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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.

  • Steve says:

    Even my Tesco, the one that told me that they were going to stop selling them, seem to replenish the stock, 6 cards at a time.

  • Sinizter says:

    Just picked up 94 of them today.
    63 across 4 different Tesco branches and 31 from Homebase (sadly with the credit card and not gift cards from Tesco).

    Had a 300 mile roundtrip to do today, with 2 Tescos at either end and 2 very conveniently close to the route. So made full use of the opportunity.

    Also got 35 last week across two stores.

    • Sinizter says:

      In one of the stores, I wanted to buy 18 – 10 + 8 in two transactions. The checkout person checked with the supervisor who then checked with the Day Manager and came back with you can only purchase 10. I asked him to contact head office to confirm and that they would say there is no limit. He wandered of for a minute, seemed like he was talking to the manager again and came back with you can have them all, but have to be across 3 transactions.

    • Angela says:

      Have had my last two transactions declined by high street vouchers one in my name and one in husbands we had previously done around half a dozen £25 orders each
      Am quite liking the home base idea

  • DarrenT says:

    Managed to get a load in Clintons Cards the other day, and the lovely Manageress said she would speak to the wholesaler of their gift cards and get a LOAD in for me, and keep me supplied! :-)))

  • What's the Point says:

    I have not had any luck in any of the large Extras I originally stocked up on when it all kicked off a few weeks back (£250 a trip). Where as 2 Metro stores I went into last week had them 20 in each. Possibly a different type of shopper at Metro, that doesn’t dream in Avios…..

  • What's the Point says:

    Forgot to mention – Many thanks to Raffles and the other contributors on this website, I have earned £130 in Tesco CC points in just the last 8 weeks. For not doing any thing different in particular, other than paying off our Council Tax a year in advance!

  • erico1875 says:

    Anyone used these for buying Groupon, kgb deals or living social type deals?

    • Gabi says:

      Yes, I’ve bought some Groupon deals without problems.

      • Rob says:

        … And odd remaining balances can be redeemed for Amazon gift certificates and added onto your Amazon account for future use

        • stu6278 says:

          My local Council Tax allows £1 minimum payments so also great for getting rid of odd balances

  • dannyrado says:

    Im sorry, and I know it’s a great oppurtunity and all that, but how much time are some of you spending on this? I mean entering each card number for verification, marrying that up with the expiry date, and security code, entering numerous credit card numbers online, or god forbid on the phone…..

    Those that are paying tax, are you paying off in £25 chunks, or combining balences first? I’d hate to think of the poor phone agent taking 100 x £25 payments…

    I got bored phoning my council tax automated system after 4 go’s!

    • Steve says:

      Copy & paste!!!!

      Takes me exactly 14 seconds per £25 to pay Council Tax online, so total time spent activating the card and paying £125 each month is less than 5 minutes.

      • Dannyrado says:

        You clearly don’t live in the same backwater as I. One payment at a time, over the phone, on a drawn out automated system. They don’t accept Santander bill pay either….

    • Paulie says:

      So far I have managed to buy and use £2,250 worth of these cards. That equals to 6,750 clubcard points to turn to avios plus the 2,250 extra avios from the Amex spend and £2,250 closer to my 2-4-1. How do you get you get bored getting FREE flights? Granted, it can take a bit of admin, but unless you are Richard Branson, your time is worth it.

      Many thanks Raffles.

    • BTC says:

      When you paid your council tax – did you already have a direct debit payment set up for it?

      I’ve just found another couple of 3V cards, and used one towards my CT, but won’t find out for another 4 weeks what will happen to my DD payments.

      • Louie says:

        I did. If it’s the same as my council, they just deduct the 3V payments from the next DD due. So if your DD was normally £200 but you had used 5 3V cards, the next month’s DD would be reduced to £75.

        • BTC says:

          Thanks – I called the Council this morning, and they “thought” that’s the way it would work too.

  • shaya says:

    Sorry for being a bit of target but racking my brains for a solution. First and foremost thanks to Raffles for feeding my avios habit! I am looking to buy a phone in o2 that for some reason dont accept amex, Im looking for a prepay mastercard or visa that can be bought online. Any Ideas?

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