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Tesco drops the Tesco Premium Credit Card

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this article about the Tesco Premium Credit Card.

I suggested that the card did not have much of a future given the closure of Tesco Direct in three weeks, because the main feature – 5000 bonus Clubcard points if you spent £5000 annually across all Tesco businesses – would now become trickier.  I know some people relied on putting large household purchases through Tesco Direct in order to hit the £5000 target.

It seems that Tesco Bank agreed with me.  The Tesco Premium Credit Card is being withdrawn from the market for new applicants.  I don’t know if it is being closed to existing cardholders too.

If you were on the fence about applying, the application form might still be live if you click here.  There is a 5,000 Clubcard points bonus (worth 12,400 Avios or 12,500 Virgin miles) for signing up.  I have been told that it will be gone by the end of today, if it hasn’t gone already.

Whilst this was definitely a niche product – and one I struggled to get excited about – it does have potential.  It may have suffered from poor marketing, because the free travel insurance benefit would have been valuable for a lot of mainstream card users who will not have Amex Platinum, HSBC Premier etc.  At a lower fee (say £50) or with a different benefits package, it may have worked well for a lot of HFP readers as a strong points earner.

I have updated our core ‘best credit card’ articles, all of which are listed on this page of HfP, to reflect this change.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2023 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

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You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

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You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

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British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

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Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

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American Express Business Gold

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For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

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1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (154)

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

  • Alan says:

    Yeah, you should have received the Horizon card letter by now.

  • Alan says:

    Glad Tesco have done the right thing re charges although I think they should be apologising for charging in the first place, not for ‘confusion’!

    • Sandgrounder says:

      I am amazed people are surprised. If Curve didn’t allow ATM transactions on credit cards, then fair enough, but this is clearly a tool which allows you to borrow cash interest free, contrary to the terms and conditions. Fair play for refunding the charges, but I fail to see why they should allow this practice to continue in the future.

      • Rob says:

        Tesco gets a fee for this, remember. It doesn’t get a fee if you withdraw cash on your debit card from your HSBC account or wherever.

        • Sandgrounder says:

          They also issue Clubcard points, which you later swap for rewards they need to pay for. They must have found Curve was costing them money to bring the charge in. I agree with the refunds, Curve didn’t really fit the description in the warning letter. I personally hope they reverse the policy, as I have the product and have used it to withdraw cash myself! As usual though, once the goldrush starts, the opportunities for earning tend to disappear!

        • Lumma says:

          From Tesco’s point of view, withdrawing £200 via curve and paying your credit card bill with it is no different than making a regular £200 purchase on your credit card and using cash from your bank account to settle your previous month’s bill surely?

          • Rob says:

            I get a feeling that Tesco thinks their losing out, but they can’t quite work out how, but they’ve decided not to take a risk on losing out anyway!

        • Sandgrounder says:

          The difference is, this is ‘manufactured spending’. You are earning clubcard points for recieving a free loan. You are also not likely to pay interest on this money, which, let’s face it is the way credit card companies really make money. Why did fees for balance transfers come it? Because people were abusing the system and banking the cash for the offer period, earning interest. £200 a month is not a lot, but it adds up if the abuse is widespread. Especially when you offer very long interest free periods for new customers! I think Curve will have to drop the cash from credit cards, or share information, maybe by using a separate MCC, eventually.

          • Rob says:

            I agree, that would be a sensible conclusion, allowing card companies the option of whether they charge for cash withdrawals via Curve.

        • Lumma says:

          But it’s Curve that’s allowing you to do “manufactured spending”, by allowing cash withdrawals to be charged to an underlying card as a purchase. From Tesco’s point of view it’s a £200 purchase on your credit card.

          There’s also been many comments in the past about Curve blocking accounts if the only transactions are the £200 a month cash withdrawals, so I can’t see it being a widespread issue that’s costing Tesco thousands – especially for 25 clubcard points a month, just open a new clubcard account for the wife/children/cat and fill some more Tesco views surveys in instead

        • the real harry1 says:

          @ Sandgrounder – that’d be a decent way round it, albeit limited to £50/ transaction, otoh not limited to £200/ month, I can see determined people hitting Lloyd’s £7000 spend target in a week if they felt like it 🙂

  • Ken says:

    I have had the Tesco Premium card for several months now. It is easily my most valuable credit card. I really can’t understand all the negativity that the card gets. I live close to two large Tesco stores and all the main shopping is done at one or the other. I don’t use much fuel, but what I do need I buy at Tesco. With this I get close to the £5000 yearly spend to qualify for the bonus. Whenever I need a non-Amex card for other shopping I use the Tesco card. This gets me 0.6 Avios per pound. I tend to fly business class (using air miles) so I do not need the lounge access that goes with the Platinum Amex card. This makes the insurance package that the Tesco card offers a really attractive deal. But for me, getting nearly 5 Avios per pound spent at the supermarket is the real clincher (2.4 with the credit card + 2.4 with the ClubCard). This very quickly adds up.

