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

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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:


…. 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?

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  1. I was just thinking that if you have a significant pile of CC vouchers then converting them to Goldsmiths may be worthwhile.

    I’ve generated about £600 of vouchers this year alone. At base conversion that’s worth £1800 in Goldsmiths and I believe it’s fairly common to see a 4x promotion come Christmas. If that’s the case then even another £100 or so of tesco vouchers would allow me to get something like an Omega Seamaster watch effectively for free.

    • There is an odd rule now at Goldsmiths about ‘one voucher per purchase’. I’m not entirely clear what they mean by this, but I think you would need to convert all your CC vouchers in one transaction (so no mixing vouchers from family members). You would also need to persuade Goldsmiths to ‘hold’ the item you want for a week, since Rolex stock fluctuates and shops do not have full control over what they get. If they sold your watch in the meantime, it may be a while before they got another.

      • I was aware of the ‘one voucher per transaction’ rule but if you have plenty of CC points then it’s not such an issue to convert all at once – I have a feeling that this rule is to prevent people hoarding points over years (since the CC points expire after 24 months) and walking away with something like a Rolex Daytona for ‘free’.

        My only concern is that I’ve read that if you try to convert a significant sum to Goldsmiths vouchers, it will likely trigger a manual review of the transaction. This may bring the Tesco microscope a little too close for comfort for those of us who have benefited heavily from 3V, ink cartridges, pre-orders etc. Tesco may suddenly decide that you have abused the scheme….

  2. re:London Zoo
    your wife could have got two of the cheapest train tickets in London for £1.30 adult (not sure kids cost) and get a 2-4-1 entry

  3. While the best deal does appear to be Avios, I guess it depends on what you have an immediate need for. Recently I have converted some to RedSpottedHanky at x2 to pay the train fare for a trip.

    • trickster says:

      RSH used to be a higher conversion (x3 I think). Shame it was reduced, but it’s still not a bad deal.

  4. erico1875 says:

    As you pointed out, airline miles can have a different value to different people.
    These fixed 3 x value deals are brilliant if your ccpoints are cost neutral or less.
    GOLDSMITHS is another great place to redeem at 3 times the value.

  5. You need to get your wife in the habit of telling you every time she wants to go anywhere! There is always a deal from some sort of rewards program for even the most obscure attractions. I once got free entry for the whole family to some castle in the midlands from yoghurt pot codes (which of course also earned Tesco and Amex points when I bought them).

  6. Eurotunnel is another one that is x3 value and can be used to pay for the cheapest tickets.

    • I do a day trip on eurotunnel every year (booze cruise for LOTS of xmas wine). our trip over is free with around £20 of CC tokens which is great 🙂

      some places over there even pay your ferry or eurotunnel if you spend enoujgh but I prefer to shop around.

      I have used goldsmiths and resturants (when they were 4 times). I think red spotted hanky was 3 times when it first came along.

  7. Mr Bridge says:

    I do wonder how long it will be before the bubble bursts.

    I have been earning loads of cc points for free, going to tesco express there is always a heap of discarded receipts, same with the main shop I look in the shopping trolleys for receipts, if they have a bar code on the bottom, you know that cc points were not claimed, I get about 100 cc a week , by taking a couple to customer service ( make sure you look at the receipt in case your asked any questions about it ( payment method, what did you buy)
    Before this one ends in 2015( thanks to nick the **** clegg), reuse plastic bags, my shopping would fit in about 5, but I make sure I use 20.

    • Extreme collecting methods!!

    • No doubt the bubble will burst sooner rather than later if enough people use your ‘methods’…!!

    • Be careful with adding clubcard points from discarded receipts to your account. Tesco have on many occasions banned people and/or removed their points for doing just that. The occasional one is fine, but not lots every week.

    • I read someone who said Tesco had banned them from collecting anymore points from receipts handed into customer services due the large number of points they had added via this method so they must monitor this sort of thing.

      • Obviously, you should use an independent clubcard account to do this sort of thing. Also, put through receipts paid in CASH only. Perhaps the occasional card one is fine, I’m not sure how Tesco monitors this sort of thing but I wouldn’t be surprised if they recorded the last 4 digits of the card used on each cc account.

    • Do green clubcard points exist in Wales and NI?

      The economy is probably on its way up barring more cockups from Osborne. Is the amount of supermarket / CC promotions related to the economy (because people have more money to spend / lend), or inversely related (to make people think they are getting more value for spending less)?

  8. Exitcontrol says:

    I hope you’re not storing “rubbish” that would be a real waste of CC points if you were!

    • The value of the stuff (ignoring nostalgic reasons) is certainly less than the storage cost, so from that view ….

      • But the value of your time to sort it all out and throw it away, versus the value of your kids’ time after you finally kick the bucket…. :p

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

    • goldsmith used to be 4 times value!!

      • 3 times is pretty good.

        • 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.

        • 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.

      • It did, got a Montblanc pen once!

  10. 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.

    • 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

  11. 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).

    • 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

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

  13. 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.

    • 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.

  14. 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)

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

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