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Has Tesco blocked Pay+ debit cards from paying HMRC?

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Last week we ran a long article about Tesco Bank’s new Clubcard Pay+ card.

This is a prepaid debit card – which you load via bank transfer from an app – earning 1 Clubcard point for every £8 you spend on it.

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

It looks Tesco Bank was a bit taken aback by the huge number of applications following our article. We tracked over 1,000 clicks to the website.

Yesterday morning I heard the first story of payments to HMRC with Pay+ failing.

Later, another reader got in touch to say that he had called Tesco Bank, to be told that it is no longer being accepted by HMRC. Tesco Bank helpfully let him transfer his pre-loaded funds back into his current account.

Two examples is still a small sample. To be honest, I would have expected more reader emails if Tesco Bank really had pulled the plug. However, there is also one report of problems in the Pay+ thread in our forums.

It is not 100% certain that this route to paying your tax has been closed (the first failure could have been due to the size of the transfer and the second due to a badly trained phone agent). That said, if you were thinking of applying I would hold back until we get more data.

EDIT: the comments below are split between people struggling and those for whom it is working fine. A reader emailed to say he paid £25,000 yesterday with no issues and another has paid £95,000 this week. All very odd. It may be that you need to wait a couple of days after transferring money in before trying to spend it, or that you should build up via some smaller transactions.

Our original article on Tesco Bank’s Pay+ card is here.

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

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Comments (51)

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

  • Billy says:

    Probably not the right place for this… can you still make curve payments to HMRC with Virgin as the underling card without incurring cash advance fees? (Under £10k spend in the month). Thanks

    • CarpalTravel says:

      I have been, last one was two weeks ago. You can always check in the awful Virgin app when you do, make sure it shows as a Transaction Type of purchase. Use the Back in Time (limit 5k) if not and swap to another card.

    • PaulC says:

      I paid mine last night with no issues.

    • CarpalTravel says:

      Just to add, if it ever does happen then both Curve and Virgin subs will be cancelled so it is definitely not in their interest to do so. Curve instantly become worthless and the Virgin card poor value, to me.

  • AK says:

    Is the Marriott deal charged in USD?

  • SM says:

    I did a £100 test transaction with new Tesco pay + to hmrc on Sunday which worked. Then the full amount of tax owing on Monday morning. It shows as ‘pending’ still but hmrc acknowledged payment at the time. Does that suggest it’s gone though? And more importantly will I get my clubcard points 😅 ( not sure how long it takes to show the points )

  • Daniel says:

    Did a payment on Monday, and Tuesday to HMRC via Pay+. Both went through without issue. Has obviously been working fine for many months up till now also.

  • Lady London says:

    Not really sure why the Tesco+ card would block payments to HMRC? Is whoever is behind Tesxo× frightenef someone might actually *use* the card? Or does HMRC pay any different fee than if someone uses any other debit card?

  • Nick says:

    I’m not in IT security, but maybe, due to the sudden HMRC activity, it was just picked up as ‘unusual’ behaviour on the platform?

  • Ana says:

    I managed to Use the Tesco card yesterday to pay HMRC, didn’t have any issues

  • travelhacker44 says:

    Paid HMRC with Pay+ however my first transaction had to be done over the phone (automated line), then my second was online. My husband’s first and second payments were online. Perhaps try the automated payment line if it is not working online 🙂

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

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