More and more tales of points and miles theft are popping up at the moment. This is nothing new (I wrote about Clubcard points theft last year) and little seems to have improved.
Whilst Tesco Clubcard theft is the most reported problem, it also impacts other programmes. JAL Mileage Bank, for example, emailed members last week to report that redemptions for Amazon Gift Certificates had been stopped with immediate notice. They should have learnt their lesson after IHG Rewards Club suffered a similar problem last year.
(Theft via Amazon is too easy. Most programmes email you an Amazon voucher code as soon as you redeem. You can place an order immediately for overnight delivery to an Amazon locker or pick up point. The thief has the goods before you even notice.)
Meanwhile, Head for Points reader Andrew sent me this email last week:
I’d like to let you know that the Tesco voucher theft problem is still happening. I’ve had over £1000 (thousand!) stolen just over a week ago and all redeemed in one day in stores in the Kent area. I had no idea of this issue until I googled the problem and found many articles on it! Tesco have agreed to replace all the vouchers.
Recent posts on Flyertalk reveal the theft on £60, £130 and £900 of Clubcard vouchers. In all cases, Tesco has reimbursed those who were impacted.
There are two ways this can happen. The first is that paper vouchers are stolen somewhere between Tesco and your house. The second is that your online account is hacked and the vouchers are redeemed electronically. Whilst it is likely that these are inside jobs, Tesco receipts do print your entire Clubcard number (apart from the last digit) plus your current balance, which makes it easy to see if you are worth hacking.
My usual suggestion is to use a service such as Award Wallet to track the balances of all your miles and points programmes. Run it once a day and you will see any that have gone missing within 24 hours. For Tesco, Award Wallet also tracks the amount of unredeemed vouchers on your account from previous periods.
Some people have concerns about sharing passwords with a service like Award Wallet, although you can operate it by having the passwords stored on your PC rather than on their servers. I would rather have the overview and take the (very small) risk of Award Wallet ever getting compromised.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.