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)

  • the_real_a says:

    Does anyone know what constitutes a booking? Can i book multiple hotels in different places in a single booking?

    • Rob says:

      No, I think you can only pay for one at once

      • the_real_a says:

        Thanks Rob – this is going to be a pain to redeem then! Shame we cannot convert to Hotels.com credit.

        • Pug 106 says:

          So, please, if I want to convert to Hotels.com for a £955 stay in Thailand next Easter, I’d convert 3 x £100 worth of vouchers, get 3 different codes and make 3 separate bookings, paying £55 cash?

          Also, pls, as it’d be a non-refundable loss of vouchers booking, do you think it’d be worth taking out a Tesco Holiday insurance policy (which I don’t need as have Amex cover) as, if we did have to cancel due to an insurable event, the vouchers would be covered and hence worth the cost of a Tesco policy?

          • Genghis says:

            Does Tesco travel insurance even cover such eventualities?

          • Genghis says:

            In term of the calcs you’d need to split into blocks of nights, so assuming that’s a 3 or 6 night stay then yes

          • Pug 106 says:

            Thanks, Ghengis. Tesco policies used to cover vouchers in case of cancellation due to an insurable event (not because you changed your mind) but I’m going back to when we used to use them to cruise with our children so T&Cs may have changed.

            I’m also looking at changing tokens to Avios points and booking hotel with Avios.com or BAEC.

          • Pug 106 says:

            Apologies for name typo!

          • Genghis says:

            With Amex Plat travel insurance, there is a term in there noting covering:

            “Any travel rewards programmes provided the taxes and/or surcharges have been Purchased using the Card.”

            Now in theory this could be covered. You’ve used Tesco clubcard which amonst other things could be described as a travel reward programme and presumably if you put a few quid charge onto the “Card” (defined as any Amex issued Amex within the T&Cs) this could be described potentially as a surcharge (i.e. over and above the reward points cost). But in reality, you’d have to contact Amex to confirm.

            ttps://www.americanexpress.com/uk/content/pdf/card-products/platinum-charge-card/UK_Platinum_Charge_Insurance_Documentation_v1_0.pdf

          • Pug 106 says:

            Hmm… interesting. Thanks.

  • the real harry1 says:

    let’s look at this bit as I would question the logic for some/ many of us:

    ‘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.’

    Uber credit is only ever going to be worth face value, ie £3 Uber credit = £3 saved

    whereas 240 Avios can often work out to be worth substantially more than (240×1.25p) = £3

    I’m a peak time (school hols) RFS redemption user. When I book T-355, I nearly always get at least 1.25p/ Avios vs cash fares – if it’s worse value, I would typically just pay cash though I haven’t had to do that for a couple of years. And that’s with me being happy to take HBO fares, since apart from Xmas we can travel light, everything we need being out at our place in the sun.

    I bet the Salzburg redeemers would not have preferred Uber! 🙂

    • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

      My wife and I got two tickets to Salzburg over Christmas for 13,000 Avios £42.50 each (outbound in club due to availability) that would have cost over a grand total, even looking at other airlines. 😀

  • Matthew says:

    Will we still have to wait til the end of each quarter to get the points are will they be available to use soon after earning them with the new scheme I wonder?

  • Mr Dee says:

    I am wondering if I would be able to use the Uber credit in the UK only or abroad as well?

    I only ask as their referral vouchers are country/currency specific when I have had them.

    • Mr Dee says:

      Noticed it does say ‘In the UK and other areas where uber operates’ I will try this out next week

      • Genghis says:

        I’d be interested in how the receipt looks. Ie. Could I use my clubcard points for work Uber trips and get 3p per point.

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          If it’s anything like regular Uber credit, shows as a deduction against the subtotal and the charge to the main payment method zeroed out.

      • Rob says:

        Standard Uber credit – and this is presumably added to standard Uber credit – only works in the UK.

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          Or, strictly, standard Uber credit is currency-denominated and only works on transactions in that currency.

  • Lee says:

    why not just post the url?

