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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 Hotels.com 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.


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Earning miles and points from small business cards

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Comments (102)

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

  • John Caribbean says:

    Possibly also useful to top up a tax free childcare account

  • Mart says:

    First time buyer, 24k sdlt payable soon. This is helpful. Thanks

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      SDLT – What is that? Stamp duty?

    • Howard says:

      Pretty sure the solicitor will want you to pay through them, as they are on the hook if you don’t pay.

      • Alex W says:

        No they aren’t, it’s a personal liability due within 30 days of completion. However, if the conveyancer is also acting on behalf of your mortgage lender then they will want to see proof of payment before releasing the funds. It can still be paid directly to HMRC, see 1st comment on Page 1. You will need to submit your own SDLT3 form to HMRC in order to generate a payment code so that HMRC knows what the payment is for. Send the receipt to the conveyancer and tell them politely where they can put their bank transfer.

  • Genghis says:

    Yes. So for me spending £1 in Tesco earns:
    1p Curve cash
    1p Chase debit card
    1 clubcard point = 3p hotels.com

  • Carol says:

    Thanks for confirming Genghis!

  • High Grade says:

    Does anyone know if there a credit check involved? If so is it a hard or soft search?

  • Leon P says:

    280k SA bill to pay, reading the comments etc, as long as I make multiple transactions which each a maximum 100k I can use this and max out on points?

    • Rob says:

      In reality I think you’ll be doing 56 transactions at £5k to stop security restrictions kick in.

    • will says:

      I wouldn’t personally either be loading a tesco pre paid debit card with £100k, nor would I be spending time on 56 x 5k transactions to earn £300 of clubcard points (you’ll hit the quarterly cap at £240k unless you switch to another clubcard members debit card) and I’ve done some stupid things in my time.

  • Doog1000 says:

    Does anyone know if it works for topping up revolut

  • russell says:

    i’ve been trying to sign up for this product for months and it just wont do it. gets caught in a loop of signing in and checking details etc. Tesco admitted there was a sign up problem months ago and it obviously still isnt fixed.

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

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