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EXCLUSIVE: No more Avios from Tesco Clubcard

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British Airways and Tesco have decided to part ways. The option to convert your Tesco Clubcard points into Avios is ending soon.

Nothing will change with the partnership between Tesco Clubcard and Virgin Flying Club.

Tesco Clubcard dropping British Airways Avios as a partner

When is Clubcard ending Avios earning?

The last day to initiate a transfer of your Tesco Clubcard points into Avios is 18th January

For those who receive their Clubcard vouchers quarterly, the last day to earn points via Tesco is 22nd October. This is the cut-off date for the November voucher mailing. The next mailing after that will not take place until February, at which point it will be too late to convert.

However, if you have the Tesco app, you can still collect points after 22nd October. This is because app users can turn their Clubcard points into e-vouchers at any time. You simply need to order an e-voucher with your remaining Clubcard points balance by mid January to ensure that it can be converted to Avios by 18th January.

Tesco Clubcard dropping British Airways Avios as a partner

Why is Tesco splitting with British Airways?

It isn’t made clear.

EDIT: Tesco contacted me after the publication of this article to state that it was the decision of British Airways to withdraw from Clubcard. Tesco did not want it to leave the scheme.

However, let me take a guess.

The volume of points transferred from Clubcard to Avios is likely to have fallen sharply in the last couple of years. I have no idea of the exact numbers, although we know that – in 2013 – 2.5 BILLION Avios were ‘bought’ with Tesco Clubcard points. 2.5 billion Avios represents over £10 million of Clubcard vouchers at face value.

I am guessing that number is well down. We have recently seen:

the closure of Tesco Direct, an exceptional source of bonus point opportunities

the closure of Tesco Wine plus other small non-core Tesco companies

the shrinking of Tesco Bank, including the closure of Tesco Mortgages (which earned points) and the closure of Tesco Bank current accounts to new applicants, which earned points for debit card spending

the ending of Clubcard earning at Esso garages, except those with a Tesco Express store

a move towards price discounts rather than bonus points as a way of driving sales in Tesco stores

Tesco’s loss of market share to Aldi and Lidl

Avios has not become less attractive as a conversion option – indeed, I moved back to converting the few Clubcard points I still earn to Avios after two better alternatives (Safestore and Uber) withdrew – but I imagine that the number of Clubcard points in circulation is down.

Tesco Clubcard dropping British Airways Avios as a partner

Does British Airways have a better offer up its sleeve?

British Airways was a small cog in the Tesco wheel. It wasn’t even the only frequent flyer partner – Virgin Atlantic is also in there. You can imagine why Avios may have wanted something more high profile.

On the other hand …. if Tesco was the only deal in town, it would be foolish to walk away. Surely something is up?

What could British Airways be planning?

Good question. There is no obvious solution:

Sainsbury’s? Arguably a better ‘fit’ with the Executive Club customer base, but how would Avios fit with Nectar? There is no chance of Nectar being dropped given that Sainsbury’s now owns it. Would Avios want to be a Nectar conversion partner? The old BA Miles scheme WAS a Sainsbury’s partner many years ago.

Waitrose? Potentially an even better fit with the Executive Club customer base. Waitrose is only a fraction of the size of Tesco, however. It also has no points-based loyalty programme. John Lewis Partnership has a new management team in place so you can’t totally discount this.

Marks & Spencer? It has an even smaller market share in food than Waitrose. It has also just overhauled its useless Sparks loyalty scheme, which remains non-points based, so I can’t see it making more changes so soon.

Asda / Morrisons? Unlikely. Asda has literally just been sold so I doubt it had been planning fundamental loyalty changes. Both chains have focused on price over points. The same goes for Aldi and Lidl, times ten.

Tesco Clubcard dropping British Airways Avios as a partner

What are the options, realistically?

Perhaps Avios becomes a Nectar transfer partner ….. although this would disturb the whole Avios ecosystem since many Nectar partners compete with Avios partners. The maths doesn’t work either. At present, £1 spent in Tesco earns you 2.4 Avios. Assuming a 2 Nectar to 1 Avios conversion rate, £1 spent in Sainsbury’s would only earn 0.5 Avios. It wouldn’t get many people to switch.

or ….

