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Tesco imposing the 30,000 points (72,000 Avios) per quarter cap on Clubcard earning

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About four years ago, Tesco changed the rules of the Clubcard scheme.  A cap was brought in, with the maximum number of points you could earn per quarter capped at 30,000 (so 72,000 Avios or 75,000 Flying Club miles).

This cap was rarely enforced. Everyone assumed that Tesco had brought it in to cover its back if it discovered abuse of the scheme, so that it could strip people of points if it wanted.  There is also an exception for people who earn points from Tesco Bank.

Tesco Clubcard

About two years ago, Tesco did have a period where it began to randomly enforce the rule.  A number of people reported having their balances reduced to exactly 30,000 points and receiving just £300 of vouchers.

It all went quiet again.

Frankly, for the last year, it has been very difficult to earn more than 30,000 points per quarter.  However, the emergence of pay.com virtual Visa cards – which I described in detail here – means that it is suddenly something that a lot of people could achieve relatively easily.

Last week I had a worrying email from reader Simon.

Simon had a substantial VAT bill to pay – almost £20,000.  pay.com cards were freely available where he lived, and he bought as many as he could over the last few weeks.  He ended up with 65,000 Clubcard points.

Just a few days before balances were zeroed out last week, he noticed that his balance had dropped to exactly 30,000 points.

When he rang Tesco to ask what had happened, he was informed that Tesco was imposing the 30,000 points per quarter cap that was outlined in the terms and conditions for the Clubcard scheme (clause 24 if you want to look it up).  It was not willing to give him any further information.

There is very little that Simon can do.  The rules are the rules.  It is difficult to claim he was ‘abusing’ the scheme – buying the pay.com cards meant that he could pay his VAT bill with a credit card whilst avoiding the HMRC 1.4% surcharge, which seems a good enough reason to buy the pay.com cards.  Unfortunately, he has fallen foul of Tesco’s ‘catch all’ rule to weed out what it sees as bad behaviour.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (157)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Andy says:

    All check the terms and conditions

  • Tilly71 says:

    1000 points for £60 Wine Spend @ Tesco Wine and valid on sale wine. Code works for new and existing customers – XXHTYA (code available for 5000 people)

    • square2 says:

      bugger

      out in our place

    • Marco says:

      Code worked for me – thanks for sharing it!

    • Simon H says:

      Many thanks indeed Tilly71 for that code!

      We’ve been buying the ‘Quirky Bird Shiraz’ from our local Tesco Express so just ordered 12 bottles (£5.49 each so £65.88) so bagged the 1000 points plus no delivery charge either.

    • Rob says:

      Thank you !

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Tilly – been waiting for one of these for ages! 3 orders done and dusted with 3000 clubcard points!

    • Fenny says:

      Ta. I was down to my last half a dozen or so cases!

    • Guy says:

      Tilly, Thanks for that! Just nabbed 1000pts!

  • Oliver says:

    Hello all!

    Slough has non and did not have empty racks so unless someone bought them before me and I got there at around 16:00.

    Does anyone know if there is any around the Leeda area?

  • barnaby100 says:

    There is no limit on how many tesco club cards you can have. I had 5. last year I tried to cut them down a bit. Customer services were very helpful. I still have 3- all registered to my name and address but different email addresses. never had any issues. Used to transfer from 1 to BA and from 2 to virgin. Each period 2 different transfers show on 1 virgin account.

    • square2 says:

      It’s not the number of clubcards you hold that’s the issue.

      What they are not so keen on is people opening multiple accounts to use the £15 off £60 offer.

  • square2 says:

    it does give you a warm ‘avios for nothing’ feeling, though 🙂

    Are you a Premium member, Brian?

    I am & get a 5% bonus on my payout in Avios, so something less than 1p/ Avios for me.

    • square2 says:

      You’re right. I save a lot more than the £5 charge pretty much every month by being a premium member, so worth it for me

  • Dave says:

    I don’t want to raise any false hopes, but this happened to be a few years ago (I too had 60k+ points) and when I phoned to complain, they explained that they had reduced the balance to 30,000 (in accordance with the T&Cs) but the missing points would be added back in after the statements had been produced. And they were!

    Since then, I have had quarters where I have gone over the 30,000 limit and received the full allocation and having just checked, I also had points taken off on 22/7 ahead of the statement run.

    Fingers crossed that they will put our missing points back on in a few days time. If not, I’ll be on the phone chasing the missing points.

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