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What are the best Tesco Clubcard travel deals now Avios is withdrawing?

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Last Monday, we exclusively broke the news that Tesco Clubcard and Avios were getting a divorce.  The partnership ends on 18th January 2021.

I have a feeling that Avios has a new supermarket partner lined up.  Tesco contacted me on Monday to confirm that it was the decision of British Airways, not Tesco, to terminate the current deal.

Use Tesco Clubcard points for travel

Some of you will, I am sure, swap from Tesco to a new Avios supermarket partner if price, quality and convenience are the same.

It is also possible, however, that you will continue to use Tesco for one or more of those reasons.  What can you do with your Clubcard points going forward?

The good news is that, value-wise, you won’t be any worse off.  In fact, you may be better off.

I haven’t converted my Clubcard points to Avios for some years.  If you assume that an Avios is worth 1p (readWhat is an Avios point worth to me?‘) then 1p of Clubcard vouchers gets you 2.4p of value if you redeem for Avios.

For a number of years, I beat this by paying a regular Safestore bill with Clubcard vouchers.  This got me 3x face value, so 3p per point.

When Safestore withdrew, I switched to Uber.  Again, I got 3p of Uber and Uber Eats credit for every 1p of Clubcard points I converted.  This was better than 2.4p of Avios.

Uber then withdrew too!  Since then my Clubcard points have been sat in my Tesco account waiting for a good deal to come along.

Using Tesco Clubcard points for travel

What are the other Tesco Clubcard travel deals?

There are, of course, many non-travel deals available with Tesco Clubcard points.  This article focuses exclusively on the travel options.

Clubcard redemptions with airlines:

Whilst Avios is withdrawing from Clubcard, Virgin Flying Club remains a partner.  You receive 2.5 Virgin Points (the new name for Flying Club miles) for every 1 Clubcard point you convert.  Occasional transfer bonuses can add 10% to 20% to this.

If you value a Virgin Point at 1p, you may be better off with one of the other deals below.

Under no circumstances should you convert Clubcard points to Virgin Flying Club with the intention of moving them on to IHG Rewards Club (1:1) or Hilton Honors (2:3).  You will lose huge amounts of value, given that I value an IHG point at 0.4p and a Hilton point at 0.33p.

Details of the Virgin / Tesco partnership are on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

Clubcard redemptions with trains, buses, ferries and airport parking:

Although no train lines are directly represented, you can get 3x face value redeeming for a Railcard.

The various ferry and cruise companies are also 3x.  I never book a ferry so I am not sure how easy it is to get discounts via other routes which would reduce the value of Clubcard.

National Express and Megabus both offer 3x face value.  You can also use Clubcard vouchers to pay for a National Express Coachcard at 3x face value.

Eurotunnel does offer genuine value.  Feedback from HfP readers is that you pay the same price as shown on their website, availability is the same as shown online and the vouchers get you a ‘real’ 3x face value as Eurotunnel rarely discounts.

APH Airport Parking is also worth considering, although you need to book for a minimum of eight days.  I don’t know how easy it is to find APH discount codes, which cannot be combined with Tesco vouchers, elsewhere.

Clubcard redemptions for package holidays:

Tesco works with many of the top groups such as Intrepid, P&O Cruises and Royal CaribbeanThese are generally at a headline rate of 3x face value.

Back in ”the old days’ when Tesco was throwing around Clubcard points like confetti, I read some great stories about people who have had ‘free’ holidays via Clubcard points.  The rules have been tightened over the years, though, and of course it is now harder to earn 10,000 / 20,000 / 30,000+ points per quarter.

Some tour operators have now capped the use of large amounts of Clubcard vouchers. Virgin Holidays has now left the scheme – back in the days when they allowed you to use unlimited amounts of vouchers, and when you could easily pick up points, it was an easy way to get a totally free family holiday.

With cruises, Royal Caribbean does not allow redemptions against flights, taxes, admin fees etc, only cruise costs.  There is a £510 per person voucher cap and a minimum cruise of 7 nights.  The upside is that the minimum spend is also £510 per person so you could cover the majority of the cost of a cheap cruise with Clubcard.

P&O now has a maximum cap of £810 of vouchers per booking (Royal Caribbean is £510 per person) which makes it more interesting for a solo traveller.  You need to cruise for 6+ days and book 90 days in advance.  With cruise deals you are generally required to book the brochure price which may often be discounted via brokers.

