Buy cheap Avios points with Tesco Fuel Save

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

(EDIT:  Fuel Save has now been extended until July 2015)

Earlier this week, Tesco launched its latest promotion – Fuel Save.

It is new scheme which offers you discounts on Tesco Petrol based on how much you spend in the store.  Effectively, for every £50 (cumulative, does not need to be in one transaction) you spend in Tesco each month, you will be credited with a 2p fuel credit.

The credit is valid for the rest of the current and the following month, on one petrol transaction at a Tesco garage.  The maximum discount you can obtain is 20p per litre.

Since 3V Virtual Visa cards stopped being accepted for financial services transactions, they have become a lot less attractive.  However, many Tesco stores still sell £50 Visa gift cards which look like this:

Visa gift card

These £50 gift cards carry a fee of £3.95.  However, unlike 3V cards, you can redeem these for financial services transactions.  This means that you can pay them into a National Savings account, against your council tax or against any Inland Revenue bill.  Effectively, it easy to get your £50 ‘out’.

Tesco is still giving 150 bonus Clubcard points for every £50 you spend on gift cards.

Assuming you own a car which you fill up with 60 litres at a time, this is how the maths would work:

For every £50 of £3.95-fee £50 Visa gift cards you buy, up to £500-worth per month, it looks like this:

Money spent on card fee:  £3.95

Avios earned from 150 bonus Clubcard points:  (150 x 2.4 =) 360 Avios

Amex points earned on an Amex Gold charge card at 2 points per £1 for supermarket spend:  106 = 106 Avios

Fuel saving of 2p per litre x 60 litres:  £1.20

Your total net cost is therefore £2.75 for 466 Avios, or 0.59p per Avios point. 

Remember that you can scale this up to £500 per month (ie 20p off per litre of petrol) which would mean 4,660 Avios per month at 0.59p.  Fuel Save will run until September, so you could earn over 25,000 Avios between now and then.

The maths is dependent on your car, of course.  You are allowed the 2p discount on up to 100 litres in one transaction, so a 4×4 owner would make a far bigger saving.  If your car never takes 60 litres at once, however, your Avios won’t be as cheap as the example above.

I have also assumed that you are using an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card which offers 2 Avios (= 2 Amex points) for every £1 you spent at a supermarket in the first year.  (You also receive up to 20,000 Avios for signing up!)  If you use a less generous card, the maths will be a little less attractive.

Personally, I do not like this promotion (ignoring the Avios-earning side).  It discriminates against people without cars – probably poorer than people with cars.  The bigger (and more expensive) your car, the more benefit you get – which seems wrong.

It will also encourage people to fill up a couple of jerry cans with petrol and put them in the boot, since you need to buy the 100 litres in one trip to make the saving.  You cannot buy 50 litres one week and another 50 litres another week and get the saving both times.  This is not exactly the safest thing to do.

Full details on Fuel Save can be found here.

Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (, 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. philipb says:

    Rffles – do you know any way round the £2000 per annum limit per person on the Visa Debit cards? I have just bought my first two, registered, and successfully used them to pay towards my July tax bill. But en-route I spotted the £2000 limit.

    • Lipton says:

      Don’t register the cards. You don’t need to. Just spend the money on them

      • philipb says:

        I think that’s ok for general purchases but for internet purchases I think they have to be registered.

        • Is there an activation period after registering the card? I’ve tried to pay my council tax bill (Westminster) with the £3.95 fee visa cards but it’s saying they don’t accept them 🙁

        • What's the Point says:

          JT – Sounds like they won’t accept them. Have you tried using the 3V cards to pay it?

        • No I didn’t see any 3V ones in Tesco so decided to try the £3.95 fee ones. I thought the fee ones would be more widely accepted than the 3V ones, will try it with my thames water bill instead. Thanks!