Most Head for Points readers know that both Avios and Virgin Flying Club are Tesco Clubcard partners. This allows you to transfer your Clubcard points into miles instead of using them in-store.
It is a decent deal. £1 of Tesco Clubcard vouchers converts into 240 Avios or 250 Virgin Flying Club miles. This is substantially better value than using your Clubcard vouchers in-store for face value.
(To be honest, I prefer to take Uber credit rather than airline miles. £1 of Tesco Clubcard vouchers gets you £3 of Uber and / or Uber Eats credit. This is as good as cash to me which means that I am effectively ‘buying’ Avios for 1.25p if I choose them instead. I don’t value them that highly.)
But there was always a snag …..
Tesco only issued your Clubcard points once per quarter. This meant that, if you had a large number of Clubcard points due to you, you had to wait up to 12 weeks to get your hands on them. This was clearly no good if you had a redemption flight to book.
Tesco has now changed its rules. You can request your ‘pending’ Clubcard points whenever you like. You can then transfer them to Avios or Virgin Flying Club.
This is how it works. I used the app – I am not sure if it is possible via the website too. Here is a screenshot I took on Thursday morning, with 257 points pending. I would not receive these before February if I waited.
Click on ‘Turn your points into vouchers’ and you see this. I can convert 250 of my 257 points immediately:
I confirm and get this message:
On Friday morning, I went into the app and got this message:
A voucher code was showing and I was able to redeem it immediately for £7.50 of Uber credit. The code was in my inbox within 30 seconds and I could immediately add it to my Uber account.
There are some rules ….
There are a couple of points to note about this new feature.
The key one is that it is disabled for two weeks before your February, May, August and November Clubcard points statements are generated. This is to stop you withdrawing your points in the period that Tesco is printing and posting your statement, which might mean that you ended up with two lots of points.
Secondly, using this feature requires you to opt out of receiving paper Clubcard statements. Future statements will be sent by email.
You need at least 150 Clubcard points to request instant vouchers, but this is the same rule that was in place for triggering paper vouchers so no-one loses out here.
This is, undoubtedly, a genuine improvement to Tesco Clubcard for miles collectors. It is just a shame that Tesco has gutted the Clubcard scheme over the last two years, especially with the closure of Tesco Direct and Tesco Wine, making it hard to run up substantial points balances.