You need to do the sums to see if these deals make sense. How much cheaper can you get the product if you book elsewhere?

If you are staying in the UK for a while, it is worth having a look at cottages.com and Hoseasons.

Best Tesco Clubcard travel deals

Clubcard redemptions for hotels:

This is also the land of small print.  You can use Clubcard deals for 300% of face value with a number of hotel groups including Butlins, Hilton, Macdonald, Mercure, Novotel, Select Hotels of Ireland and Warner Leisure Hotels. 

In many cases, you are restricted to UK stays paying the ‘fully flexible’ bed and breakfast price.

Some brands also restrict you to weekend stays.  Mercure allows midweek stays ‘subject to availability’ although not all Mercure UK hotels take part.  Mercure allows you to book either ‘room only’ or B&B rates and you can book cheaper ‘advance saver’ rates.

With Hilton, voucher codes are valid for Hilton Hotels ‘Fully Flexible’ rate at participating hotels in the UK & Ireland.

Hilton rooms can be booked seven days a week (you must book four days in advance) at Hilton, Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, Curio, DoubleTree, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton branded hotels, in the UK only, priced off ‘Best Flexible B&B rate’ only.  There is now a dedicated Hilton / Tesco booking website which you can find here.

Hilton allows you to book most room categories with Clubcard tokens.  This can make them more flexible than Hilton Honors points if you need a larger room or suite.

Historically you WOULD earn Hilton Honors points back when you stayed on a Tesco Clubcard rate.  There was a time a couple of years ago when some readers had to retro-claim in order to get them.  I have not heard any recent reports.

Hotels.com has the greatest flexibility, allowing redemptions at 3x face value.  The only snag is that you will not be able to earn Hotels.com Rewards in conjunction with Clubcard vouchers.  This reduces the ‘real’ value by at least 10% because Hotels.com Rewards gives, effectively, 10% of your spend back in free night credit.

Conclusion

Fundamentally, I have never been able to get my head around the small print with many of the non-Avios travel deals. The only one that I knew worked nicely for me was Uber, which has now been cut.

Hilton and Hotels.com are possibilities but not ones I have tried yet.  That isn’t to say that some of the other deals are not worth it – they just don’t work for me.

I am currently sitting on around £25 of Clubcard vouchers.  At the moment I can see myself moving them to Avios, but only at the last minute –  close to 18th January 2021 – when I am sure there isn’t a better deal out there.

If you’ve got any experience of redeeming Clubcard vouchers for travel (or other) deals for genuine bargains then do post below.  All of these deals can be found at the Clubcard ‘travel deals’ page here.

(Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (www.shopperpoints.co.uk), which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk!  Why not check it out now?)

Comments (75)

  • JamesD says:

    I used clubcard points a couple of years ago with hotels.com; i got good value, but also got stung – so buyer beware.

    I used £150 worth of clubcard points for a £450 a night room at the Loews Royal Pacific hotel at Universal Studios in Orlando.
    The £450 a night hotel came with £640 worth of park benfits (express pass tickets) so i got the room and £640 benefits for £150 in clubcard vouchers – so not bad…

    Where i did get stung though was that you cannot use clubcard vouchers for tax and resort fees, so i had to pay these separately (about £80 iirc) so my £450 room cost me about £150 in vouchers and £80 cash…..

    Still not bad

    • SammyJ says:

      The trouble with that these days is that they’re non-refundable. I lost £100 worth doing similar – some people were lucky and either Hotels or Tesco would refund them, others not so much. Even the refundable rates are non-refundable for the voucher portion of it.

  • stevenhp1987 says:

    Use mine for Eurotunnel at least once a year.

    You pay the same as the cheapest online price so short weekends are cheap!

    • Jonathan says:

      You can use it last minute though, needs to be 2 weeks in advance I found.

  • TripRep says:

    For those that might be in a similar situation with vouchers about to expire…

    Did 3x minimum £2.50 separate transfers to Avios (600) this weekend as had 3x £30 vouchers expiring.

    The change comes back in Tesco points and creates new vouchers with new expiry dates.

    Handy info if you can’t decide how to spend them at the moment or are waiting for any new promos for VS, etc.

