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. We have done a lot of research on this over at our sister site Shopper Points.
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.
Remember that our sister site Shopper Points publishes five articles per week, mainly focused on special deals for earning extra Tesco Clubcard points.
PS. If you don’t already have an Uber account but may now open one, don’t forget our special sign-up code. Adding code HEADFORPOINTS on the Payment page after registering gets you your first ride for free, up to £15. This is better than the standard refer-a-friend bonus which only gets you a free ride up to £10.
Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios? You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (www.shopperpoints.co.uk), which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk! Why not check it out now?