Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Free Avios with 3V Virtual Visa – our list of places where you can use the card

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My article last week on buying the fee-free 3V Virtual Visa giftcard in Tesco has attracted a huge number of comments, over 170 at the time of writing.

(If you missed the original post, you can buy 3V Virtual Visa cards in Tesco for £50, earn 150 bonus Clubcard points – 360 Avios points – and then use the cards to pay off online bills where only debit cards are accepted.  My main 3V Virtual Visa article is here.)

3V card

I have been through all of your comments on 3V cards.  Here is a list of places where they definitely can and cannot be used online:

Works fine:

Amazon (Amazon sells online gift vouchers from 10p.  Ordering a voucher to be sent to yourself is a great way to empty your 3V card if you have a small balance left.  You can then add your gift voucher to your Amazon account as a credit, and it will be used next time you order.  If you use our Amazon link here, Head for Points gets a commission when you order a gift voucher.)

Barclaycard (works to settle Priority Club and Hilton HHonors credit cards, does not appear to work with standard Barclaycard bills)

Council tax (varies by authority, of course, but most accept debit cards these days)

EDF

E.ON

Freemans

Hargreaves Landsown

highstreetvouchers.com (lets you use the cards for a wide range of vouchers eg John Lewis)

HMRC (treated as a debit card so no 1.4% fee to pay)

Next (to pay off account balance, although you can also use Next gift cards from Tesco for this)

Npower

O2

Orange

Sky (Sky also lets you prepay online, using that balance up before recommencing your normal direct debit)

South West Water

TalkTalk

Virgin Media

With caveats:

Scottish Power (will take it but treat it as a credit card with a 1.4% fee)

TV Licence (cannot split payment, so would need to pay the £1.75 per card transfer fee to move £150 onto one 3V card)

Does not work:

American Express (to pay bill)

British Gas

MBNA credit cards (to pay bill)

Scottish Gas

Selftrade

Tesco online shopping (surprised by this, any other reports?)

Tesco savings account (when depositing using a debit card)

Please continue to add your own experiences with utility companies, credit card companies etc.  We know that they should work as ‘normal’ with online retailers so that is less important unless there is a special tweak involved.  Other ideas apart from Amazon for cashing out very small remaining balances are also welcome.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (131)

  • Londonbus says:

    Does 3V work on BT – there’s an option on the BT website to make a payment to your telephone account,

    • Ed E says:

      Yes, it works fine on BT so you can build up a positive balance and they take that before the Direct Debit.
      Ed

      • Singing Dwarf says:

        Do you know if BT charge the £2 / month Payment Processing Fee (usually applied to those not paying the bill via Whole Bill Direct Debit or Monthly Payment Plan), where the account is in credit and the direct debit is therefore not taken?

        See the following for infor:
        http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9855

        • Ed E says:

          Booger!
          I will let you know when my next bill comes out and see what happens. I still elect to pay the whole bull by DD but I just happen to have put some credit in the account!
          Learning experience I suppose – Ed

        • Londonbus says:

          Not in my experience, no.

  • Jovan says:

    Got this response from HHonors Card people:

    We are constantly looking at ways to improve the security of both our customers and the Hilton Hhonors Platinum Visa card. One of the ways we look to do this is to place some limits on the debit card payments you can make in a month. At present these are limited to no more than 5 payments or 2 different cards within a 30 day period, up to a maximum of £3000 in one transaction. If our customers reach these limits we will allow an alternative payment method from the information on the back of your statement or the online FAQ facility.

    So, it is 5 payments, but only 2 different numbers.

  • What's the Point says:

    Visited another Tesco Extra today in Manchester (Gorton) and they had 20 on the shelf, so picked half of them up. That’s the most I can stomach processing in one sitting before going a bit stir crazy.
    What’s the most anyone has activated and spent in one sitting?

    • Michael Christie says:

      Ive put through 2 x 20 & 1 x15 batches for hmrc….around 2 mins per card. hrmc blocks anymore payts after 20 in one day – so had to call up to get it lifted.
      Used bmi card for these….so well over 10000 avios for a few hours work 🙂

  • Jimmy says:

    Travel Republic paying for a hotel with 8 3v cards

  • ringingup says:

    Any stock updates in Central London? I couldn’t find any in Tesco Metro Tooley Street.

  • Roger says:

    It works on Scottish power but treats card as credit card.
    So you end up paying 1.5% surcharge but still in profit as you also get 10p per litre off coupon from Tesco.
    Not a bad deal IMO.