One of the benefits of the Tesco Premium Credit Card is a £50 discount on a British Airways Club Europe flight for new cardholders.
This is valid for up to nine people and so is theoretically worth up to £450 (if you are a family of 9!).
This benefit is being withdrawn for applications accepted after 31st December 2016. If you think that you will be booking Club Europe flights in the New Year, you may want to take another look at the Tesco Premium Credit Card.
In addition, you will receive 2,500 Tesco Clubcard points – worth 6,000 Avios or 6,250 Virgin Flying Club – when you apply by 5th January.
There are also two 0% deals you will receive:
You can check out the details of the card here. The representative APR is 56.5% variable, including the £150 annual fee, assuming a £1200 credit limit.
I have become more positive about this card since it launched. This is partly because of the sign-up bonus and partly becaus the closure of the bmi Diamond Club MasterCard has left a lot of people without a decent Visa or MasterCard product for earning Avios.
Does the Tesco Premium Credit Card stack up?
It isn’t a no-brainer either way – but for some people this card will make sense.
For the first year, you are paying a non-refundable £150 annual fee to receive 6,000 Avios plus the other card benefits. You really need to look at these other benefits to decide if the card is worth it.
Let’s go through them one by one:
Benefit: 1 Clubcard point for every £1 you spend on the card in Tesco or at Tesco Direct – plus a 5,000 point bonus if you spend £5,000 with Tesco during your card year
This card would pay you 2.4 Avios points or 2.5 Virgin Flying Club on every £1 you spend at Tesco. This is a very decent return if you spend a lot of money with them, even if you don’t spend £5,000 per year.
Let’s imagine that you DO spend £5,000 per year in Tesco. This may be possible if you always buy your fuel there (petrol counts towards the £5,000 target) or shop for a large family.
On that basis, you would earn 8,750 more Clubcard points per year using the Premium Credit Card than you would with the free Tesco Clubcard credit card which gives 1 point for every £4 you spend in Tesco and has no bonus.
I can recommend this card if you easily spend £5,000 per year in Tesco purely because of these extra 8,750 Clubcard points compared to using free Tesco credit card. That would get you 21,000 Avios or 21,875 Virgin Flying Club miles which justifies the fee.
Benefit: Comprehensive travel insurance for you and your family
This covers immediate family members under the age of 70 and includes 17 days of Winter Sports cover. Some HFP readers have commented that the rules on pre-existing conditions appear strict but I am not an expert on this.
If you currently pay for travel insurance then this would have some value.
Depending on your age and whether you do ‘winter sports’, a bargain basement family policy will cost between £50 and £70. If you are not leaving Europe, you will pay less. That said, the moneysavingexpert.com ‘top pick’ (based on generosity of terms and payout history) is from LV and costs around £80 per person for global cover and just over £50 per person for European cover.
You need to decide what value you place on this benefit.
Benefit: £50 off a British Airways Club Europe booking for up to nine people departing from London
This Club Europe benefit is being withdrawn on 31st December 2016 and you must apply and be accepted for the card by this date to receive it.
If you never pay for Club Europe then it clearly has no value. That said, on a route like Paris or Amsterdam the premium over Euro Traveller would drop to around £50 with the discount so perhaps you would do it.
If you book Club Europe for cash on a regular basis for your family then it clearly has real value.
However … this is a one-off benefit. More importantly, the discount code is only valid for 2 months. If you apply now you will need to book – but not fly – before early February.
Tesco guarantees that you will have your code within 10 days of your application being accepted. This is positive and means that, if you are planning to book Club Europe flights for cash, you could delay booking for 10 days until you have applied for the card and received your code.
Do not wait until New Years Eve to apply for the card if you want to use this. As you must be accepted by 31st December, you need to build in some leeway in case Tesco needs to do extra background checks.
Benefits: 1% enhanced exchange rate when you buy travel money in a Tesco store using your card
I would not value this highly, although I have never compared Tesco’s FX rates to the alternatives.
Whilst currency purchases made using the card at Tesco Travel Money are treated as purchases and not cash advances, they do NOT earn Clubcard points.
Benefits: 1 Clubcard point for every £4 you spend on the card outside Tesco
The current MasterCard and Visa offers on travel credit cards are weak which enhances this offer. Converted to Avios, you would be getting 0.6 Avios per £1 based on 0.25 Clubcard points. With the demise of the bmi Diamond Club credit cards, this is not a bad rate.
However, remember that Tesco rounds down every transaction to the nearest £4, so a £7.99 transaction only earns 1 point and a £3.99 transaction earns nothing.
It is also worth noting that the Hilton HHonors Visa (which is free) earns 2 Hilton HHonors points per £1 spent which I value at 0.6p. I doubt you’d value 0.6 Avios per £1 at a lot more than this. Annual fee cards such as Virgin Flying Club Black or Emirates Elite earn 1 mile per £1 spent on the MasterCard / Visa element whilst the Lufthansa Miles & More card is free and earns 0.75 miles per £1.
As I said initially, there is no easy answer here. The current deal offering 2,500 Clubcard points as a sign-up bonus until 5th January makes it more attractive:
If you spend £5,000 per year in Tesco, get the card – you will do well with it. For these people it is a decent deal even if you pay the full annual fee.
If you currently buy stand-alone travel insurance, it may work for you
If you pay for Club Europe, it may work for you – if you can time your application around a Club Europe booking to use the £50 per person discount code. This is only a one-off benefit for the first year, however, and the offer will be withdrawn on 31st December.