    • MikeL says:

      My last 2 batches of expiring vouchers have been automatically extended by clubcard

    • DK says:

      @TripRep Thanks, useful to know as in a similar position

    • Rachael Bhella says:

      You can call Tesco any time and ask then to roll your voucher over and this means they give you another year to use them or save up for a larger redemption over a few years. This stops any vouchers from expiring and you don’t have to use them.

    • Alex Sm says:

      But you can’t use larger denominations of smaller are available in your account

  • Harry T says:

    Recently used some clubcard points for a Two Together railcard we would have bought anyway – pretty solid 3x value there, as the article points out. I’m sure plenty of us are sitting, Smaug-like, on giant hoards of Avios right now after a year of cancellations and refunds!

    • Pid says:

      I thought all vouchers that were about to expire had been extended by a year?

    • Jonty says:

      Railcards are very often offered with 20% off, so not always a clean 3x value

      • Rob says:

        Historically true, but not recently. I don’t think there has been anything this year – they normally email us their offers. In fact, for most of 2020 we have been politely requested by Railcard not to write about them.

        • ChrisC says:

          Railcard have not covered themselves in any sort of glory this year having blankly refused to do any Covid gestures for the 5 million people with various Railcard’s such as extending expiry dates.

          And these are Railcard’s that people pay for!

          • Lady London says:

            +1. Its a bit shabby really. I probably wont renew mine whereas previously I would have automatically. There’s been zero gestures from railcard.

            I wonder if other countries are being as mean with their railcards – they could all have got together and decided this.

          • old bob says:

            I don’t see any reason why there should be an extension. I have a senior railcard these days but in the past I have had various other cards including an interrail card back in the day. There a lot of choice out there, including friends and family, all costing about the same with the exception of the disabled persons Railcard which rightly is £10 less at £20 per year. If you wanted to cut down the cost ChrisC , You could go for a two together Railcard and split the cost.

          • ChrisC says:

            Old Bob – I’m single so the Newtork card is what suits me. Not that it has anything to do with the issue.

            They have done nothing for ANY of the paid for rail cards.

            Their message to 5 million card holders is basically ‘stuff you’

          • old bob says:

            @ChrisC that’s the beauty of a two together card, you can be single and add a friend, you don’t have to be related. Obviously if you have no mates your a bit stuffed. Before Geoff stopped travelling so much, I used to share a card with him and we are both single. I recall we went on a journey to Swansea a few years ago and took advantage of a rather spectacular Welsh breakfast in the Pullman car aboard the 10.40 from Paddington. I wasn’t ware of it at the time but you can use the restaurant car with a second class ticket.

          • Lister says:

            Rail Delivery Group wanted a 4 month extension across all railcards. DfT said no.

          • ChrisC says:

            Old Bob

            A 2 together only works if there are two of you – hence it’s name

            One person can’t use it to get a discount without the other person also travelling.

            It’s not about not having any mates (rather an offensive suggestion by the way) it’s about when and where I want to travel and not being able to use a card for 5 months that I paid for in good faith.

            5 million people have been stuffed by the Dept of Transport. And it is leisure travel that will recover quicker than commuters. You’d have thought they would have wanted the income. Instead they have hacked a lot of people off.

        • Nick says:

          Why did they ask you not to write about them?

    • Doug M says:

      @HarryT – unless of course you earn your Avios from flying on cash fares, which we’ve been unable to do significant amounts of 🙂

  • Nick says:

    Can I check can Tesco vouchers be used as part payment at Hilton? I like others dont shop there often but have a fe through petrol purchases

    • Angela McConnell says:

      I used Tesco vouchers for a stay at Hilton Bankside in August. Easy to book, three times face value, no problem checking in BUT they specifically do not award points for the stay. I’m sure they used to but when I queried it was told categorically no. Still good value though.

  • s879 says:

    Could anyone remind me please re the Virgin autoconvert tip? Switch it off now and turn it on after 23rd October cutoff or is it vice versa?

  • Mark Peterborough says:

    I earn about 400 club card points a month from the family shop. For a while I have been undecided whether to spend them on avios or convert them to £12 to fund our NowTV account.

    From January that will be a decision I won’t need to make.

  • Steve R says:

    We used CC via Hotels.com Aug 19 for Loews Universal, probably the best ever redemption when we factored in 3x unlimited express passes etc