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.
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’.
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.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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.