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

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

You can, obviously, use your pay.com 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 pay.com 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 pay.com 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 pay.com 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.)

Earning free Avios points with pay.com virtual Visa gift cards (part 1)
My National Geographic Traveller piece is now online, for free
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  1. Sally says:

    How does the card work with Sky? The Sky website insists that you enter a card holder name? I have tried to use the Pay.com cards on several sites ie. council tax, EE and Sky and they have all been declined……Only EON accepted it so far !

    • Polly says:

      EE are useless, will only accept on the orange phones not ee. Sky should work, in small amounts, use whatever name is attached to the pay.com card. That’s what I do. Usually make sure I am in enough credit to cover the next bill only. They don’t like you in too much credit or they start refunding, as mentioned above, onto the cards themselves. This happened a couple of years ago to lots of us. Many councils don’t, it’s just luck if they do. Ours used to, then stopped. Try both automated phone and on line…

    • Kipto says:

      You put your name where it says name of cardholder.

    • Cardholder name is whatever name you used when you set up your pay.com account.

    • Trickster says:

      I’ve used them on sky loads of times, just put your name in (or anything I suspect!)

  2. I still top up my M&S gift card through top gift cards, just go into ‘my orders’ and repeat the last order. Can only do 3 and then it blocks you for a few days to a week, then you can buy another 3 which is more than enough to cover the food shop.

  3. Simon says:

    You can pay use them to pay Self-Assessment, VAT, PAYE/NIC, Corporation Tax or Stamp Duty on the HMRC World Pay site. I’ve used pay.com and gospendits to pay my, my wife’s and daughter’s self assessments, my wife’s business payroll (PAYE/NIC), VAT and Corporation Tax . On 3rd July I bought a holiday home and asked my solicitor for the 11 digit Unique Transaction Reference Number so I could pay the stamp duty direct myself. This morning I’ve just finished paying the bill in pay.com and gospendits as it’s taken me two weeks to find enough gift cards at various TESCOs.

    • Polly says:

      Simon, that’s just a fab haul of avios for you. I was unable to get the no to pay ours two years ago, so. Issued out big time. The solicitor insisted on a bank transfer to their account. Anyway happy hunting for us all here. Got another 8 today to pay the next instalment to our alarm company. Definitely takes the edge off the utility and phone bills etc these days. Thanks all for tips on all topics, always great to share, and benefit.

    • Jonathan says:

      It must take ages to pay stamp duty and self assessment 50 pounds at a time!

      • Dave B says:

        Processed £650 to HMRC for 350 cc points per £100 , 1,120 Avios plus 4p per litre off fuel per £100( on my Tesco platinum card). Not sure it’s worth the time and effort.! unless you have a specific target to hit. Yet I’ve done it for this month’s PAYE/NI.

        • Dave B says:

          Plus delayed payment by 6 weeks which may be useful for some people

        • dee jay says:

          Curious how long it took to process the £650 payment, an hour or longer?

  4. Peter Taysum says:

    Are there any shops you can buy vouchers, that sell ISA’s…?

  5. Trickster says:

    Jet2Hiolidays accept pay.com cards

  6. Oliver says:

    EDF, Sky, TV licence, giffgaff all accept them. Those are my regulars

  7. Sorrelle says:

    Does anyone know how many 3V cards you can use to pay HMRC per day? If I did too many would it reject the payments?

  8. Does anyone know if I buy the cards using Tesco credit card, do I get the additional 5 points per £4 spend?

    • Polly says:

      No extra cc pts. It’s just a flat 150cc points per £50 spend on gift cards.

    • There is NO additional 5 points per £4.

      It is Tesco marketing spin.

      They mean you get the usual 4 points per £4 via Clubcard and an additional 1 point per £4 from the credit card. This is very, very misleading.

  9. I don’t suppose you can use these cards for reducing the balance of a credit card bill?

    • No, those are seen as finance transactions and blocked

      • I have just paid my American Express bill with one of these pay.com cards. I was shocked this went through. Has anyone else had experiences of this? If so this could be very lucrative

        • mark2 says:

          confirmed; it does/did work

        • square1 says:

          we’ll see

        • HowToKillALoophole says:

          Way to go Han!

        • Clive says:

          I was happily paying my bill last week and managed to pay off £3,400 bill using 3V cards which I had acquired over the last year and not managed to find a use for – other than the ‘leccy bill.

          I had written a Python script to activate each card in turn, get the card number from the 3V site, get the CVV code from my email account and then go to the payment site and put each card details in, paying off £25 at a time.

          I had a call from fraud team at head office, asking why I had used 136 different Visa cards to pay off my bill. When I tried to explain, they said they would be closing my account with immediate effect. They would not give me an explanation as to why.

        • mark2 says:

          being nosy, why did you buy £3,400 worth of cards for which you had no use?

        • Polly says:

          No luck for me with either plat or BAPP cards..lucky you! Did you manage to use plenty of cards or just the one?

        • square1 says:

          Fraud teams are usually sympathetic, in my experience.

          We had a few laughs together 🙂

          Don’t forget you are not committing fraud.

        • I’ve used mine 4 times now to pay it off. Bit hesitant to go for a lot as every so often I get a message saying there was a technical issue . I don’t want to be in the position where my card gets cancelled too.

  10. pointsarb says:

    not sure if it’s just me but hmrc appear to be restricting payments to 3 pay.com cards per day now? anybody else having issues?

  11. pointsarb says:

    thanks rob, looks like the quantity restrictions have been put back in place since last week then!

  12. Jerry says:

    If it’s any reassurance I processed a large number (38) to HMRC from Friday to Sunday with the final inputs on Sunday. All are showing as received on HMRC today (seems to take 2 working days). Was a bit nervous about exceeding the £650 pay,com T&C so also sent certified ID to them in Dublin, but they won’t have received it yet and all the payments were successful anyway. Have decided to pay the outstanding balance by conventional bank transfer. So luckily no limits for me. Did this to help reach Amex spend target, Club Card avios and fuel save a bonus.

  13. pointsarb says:

    thanks jerry. i tried again today and this time hmrc wouldn’t even take one payment from me so either they now have a restriction of a max of 3 every few days or (sigh) since monday this week pay.com has now been blocked from hmrc’s worldpay site. hope i’m wrong about the latter!!

    has anybody had any luck putting through any pay.com’s “this” week?

  14. Jerry says:

    pointsarb – I checked my records and actually entered the last £300 in 12 transactions after 8pm on Monday THIS week, so it was working for me up until 20th July. Hope this helps you.

  15. pointsarb says:

    Thanks Jerry but it seems that it’s been changed from yesterday (wed) unless somebody else here can tell us otherwise!

  16. Booby j says:

    Yes it is blocked for me also since yesterday.

  17. Lloyd says:

    Using Pay.com 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?

  18. 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.

    • Lloyd says:

      You’ll get there!
      First of all make sure you use this link that Raffles posted and not any other link:
      1) https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/pay-online/self-assessment
      2) Put your UTR in, should be 10 digits, sometimes with a K at the beginning or the end.
      3) Make sure you are not trying to pay more than £25
      4) Dont fall into the trap of using the number on the back of the card which for some reason was what I used stupidly. Make sure it is the 16 digit reference on your account on the Pay.com account.
      5) Use the CV2 and end date that was emailed to you
      6) Use your name and surname as registered on the Pay.com site including address.

      If you are still having trouble, drop a reply and perhaps take it off line by email or something with some screen shots (but blank out the personal bits?)

  19. pointsarb says:

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

  20. 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.