Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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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 points from credit cards? – January 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

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

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

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.

Comments (110)

  • 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

  • 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…