For those of you who collect Avios points or Virgin Flying Club miles via Tesco Clubcard, you should know that Tesco has announced an overhaul of the scheme.
So far, so good – it only looks like improvements as far as I can tell. You may, however, need to reconsider whether Avios or Virgin miles still work for you.
This is what is happening, based on reports at moneysavingexpert.com:
New Clubcards are being sent to all members from Friday – these will be contactless
You can redeem vouchers in multiples of 50p rather than £2.50 – this will reduce wastage, which was a problem with some Days Out vouchers
You can redeem Clubcard vouchers via the Tesco app, by letting the store scan a bar code – although you really, really should not be spending Clubcard vouchers in store at face value!
Uber and Hotels.com are very, very interesting
The ‘catch’ with many Tesco Clubcard redemptions is that you often end up overpaying for the item in the first place.
Whilst you can use vouchers at Pizza Express for 4 x face value, for example, there are so many discount deals available via their weekly emails or other sources that you can’t genuinely say that you are saving the full amount.
The best ‘genuine’ Clubcard redemptions include Goldsmiths and Eurotunnel (and Safestore, which has just ended) because these are places which rarely discount and where you can use unlimited quantities of Clubcard vouchers.
The Uber deal is a ‘genuine’ 3 x face value offer.
For every 50p of vouchers you convert, you receive £1.50 of Uber credit. No catches although, for clarity, you can’t use it for UberRUSH credit. It is only valid for rides in the UK.
This is an excellent deal if you are a regular Uber user and instantly makes this one of the best Tesco Clubcard redemptions.
This is not a ‘genuine’ 3 x face value offer. Hotels.com does not let you collect Hotels.com Rewards credit if you pay with Clubcard vouchers. You won’t get any shopping portal rewards either. Even discounting those two aspects, however, you would still be getting over 2.5 x face value for your vouchers.
Note that you can only book pre-paid rooms with your Clubcard vouchers and that your points are not refundable if you cancel your hotel booking.
There is a cap of converting £165 of points per transaction, which would give you a £495 voucher. Whilst you can only use one voucher per booking, nothing stops you making separate back to back bookings.
As you can only use one voucher per booking you need to be careful when you convert. If a room costs £150 then you need to convert £50 of Clubcard points into one voucher if you want the entire room to be free. If the price drops to £140 before you get around to booking, you don’t get £10 back. If the price goes up to £160, you need to pay the extra in cash – you can’t add a 2nd voucher for £10.
Should you switch from Avios?
If you are a regular user of Uber or Hotels.com, you may want to rethink whether Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles are still the best deal for you.
As Uber is genuinely 3 x face value, you are trading (with a £1 Clubcard voucher) 240 Avios vs £3 of Uber credit. You are ‘paying’ 1.25p per Avios which is too high, in my view.
If Hotels.com nets out at somewhere between 2.5 and 3 x face value, as you are giving up Hotels.com Rewards credits and other bonuses, you are trading 240 Avios vs £2.50 – £3 of Hotels.com credit. You are ‘paying’ 1p to 1.25p per Avios if you choose Avios instead. That is still too high for my liking.
I am sitting on £481 of unspent Tesco Clubcard vouchers, according to the app, so I have a personal stake in deciding which of these options is the best way forward! Given our Uber spend, I may well use them there.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) 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.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.