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Earning free Avios points with virtual Visa gift cards (part 2)

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In Part 1 of this article today (click here), I looked at what cards are and how you can buy them. This part looks at how to use them.

You can, obviously, use your card anywhere online for making an online purchase of a physical item.  They are not meant to work for purchases of services or the payment of bills.

If you have some money left over on a part-used card, the easiest way to redeem it is by purchasing Amazon gift e-cards.  You can order Amazon gift certificates for yourself and pay them into your Amazon account.  You then have a credit balance which you can work through for future purchases.

(If you do this, please consider using our Amazon affiliate link here or clicking the Amazon logo in the right-hand margin.  We earn a small commission on each gift card purchase.  You cannot earn cashback anywhere else for buying Amazon gift cards so you don’t lose anything.)

Here is a screenshot of one I redeemed yesterday to show that it works OK:

Amazon screenshot

Here are some of the other places – not online retailers – which are known to accept cards and hopefully still work.  If you have regular monthly payments to any of these companies then it is something you should take a look at:

Vodafone – if you are on direct debit, there is a time window between your bill being generated and the direct debit being taken when you can make a direct payment online.  My timing is out and I cannot demonstrate this, unfortunately.

Sky – as you can see below, I successfully made a £25 payment to my account which will reduce my next direct debit:

Sky bill

BT, Talk Talk

EDF, Scottish & Southern, Ovo and E.ON

TV Licensing

High Street Vouchers – here is a receipt for a £25 Waitrose / John Lewis voucher which I ordered yesterday (free postage):

John Lewis screenshot 2

Parent Pay

Inland Revenue – you can pay your self-assessment income tax using cards.  However, you must use the WorldPay payment site and not the Santander one.  Here is a test payment I made:

HMRC screenshot

Virgin Media

Apple Store e-gift cards bought direct

Council Tax – varies by local authority but they are often accepted as Visa Debit cards

Some merchants – PayPal, I think, for a start – may put a £1 block on your card when you attempt to use it as a security check.  The maximum you can then pay is £24.  The remaining £1 will be released within 7-10 days and can be used to buy an Amazon gift voucher.

Some merchants will also restrict the number of different card numbers that a single customer can use to 2+ in a 24 hour period.  Do not expect to be able to use up 10 3V cards with the same merchant on the same day.

Please let me know if you have any updates to this list.

(Want to boost your Clubcard points?  Click here and scroll down to the Clubcard logo to see our list of current promotions.)

Comments (227)

  • Lloyd says:

    Using cards for the first time today with HMRC using the worldpay login that Raffles posted. I’m getting ‘Invalid Card Number’ even though carefully quoting the 16 digit number carefully. Wonder whether the HMRC worldpay method has been pulled, or does it take a day or two for the cards (or my account as a new customer) to work?

  • pointsarb says:

    Lloyd, wondering what you are doing to put them through successfully that I’m not?! I’ve tried everything from manually entering everything for each card (for each £25 payment) to copy pasting from an excel spreadsheet to using the google chrome auto fill feature for completing each field to speed things up but it no longer works for me. All I get is a transaction declined message when I hit the final button to process the payment.

    Any insights from your success today would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

  • pointsarb says:

    Thanks for the response Lloyd, tried all of that already but still no joy for me. Glad it works for you though!

  • Jay27 says:

    Can you buy 4 of these if one transaction and get 300 points or do you have to buy 2 at a time?

    • Polly says:

      You can buy 4 at a time. If you go to customer services you can probably buy 8. The points show immediately. Always pay by amex etc and just use clubcard or tesco credit card for points only. If that’s how you work.