3V cards – still alive and kicking, surprisingly!

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I spent a few days last week up in North Yorkshire, taking the kids to their grandparents.  I was more than a little surprised to wander into the Tesco in Filey to see one of these:

3V card

on the gift card rack.  Annoying, though, there was only one of them!  However, in the 5 days I spent in Filey, that solitary 3V card was not purchased – although, sadly, neither was the rack topped up.

(3V cards are an amazing way to earn literally free Avios.  You can buy 2 x £25 3V Visa cards for £50 in Tesco, spend them online to pay £50 of bills, and earn 150 Clubcard points – 360 Avios – each time.  See here and here for older posts on this which explain everything.)

Simon then emailed me to point out that 3V has finally added Tesco to its list of official stockists – which presumably means that they aren’t about to go away tomorrow.

LondonAndy then posted this photo on Flyertalk of his haul from a visit to Tesco Surrey Quays in London this week:


Another Flyertalker also posted this:

I got 36 in Bournemouth on Monday afternoon (left 1 on the shelf) and 20 from Swansea the week before (left about same again on the shelf)

…. so supplies are certainly not low everywhere.

Ironically, the card that I saw in Filey last week was the first that I have seen in the flesh since the very first day I saw one, in the Covent Garden Metro.  For old times sake I popped in there again this week …. but the shelves were bare!

Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (www.shopperpoints.co.uk), which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk!  Why not check it out now?

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  1. Just searched 4 stores around the perimeter of Heathrow. Came back with a huge stash of cards despite others trying to play tactical hiding games

  2. Noo, I was going to visit those ones next week!!

  3. Using a voucher has no impact, done this a few times.

    I have never heard of Tesco not automatically adding the correct bonus as long as you bought correct multiples of £50.

  4. I got refused at my local tesco yesterday morning – “you have come to our attention as being suspicious with the amount of gift cards you are buying”

    I fired off this email (forgive me hamming it up with BS about my credit rating etc. etc.!!!)

    Dear Sirs,
    “I was recently embarrassed when at a visit to my local tesco Extra store I was quizzed in front of other customers with regard to the quantity of giftcards i was purchasing. The staff member explained there was a maximum number that were able to be purchased.

    The reason I was buying the giftcards (Visa Gift cards) is that I find them a convenient way of settling my utility and tax bills due to poor credit I have which precludes me from holding other VISA accounts!

    I was hoping therefore that you could clarify for me the position in order that if I am challenged in store in future I may reproduce your response as evidence.

    I would rather not shop elsewhere, as it is more convenient for me to use Tesco as my one stop shopping destination!

    With Kind regards

    Response from Tesco customer services…

    Dear Danksy,

    Thank you for your email and patience whilst awaiting a response.

    I’m sorry about the issue surrounding the quantity of Visa Gift Cards that you are able to purchase in our Tesco Extra Store was questioned by a member of staff.

    Looking into the matter further, I’ve spoken with my Business Support Team and they have confirmed that there is no limit to the quantity of Visa Gift Cards. However, there is a limit of £250.00 in total can be done in one transaction, therefore if the value you requested was more than this amount the store can refuse. This is due to Money Laundering Regulations.

    I do hope I have explained the reason for the decision made by the store. I realise how disappointed you must have been when questioned about this.

    Once again, thank you for contacting me and if I can assist with any other enquiries, please let me know.

    Kind regards

  5. James67 says:

    Can we use cc coupons and tillspits to get money off giftcards? Looks like I have been missing a trick.

    • It says on the money off coupons they cant be used for gift cards, but every coupon i have handed over for 3V has been accepted without any problems. e.g. the recent £7 off a £50 spend, used it for £50 of 3V cards – and paid £43!

      • I HAVE had trouble twice out of, probably, 5 goes. With one, the cashier asked her colleague and they agreed ‘if it scans, it’s ok’. The other time the cashier would not budge.

    • Not in theory, but the tills do accept the vouchers so you just need to find a cashier willing to scan them

      • Has anybody figured out when Tesco will next do a helping hand promotion?

      • James67 says:

        Thanks folks. I think I will try my 7 off 50 today with one of our young weekend workers and see what happens.

        • i do have a bit of a tactic for ensuring it works – i do a shop for some other goods also, and then hand the gift cards over first. My thinking being that by the time i hand over the money off coupon they will have forgotten about the gift cards. It’s worked for me 4 out 4 times and also for OH (who, rather nastily will pick out the younger less experienced looking checkout operator!).

