50% bonus on Tesco Clubcard transfers to Virgin Flying Club

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Here is the first decent promotion of 2013!

Tesco has launched a 50% bonus on transfers of Tesco Clubcard points to Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club.  This means that you will receive 375 miles per £1 of Clubcard vouchers you convert, rather than the standard 250.

Full details are here.  The deals runs to March 5th, so you will be able to convert your points from the next set of vouchers as well.

Virgin is also repeating its offer of 1,000 Virgin miles for opting-in for auto-conversion of your Clubcard points each quarter to Virgin.  Nothing stops you agreeing to this and then cancelling after one quarter!

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin miles will become a lot more interesting in 2013.  You will be able to collect them on Virgin’s new domestic services which start in March.  Virgin is also likely to join the Skyteam alliance in the next 18 months, given that Delta Airlines of the US – a core Skyteam member – has just bought a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic.

That said …. the Skyteam deal is not guaranteed, and I don’t recommend you make a conversion to Virgin unless you have a clear idea about how you want to redeem them.  Virgin charges similar fuel surcharges to BA, so long-haul economy redemptions are still a bad deal.

Remember too that both Virgin and Avios allow one-way redemptions, so if both carriers serve a route you could redeem for Virgin one-way and BA back.  Redeem for Virgin Upper Class from Heathrow and you’d get to visit their Clubhouse lounge, generally regarded as one of the best in the world.

There is also an interesting arbitrage to earn Hilton HHonors points from this promotionAs I outlined in this old post, because you can transfer Virgin miles to Hilton points you can therefore go Tesco to Virgin to Hilton.  With the 50% bonus, you would effectively get 3-4 times face value for your Tesco vouchers in Hilton points, if spent wisely.

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?

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  1. So do you still stand by your 80% certainty on there being a 50% transfer bonus to BA later this year Raffles ? Just wondering if there is any history of a double transfer bonus occuring in one year to two different award schemes?

  2. I am waiting for Tesco too and would imagine its driven by Tesco’s partners (such as Virgin or Avios) rather than Tesco itself.

  3. Raffles, what’s your view on a Amex MR transfer bonus on British Airways/Avios? From what I can tell, the record of this happening is pretty strong, so I don’t want to transfer until there’s a promotion.

    • There have been 1 or 2 transfer promos a year for the last 3 years I think, so I expect to see another in the Summer. However, they are targetted to selected cardmembers, so there is no guarantee each time that you will be selected.

  4. I read there’s also a Tesco to Avios promotion where you get entered into a competition draw if you transfer £10 worth of tesco vouchers in the next 2 months?

  5. Hi Rafles,

    I’ve been reading your blog since a few weeks now and this is my first post here. Thanks for the insightful insightful tips.

    I’ve come across a good offer on HUKD for a trip to India in Oct/Nov 2013 via Virgin

    I was wondering if you can advice as to how I can make the most of my 52K MR from Amex Plat charge card.

    I’ve had the card for 6 months and wish to cancel to receive the pr-rata refund on the £450 fees. Will I retain the Priority Pass card after I cancel?


  6. Thanks for your prompt response Raffles.

    Any idea what’s the next best Amex card I can apply for, which gives me a Priority Pass and benefits similar to my current card?
    Should I apply for the new card now or wait until I’ve cancelled my existing Platinum charge card? Thx

  7. >> if you’ve just got Plat they may turn you down for Starwood until Amex knows you better.<<

    I've had the Amex Blue card in the past and still have the Plat cash back card. So yes, they know me for a good while now.

    btw can I apply for the BA Amex Premium Plus Card before cancelling Plat Charge card or after?


    • At the same time if you want! If you want to cancel Plt first to reduce your Amex exposure, you’d need to wait a couple of months for all traces of the card to go. (A card is not cancelled when you tell them, it is cancelled when you have cleared the last bill and Amex is confident there are no pending charges.)

  8. Sorry, was that YES I can apply for BAPP before I cancel or wait a couple of months and then apply?

    btw How much time will I have to bank my MR once I give notice to cancel?

    • You should be OK either way. However, what I meant was ‘if you intend to cancel to improve your chances of getting the BAPP, then you need to cancel and wait a while’. You can’t cancel Plat on Monday, apply for BAPP on Tuesday and expect the Plat cancellation to have been processed, because it takes a few weeks.

      The MR rules are complex. As I remember it – if you have no other Amex-issued Amex, you must empty it before cancelling. If you have another MR points Amex, no problem. If you have another Amex which is not in MR (eg the BA one), you get six months grace to empty your MR account. But get this confirmed by Amex if its important.

  9. [quote]I think the NatWest Black card also has Priority Pass …[/quote]Almost – it offers Airport Angels lounges! These are similar to PP except for the USA where their selection is poor.

    The only other sensible card with PP cards is the Coop’s Priority Privilege account with just 4 lounge visits a year; beyond that visits are charged. However, how many times do we use lounges with a PP card? I didn’t use mine once in 2012 because I was travelling biz class or because I had BA and LH status.

    For those to whom the AmEx plat doesn’t make sense any more, the Coop account is worth a look – £13 a month with a travel policy with sensible medical cover (to age 80, I believe), RAC breakdown cover in the UK and the rest of western Europe and some other bits and pieces.

    Sorry to go on a bit. My former enthusiasm for the RBS/Natwest Black Account has waned in favour of the Coop account.

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