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 pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 (May 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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

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

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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.

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 a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

  • Rob says:

    We’re now on the Beeb ……

    • Waribai says:

      Yes, I just saw that and Anika gets a mention!

      • Lady London says:

        Wow. You are quoted above Martin Lewis.

        Good comment also for the next airline that tries to change the rewards rate on their frequent flyers program without due notice to those who are saving their airline points over a long period… Good one for getting that one in first for any airline changes we might be seeing oh… around July this year?

    • CV3V says:

      saying ‘it stinks’ seems to help get you a mention above Martin Lewis, impressive!

    • JamesB says:

      Really gone mainstream today between this and the Guardian 🙂

    • Eli Gold says:

      nice one!

      I’d like my fury and anger to make in on the Beebs about BA silently changing the Baggage policy when one part of a return journey is Business and not the other.
      i booked a flight with outward leg on club world (using Lloyds avios upgrade) just so that i could get the baggage allowance. but unlucky to me, by the time i went through my inbox to your article about it, it was too late.
      I wrote to BA and they gave me such a pathetic response, completely ignoring my point, that they didn’t announce it publicly and i had intentionally booked club for that specific benefit.

      Further RAGE against BA slashing yet another one of their unique services

  • FlyingChris47 says:

    OT – But Amex related. Anyone got any tips for getting missing Shop Small credits manually added? The usually friendly and very helpful phone agents (that used to be based in Brighton?) appear to have changed and now simply read off a script – insisting on waiting 90 working days that clearly won’t make an iota of difference. Missing the days of the email function…

    • Kai says:

      I had 20+ transactions and all posted fine, some sooner than others. Only two missing was because the merchant used iZettle so the transaction posted different, and after verifying it the online chat agent was very helpful in issuing me the credit.

      • Kinkell says:

        I got the same response as you FlyingChris47. Waited a day or so , phoned back and CS immediately credited one account with my missing shop small credits. (£10) even though it was the same shop on 2 different cards. The first CS chap wanted chapter and verse, date of spend, checked it was a legit shop on the site etc etc., agreed I was due the credits, but insistent I wait 90 days! He didn’t sound like a native of Brighton !

    • CV3V says:

      Amex CS told me to wait 5 working days, which had passed, so then told me it could take 90 days, but to phone back in January?! In that time they did all post.

    • Louise says:

      Yes still waiting for one shop across 6 cards. Keep giving me the 90 day script too!
      I’ve now cancelled two cards so prob won’t get that credit!

      • Polly says:

        Cook was the one shop accross all cards not to post. Called amex and they just put £30 credit onto our plat. Useful too. We got gift vouchers.

    • CountryKerry says:

      I had this last year – roughly £100 had not credited.

      Waited 90 days and nothing happened – so I phoned up and it was all added. Cancelled the card and a few months later got a surprise statement in the post – the credits had been added two months after that!

      Phoned AMEX to explain and they insisted on transferring the credit to my other card and not clawing it back!

    • Tilly says:

      I called them a few weeks ago about some missing credits. Very helpful agent will be contacting me by Saturday to either say it’s credited automatically and if not she’ll do manually for me.

    • Mikel says:

      Just had a similar call – 90 days is ridiculous

  • Nick M says:

    OT – I’m clearing out my MR account and am considering a Marriott travel package… we have 2 children (3 years & 9 months), am I right in thinking that I will be able to use this to book a standard room at the Phu Quoc property (2 double beds)? Or does anybody have other recommendations (we’re completely flexible on location)?

    If we do go for Phu Quoc, what is the best way to get there using miles? – I currently have 134k Avios, 100k Virgin, up to 30k of either from Tesco CC, and will have 120k from the Marriott package (plus anything else I earn in the meantime…).

    • bsuije says:

      Sorry, this is not going to be helpful at all, but just wanted to say I’m jealous! Have been eyeing up the JW Mariott in Phu Quoc for a while and trying to see how I can fit it into this year’s annual leave allowance… Seems quite cheap in points when compared to e.g. Domes of Elounda, given how nice it looks & the location. I hope it’s as good in reality as it is in my head!

      Re flights – don’t know about point redemptions. I don’t think BA fly to Vietnam, but the Middle East carriers certainly do. Ho Chi Minh would be closer than Hanoi and from there Jetstar, of all people / airlines, have connections to Phu Quoc. Alternatively, if you fancy a direct flight, TUI Fly have one or two a week, with some decent deals cropping up last minute, e.g. you can currently get 17 Jan – 1 Feb for £329pp… Not very HfP, I know…

      • Scott says:

        Read up on the resort before you go. I believe it is a looks can be deceiving situation and Phu Quoc is not as glamorous and stunning as it appears. Just a heads up.

        • Genghis says:

          We went in early 2015. Phu Quoc certainly isn’t “glamorous” but we really enjoyed our stay there. Food not as good as other parts of Vietnam, though.

        • Nick M says:

          Thank you – definite food for thought… it was more that it was looking like a great redemption option for the travel package, and so a little blinded by that perhaps! Will keep thinking – may move to SPG anyway, but if not immediately booking the travel package I’ll probably top up the airline accounts too

        • JamesB says:

          @Nick, you will be happier in the long run if you and your wife decide where you want to go then use your points and miles to make it happen. Letting the points and miles dictate where and how you go could be courting a somewhat underwhelming or potentially even disastrous experience.

    • Cate says:

      Would it be cheaper to book the rooms with Marriott points without exchanging for a hotel and miles package then, transferring the residual MR points direct to the airline?

      • Genghis says:

        Option 1 – travel package:
        Costs 270k Marriott = 90k SPG = 180k MRs. Yields 7 nights in a hotel and 120k avios.

