Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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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:

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.)

BT

Charles Stanley (an investment group)

Co-Operative Energy

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

EDF

E.ON

Freemans

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)

Npower

O2

Orange

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

TalkTalk

Virgin Media

With caveats:

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)

British Gas

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)

Scottish Gas

Selftrade

T-Mobile

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

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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 – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. 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 (106)

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

  • huntsman80 says:

    I’d be very interested to know if these worked to pay off Tesco Clubcard Credit Cards….?

  • Mr Bridge says:

    high street vouchers:
    you will have to pay postage on orders under £100, so not such a good deal!

    • ianwall says:

      Can anyone confirm this is working, as I get a card type is not supported error.

      • ComeFlyWithMe123 says:

        Worked for me and I got free delivery – not sure if there was an offer on at the time. I can remember what card type I chose (if required) so have a play about.

  • ringingup says:

    If only I could find them anywhere!

  • Rob says:

    Yes, I am going to run this tomorrow – I have an excuse as the Shell petrol discount means it may be worth switching to them and getting Avios as well!

  • Mr Bridge says:

    HOW TO GET RID OF ODD BALANCES:

    Amazon gift cards – any amount min 10p
    tv licence savings any amount min £2.00
    sky any amount – cant find a minimum but paid £3.23
    BT any amount min £5
    Next any amount cant find a minimum.

    I used to buy cineworld gift cards from tesco, but their website only accepts 1 gift card, so i would pay £16 off a £20 card and then next time i would use the £4 paying the balance on amex.
    Now use 3V and get rid of the odd balances as above

  • Mr Bridge says:

    I know most HFP readers are very savy, but a note for novices, YOU SHOULD ONLY USE THE ‘SCHEMES’ IF YOU PAY OFF YOUR FULL BALANCE EVERY MONTH, otherwise the interest you pay will far outweigh the value of CCp’s or avios

  • MaryE. says:

    @Raffles So, 3V are equivalent to the USA VR cards? Can I buy 3V in Ireland at Tesco there? I’ll be in London (3 days) and Galway, Ireland (6 weeks) this summer. I’d like to continue my new hobbies hobby of collecting points and miles in Europe. Thanks for a link to any posts you have on this.

    • Rob says:

      3V do run cards in other countries although no idea what Tesco sells there. Whether they are still available in the Summer remains to be seen …. we may collectively driven 3V into ruin by that time!

      Note that the cards only come in $25 chunks so it is not quite Vanilla Reload territory where you could do $500 at a time.

  • Gordon says:

    Has anyone seen the 3V cards in any shops other than Tesco and if so which ones.

    None of our local Tesco stores have been restocked in the last 3 weeks and I am starting to wonder if they ever will.

    • Gingerbread says:

      Hello, here on the South Coast, I haven’t seen any 3V cards in Tesco, but have seem them in Homebase (ignore online stock checks) and Boots.

      However, without the Bonus Clubcard points not sure if it’s really worth the hassle unless trying to meet an AMEX spend, but your view may differ.

      Cheers

      • Gordon says:

        I agree with you totally. Ideally i would buy them from tesco but i have some amex spends to reach and some tax bills to pay so i hope to find some alternatives to tesco

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

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