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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 (November 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 10,000 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.

  • ComeFlyWithMe123 says:

    This is getting seriously addictive. I hope I get them all activated and lodged into my NS & I account before the plug is pulled.

  • Jules Verne says:

    One more question – do you have to use a cashier to buy and activate these – or is it possible to use the self-service checkouts, thereby avoiding the hassle of strange questions?

    • Rich says:

      Need to go through a “manned” till- no self service

  • Michael says:

    Just bought another 66 cards at the weekend in glasgow and Perth which will help with the new target for the 2-4-1.

    Cheers raffles

  • Jules Verne says:

    I seem to have wiped out a local store as they’ve not replenished since I went in a month or so ago…fear not though, I found five other stores with varying numbers of cards in stock.

    Only trouble was the first store – had 10 scanned all at once, and it became a right palaver when one of them was activated but scanned twice (i.e double charged me) whilst on the second batch of ten, three failed to activate and a further one activated (charged) but the slip never printed…

    Took a while to get the non-activated ones identified and re-scanned and then some time to get the till to unfreeze…in the meantime some fools decided to join the check-out queue when there was an obvious problem and then got arsey about the wait (despite the neighbouring till being empty at the time).

    Then it was off to customer services to get a refund for the double charging and unactivated cards….took some time but got a cash refund for those and left…..only to realise I should have still kept hold of the activated card that I got double charged for…so back to the store and found someone to receive the said card and receipt.

    Didn’t put me off trying the other stores on my way home though! Took a good 2.5 hrs to get home..

  • What's the Point says:

    Found some today at Tesco Solihull. Bought my fill and left 4 on the shelf.
    Went to two other Tesco stores on Monday and found a very lonely 1 x 3V card in each of them – how annoying!

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

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