Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

New: use Clubcard points at Uber and Hotels.com at 3 x face value – better than Avios?

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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:

Uber 350

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 have been added as Boost partners at 3 x 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.

Uber

The Uber deal is a ‘genuine’ 3 x face value offer.

The Tesco / Uber page is here.

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.

Hotels.com

The Tesco / Hotels.com page is here.

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.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

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

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

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

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (117)

  • roberto says:

    So £220 of toner is worth about £600 in Hotel.com rooms.. I feel like I have had a result

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    I’m sure Rob will be covering this soon, but Virgin Trains (west coast at least) are cutting the number of Flying Club miles you earn to a pathetic 1 mile/£ http://saveecrewards.co.uk/blog/west-coast-cut-flying-club-miles-50

    As for the Clubcard changes I hadn’t really been following but I had noticed my local Tesco had a desk prominently in store trying to get people to sign up to ‘the new Clubcard’.

    Contactless will be good if it integrates with Apple and Android Pay in the future.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, covering the Virgin Trains thing in a couple of days.

      • JamesB says:

        What’s your take on EC franchise news over the past week, do you think they will try to hand it back?

        • RussellH says:

          Difficult to say. VTEC is not really Virgin at all – Stagecoach own 90%, Virgin have just enough of a footprint so that the franchise can use the Virgin name, which presumably is thought to be superior to Stagecoach…

          Stagecoach have already lost SWT (Southwest Trains); they still own EMT (East Midlands Trains). So if they were to give up on VTEC they might feel that they had cut themselves off from the whole UK rail business. On the other hand, there may well be some at Stagecoach who now think that they would be better off out of rail.

        • JamesB says:

          @Russell, that was sone of my thoughts too. I have not read any detail but it seems that there are some plans to return Scotrail to some form of public ownebership. So between that, failing franchises, weak polititics and the labour agenda it’s possible we might see some major changes on the rails in the coming years.

      • KP says:

        Thanks! Just snagged a leeds-london ticket for Sunday for a mere fiver!

  • Lumma says:

    The reason I like collecting Clubcard points for avios or virgin miles is to run up balances to use towards new experiences. I don’t think I’d walk the extra 15 minutes to Tesco instead of Sainsbury’s for uber credit, even if rationally it’s better value.

    I know there’s many people on this site that would disagree with me on that tho

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      I agree with you. I generally don’t like points that are just money off things as then there’s no chance to grab an amazing redemption. That’s why Clubcard beats Nectar, all the Nectar rewards are money off things. But I love to be able to spend 4000 Avios on a reward flight saver at the last minute when the cash price is ridiculously high (I do a LOT of last minute travel and am surprisingly lucky with Avios redemptions).

      • Simon says:

        Hi, can I ask is there a system for these last minute value avios redemptions?

        Thanks
        Simon

        • Rob says:

          No, no logic to why BA sometimes keeps Avios seats up when cash prices are crazy (and vice versa).

          • Save East Coast Rewards says:

            The best one I had was managing to get a couple of seats LCY-EDI 31 December a few years ago and also The Caledonian on Hilton points. Was a nice impulse new years eve

          • the real harry1 says:

            isn’t the logic simply BA’s stated commitment to offering 4+2 redemption seats minimum on all flights?

            so if nobody has grabbed the redemptions & the cash price is sky high but there is still seat availability, that will also mean there is redemption availability

          • Rob says:

            Those 6 seats, in theory, drop away at T-30.

    • Ro says:

      Behavioural Economics for the win

    • JamesB says:

      Another factor for me is that I receive a constant stream of useful offers from Sainsbury’s but nothing at all from Tesco for around two years. I’m also convinced Sainsbury in my area is generally cheaper than tesco. I got the tesco CA but so far have not been tempted away from Sainsbury.

      • Alan says:

        Interesting – Sainsbury’s definitely much pricier than Tesco near me. Hardly been getting any offers from either – used to get loads from Tesco too. Thankfully they did just send me the £3 off £30 conditional spend, 1 week per voucher, 6 in total – have been adding a £15-£30 Amazon voucher to my shopping each week to make sure I trigger! Also been paying with Zeek, so been saving a few quid each time.

        • JamesB says:

          My partner got £9 and £6 off £60 time, forgot about those. Our local
          Sainsbury deliveries usually come from Murrayfield branch which is supposed to be cheapest place in Edinburgh to buy petrol most of the time. Despite that we usually fill up at Tesco extra to collect the clubcard points.

          • Alan says:

            Yes, Asda also good for fuel prices – although I find Tesco in Dundee pretty competitive. Craigleith & Cameron Toll Sainsburys stores always seemed pricey when I visited them cf Tesco.

          • Alan C says:

            I see lots of taxi drivers when i fill up at Sainsburys Longstone. Asda at Chesser will keep their prices down!

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    More news BA Mixed Fleet have just announced another 14 days of strike action

    • Rob says:

      Look’s like Qatar will still be able to keep its planes flying then!

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        I want to get a chance to fly on one, whats odd is when I looked at a points redemption a few days ago it was charging full taxes as opposed to RFS even though it’s technically a BA flight. Do they do that with Titan and JetTime?

        • Rob says:

          Weird. Must be a system bug because it shows them as Qatar operated!

    • Robbie says:

      Oh come on!

      Been waiting years to make an Avios redemption then I finally decide to go for it and book Dubai out on BA and back on Qatar.

      Now Qatar can’t fly from Dubai and BA are on strike – more chance that my time off will be spent chasing refunds rather than going up the Burj Khalifa!!! It is starting to feel personal.

  • mark2 says:

    I have really gone off Tesco. I used to get thousands of points buying gift cards, but now only buy their Alaskan Wild Smoked Salmon and that has just jumped from £4 to £5 for 100g although still cheaper than in Alaska or Seattle!
    Last quarter I had 600 points.

    • Rob says:

      They just sent me a voucher for 750 points as a Thank You for having a savings account.

      Given the terrible interest rates at the moment, the voucher represents a significant improvement in the overall interest rate on my money!

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Gift cards were like a licence to print points! I still have a bunch of ones I purchased before they stopped the points offer. Tesco is the only place convenient to my office and it’s a about 10 minutes closer than Waitrose at home

    • Robbie says:

      Which is probably why they have stopped it!

  • Maria says:

    With Uber, sadly looks like redeemable in U.K. only

  • Steve says:

    £300 converted max though. You’d have to do back to back reservations.

    • Genghis says:

      Good spot. I have noticed that for some hotels.com reservations the whole is less than the sum of the parts, which may devalue the offering on expensive per night stays.

    • Yuff says:

      I got excited, when I thought I might be able to spend some on points, when I read this article as I was considering hotels.com for a booking in Dubai at Easter, but £300 won’t stretch to 1 night and you get a good discount for booking 5 nights 🙁 so a max conversion of £100 in cc points is not what I was hoping for !!!!

  • Andy says:

    The Tesco and Uber partnership has annoyed the Black Cab drivers:

    http://dailym.ai/2sbkxaz

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