Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

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

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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 £15,000 Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 sign-up 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 (261)

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

  • JamesR says:

    O/T – does anyone have any experience of tight Doha layover times? Booked 2 pax HEL-BKK and the return has a 8 hour and 15 min layover. If I sort the hotel out and then Qatar decide to make the second leg 16 minutes earlier do I lose my hotel? And if so, would oneworld status make any difference?

    • Rob says:

      I think once the hotel is booked you’ll be fine. However, for clarity, be sure there is no possible combination of flights which could reduce the gap to less than 8 hours. If there are, you don’t get the hotel.

      • Chris Cannon says:

        Hi. Point of clarity on the above please. Do Qatar offer free hotel on layovers if more than 8 hours? I’ve got one coming up in October coming back from KL via Doha on Qatar

        • Rob says:

          Yes BUT only if that is smallest possible layover. If there is another combo of flights which you chose not to take – perhaps because it was more expensive – that gets you under 8 hours then you can’t have it. It is almost impossible to get it on flights from the UK on Qatar because, with so many daily departures, there is almost always a combo that would have got you under 8 hours.

      • JamesR says:

        Oh gosh! I forgot about that rule! Out of sheer luck my return is on the Saturday and thats the only flight on that day. If I had booked the Sunday there is a shorter layover of 2 hours. Phew!

    • AndyR says:

      Yes some have had their hotels cancelled after a flight time change brought them under 8 hours. You might as well try though? Book a refundable hotel for backup if you are worried.

  • Andrew says:

    It’s worth remembering that they do not offer these reward schemes out of the kindness in their heart. The reason why supermarkets offer these loyalty schemes is so they can keep track of our spending habits to sell us more. If enough people stopped swipping their loyalty cards at checkout or cancelled them, then they may have to rethink about changing the rules to reward schemes that make them less attractive.

  • Richard says:

    If BA are concerned about there being too many avios being earned then stop agreeing to 80k+ sign up bonuses on their US cards first! And anyway, surely they would devalue the charts again rather than lower their income to deal with oversupply.

  • John says:

    anyone else having problems with Amex refer a friend referral link at the moment?

  • JamesB says:

    OT IHG pricing: My dad and I both got caught out booking Staybridge Suites in Newcastle during the January sale. Headline rates apparently excluded VAT and I did not know anything was amiss until the charge came through on my credit card. Looking at my confirmation it does quote priceper night and total price for stay which apparently inclides VAT. IIRC some law on this requires headline rates displayed to include VAT. Is somebody able to advise if this is correct and which law applies please? I’ve searched the web but am having difficulty pinning the pertnent details down.

    • Rob says:

      Unless a product is being advertised exclusively at the B2B market, the price MUST include VAT. As the IHG website is a public site it should include VAT.

      IHG actually changed its website a couple of years ago because the 5-star London properties were not showing VAT (on the basis that no-one ever used their own money to stay in them) but the VAT people clearly had a word and they stopped.

      The only possible get-out is that Staybridge Suites is a long-stay brand which is not aimed at the general public. However as they accept bookings from the public and indeed have ‘non-suite’ rooms which can be booked for as little as 1 night that is unlikely to wash.

      I would complain to the hotel initially and threaten a formal complain unless they reduce your rate to the ex-VAT price.

      • JamesB says:

        Thanks for this Rob, very clear 🙂

      • RussellH says:

        I complained to the hotel about this after a (perfectly pleasant) one Saturday night stay at the B’ham Staybridge in Nov 2015. I got the “Staybridge is a long-stay brand” story; no suggestion that it is “not aimed at the general public”. I quoted VAT rules, but got nowhere.

        Far too late to do anything about it now. When you mention a formal complaint, do you mean a formal complaint to the hotel, the hotel’s owner, or to HMRC? Or as Annal mentions, the ASA?

        • RussellH says:

          IIRC there is a special long stay VAT rate of 5% which partly explains why they would quote prices without VAT.

