Bits: HMRC miles alternative?, Groupon / Avios deal back, ‘Credit Card Reviews’ returns

News in brief:

The only alternative to HMRC’s credit card ban?

Earlier in the week I explained how HMRC is banning tax payments on personal credit cards from 13th January (click here).

For those of us who make direct PAYE, VAT, corporation tax or self-assessment payments, this is a blow.  HMRC’s low 0.38% credit card made tax payments a very cheap way of printing miles.

When I wrote that article, I forgot that there was one alternative.  It isn’t hugely lucrative but it may be better than nothing.

You earn 1 Tesco Clubcard point (2.4 Avios or 2.5 Virgin Flying Club miles) for every £8 you spend on the Tesco Bank debit card.  You obviously need to take out a Tesco Bank current account to do this.

Tesco Bank doesn’t let you earn debit card points on financial transactions, but luckily HMRC is not treated as ‘financial’.

Whilst this clearly isn’t as lucrative as using the best Visa or MasterCard credit cards to pay your tax, remember that using debit cards is free with HMRC.  3,000 Avios for paying a £10,000 tax bill isn’t hugely generous but arguably better than nothing.

Full details of the Tesco Bank current account are here.

Groupon / Iberia deal back – buy Avios for 1p

Iberia has brought back its occasional Groupon offer which allows you to buy Avios points at a discount to the official price, usually around 1.1p each.

I have written about the pros and cons of these offers in the past.  Our last full article on this deal is here.  The pricing is the same as it was then.

The cheapest and best value package of 2,000 Avios has sold out.  The other packages work out at over 1.00p per Avios and are therefore not a bargain, but potentially worth it as a top up.

The Groupon site – in Spanish – is here if you want to take a look but it makes more sense to go via Iberia’s shopping portal here to earn an extra 9 per €1 spent.  If it tracks – and you can’t control that – then the deal starts to look more attractive.

Thanks to Paul for reminding me about this.

Our ‘Credit Card Reviews’ series returns

Starting tomorrow, I will be running updated versions of our ‘Credit Card Reviews’ series.

These articles allow us to do a deep dive into every travel loyalty credit card.  You may think you know all about the main cards such as the British Airways American Express but you may have forgotten some features.   And you probably know nothing about the Flybe credit card or the United Airlines one – is that a mistake? We will see.

How to buy Avios for 0.77p whilst making your next redemption!
Flying Blue: WestJet deal, a look at the KLM UK network and latest promo awards
About Head for Points

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Comments

  1. Is it better to use the Tesco Debt Card which gets Avios for nothing, or incur the credit card fees payable and get higher points on the Lloyds Avious Mastercard / HSBC Premier Free card – can’t seem to make sense of it as it appears that less Avios for FREE is better than more Avios at a cost?

    • I agree

      Tesco debit card gives you 0.24 Avios / £ (and possibility of more with a bonus, albeit not that likely these days). So realistically you’d need to have a credit card offering at least 0.75 Avios / £ (say) to make it worthwhile given the CC fees.

    • Tesco debit: 2.4/8 = 0.3 avios / £. Valued at 1p = 0.3% return net
      HSBC Premier free card: 0.5 avios / £. Valued at 1p = 0.5% the HMRC fee is a poorer return than Tesco debit.
      Lloyds MC: 1.25/5 = 0.25 avios / £. Valued at 1p = 0.25% return less the HMRC fee is a poorer return than the Tesco debit, but of course spend counts towards the £7k required for the upgrade voucher.
      With one of the higher earning credit cards, you’d be better off net, depending on your valuation of the points.

  2. the real harry1 says:

    Rolling Luggage have emailed me (generic email) saying my 1000 Avios will be awarded within 14 days – this is different to the personal email response to my query (the 5 days promise) – looks like they are on the case

    • “on the case”…………

    • I’ve not had any email saying this. Still waiting …………

      • the real harry1 says:

        did you email/ complain to them? I finally got fed up enough to send a 1-minute query, & I think that puts you on a list of people going to get the 1000 Avios…wouldn’t surprise me if they quietly forget anybody who doesn’t complain…

        • I did complain. Sent an email I think was over the weekend and got a reply saying they’re looking into it.

  3. the real harry1 says:

    Come on, Raffles: think of those poor Great Ormond St Hospital kids who would love your EUR300 (50% of EUR600) – cancelled & re-routed Virgin flight

    Compensation can be claimed where you are either:

    1) Delayed at your final destination by more than three hours and that delay arises from causes within the carrier’s control (rather than extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided by all reasonable measures).

    Or:

    2) Informed of a cancellation less than fourteen days before the planned departure date that arises from causes within the carrier’s control (rather than extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided by all reasonable measures), unless you are offered a re-route which allows departure and arrival at your final destination within the following times:

    If you are informed of the cancellation between thirteen and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing you to depart no more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival; or

    If you are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing you to depart no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach your final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

    The levels of compensation are specified as follows:

    EUR 250 for flights of 1500 km or less

    EUR 400 for flights within the EU of more than 1500 km and for all other flights between 1500km and 3500 km

    EUR 600 for all other flights.

    Compensation is reduced by 50% if any re-routing offered to your final destination results in a scheduled arrival time which does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of the original flight by:

    Two hours for flights of 1500 km or less

    Three hours for all flights within the EU of more than 1500 km and for all other flights between 1500km and 3500 km

    Four hours for all other flights.

  4. the real harry1 says:

    Europcar pre-Xmas rentals – these usually stack with any other deal Europcar might offer – Accor points on top

    £10 off £60 – use code AUTUMNUK1710
    £20 off £120 – use code AUTUMNUK1720
    £30 off £180 – use code AUTUMNUK1730

  5. If anyone used the Spanish Groupon avios offer before, how long did it take for your purchased avios to be credited to your Iberia account?

  6. Wondering how long it took for the Avios to appear in the Iberia accounts of anyone who has bought through the deal?
    The transaction has tracked through the plustore (which i thought would be the hard part). It does say transactions will appear in Iberia within 15 days (has been 7), just wondered how long on average it takes?