It was two weeks ago that I originally ran a version of this article, discussing places which accept the 3V Virtual Visa cards.
(If you missed the original post, you can buy two £25 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 post is here.)
Head for Points automatically closes articles to new comments after two weeks. I have therefore republished the list below, with the latest additions, so that people can continue to comment.
Here is a list of places (utility companies mainly, I have ignored normal online retailers where they will always be accepted) 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.)
Charles Stanley (an investment group)
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, maximum of 20 cards can be used per day)
Next (to pay off account balance, although you can also use Next gift cards from Tesco for this)
Oyster (Tube tickets in London)
Royal Mint (see this post on buying 50p coins for 50p!)
Sky (Sky also lets you prepay online, using that balance up before recommencing your normal direct debit)
South West Water
Barclaycard (works to settle Priority Club and Hilton HHonors credit cards, does not appear to work with standard Barclaycard bills. However, you cannot use more than two 3V cards in a day and no more than five in one month.)
First Utility (in your profile is the option to pay part of a bill, however once you have done this once the option disappears and further transactions must be done on the telephone)
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)
Capital One credit cards (to pay bill)
Hargreaves Lansdown (an investment group – this was working but now seems to have been blocked)
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 (September 2022)
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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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 10,000 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.