    Last time I mentioned this card, I was pounced on by several people who said that opening bonuses are the important thing. I agree that they are important. I get them whenever I can. However, there just are not enough of them in the UK to collect.

    • the real harry1 says:

      I don’t think people in your situation are negative about the card – it’s people who have a different set of circumstances who can’t really see the point. So I prefer to buy our food at one of the European delis – quality is better for much less money and the nearest Tesco isn’t particularly close so factor in diesel. I’m also a ‘shop fresh every day’ sort of shopper, which makes the journey onerous. The nearest Tesco pfs is even further away! And with Direct dying a death, I can’t see our Tesco spend going much higher than the Amazon MOC discount trick and Xmas Saver 🙂

      • RK says:

        Hi TRH1

        I read your comment yesterday re: Xmas saver and pardon me for being thick… but could you explain further I don’t get it

        Also what is Amazon MOC?



      • the real harry1 says:

        1) See: Jimbob says:
        13 June 2018 at 22:29 & the answer.

        2) Using T money off coupons (eg spend £80 get £12 off, they send these by post) to get a decent discount on your Amazon spend, I’m running at about 12.5% average discount on everything I buy there 🙂 (or other giftcards)

      • Genghis says:

        Quite. The key is (was) the £5k spend requirement at Tesco for the Brucy. If you could do it, great. If not, and you still shop in Tesco, then the free Tesco debit card (same ongoing earnings) is better as paying £150 for the 5k ccs and the travel insurance is not a great deal. Different strokes for different folks, of course.

      • Kenneth Middleton says:

        Some very valid points, Harry. Tesco is definitely not for everyone. And, a lot of people have to use the stores that are close by, which may not be a Tesco. For anyone with a family of maybe 4, that live close to a Tesco, that want a lot of air miles, it might be ideal. As for Tesco Direct? I have never used it, so it is not an issue. I use Amazon a lot and buy the gift cards at Morrisons (5x points). That effectively gets me 2.5% off everything I buy at Amazon, though I have to spend it at Morrisons. To pay for this (and other business expenses) I use whatever Amex card I have at that time.

    • Rob says:

      If you are a regular Uber user in the UK, one argument is that – because you can turn the sign-up bonus into £150 of Uber credit which nets off the annual fee 100% – you are getting the card for “free” for 12 months whilst benefiting from the travel insurance and the decent earning rate.

    • Kenneth Middleton says:

      For me it works, really well. At least for one year. The bonus pays the fee. I can cancel any time and get a pro rata refund. That is what I was told when I rang to ask the question. I asked them to check whether what they were telling me was correct. they checked and confirmed it. Next year I may use the debit card.

    • Alex W says:

      The 1 cc per £1 on the free debit card is only guaranteed until 1 Apr 19.

    • Genghis says:

      @Alex W Which is probably longer than the Prem card will still be around to existing customers. No guarantees in this game.

  • Alan says:

    Yeah, neither my wife nor I were offered any bribes to stay as customers but I think we’ll keep it to replace our Clarity cards for overseas spend

  • Tom Murray says:

    My Tesco Premium card is called just that on my Tesco ‘phone app but online it’s now called “World Mastercard”
    Is yours?

  • Geoff says:

    Slightly OT re Curve: I have been unable to access the Curve app for a few days now. Keep getting a ‘connection error’ message. Is it just me or are they having problems?

  • Matt says:

    Is the Amex Gold companion credit card dead? I was thinking of applying to net 5000 bonus points but can’t find anything on the website.

  • N says:

    Completely OT, but does anyone know if Marriott Memories packages get discounted in the days before an event?

    • Rob says:

      Very occasionally I have seen it happen. Sometimes the London hotels get offered unclaimed O2 seats to offer to guests or staff.

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