          However, just looking at the B’ham Staybridge, they are quoting prices as incl. VAT, and the price breakdown for 4 nights it is showing as 20%.

          I did not make a cancelable booking to see if JamesB’s additonal 20% got added.

          Later: just tried a dummy 35 night booking. Price is quoted as 106.31 incl. VAT average per night.

          Rate details then states ” 20% per night not included in rate effective 21 March, 2018 thru 25 April, 2018 VAT”. It is a complete mess!!

        • Rob says:

          ASA is a good place to start, but Trading Standards would work too.

          IHG has a track record of being whacked by the ASA, see the HIX “free breakfast” saga (although I felt sorry for them about that). They got into trouble for saying the HIX breakfast is free and are now banned from saying this. The reason is that, since no-one at a HIX pays for breakfast, you cannot say the breakfast is free ….

        • Will says:

          “Breakfast is not free, it costs nothing”. Should make that their slogan.

    • Annal says:

      I complained to the ASA that were not showing taxes on a hotel I use in the Caribbean, which caused some embarrassment at check in. initially refused to budge, but once the ASA got involved I somehow managed to get refunded by the hotel AND hotels.con which I put towards towards for another night at the same hotel this year!

      • Annal says:


      • JamesB says:

        Thanks Annal, I called after reading Rob’s comment. They tried to pull the long stay issue Rob mentioned to justify the addition of VAT. After I pointed out the rest tgey suggested I call back after 2pm when boss would be it. It just got more interesting though because I then checked their pricing today and the headline rate is advertised as including VAT. However, working through a dummy booking it later adds a further 20% to the cost but fails to specify what these costs are. VAT is not mentioned anywhere as far as I can see. The same is true on my email confirmation.

        • JamesB says:

          Successful conclusion to this issue for me, a very polite and friendly guy in the inhouse reservations team agreed to refund the VAT, no hassle at all. I did not get any drama over long stay like the earlier call.

    • Kevin says:

      I did came across this a year ago while booking a night stay at Staybridge Vauxhall. Apparently that Staybridge is the only hotel in the UK IHG with quoted price excluding VAT. I just booked different hotel instead.

  • George Kyriakos says:

    OT: Did anyone do hotel status request via the Amex Platinum portal lately? I’ve asked Hilton, Shangri-la, Carlson, SPG, and only Hilton responded within a couple of days. The others are coming up to a month now…

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Did you get an email from Hilton? I applied about a week ago and it looks like it has changed online but I’ve nothing to confirm.

      • George says:

        I did get an email from Hilton – the only one, in fact!

        How are your other matches coming along?

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          I didnt apply for any others. I dont percieve there to be any benefit to me.

    • ahop says:

      Hilton and Cc coming up to two months for me.

  • Ben says:

    OT. Looking for a bit of comfort here. I have a flight booked from AMS to JNB so im getting a flight from LCY to AMS but there is only a 3 hour lay over. Do you think that will be enough time to get through security, collect luggage and check back in again in AMS?

    • Rob says:

      Should be OK … remember that City gets very foggy in the mornings in Spring so I wouldn’t do, for eg, a 7am City flight in February as the likelihood of it being cancelled is fairly good.

      • Ben says:

        Hi Rob,

        Thanks, Its an 11am flight in early Feb so think im going to stick with it.

        Fingers crossed

        • JamesB says:

          If it’s KLM you’ll be happy to hear they were the most punctual airlinenin the UK in 2017. I guess more lijdly a BA redemption though.

        • Ben says:

          Unfortunatly its not KLM – Its BA cash flight so ill just hope for no fog!

  • Graham Walsh says:

    OT – Anyone looking for Nandos or Pizza Express vouchers, they are available in Costco, face value £40 for £33.99. Loch Fyne is £50 face value for £39.99. Costco take any Amex, quite a few others too such as Red Letter Days

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.