        • James67 says:

          It worked for me too 🙂 £7 off £50 this morning. Bought last 2 gift cards which I offered first followed by others items I needed to a total value £7.50 which were also on half price offer. Total shop was £50.50. No problems with my 150 points crediting. Hope more 3V cards appear soon. Assistant informed me that some guy comes round the stores just to restock and mange giftcards so I guess it is some sort of franchise operation rather than an inhouse operation.

        • Brendan says:

          Has always worked for me too. I used a £13 off £80 spend the other day. Did about £50 of shopping too. Unfortunately there were no 3v cards so had to buy one with the £3.95 charge. Still equates to a £9 saving on my shopping + clubcard points though!

    • I’ve tried 5 times and the cashier’s have accepted it each time, I always throw in a few items of shopping that I want and put the giftcard first in the hope the cashier will have forgotten about it after scanning the other items!

      • James67 says:

        Yes, me too. Twice I tried 8 cards alone and the transaction cancelled af the till.However, when I pick up even one other item it never fails.

  6. aeroflott says:

    I might be missing something here, but is it possible to redeem multiple 3V cards for one purchase online?

    So say 4 x £25 for a single £100 online shop for example?

    • To do that you’d have to transfer the money from 3 of the cards onto the 4th card and 3V charges £1.75 for each transfer, so you’d end up with £94.75 (£100 – (3 * £1.75)).

      If you want to buy something for £100 from Amazon though you can buy 4 x £25 email gift certificates (don’t forget to use Raffles link!) in separate transactions and then apply those gift certificates to your account.

  7. Is it possible to forward pay HMRC for an expected tax bill?

    • Sinizter says:


    • Absolutely. You can even, once you’ve done it, ask them for a refund of your overpayment – although, if they know a bill will be due, they don’t always grant it.

      • Flashware says:

        Although I’m not sure I’d be wanting to rinse/repeat this game with HMRC to be honest!

    • 100% sure… Ive prepaid my laibility for the working month of august via billpay

  8. squillion says:

    Same applies to (our) council tax.

    I’ve pre-paid next year’s and was in telephone conversation about the account.

    Nice girl asked if I would simply like the over-payment credited back to our bank a/c.

    Your LA might not be so nice of course.

  9. squillion says:

    Same applies to (our) council tax.

    I’ve pre-paid next year’s and was in telephone conversation about the account.

    Nice girl asked if I would simply like the over-payment credited back to our bank a/c.

    Your LA might not be so nice of course.

  10. Whirlwind2000 says:

    Following the buzz, I had to try it myself. 16 cards later and the HMRC and local council sites worked a treat. For the first time in my life I might pre-pay my council tax!

    However, there’s no doubt it is MIND NUMBINGLY boring, so doing with a nice Malbec certainly works a treat.

    • May that not introduce user initiated errors? 🙂

      I find Beethoven’s 9th a more suitable aid!

  11. Just been to feltham (and what a lovely trip it was too!).

    After the disappointment of Covent Garden yesterday, imagine my glee when there was about 30 on the shelf

    This being my first time, I only grabbed 8 of the wee beasties. Sat entering the details into the 3V website and successfully opened an NS&I account with one of them

    It’s also helping with my spend on my new SPG amex also.

    If you were prepared to do so, you could just end up in a loop. Buy cards, fund NS&I, transfer money, pay off credit card and repeat….!

  12. Flashware says:

    Successfully used for payment on National Express (as a Debit Visa).

  13. whitenoise says:

    Missed this last time, so thought I would try to secure some cards this time. After visiting 8 local Tescos I managed to finally found one that had 11 cards left. Needless to say I picked up 10. I even managed to split the 10 cards into two transactions, using a £4 off £30 voucher I had on each =)

  14. Is there a certain NS&I account that one needs to open which excepts 3V cards to then have the money transfered into my current bank account?

  15. Has anyone tried and had any success using 3V to pay Thames Water? May have missed someone mentioning it somewhere!

  16. I ‘ve just been around my local tescos and where the usual 3v cards were the gaps are now all filled with the versions that have a charge

    Looked at tesco online and they are only advertising the charge version as well!!

  17. sarah gorman says:

    Has anyone used 3V cards to pay their road tax? I’m assuming I’d have to merge a lot of cards to £220 limit!

  18. SingingDwarf says:

    Is it just me, or are these getting very difficult to come by?

    My regular Tesco stores, where stocks had been being replenished, have now had them replaced by the Visa cards with charges. These had been used to fill to the gaps before the 3V cards were replaced, but now seem to have taken their place permanently.

    Seemingly the only places to pick them up now, appear to be Tescos where there have been no previous visits for HFP.

    • louie-m says:

      I’m having the same difficulty. Only 1 success in the last 11 visits to various stores in Kent, Sussex and East Anglia.