    • Genghis says:

      It’s also rejecting any post I make involving some kind of calculation…

  • Alan says:

    Definitely interesting – 1.25ppa way too pricey for me (only value at 0.75p) so getting Uber credit instead does sound like a reasonable plan…

    • the real harry1 says:

      I’m not sure 0.75p stacks up

      reason being: I’m interested primarily in what I paid for them (typically averaging 0.3 – 0.4p) vs the value I get for them (over 1.5p)

      so yes, I’ve often been in the 0.7p or 1p valuation camp – but I increasingly think that’s irrelevant

      we (who have cash) have a choice – ie cash or points

      so we should therefore always be looking to get a decent return – which I do

      happy to take an easy 0.8p when I ‘buy’ – at times – must have a decent Avios bank balance otherwise you deny yourself opps

      but I’d never ‘sell/ use’ for 0.8p as that would be crazy given the hassle in acquiring them

      so my valuation has to be not a liquidation valuation but one that is based on future cash saved

      • the real harry1 says:

        I guess the situation is muddled by business travellers who consider they have got their points for free, ie company has paid for the tickets

        it would not be unreasonable to set a minimum – eg 0.75p – below which they would not consider redeeming

      • Alan says:

        Agree a buy/sell price split isn’t an unreasonable thought. I’d never go below a 0.5p floor given hotel redemption option. In general I’ve managed to get more than 1.25p value out of them when used (and I try to be realistic, considering loss of earned Avios and what I would realistically pay for the flight), but as you say it’s having to find a way of valuing them when comparing to cash. Equally I’ve got a big pot of Avios to use (HHA >1m) so need to make sure I get through them before next devaluation comes along!

    • The Original Nick says:

      Hi Alan, You answered my question last night about linking the Avios MC to Curve. I’m going to France on Saturday so will be using it to withdraw from ATM. Which Home currency should I set it to?

      • Alan says:

        Nick – you need to change your Lloyds MC card in Curve to EUR, as that’s what you’ll be withdrawing cash in from the ATM. Hope all goes well and have a nice holiday 🙂

        • The Original Nick says:

          Thanks Alan. I’ll be also flying to Faro on the Wednesday and stopping at the Conrad Algarve.

          • Yuff says:

            Let us know what you think of the Conrad, as we are there a week on Sunday 🙂

  • Anna says:

    OT – after my rant at Lloyds on Monday over my missing avios and voucher, they have posted nearly 10,000 avios on my account, which I don’t think can be right as we mainly use the card for non-Amex spend. I’m not complaining, though, as long as the voucher appears with the next statement as promised!

    • Alex W says:

      You should expect some cash compo on top – I got about £220 this time without asking. Got £300 last year too.

  • robstaaaar says:

    O/T, I’m relatively newish here and regularly follow posts etc. Not up to speed with all the abbreviations and HfP ‘speak’. I have accrued Amex Plat, Gold and Nectar bonus sign up and spending points; silly question – just wondered the best way to use for hotel, flights? Best to join the numerous schemes (BAEC/VAFC et al) then transfer? Again, apologies if quite obvious. I’m having a blond moment! (Apologies for any offence to those blond amongst you).

    • the real harry1 says:

      you won’t offend amazingly good looking blonds like me

      might possibly offend a few blondes though 🙂

      the best way is down to you & your requirements

      best value is probably transatlantic or over to Australasia/ SE Asia in Club or First with a 241

    • Genghis says:

      Hi robstaaar. In general, airmiles (avios / virgin etc) are best use for flights and hotel reward scheme points used for hotels. Work out what your travel goals might be and then work out how to achieve them. E.g. You’ve earned 30k Amex MR points and fancy a weekend to Berlin. Research flights (BA RFS – reward flight saver) might offer good value and you might choose to transfer some Amex points to BA Exec club. You fancy staying in the Waldorf. Sign yourself and your partner up for the Hilton credit card to get 2 free nights. Etc. Stick around and you’ll pick up more ways to build up your knowledge on how everything fits together. If you have a question, just ask.

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