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Tesco Bank to close all current accounts

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In January 2020, Tesco Bank suspended new applications for its current account. It has now gone a step further and announced that all existing Tesco Bank current accounts will be closed on 30th November.  

Take a look on its website here.

The reason this account was popular with Head for Points readers was that it was possible to earn Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles with your day-to-day DEBIT card banking.

If you had this account, you were earning Clubcard points on all of your debit card transactions:

  • 1 point per £1 spent in Tesco (2.4 Avios per £1 / 2.5 Virgin Points per £1)
  • 1 point per £8 spent elsewhere (0.3 Avios per £1 / 0.31 Virgin Points per £1)

The ‘1 point per £1’ spent in Tesco was a very generous benefit.  Even the ‘1 point per £8 spent elsewhere’ was attractive.   Whilst you would be better off in most circumstances using a loyalty credit card instead, it was not always possible to avoid using a debit card.

It even worked with payments to the Inland Revenue.  It was one of the few ways of profiting from tax payments. This route became less interesting to HfP readers when the Tesco / Avios partnership ended in January 2021.

Making the announcement yesterday, Tesco Bank said that only 12% of its 213,000 current accounts were being used as ‘primary’ accounts.

If you are a Tesco Bank current account holder, you will receive a letter over the next two weeks setting out what you need to do.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

The following offers will expire on 2nd November 2021:

  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express

Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

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:

Barclaycard Select Cashback Credit Card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (64)

  • Gruntfuttock says:

    As one of the select 25560 who have Tesco current account as their one and only has anyone here any thoughts, good or bad, on First Direct current account? £100 ‘welcome gift’ not to be sniffed at I guess. I wait with baited breath 😏

    • Chas says:

      I’ve been with FD for over 20 years, and never considered moving away as it suits my everyday banking needs really well.

      • QwertyKnowsBest says:

        +1. Trouble free, no gimmicks, no rewards (other than sign up), just works.

      • Bagoly says:

        +1.
        They were way ahead with the telephone banking, and on the rare occasions I need to call now, they are the only place other than Amex where I don’t dread the prospect.
        Their first web offering was rather pathetic.
        The current one is better (and they seem to have removed the weird blue patch after a few months) My only frustration is that statement is produced not on the first day of the new month.
        I don’t use the app.
        Just boring in having no rewards!

        • Chas says:

          Call them and ask them to produce the statements to the end of each calendar month – they can adjust this for you (I don’t believe you can do it online or via the app).

    • Andrew says:

      I have my main accounts with LBG and “spare” accounts with FD. Both for at least 30 years.

      If I had to choose which one to keep, I’d choose LBG based on the App reliability and functionality. LBG do have over 33 years experience in delivering online banking for retail customers though!

    • Gruntfuttock says:

      Thanks everyone for the positive feedback. Very useful.

    • John says:

      I have 25 current accounts – collected welcome gifts for most of them, or in the past a good interest rate.

      I actively use about 5, and the rest are waiting for some offer to be used to switch (cf. the commenter whose was banned from Lloyds for opening too many new accounts to immediately switch away).

      The only reason I use FD is to have access to HSBC branches, but I need that for things that most readers here are not interested in.

    • Alex W says:

      I found first direct unnecessarily complicated and time consuming to log in to.

      • Lou says:

        Have FD finally implemented online statements yet? I opened an account and then promptly closed it,3 years ago, because they did not offer online statements!

      • Will says:

        Agreed. I had no hesitation in switching away after a few months and taking the £100 to move away.

        The ‘straight through to a human’ phone thing is a total gimmick too – you just end up going through security with them rather than with a phone menu, then they ask what you’re calling about and put you in a queue for that department. Only really beneficial if you call up to check your balance but who on earth is doing that in 2021?

        Still, a switching bonus is a switching bonus.

  • Filipino_Chino says:

    Damn about Tesco – I put through all my HMRC payments through them…

    • Will says:

      Clubcard Pay will work exactly as well in the same circumstances.

  • Zara says:

    Hi there. Does someone know. I am trying to reach the £200 spend £50 credit for ihg on amex. We are staying at a crowne plaza which has had no hot water since last night for 10 hours. They’re offered us compensation as spire members in the form of a partial refund. Will that negate the £200 and we have to spend more to get to the £200 or will it not affect the actual debits? We don’t have plans for another stay before august but may have to find something otherwise…. TIA

    • Zara says:

      Ah darn, thank you we had already checked out!. It was approx £50 back so they adjusted the total bill. Wish I’d looked at this just before we checked out as they had extended our checkout to 6pm too! No worries. I know for next time but thank you

    • Lady London says:

      Which CP was that please Zoe? so we can avoid it

      IME infrastructure problems in hotels tend to recur no matter what the hotel says

      • Zara says:

        It was docklands but I have to say they were great generally. I would go back again. They said it’s because they’ve installed a new boiler system. The manager was telling me they were literally on the verge of hiring out rooms at local hotels for the guests when it got back up and running. Customer service wise they scored highly in my opinion. The partial refunds were more generous than I expected especially as we had full use of the facilities and some of us used the hot water in the spa and swim area.

        Ps. Does anyone know how to get notifications of replies on hfp threads? I am always so late in seeing messages or keeping up!

  • 3V Emerald says:

    This is a shame as I’ve enjoyed using it to get a relatively easy £300 per quarter in CC points.

    The best was on a mortgage I could pay in to the offset account with a debit card and withdraw direct to current account and earn points. It stopped working a couple of months ago but still a couple of other MS routes that work.

  • Nigel W says:

    Gutted about the Tesco Bank news. Managed to get a load of clubcard points from using it to buy a car!

    • Will says:

      Clubcard Pay will work exactly as well in the same circumstances.

      • Jimmy says:

        Have you tried the old Ernie? @will

        • Will says:

          You can’t collect points when using your Clubcard Pay card directly, no.

          Need to be more flexible with your thinking.

          • Jimmy says:

            Cool – always fun in experimenting – and of course no advance cash fee either with a debit card. Ay clues would be helpful of course! I assume by not being direct – you could take somewhat of a ebndy route?? :).

          • ash says:

            Please spell it out Will so we can all abuse it to the Max

        • Gary says:

          @Jimmy

          that’s what I need to know too 😉

      • Ash says:

        But you can only top it up from a Tesco account and the accounts are going? So what do we do?

        • WillPS says:

          That’s simply not true. Clubcard Pay has a sort code and account number, you can do a faster payment (that takes 15 mins!) to it from any bank or use their ‘pull from another bank account’ feature in the app if you prefer.

      • Jeremy says:

        I think Clubcard pay will disappear to. It’s under the Tesco Bank umbrella!!
        Thoughts?

  • Jan M says:

    Ha. I really was one of those customers only there for the interest and for the points when spending at Tesco’s. I closed the account ages ago though, when they got rid of the interest on the balance…

    • Alex Sm says:

      Isn’t it just Tesco, not “Tesco’s”? Where does this ‘s come from?

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