flights leave from a dedicated set of gates which you have to pass through US immigration to access).

      If you are booking it as one ticket/journey with luggage checked through and the website offers you a 90 minute connection then you will be fine; that is enough time.

      If separate tickets (e.g. Ryanair and Aer Lingus) and needing to collect and re-check luggage then 90 minutes will not be enough.

      • Duncan S says:

        Thanks for that. It’s actually for my FIL, but he’s looking at a GLA > MCO flight via DUB booked as one ticket on the Aer Lingus website, so that should be fine.

        I think he might prefer to have an overnight stop in DUB anyway, which Aer Lingus don’t allow you to specify online. I think he might just book GLA > DUB and DUB > MCO separately but on different days.

    • If you book on the one ticket you should be fine. I have connected on to the EI105 flight at 1050 from the earlier GLA-DUB flight. On arrival at DUB the cabin crew will announce if anyone is connecting to JFK, who then get off last and then are bussed to the Pre-Clearance area (with obvious priority to get through).

  14. Scottydogg says:

    Re Aer Lingus , I remember reading that Dublin to Boston was a good deal with regards to Avios redemption , I see you quoted a business class return in the article , but my question is
    Do you know what price Dublin to Boston 1 way would be , how many avios and taxes ?
    I don’t want to have to phone BA for the price

  15. Does anyone have an update on whether it will be possible in the future to redeem avios for RFS style flights on Aer Lingus? Particularly interested in MAN – DUB as it can get very expensive when you need to fly last minute.

    • No idea. If Aer Lingus does revenue-based redemption it would be crazy to have flights openly bookable on for 4,500 Avios.

  16. One reason for the driver in Aer Lingus may be the BA site itself. When I put in ABZ-JFK or ABZ-MCO in recent searches, it forces the return leg in most cases via DUB with no option (apart from Multi City but even that has it’s limits due to the 2 hour stopover minimum) to fly via LHR. Most casual travellers won’t check for other options not shown on

  17. OT:
    I am coming up to the anniversary for the Lloyds Premier Avios card and don’t want to pay the £140 fee. I rang Lloyds to downgrade to the £24 Avios card, I have been told that I can’t do it, as it is effectively a new application and I am showing as ineligible to apply for a new product?! Therefore I have to either pay the £140 fee, or cancel the card.
    I have just checked my credit score (via Barclaycard) and it’s 831 which should be fine.
    I am about to cancel Amex Plat as I have got all the value I can out of it after 5 months’ use.
    I have a BAPP and earned the 241 and have 4 months left to run.
    I have several other non-Amex cards – Hilton, Santander 123, Nationwide Select and my main card at the moment is the new Creation IHG card.
    I will be selling my house and applying for a new (joint) mortgage next year.

    1. Should I cancel the BAPP (£195 fee due in December)?
    2. Given that I am not allowed to downgrade, should I just cancel the Avios Premier (£140 fee due in August)?
    3. Can I pay for the BA 241 taxes with a Supp to my wife’s Gold Card?
    4. Should I be worried about the effect on getting a new mortgage next year?

    Many thanks!

    • there is definitely a negative effect as regards your mortgage application but it goes away after a few months

    • Thanks Harry… I am thinking I should cancel the Lloyds card and downgrade to the free BA card… any thoughts?

      • many! you already get it AFAICS, cancelling cards does impact negatively but it goes away after time

  18. OT bit: Could somebody please advise how long it usually takes to process Club Carlson gold upgrade via the amex platinum route? Thanks in advance.

    • I think it was a couple of weeks for me – having put in my existing membership number when applying for the upgrade…

  19. OT and not exactly deal of the century: have just done a Tesco delivery order and found I had a 150 point “Just for you” e-coupon pre-loaded. An old account I use with a physical card but not for a grocery delivery in probably 6-12 months.

  20. Does anybody know if, now that they’re in IAG, there are any plans to facilitate BA passengers using the Aer Lingus lounge on a USA – LHR – DUB route? Specifically, when Aer Lingus operate the LHR – DUB leg (on a BA codeshare), they don’t have Business class. This not only means that your Club World ticket gets you an economy seat on the last leg, but also that you have to transfer to T2 at LHR and BA don’t have a lounge there. And previously, Aer Lingus have said that as an economy class ticket holder I’m not coming into their lounge. Would seem a small courtesy to allow that……

    • Interesting… on a separate note, if you have to change terminals, does that mean you can pick your bags up at LHR or will they be checked through to DUB?