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Big changes to Tesco Clubcard – with no notice – as many redemptions dropped or cut in value

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Tesco announced a pile of changes to the Clubcard scheme yesterday.  We have covered these in detail on Shopper Points today – click here.  We covered them for The Guardian as well – see here.

In general, the changes are bad.

Some little-used ‘two times’ deals will now give 3x face value, but a lot more deals which used to give 4x face value are dropping to 3x.  This mainly impacts restaurant and days out vouchers.

Big changes to Tesco Clubcard with no notice

From a travel perspective, it is actually positive to neutral:

National Express, Megabus and (train tickets) credit now gets you 3x the face value of your Clubcard vouchers, up from 2x

There is no change to the Avios or Virgin Flying Club conversion rates 

You have also gained Uber and as new 3x face value redemption partners this year.  Uber is now my preferred redemption as we use it heavily and it is a genuine ‘3x’ value.  If I took Avios instead I would be giving up £3 of Uber for every 240 Avios I earned which means I would be ‘paying’ 1.25p per Avios – and I don’t value them at that.

To do this without ANY notice at all stinks, however.  It particularly stinks that we are just 9 days from the end of the current Clubcard collection quarter.  People have 10 weeks of points locked up inside Clubcard which cannot now be spent at the old 4x redemption rate.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

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

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points 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.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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.

Comments (262)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Diydegsy says:

    Hi if upgrade now from gold to platinum card do I miss out on the 10,000 bonus points for spending £15k on the gold card in the first year? I have already hit the target but my 2nd year with the gold card doesn’t start until end Feb?

    • Rob says:


    • Leo says:

      Yes you do – last year I was waiting for my bonus points and they pulled the Platinum upgrade offer while I was waiting – points arrived 31 days after my anniversary date. The upgrade offer came back a few months later but only after I had cancelled the gold and taken out the SPG. You win some you lose some.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    I guess the chance of switching to the US model and getting just one lifetime bonus but as huge as theirs with those impressive earning rates is almost zero here due to no surcharge fees, caps on co-branded cards, etc.

    What would fellow HfP readers do if they removed signup bonuses and kept current earning rates? I don’t think I’d keep my Amex Plat. Can get travel insurance through a premium current account such as Nationwide. Hotel elite status benefits seem to be hit and miss…

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Just to clarify – I’m only voting for US model if they remove the existing one! Though extending the “waiting period” from 6 to 12 months as someone pointed yesterday sounds like best alternative to me.

      • Alan says:

        If they extend to 12 months then that wouldn’t be too bad as long as you can still cross-refer to different cards. Just means stacking other cards in the meantime. For example I can get my Gold, refer my wife to Gold and cancel my card. Get wife to refer me to BA – she cancels her Gold card, wife refers me to BA (and cancels her BA card, I refer her to Gold (after 12 months).

        Bit of a faff but not impossible to do.

      • HAM76 says:

        Would love 12 months! In Germany it’s already 18 month.

    • Cate says:

      It isn’t just the bonuses though it’s the ongoing earning’s rate + benefits. Take Hilton’s new amex card for example, holders are going to receive far more benefits than we are for paying the same £450 to amex for the platinum card.

      • S says:

        Don’t forget that in the US they get to charge merchants whatever they please, but with co-branded cards in the EU it’s capped at 0.3%

  • MarcB says:

    Seems what’s happened here is a case of “let’s introduce the ARCC card to try and curb churning” back in September, that failing and now, unsurprisingly moving onto extending bonus renew periods like they’ve done in the States…

    • John says:

      If they intended to curb churning with the new card then they should really have waited a year. I will be applying for that card eventually, but haven’t had the opportunity to cancel or open any Amexes in the past 4 months…

  • MattyS says:

    Is there a consensus on self-referring to get the referral points ? I know there has been a couple of comments recently but seems like it might be luck of the draw whether you get them or not.

    • RTS says:

      did it. got it.

    • @alastairtravel says:

      Linked to Matty’s comments I’d be interested in any feedback on how it might work if my wife referred me (from BA Blue), to Amex Gold and then I added her as an additional cardholder?!

    • Anon says:

      There are some things best left unsaid.

  • Go says:

    Tesco are also cancelling several of their hotel partnerships at the end of the month.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    OT- this news has just given me the push to cancel my IHG Premium- I think I will be needing to hit a few Amex spend targets in the next few months! I have just passed my anniversary so the voucher should drop soon, plus I now have Platinum for the rest of the year. I was a bit sad they didn’t try to retain me though. Has anyone else had a retention offer from Creation?

    • John says:

      I believe Rob previously posted that he thinks Creation are losing money every time you use the card, so not surprising if they don’t try to keep you

      • Sandgrounder says:

        True. I suppose the ones they want to keep are the people who buy it for the status and put it in the desk drawer.

        • shd says:

          I’ve had IHG Spire status since they created it, and to be frank, it’s a joke.

        • Leo says:

          Who does that? I don’t think anyone would shell out £100 just for platinum. I used to use it to stick my tax through so hit the “free” night immediately. I may ditch it now. I’ve got so many IHG points I can’t find a decent redemption on as it is.

          • Rob says:

            £100 for Platinum plus 2 points per £1 plus a free night for £10k is probably the best bargain around, if you can use the £10k.

      • Craig Strickland says:

        I must be costing them a fortune then, 89 nights at IHG last year. My employer foots the room charge but all incidentals go on the IHG card.

        • BrianN says:

          Why would Creation sign up to a credit card deal that costs them money?

          • Rob says:

            Because you have to make assumptions about spending and interest charges which are potentially wrong.

            Take the Premium card. I have put £50,000 through my wifes in the last month to cover VAT, PAYE, personal tax etc. If Creation is paying IHG 0.4p per point then she has cost them £400 in points in a month. The interchange fee was 0.3% so £150. The £99 annual fee is already wiped out and that is before Creation funds the free night voucher and before it pays all of its operating costs.

            On the free card, the maths is crazy from Day 1 because IHG is almost certainly charging more per point than the 0.3p interchange fee per £1. Creation needs people to be paying interest on their balances to make a profit. If they have only attracted financially sound customers they are losing cash.

        • BrianN says:

          Thanks for the clear explanation. It seems that Creation will not be able to (or should not) finance this card at the current benefit levels for too long if they are mainly attracting customers who pay their statement in full each month.

          If that is the case, how does a card like this survive?

  • S says:

    Shame if true. I had just convinced my gal to churn as much as possible this year. She has never held an Amex account before and her PRG application just went thru. I had many other cards on my mind.

  • Andrew M says:

    Certainly not unanimous view within Amex CS that sign up bonus eligibility is going to be changing. Me: “Are you aware of any upcoming changes to sign up bonus eligibility on the range of Amex cards and, if so, are you able to tell me anything about such changes?” CS: “Yes, there has to be a gap of 6 months from the date the old card was cancelled and the date it was opened.” Me: “As far as you are aware, that will continue to be the case? As in, you have not been told that is changing?” CS: “Yes, correct.”

    • Rob says:

      The Amex call centre people are switched on. You’d be surprised how many emails I get from people who were referred to HFP by the Amex call centre! I am pretty sure there is something going on, but I accept that I would get advance notice so it will not happen overnight.

      • Rebecca says:

        I hope not, I’m about 3 weeks off being able to apply for the Gold card again!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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