Two good deals have just bitten the dust:
Virgin Atlantic status match closed
This was a great offer which I took advantage of last year and I know many other Head for Points readers also used. Unfortunately, Virgin withdrew the promotion on March 1st. This is not altogether surprising as Little Red services to Manchester will stop at the end of the month.
National Savings & Investments no longer accepting pre-paid Visa cards
Until December 2013, there was a fantastic wheeze to be had via 3V pre-paid Visa gifts. These could be bought in Tesco for £25, earning you 150 Clubcard points (360 Avios) for every £50-worth purchased plus the miles earned from your credit card. You could then pay them into a National Savings ‘Direct Saver’ account and withdraw the cash back to your back account.
It was, literally, free Avios as long as you could find the cards in-store. A year ago, however, 3V cards were changed and are no longer accepted by ‘financial services’ businesses. They are still taken by some utilities, Vodafone, Sky, some council tax areas etc – here is my last article on the topic. Tesco still gives 150 Clubcard points for every £50 you buy although stocks are very low as they are being relaunched under the ‘pay.com’ brand soon.
Plan B was to buy the ‘paid for’ Visa gift cards from Tesco, pictured below:
Whilst these carried a £3.95 fee for a £50 card, this could be negated by using the conditional spend coupons (eg ‘£5 off £50’) that Tesco is always posting out and finding a cashier who would accept them.
In recent weeks, it seems that National Savings is no longer accepting these ‘paid for’ gift cards either. – The cards are not totally useless if bought with a coupon – plenty of places still accept them – but NSI was a very easy exit route. On the odd occasion I bought one I paid the money to HMRC against future tax bills. I don’t know if this is still possible or not.
PS. In the run up to Mother’s Day, Tesco is currently offering 20% off the following gift cards – iTunes, New Look, Monsoon, Facebook, Prezzo, H&M and Accessorize. You will still receive your 150 bonus Clubcard points if your spend, after discount, is £50. Offer ends 15th March.