For a surprisingly long time now (over six months) Tesco has been offering 150 bonus Clubcard points when you spend £50 on gift cards in-store.
There were two exceptions to which gift cards counted for this promotion. You were not allowed to buy Tesco gift cards (makes sense!) and you were not allowed to buy Visa debit cards.
Tesco has now changed the rules. The Visa debit cards DO now count for the 150 bonus Clubcard points bonus.
In-store signage has not been changed so you will still see notices showing that they do not count. However, it is on the Tesco web site. Go here and scroll down to the section on Visa gift cards, and you will see:
Do I get Clubcard points when I buy a Visa Gift Card?
If you’re a Clubcard customer, you’ll earn 150 Clubcard points for every £50 you spend in a single transaction on Branded Gift Cards (including the Visa branded Cards) at the time of purchase.
I have done a test purchase this morning at Canary Wharf and can confirm that it works. 150 Clubcard points were showing on my receipt.
Visa gift cards come with a huge list of terms, conditions and fees. However, there are only four things you need to know:
A £25 card carries a £2.95 fee, a £50 card carries a £3.95 fee
Tesco limits you to £2,000 of purchases per year (not sure how this is tracked) and 5 cards per transaction
You need to register the card before you can use online or by phone, presumably to put a name on file to match up with the card details the retailer enters, but for face to face transactions it can be used immediately. (When you have registered one card, adding additional cards is very quick and painless.)
It is treated as a debit card when you use it
1 hour after buying a £50 card, I was able to use it to pay £50 off my tax bill and it was treated as a debit card with no fee.
How can I benefit from this?
Let’s assume that you have payments for which debit cards are accepted but credit cards or Amex cards are not.
When you buy a £50 Visa debit card, the maths looks like this:
Fee paid: £3.95
Avios points earned from Tesco: 150 Clubcard points = 360 Avios
Avios points earned from BA Premium Plus (as eg): £54 spend = 81 Avios
Total Avios points earned = 441 Avios, or 0.895p per Avios
This is not a bad deal. However, there is an extra benefit – you can use it to put additional spend through whatever American Express card you use in Tesco, which may help you hit a target for a sign-up bonus.
You would also get an even better deal if you saved the Clubcard vouchers for an Avios (or indeed Virgin Flying Club) conversion promotion.
There may be a better deal as well!
Reader Andrew emailed me to say that Tesco is now selling a different sort of Visa gift card. This one is designed exclusively for online shopping.
The pack contains an authorisation number which you input into a website after purchase. You then receive a ‘virtual’ credit card number which can be used online.
Andrew says that these cards do NOT come with a purchase fee! A £25 Visa debit card costs just £25, which you can pay with your Amex in Tesco! He said that he had managed to successfully pay part of his council tax bill online using one.
I have tried to track down one of these ‘virtual’ cards to test it, but I can’t find them. However, I have only been in a couple of Metro stores. Keep an eye out for these ‘virtual’ gift cards next time you are in Tesco.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.