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Paying HMRC? Clubcard Pay+ is now open to all and earns points on tax

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Last year, Tesco Bank trialled a new product called Clubcard Pay+. This is a prepaid debit card – which you load via bank transfer from an app – which earns 1 Clubcard point for every £8 you spend on it.

It’s not hugely exciting for the majority, as it is only useful if you spend money at places where debit cards are accepted, but not credit cards. There aren’t many of those.

What you CAN do, however, is pay HMRC with it. This gets you a small return on your tax payments.

Last week, after a series of trials, Tesco opened up Clubcard Pay+ to the general public so I thought it was worth another look.

What is Tesco Clubcard Pay debit card?

You can learn more about Clubcard Pay+ on its website here.

How does Clubcard Pay+ work?

This is how Clubcard Pay+ works:

  • Clubcard Pay+ is a Visa debit card
  • Clubcard Pay+ has no application fees or annual fees
  • You top it up by loading funds from your current account, which can be with any bank, via the Tesco Bank mobile app
  • You can use the card anywhere that debit cards are accepted
  • You earn 1 Clubcard point for every £8 you spend outside Tesco
  • You do not earn anything when you spend in Tesco, apart from the ‘base’ earning of 1 Clubcard point per £1 spent (Clubcard Pay+ replaces your standard Clubcard)
  • You earn nothing if you use Clubcard Pay+ to pay into bank accounts, NSI or other financial institutions (HMRC is OK according to HfP reader reports), share dealing accounts, gambling accounts or if you withdraw money via ATMs
  • There is a 2.75% foreign exchange fee, so there is no benefit in using this card when you travel

For the first 100 days, you will earn an extra 1 Clubcard point for every £1 spent at Tesco or in a Tesco garage. After that, you revert back to your standard Clubcard earning rate of 1 point per £1. This is instead of, and not on top of, the 1 point per £1 you would get for swiping a standard Clubcard.

What rewards would I receive from Clubcard Pay+?

The key issue is what you earn on general debit card spending.

Based on 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent, you would receive:

  • 2.5 Virgin Points per £8 spent
  • 3p of voucher per £8 spent

….. and so on. The full list of Tesco Clubcard travel redemption partners is here and of course there are many non-travel options too.

Clearly this is not very attractive compared to credit card rewards. It is even worse than it looks, because it is based on a ‘per transaction’ basis. A payment of £7.99 earns you no points. A payment of £15.99 only earns you 1 Clubcard point.

However, if you make substantial and regular payments by debit card – excluding payments to banks, gambling sites, NSI, financial institutions etc – then this looks like an interesting deal.

Readers have confirmed that it does work when paying HMRC. When you are paying large sums of VAT, PAYE, self-assessment etc even a tiny return like 2.5 Virgin Points per £8 will add up.

It may work for people who can’t justify the £150 annual fee for Curve Metal. Curve Metal allows you to pay HMRC using a Visa or Mastercard credit card for free, up to £10,000 per month, earning credit card rewards on the underlying Visa or Mastercard you link to Curve.

If you don’t pay money to HMRC – and I can’t think of many other places where you would spend large sums and where only debit cards are taken – I don’t see the attraction of Clubcard Pay+. You have to keep it topped up via manual transfers which adds extra faff to your life.

You can find out more about Clubcard Pay+ on the Tesco Bank website here.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2022 update

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

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

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Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

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Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

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:

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

American Express Business Gold

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

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (102)

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

  • Robin says:

    Does the top-up bank account have to be in the same name as the Clubcard Pay+ account? For example, can I pay HMRC by making a top-up from my business account and then use Clubcard Pay+. It sounds like you can do this from their website. Anyone done this successfully or is it just for personal HMRC liabilities?

    • Blenz101 says:

      It tops up via selecting a bank account and it then logs you into your own banks app and starts a faster payment transfer.

      Failing that I’m sure you can just send funds direct via sort code and account number.

  • Dan says:

    Does anyone know if you can top this up with an Amex?

    • Rob says:

      No, current account only.

      • Jonathan says:

        If this was an available route, their website would crash from applications, and Amex would see a huge drop in use of their cards, essentially being able to use and Amex card where the merchant doesn’t accept them !

        For a matter of literally hours we saw this with bendy, once…

  • Phil Dunford says:

    Just applied. Says card should arrive within 5-7days, so in time for end January HMRC payments

  • Courtney says:

    Could you use this to top up an ISA? Eg HL / AJBell

  • The Original Nick. says:

    If paying my SA via Billhop does the Amex card have to be in my name? Just trying to hit target on my OH BAPP asap.

  • Freddy says:

    Confused why any normal Tesco shopper would think this is a good deal, what’s the point?

    • Rob says:

      Absolutely no idea.

      And yet there are huge ads for this card in London bus shelters this week!

  • Harrier25 says:

    What a sorry state of affairs in the UK card market if this is one of the best options around at the moment, because it’s bloody awful! 😖

    • Rhys says:

      It’s obviously not one of the best options. But it IS one of the best options for paying HMRC.

      • Jonathan says:

        It baffles me is to why Tesco thought this might appeal to their customers who already hold one of their credit cards, since one of their credit cards gives 10 CC points for every £8 (whole GBP spent) in their shops, or 12 CC points per £8 if you’re lucky enough to hold the legacy invitation only credit card that disappeared for new customers a long time ago, whereas this card just gives the ordinary Clubcard earn rate of 1 point per pound spent, after the promotional timeframe of double ends

        It’s a bit strange that it’s not competitive with other Tesco Bank payment cards

    • Rob says:

      It’s only a decent option for HMRC, can’t imagine it being any use elsewhere.

      Brighter days are coming though 🙂

      • Harrier25 says:

        Hopefully Rob because Amex urgently need some healthy competition. Their customer service levels have fallen off a cliff and I’m sure it’s because there is nowhere to go apart from Virgin Atlantic, and this has been the case for some time now.

      • dst87 says:

        “Brighter days are coming” – you’ll get us all excited, Rob!

      • rams says:

        fingers crossed it can pay HMRC and other institutions 🙂

  • Jonathan says:

    If there’s brighter days coming as you put it Rob, any chance of seeing a credit card that was last mentioned about two years ago, and although it was never linked to Tesco Clubcard at all, maybe a return of a Lufthansa credit card ?

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

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