Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

TopCashback now paying in Tesco points – a gamechanger? (Part 1)

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First, a (sort of) apology for being a week or so late in writing about this.  Blame the holiday plus the launch of the new site.  This has, however, allowed me to draw on quite a lot of experimental data from other people to present some good suggestions.

So, what is all the fuss about?

For a long time – I have been a member since 2006 – Quidco has been the UK’s leading cashback site for online shopping.  It was reliable and it had good customer service.  Only the £5 annual fee counted against it, but that did pay for a responsive customer services team.

TopCashback launched a few years ago and has been making aggressive strides in the market.  Most in the industry expect it to overtake Quidco at some point.

Historically, TopCashback had three benefits over Quidco:

  • It paid 1% more on all sales (ie £1.01 instead of £1 – not a great improvement)
  • There was no £5 annual fee (although, when you earn £500 a year as I do, saving £5 is not a major reason to move)
  • You could withdraw money as soon as it was received (although Quidco pays fortnightly, and the £1 minimum is not a major barrier)

For a lot of people, including myself, it wasn’t worth the trouble of moving from Quidco.  Now, though, TopCashback has rolled out a new feature which, frankly, makes a massive difference:

TopCashback will now pay your cashback into your Tesco Clubcard account.

This dramatically increases the value of TopCashback cashback versus Quidco. Let’s assume that you value an Avios at 1p.  This means that £10 of cashback, when transferred to Tesco Clubcard, is worth £24 of Avios.

If you assume that Tesco will have another 40% bonus on transfers to Avios at some point, your £10 of cashback would get you £34 of Avios.

(Put another way, TopCashBack allows you to ‘buy’ up to £50-worth of Avios for 0.42p each, each year.  If you assume there will be a 40% conversion bonus, it is letting you buy £50-worth for 0.3p each!).

In reality, you will receive even more Avios than I indicated above, because TopCashback gives you a 5% bonus on top of your cashback if you agree to transfer it to Clubcard.  (In reality, they could have offered 5% less and it would still be a great deal!)

There are very few conditions, except:

You are capped at £50 per year (a year runs from the date of your first Tesco transfer, not the calendar year or from the date you joined)

You can choose for each individual transaction whether it is paid to you as cash or paid into Clubcard.

As you cannot split up each individual transaction, do NOT do a transaction that earns you more than £50 cashback, as it is impossible to split it to send £50 to Clubcard and the rest to your bank account.

TopCashback accounts are strictly limited to one per person.  Extra TCB accounts at the same address would require separate Clubcards.  It is not yet clear if the Clubcard name must match the TopCashBack account name.

How do I join TopCashback?

Use this link here, please!

TopCashback offers a £5 referral bonus if you refer a friend, payable when your friend earns over £10.  The link above includes my referral code.

I am grateful to anyone who chooses to help support the blog by using this link.  You will not get a better deal if you sign-up directly on the TopCashback website.  Thank you!

What’s next?

Nothing stops you opening a TopCashback account now and using it for your day-to-day online shopping instead of Quidco.

In Part 2 of this article, I look at some of the sites that can help you earn the £50 as quickly as possible, with the minimum cost and effort.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (13)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • phreegreens says:

    Very interesting indeed Raffles. Especially as I am looking to buy an Ultrabook from Dell, I look forward to part 2! For those of us that are less FFs than we were a few years ago Tesco does provide a good opportunity to keep the Avios tank topped up and this, even with the £50 limit, could be a handy little add-on for little effort.

  • WW says:

    Worth mentioning that the credit is given in the form of points so you need to wait till the end of the quarter to convert them to vouchers, which can then be converted to Avios.

    • John says:

      …which is the same as any other clubcard deal?

      • WW says:

        Well, my first impression was that, since I’m transferring e.g. £10, I would get £10 in tesco vouchers rather than 1000 tesco points. I was trying to be helpful rather than picky:-).

  • Scott says:

    A well timed article as I currently have just under £50 awaiting to be paid now. Since I’m new to the clubcard scene, I’m assuming that I have to tick the box in the preferences section on the clubcard site to convert my points into BAEC Avios? Do these then stay in the account or something, as I wouldn’t want to change any prefs, just in case I missed out on a conversion bonus. So what’s the usual procedure?

    • Rob says:

      No, do NOT do this. The best thing to do is to receive your Clubcard vouchers in the post and then put them in a drawer. If you are lucky, in a few months time Tesco will run a conversion bonus to Avios (like the 50% bonus they just finished with Virgin Flying Club) and you can convert them then. You do this by going to the Deals website and ordering Avios (into BAEC or in the same way you would order any other deal, inputting the codes on the vouchers.

      If you elect to auto-convert, you will lose out if a conversion bonus is announced next quarter.

      • Scott says:

        Ok, thanks for the information. I knew you would know the answer =)

  • callum says:

    Aren’t the Tesco bonuses normally 50% not 40%? The last few times I’ve done it it’s been for 900 Avios instead of 600.

  • Raffles says:

    Fair point. I have often converted for other stuff, eg MyTrainTicket when they ran their promo. Restaurant deals are diluted by 241 vouchers in my opinion, but those are getting rarer. I might do a post on this.

    • Alan says:

      Yes – I got some good RedSpottedHanky vouchers when that was an option, but have now switched across to East Coast Rewards for train tickets.

      Agree the 2-4-1s reduced the value of the restaurant vouchers but they do seem to be dying out a bit so the value is going back up a bit.

      Regardless of which route you go down they’re all better than the rubbish reward rate that is Nectar!! 😀

  • Hingeless says:

    Looking forward to the gambling post tomorrow 🙂

  • Mr Bridge says:

    sure, i agree, e.g i know energy co’s pay bonus per 100 sign ups.
    Tesco would not be able to put its own name on such as site, as many merchants would pull out, it would not surpirse me if tesco are not looking finding an ‘in’ into this market

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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