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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.

  • Filipino_Chino says:

    Thanks for this post, i used Tesco bank before, got my Clubcard Pay+ through very quickly and i busy pre-loading it and paying off in chuncks.

    I was able to pay £35,911.19, before they threw up an error, which based on the old tesco account, i just had to wait until the next day and try again. (£10k per transaction)

    • Filipino_Chino says:

      I know the deadline is today, but just to help everyone…

      I have a limit of 10k transfers into the account, but no limit on transfers out of the account – so spend your time loading the card and then it’s only one transaction out.

      Hope this helps someone!

      • Rob says:

        Deadline is not today. There is an extension to the end of February.

        All you pay is interest based on 2.75% per year, so peanuts for a few days.

  • James says:

    Paid mine today on Pay+ – first transaction went through okay on website, subsequent ones refused. Rang Tesco to no avail. Paid via automated phoneline – went through no issues.

  • Mark says:

    Paid HMRC fine with Pay+ mid Jan and points added to account. However just checked my account and they now seem to have been taken away – there is no subtracting transaction present, simply last set of transactions end with the points present and latest set of transactions and current balance do not include the points. Bit heavy-handed to do a retrospective denial of HMRC. Guess its another card that will grow dusty in a drawer.

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

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