Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Has Tesco blocked Pay+ debit cards from paying HMRC?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

What is Tesco Clubcard Pay debit card?

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.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – May 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. 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

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up 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.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios or other airline miles, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

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 – 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 (SPECIAL OFFER) and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 points bonus (SPECIAL OFFER) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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:

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 Visa card

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 (52)

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

  • Harry T says:

    I’ve got about ten of the Marriott H&B offers but the issue is you won’t be able to pay at checkout like you can with the Bonvoy hotel offers, so this will have limited use for saving money unless on a very short stay.

  • Frank says:

    I paid on Monday. First try gave an error saying it wouldn’t accept cards of that type or something. On the second try it went through ok.

  • Golsquare says:

    Was too eager and tried to pay as soon as cash was transferred and it was rejected. Waited a day and payment went thru ok.

  • ianM says:

    Isn’t Homes and Villas just a glorified AIrBNB?

  • Dave N says:

    Just paid a £95K tax bill using Pay+ so definitely not blocked. I transferred money across in 2 batches Monday and Tuesday, and paid this morning. If payment fails, try waiting a day – maybe some issue with paying on the same day as funds arrive in the account.

  • Magic Mike says:

    Tips for Clubcard Pay+

    – do whatever is necessary not to trigger anti-fraud blocks on your sending bank account, i.e. transfer a few hundred £ first rather than many thousands
    – maybe christen the Pay+ card with a £8 Amazon topup first? (£8 cos that’s 1 clubcard point…)
    – wait until the next day to make the HMRC payment once the transfer has appeared in your Pay+ account
    – again do a first payment of a few hundred before stepping up from there
    – do not have the Tesco Bank app open when paying HMRC, it won’t show the authorisation request. You have to open the app anew for the auth request to appear. *stupid!*

    Worked fine for me over the past few days, last payment yesterday.

    • Rob says:

      The last point is the same for HSBC – if you’ve got the app open, it doesn’t show. You need to close the app and start again. Must be very confusing for people who don’t realise how buggy these things can be.

      • WillPS says:

        Or just don’t bother with the open banking stuff and transfer it to the account like any current account (using sort code/acc no).

        • Alex W says:

          Except if you do a bank transfer you won’t earn any clubcard points…

    • Barry says:

      Very helpful thanks. This has all worked fine and payments have gone through successfully.

  • Filipino_Chino says:

    I applied for Tesco+ only a few days ago :/ i will give it ago..

    I was one of the people who got investigated by Tesco bank for HMRC payments before.. If it works like Tesco Bank, the hack before was to make payments of £9,999.99 per transactions – £10k+ used to fail, but 1p below worked.

    Eitherway i will give it a go, even for later as i have a £70k stamp duty bill due shortly

  • HughM says:

    My new Tesco Clubcard Pay+ arrived this week and I put £200 on the card first for petrol. I am splitting my self-assessment into three payments, and the first, of £3500, went through yesterday on the card. Fingers crossed for the next one today.

    • HughM says:

      Received by HMRC, still showing as ‘pending’ on card. But payments of all kinds on the Tesco card seem to stay pending at least overnight.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.