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Update on generating free Avios from 3V Virtual Visa cards

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It is almost a month since my last article on the 3V Virtual Visa cards.  For those who haven’t come across them before, you can earn free Avios (360 per £50 purchase) by buying 3V Virtual Visa cards at Tesco (see here and here and here for example).

The last bit of news we had was that Tesco was – in theory – withdrawing 3V cards.  This was not a surprise, as Tesco is making a big splash of the Visa gift cards which carry a £3.95 fee.  It is just plain weird to cannibalise sales of these by selling the 3V cards alongside them, which carry no fee.

However, many people are still reporting finding stocks of 3V cards in stores, with racks still being replenished.

In the last couple of weeks, people have successfully managed to fund a National Savings account or Premium Bonds with 3V cards, and then make standard online withdrawals into their bank account. 

This is clearly pointless for small sums, where you might as well use them for normal online payments (you can buy Amazon gift vouchers via our affiliate link for a start!).  However, if you can pick up large quantities of them then it is worth it.

Someone also posted that they had found 20+ 3V cards in three different branches of Homebase.  Now, buying 3V cards at Homebase does not earn you the bonus 150 Clubcard points per £50 that you would get from Tesco.  However, if you need to run up some spending on a new credit card to trigger the sign-up bonus, it is worth a look. 

I still have £400 of tax to pay in July, and I’d be happy to put £400 through a miles earning credit card if I can find enough cards in Homebase.

Another popular way of laundering them is via High Street Vouchers.  Reports suggest they accept 3V cards for payment, which lets you redeem for, amongst other things, Waitrose, Asda and Sainsbury gift vouchers.

If you’ve got any recent experiences in buying or spending 3V cards, please post below.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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 £12,000 Read our full review

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

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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 (105)

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

  • Swiss says:

    Has anyone come up against the £1,650 limit that’s in the small print – and if so, is it simply being ignored? Also the terms say you can’t buy cash – I guess people are again either ignoring or have decided (as I think I have) that a National Savings account etc is not ‘cash’….

    • Pat Butcher says:

      I have. 3v account suspended right on the limit. I just activated the other 12 or so cards I had left on my girlfriends 3v account. Not sure how easy it is to set up another account for yourself.

  • James Ward says:

    I’m still seeing racks being replenished. Never more than 20 at a time, but each batch = 4,600 Avios when bought on Amex (first year double points on supermarket spend).

  • DANIEL says:

    I’ve paid all my tax of tax with these! Luuuuuvinnn it!

  • Rich says:

    Buying homebase gift cards from Tesco and then using them to buy 3V cards from homebase works, tested it last night!

    • Rohan says:

      That’s an awesome idea

      • Rich says:

        Yeah it is good, she swiped my nectar card too!
        Worth noting that the homebase cards when purchased take a couple of days to activate before you can use them in homebase.
        Also, I think there is some small print that says that you can’t buy gift cards with gift card but technically you can 🙂 it’s just whether the person on till notices/cares!

        • Dan says:

          I did get Nectar points too when I bought 3V cards from Homebase (with my Amex)

  • sandgrounder says:

    You used the ‘L’ word! (shudder)

  • Rocky says:

    I went to my local Tesco last week and the racks have all been replenished with more cards. I’m going to check more often now.

  • Dave says:

    If you use trains (any company) East Coast e-vouchers are a way to convert these £25 cards into e-vouchers that can be combined for full or part payment of train tickets.

  • Nick Massey says:

    As well as using 3v cards to buy other gift cards from High Street Vouchers, you can also use them to top-up existing gift cards. Certainly works with asda online. Not tried with sainsburys but there is a facility to do it by phone.

    For me it’s not a great way to spend them as it’s only 1 extra clubcard per pound spent on weekly shopping compared to shopping at tesco with a double point coupon.

    I’m sure you can probably do this at other shops too so worth checking. Obviously, like buying amazon vouchers and then adding them to your account, it’s also a way of combining many 3v balances if you want to buy something over £25.

    Now…. just need to find a new supply of the cards in Birmingham – currently a bit dry up here!

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

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