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Earning Avios by recycling cans at Tesco Recycling Centres

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Reader Paul dropped me a line to outline the success he was having earning Avios points by using Tesco Recycling Centre.

Based at around 100 stores across the country, they look like this:

You can feed your empty drink cans into them, as well as jars and bottles.  Tesco gives you 1 Clubcard point for every 2 aluminium cans.  You do not earn anything for any other products.

As well as his own supply, Paul is recycling cans thrown out by his local bowling club, which helps to boost his balance further.

There is no official list of which stores have a recycling centre.  This old article (external link) lists around 100 but does not claim to be comprehensive.  It is worth looking out for it at your nearest Extra store, as that is the most common place to find them.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2023)

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 famous annual 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 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 (24)

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

  • Julie says:

    I tried this for a while but the machine would never register my club card which meant I then had to go to customer services and get them to put the points on my card with no real proof of how many cans you had recycled, I even tried taking a photo of the screen but it always seemed to be in direct sunlight. I wonder have they now cured this problem?

  • Tim M says:

    I looked for these facilities about 12 months ago and was told by CS that they had been phased out in most locations due to abuse (ie cutting cans in half to double points) The one in my nearest Extra, was removed a couple of years ago I believe. Good find if you can find one near you though.

  • ee says:

    There are also mini models outside a small number of express stores. There is one at the Chelmsford Broomfield Road express and if I recall one at a petrol station express in eastleigh. These give 1 point for 2 plastic bottles and possibly for cans too.

  • Matt says:

    I think I remember reading a story a few years back about a young couple who spent their evenings picking up drink cans from around their flat and taking them in for recycling, then using the ensuing several million CC points to book themselves free flights to NZ or somewhere. Smart thinking, but at 1 point per 2 cans you’d need several hundred thousand to get anything interesting…

  • erico1875 says:

    There are 2 in the Edinburgh area. South Queensferry and Lasswade.
    I probably do about 2500 cans a year. Friends and family collect for me too.
    It is a mind numbing job.loading them 1 at a time though.
    I have also heard of people cutting them in half to double the points. I am not that desperate.
    BTW Pepsi, 7 up and Sprite are not alluminium, so you dont get points for these.

  • Britbronco22 says:

    I’ve tried a coupe of times, the machine wouldn’t register the club card either time, so I decided it is not worth the effort.

  • olybeast says:

    Baugley Tesco in Manchester has one. I think I did 8 cans one day then got bored. I don’t really buy canned drinks anyway

  • Matthew says:

    How long does it take to put a can in..?

    If I could get hold of hundreds of cans and bottles, maybe it could be worth it..?

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

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