        Option 2 – book separately:
        7 nights at Phu Quoc booked direct with Marriott is 25k x 6 = 150k Marriott (5th night free). This is 50k SPG points or 100k MR points. Then could use remaining MR points (80k) to buy 80k avios.

        The travel package option is better. These assume all points are coming from MR (where there is a slight loss in value in general IMO vs say obtaining via SPG directly).

        • Jonny says:

          and if you are able to coincide the travel package with a hotel > avios transfer bonus (typically 35%), you will potentially end up with 162k Avios!

        • Cate says:

          Thank you Genghis. Worked out like that it does seem the better option if you know for sure where you want to go.

    • Leo says:

      Well the short answer is you are going to have to get all of you to either BKK, KUL, SIN or HKG etc. and then use avios to get to HAN or SGN. You can use Virgin to get to HKG probably in PE if you cash in your Tesco CC- you’d need 135K for 3 returns seats. Its 150K each return to HKG in Avios in J. You’ll need 3 of them presumably. WT+ is 78K each. These can be very tricky to find to SE Asia. You’ll also need to use your avios on CX or MS to get to SGN or HAN. You can’t use points from either city to PCQ – you’ll need to use Vietnam airways or a LCC. I can’t find a way of getting to Phu Quoc without going via one of the major Vietnam cities and I’ve been looking (we’re going in November) – well Thompson or TUI now do fly directly there apparently. The only other direct flights to HAN and SGN from UK are on Vietnam Airlines which is Skyteam so doesn’t help with your points.

    • JamesB says:

      Use avios out on Finnar, FC back from HKG with Virgin. Air Asia or other LCC for shorthaul. I cannot recall if AY HEL to SGN is zone 6 or 7, if 7 then fly into BKK. So many permutations but if SGN is zone 6 from HEL that would be my choice. But why PQ?

      • Nick M says:

        Thanks Leo & JamesB, that’s very helpful… will have to give it more thought, but looks like it will make sense to make it a multi-stop trip, don’t fancy too many flights in short succession with the children! Yes, lots of permutations – in theory should make it easier, but a few too many things to think about!

    • Jac says:

      I will be staying at the Marriott in Phu Quoc over Easter. To get there you can fly to SGN and then get a cheap local flight (vietjet is only about 50 return) but there is also the option to fly to Bangkok and take there a direct Bangkok Air flight. In this case also there is no need for a visa (if otherwise would be needed to visit Vietnam) while you can redeem Etihad Guest miles.
      I had booked first with poiints and then applied a package when there was a 30% airline transfer bonus. Last year availibity at the Marriott suddenly disappeared so better to secure the room when there is availibility

      • ankomonkey says:

        We’re booked for a 7 night stay in August using Marriott TP hotel cert. We’re flying into BKK and taking the Bangkok Airways flights direct to Phu Quoc. As you say, we did this to avoid paying for visas and to minimise the number of flights by avoiding an internal Vietnam flight from Hanoi/HCMC. For us, this made most sense.

        We’re also 2 adults & 2 children and the hotel are letting us all stay in one room.

    • GB74 says:

      I’d do RFS LHR-IST (40k Avios), overnight in Courtyard Istanbul if you have a spare 7.5k MR’s, IST-SIN on SQ in Business (160k VS miles – the Monday and Wednesday flights often have 4 available seats), then LCC to Vietnam, LCC back to HKG then Virgin PE back to LHR (90k VS miles). So your 100k VS miles, 120k via the Travel Package and the spare 30k should get you the 250k needed.

      Not entirely sure how it works with a 9 month old – very probable you will need less than 250k!

      • Nick M says:

        Thanks – this is really helpful to start looking at some of the different options in more depth!

        Have just had an email to say LHR-SGN in Economy on Air China can be had for as little as £360pp next Christmas… just priced up some flights (horrendous timings) but could get the 4 of us to SGN for £1020 – don’t think I’ll be doing this, but looks like there are lots of options!

  • Cate says:

    OT but Amex related, just received an event email from their platinum concierge. I’ve never contacted amex’s concierge service – am I missing a valuable perk?

    • Polly says:

      You must have ticked the notifications box at some point. The Vista offers are quite good too..

      • Cate says:

        Yes I did tick the box but never used amex’s concierge service.

      • RTS says:

        Agreed, the VISTA offers are decent. They did the XOStreet X Hakkasan the other month. That was top notch.

  • Phil says:

    A generic question on this. I’m interested to hear people’s thoughts.

    It strikes me that every time there is ‘news’ it’s rarely good. Thinking ahead to the next 10 years is it likely there will be much demand for any reward cards in the UK? As more and more people (it seems) use Airbnb etc for a more ‘authentic’ experience, the hotel programs alone could be far less valuable it would seem, and BA don’t seem to be moving in a good direction!

    • ankomonkey says:

      If hotel business is bad, they may need to improve their loyalty offerings to entice guests. Count me in to that!

  • Rob says:

    SPG deals in Dubai go for low prices, we saw Jamie Cullum in a private St Regis gig two years, with a reception, drinks and meet and greet, for peanuts.

  • Stewart says:

    Is there any info on / does anyone know about Amex Platinum applying/arranging a free BAPP card? Not seen anything about that, and had the platinum card for a while now!

  • S879 says:

    I cancelled my Platinum AMEX a month ago. If someone refers me, would I be able to get it again now (I know I won’t get the sign up bonus) or do I have to leave a gap? I have a multi city holiday with the family coming up and the airport lounges and travel insurance alone would be really worth having.

    Also, I have an SPG Amex for which my partner has a supplementary. Could a supplementary cardholder refer someone for Amex Platinum and get the 5k SPG bonus? Thank you.

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.