Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Confession time …. how I just used a pile of Clubcard points

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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?

Back in June I ran this post discussing other possible travel-based uses for Tesco Clubcard points which may be worth a look. After all, they offer a huge variety of options and it would be foolish to be blinkered to other uses apart from Avios or Flying Club miles.

The general conclusion – if you read the comments to that post – was that airline miles still offer the best travel use of Tesco Clubcard points, given the small print attached to a lot of the other deals.

However, on a quiet Sunday evening recently I decided to trawl through the Tesco website. And I remembered something which I knew but which I’d forgotten – Tesco is a partner with Safestore!

Now, we have a huge pile of stuff in this warehouse conversion in London:

Safestore

…. which simply does not fit in our house. It costs a lot of money as well, albeit it costs a lot less than a bigger house! We only keep the stuff because, as some point, we will move and finally get it all back into use.

Anyway, Tesco is a partner with Safestore. And, for once, there is no small print, no nasty conditions. You get 300% of the face value of your vouchers knocked off your Safestore invoice.

So, yesterday, I turned up at the centre and settled a chunk of my latest bill with Clubcard tokens. (Cue the usual wide eyed look from the staff as I wiped out 75 per cent of my bill. Sadly they didn’t take Amex to settle the balance!)

The maths works for me:

This is a bill I have to pay in cash if I don’t use the vouchers

I get a full 3 x face value for my Clubcard points

My Safestore contract is already in place – they are not charging me an inflated price because I am using vouchers

Every £100 of Clubcard vouchers got me £300 off my Safestore bill.

I could have got 24,000 Avios for those vouchers. However, I would effectively have been paying 1.25p per Avios, and that is far too high – I tend to value Avios at 0.75p based on how I use them. Even if I waited for a 30% Tesco to Avios conversion bonus, I would still be paying more than 0.75p per Avios.

And, of course, I get to free up some ‘real’ cash, which is always useful.

In fact, I am so pleased with this deal that I will ensure that I try to generate enough points each quarter to cover my future Safestore bills.

Obviously not a lot of other Head for Points readers are likely to use their vouchers this way, but the lesson of the day is that it is worth seeing what else is available. I also realised that Clubcard offers massive discounts on London Zoo tickets, a fortnight after my wife took my daughter and paid full price!

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?

Comments (38)

  • simon says:

    Didn’t realise the Goldsmith one – that’s changed my whole approach to CC points now.

    • will says:

      goldsmith used to be 4 times value!!

      • simon says:

        3 times is pretty good.

        • Rob says:

          The key with Tesco is knowing when you genuinely get 3 times, though. Lots of vendors restrict you from linking it to other deals or, for hotels, making you use your vouchers against Best Flex rates. Some also cap the maximum number of vouchers you can use. ‘Genuine’ 3x deals are rare.

          • Neil says:

            True, although if you are going for a relatively big ticket item such as a watch from one of the big makers, you will pay a similar price no matter where you shop and you don’t see many deals on them.

            I guess you will have absolutely zero chance of talking the price down but with Rolex, for example, they’re not supposed to discount the RRP anyway.

      • Rob says:

        It did, got a Montblanc pen once!

  • pazza2000 says:

    Got a Rolex Sea Dweller here when Goldsmiths was x 4. The ‘one voucher per purchase’ rule would likely prevent a purchase like that again in the future.

    • chris says:

      goldsmith rarely enforce the one voucher per purchase, didnt when i used them before over the years anyway,

      and are my preferred choice for CC points

  • trickster says:

    I more than happily used a bunch of Tesco Clubcard vouchers to purchase a Sofa Bed from Tesco Direct in a recent Clubcard Exchange promotion period. It meant we paid no cash for the item at all, and I was relatively CC points rich, with no need to use them for Avios (my usual preferred choice).

    • Richie says:

      If you were getting 1 to 1 value you would be better changing to goldsmiths or resturaunt vouchers and selling on eBay as this would give you a 1.5 x sometimes up to 2.5 times value and in real cash you can spend anywhere. That’s why the deals like £5 pre order with 500 clubcard points are basically free money

  • Euan says:

    It just demonstrates that the value of points (any time of point!) depends on an individuals personal circumstances.

  • Lady London says:

    My minimum multiplier is 3x if I am not spending for Avios. So Eurotunnel etc., Goldsmiths fine assuming the retailer does not inflate the price. Immediate gratification at the same or better rate than Avios is better than investing in Avios when Avios held can always be devalued by BA, Avios Iberia at any time. The base level of 2x in the new Boost program leaves me cold. Hoping there are some 4x at Christmas when I will be pleased to spend with Tesco and would speculate this will cost Tesco less to provide their own products in return for points as the price will still give them their own retail markup.

    • Alan says:

      Similar views here – had some 4x with Prezzo and Pizza Express previously too (probably closer to 3x given not combinable with all their other offers).

      For a moment I thought I’d missed a trick re Eurotunnel, but I see that’s only the name for the car service and wouldn’t have applied for my Eurostar booking.

  • lap1 says:

    Do Goldsmiths always run 4x at xmas?

    • pazza2000 says:

      I know they did in 2011, I can’t recall them doing it last Christmas however. I am a bit of a pessimist, and with the current ease of earning points lately, coupled with various restrictions – I suspect we may not see x4 Goldsmiths again (or the days of 100% Avios bonus)

  • Keith says:

    Got a nice cruise on Viking river cruises for the same price if i paid with cash.