Should you ditch the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard for the IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa?

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

The devaluation of the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard takes place this month.  Today I want to consider whether you should ditch the card for the IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa, especially whilst the latter has a special sign-up bonus until the end of the month?

To an outsider, neither of these cards is an obvious choice for an Avios collector.  However, both of these cards have reward currencies that convert into Avios points.  Clubcard is 1 : 2.4 whilst IHG Rewards Club points are 5 : 1.

Let’s summarise what you are now getting from your Tesco Clubcard MasterCard.  The representative APR is 18.9% variable.

Tesco Mastercard credit card

No annual fee

1 Clubcard point for every £8 you spend.  This means 0.125 Clubcard points per £1, which converts to 0.3 Avios per £1.

But …. you only earn points on multiple of £8 spent per transaction.  Buy something for £7.99 and you earn nothing.  Buy something for £15.99 and you only earn 1 Clubcard points.  If you bought your £5 lunch on your Clubcard MasterCard each day, you would spend £200 over a month but get nothing back!  Your effective Avios earning rate will be lower than 0.3 Avios per £1.

You get flexibility to use your points for other things if you don’t want Avios.  As well as Virgin Flying Club miles there are many other redemption options via Clubcard Boost.  I tend to use my Clubcard vouchers to pay Safestore bills and just bought a pile of Lego for Christmas, getting double the face value of my points.

Now let’s compare this to the IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa.  I am legally obliged to tell you that the representative APR is 42.2% variable including fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit.

IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa 2

£99 annual fee.  That is not a good start, although in the first year this is offset by the sign-up bonus.  You get 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points (worth 8,000 Avios if converted) if you apply before 31st December – and there is no spending target to trigger the bonus.  That said, you get better value using the points for Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza etc hotel stays.

2 IHG Rewards Club points for every £1 you spend.  These converts to Avios at 5:1 although you can only convert in chunks of 10,000 points.  You would be getting 0.4 Avios per £1.

You earn 0.4 Avios per £1 on ALL of your spending – there is no ’rounding down per transaction’ nonsense as with the Tesco card.

You receive Platinum status (mid tier) in IHG Rewards Club for as long as you hold the card.  This has some benefits on stays at IHG brands.

If you spend £10,000 on the card in a card year, you receive a voucher for a free night at ANY IHG hotel.  If you use this at, say, the InterContinental Times Square in New York you’d be getting at least £250 of value.  This easily offsets your £99 annual fee.

As you can see, there are reasons why you may be better off swapping your Tesco Clubcard MasterCard for the IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa especially if you would spend the £10,000 required to trigger the free night voucher.

One word of warning though.  The Tesco card has already devalued in response to the new EU credit card rules.  We do not know if the IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa card will also cut its earning rate soon or not – although as you are paying £99 for the card it may be able to keep paying out two points per £1.

Note that you cannot get the IHG card if you have any other card issued by Barclaycard.  This includes the Hilton HHonors Visa.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Not using your BA £25 off code? Help a reader here. Want a BA £25 off code? Get one here.
Bits: fewer Malaysia Airlines Avios options, IHG's Advent competition, last day of our back-pack competition
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. If you’re just after MS, then over-paying Council tax via paypoint also gave me an unasked-for cheque about a month later.

  2. Hey I think it would be cool if we had an article for people to share tips for getting the best of amex shop small.
    The basic stuff would be getting £10 top-ups in OL shops, but as not everyone lives in London or uses Oysters there might be other ways. It would be so cool if we there is some shops selling gift cards around…
    Anyway, this week I’m NOT COOKING!!

    • Yesterday someone tried to convince me that it was to my advantage that they used iZettle so could not do ShopSmall. Something to do with how the data was stored; he did not convince me, although we shall buy our dog food there as they are the stockist but not go out our way to spend.
      Another shop in the town confirmed that they were perfectly happy to put £10 on each card (we have 12 between us).
      Getting lots of Amex card is the best way to benefit from Shop Small and other cash back deals. So get lots of cards with supplementaries except MBNA who use the same number for both cards. Too late for this year probably.

      • Yes – and they’ve given up the statement credit idea in the States this year, so maybe there won’t be any next year here! 🙂

    • There is a Shop Small article tomorrow, feel free to post your ideas in the comments there!

  3. SoloFlyer says:

    Rob! Also worth noting that Barclays treats non dynamic currency charges (Like BA, iTunes and Amazon) as foreign transactions and earns 4 points per £ 🙂 always use my IHG when j book BA flights now

  4. donttrusttesco says:

    Tesco Clubcard is a joke… beginning of December I still see no avios in my account… that was already a 30day delay since i asked for my quarterly (end of july to end of october) clubcard points to be transferred… on the phone the Tesco idiots say i won’t have them before “end of december at the earliest” (thanks for the heads up!)…

    not to mention the risk Tesco goes bankrupt in the meantime…

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.