Perhaps Waitrose launches an Avios scheme via card-based earning …. there would be no points scheme BUT you could earn via your credit or debit card spend being tracked. Waitrose offered this with Virgin Atlantic for a while but it was never ‘official’ – Waitrose never promoted it. It would be expensive for Waitrose, however, given that they wouldn’t be getting much in the way of customer data in return.

or ….

Perhaps Waitrose and John Lewis launch a combined loyalty scheme (this is believed to be coming soon after a trial in a handful of areas). This could have some points-based element with Avios as one of a small number of partners. The John Lewis Partnership credit card could potentially also be pulled into this with its current 0.25% cashback offering 0.25 Avios an alternative.

The last option makes most sense, but is very hypothetical at the moment. We may need to wait until 19th January to find out.

Please share your craziest Tesco Avios-earning offers

If you’ve been collecting Avios seriously for less than five years, you won’t understand how fundamental Tesco Clubcard used to be.

You won’t look at the package below and shudder …..

Share your best or most notorious Tesco Clubcard deal in the comments. Most of them pre-date Head for Points (so pre-2012) so we are going back a long way.

For more information …..

Take a look at BA’s Tesco page here. At the time of writing there is nothing on Tesco’s BA page here.

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 (329)

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

  • gavin says:

    Ah Beef in Gravy – not even the dogs home would take it off me, had loads in my parents chest freezer that they slowly went though over the next few years.

    Johnson and Johnson baby powder and soap was another. Think I gave most of that to the charity shop.

  • Matt says:

    Lots and lots of prepay phones! Buying an unlock kit, and then shifting them all on eBay.

  • Nick says:

    RIP. I got into this game when clubcard was a major tool in the armoury. I used to do at least one trip a week to Tesco just buy small cabbages, preorder video games and clear the shelves of 3V cards, stopping off to get petrol paid for on my gold amex which for reasons I never understood paid about 10 points per £1. clubcard paid for numerous first class flights, as well as my wife’s omega watch. And it was fun!(cycling the 3v cards aside). All part of the game. What a pity.

  • Scott says:

    Huge amounts of vouchers purchased for the bonus cc points. I remember after we bought our house getting our new sofas and anything out of B&Q via a trip to Tesco. Sometimes the only denomination of voucher wasn’t high – the shop assistant wasn’t impressed at putting through 3 sofas in £25 vouchers 😂

    My favourite though was the can recycling machines – 1 cc point per 2 cans. I used to collect the cans from large numbers of family and friends and we racked up loads of points that way. I had real difficulty getting rid of the excess cans when they abruptly withdrew the machines!! One memorable Sunday morning at the can machine I met a taxi driver whose car was literally full of cans – he apparently did his night shift, and when the fares died down he had a prearrangement with several pubs that he would ‘dispose’ of their used cans from the night, and they’d leave him a binbag somewhere – that made me feel like a total amateur!

    We also dabbled in cabbages and various other promotions. Happy times 😊

    • Scott says:

      I should also say there was one occasion where I was buying £1k in Next vouchers for a furniture purchase, and the checkout bill came to £975 when I knew there was £1k of cards supposedly in the activated pile…cue a team of people searching the receipts and pile of vouchers for the inactive one 😂

  • David says:

    Wine offers – 1200 CC with any case. Worked with the cheapest Lambrini (£10/case, iirc), which was actually quite an effective drain cleaner.

  • Paul says:

    Like many I made thousands of points from the gift cards that could then be laundered via NS&I and was fortunate not to get burned when the rules changed in an instant.

    On a wider note this will influence where I shop. I don’t use VS and not confident they will be around much longer so being able to collect Avios will be a pull factor!

  • The Urbanite says:

    Hopefully nobody got burned, there were other usable liquidation methods, just not made public!

  • Lady London says:

    Still waiting for someone to say they got a car, or was that an urban myth ?

    • old bob says:

      Rather tenuous, but I once got run over by a car if that counts, it was after enjoying a bottle of rather fine Barolo that I got on clubcard points, fortunately I was relatively unscathed, and got away with a few cuts and bruises, my bicycle however, fared less well and had to be replaced.

    • Navara says:

      No no myth

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

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