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.)
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:
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)
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)
Sky (Sky also lets you prepay online, using that balance up before recommencing your normal direct debit)
South West Water
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)
MBNA credit cards (to pay bill)
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 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.