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What are the best Tesco Clubcard travel deals?

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A decade ago, Tesco Clubcard was a goldmine for Avios collectors. British Airways was a key partner, and points would flow like confetti from Tesco Direct and Tesco Wine deals, as well as in-store promotions such as the long-running gift card deal.

Slowly it all fell apart. Tesco decided to pull the plug on its money-losing non-core subsidiaries – which even included Dobbies garden centres at one point – and Avios switched its allegiance to Nectar. Hilton, probably the most useful of the other travel partners, withdrew in 2021.

Whilst some Avios collectors will have switched to Sainsbury’s, many of you will still be shopping at Tesco for convenience or other reasons. What can you do with your Clubcard points now?

What are the best Tesco Clubcard travel deals?

In truth, Hilton and Avios were never the best use of Clubcard points unless you put a very high value on an Avios.

Hilton was one of the partners where you never got full value from Tesco points because you were locked into paying an uncompetitive rate. At 2.4 Avios per Clubcard point, you’d be better off with a partner deal which got you a ‘genuine’ 3p per Clubcard point of value.

For a number of years, I got a better return than I would have from Avios by paying a regular Safestore bill with Clubcard vouchers.  This got me a genuine 3x face value for my vouchers, so 3p per point.

When Safestore withdrew, I switched to Uber.  Again, I got a ‘real’ 3p of Uber and Uber Eats credit for every 1p of Clubcard points I converted.  This was better than 2.4 Avios.

Uber then withdrew too!  The few Tesco Clubcard points that I now pick up – and it’s no more than a few hundred per year – are converted into Virgin Points.

Remember that Tesco devalued its partner redemptions from 3x face value to 2x face value last year. Old timers will remember that it used to be 4x.

What are the best Tesco Clubcard travel deals?

There are, of course, many non-travel deals available with Tesco Clubcard points.  This article focuses exclusively on the travel options.

Clubcard redemptions with airlines:

Whilst Avios withdrew from Clubcard, Virgin Flying Club remains a partner.  You receive 2 Virgin Points for every 1 Clubcard point you convert.  Occasional transfer bonuses can add 10% to 20% to this.

Using Tesco Clubcard points for travel

If you value a Virgin Point at 1p, this is as good as any other Tesco Clubcard partner offer. In fact, as many Tesco partners force you into paying higher rates than you should if you redeem with them, Virgin Points are actually a good deal.

Under no circumstances should you convert Clubcard points to Virgin Flying Club with the intention of moving them on to IHG One Rewards (1:1) or Hilton Honors (2:3) points.  You will lose huge amounts of value, given that I value an IHG point at 0.4p and a Hilton point at 0.33p.

Details of the Virgin / Tesco partnership are on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

Clubcard redemptions with trains, buses, ferries and airport parking:

Although no train lines are directly represented, you can get 2x face value for your Clubcard points by redeeming for a Railcard. This used to be a ‘true’ 2x redemption but it is far more common than it used to be to see Railcards being sold at a discount elsewhere.

The ferry partners (Irish Ferries, P&O, Stena Line, Wightlink) are also 2x face value.  I never book a ferry so I am not sure how easy it is to get discounts via other routes which would reduce the value of Clubcard.

National Express and Megabus both offer 2x face value.  You can also use Clubcard vouchers to pay for a National Express Coachcard at 2x face value.

Eurotunnel does offer genuine value.  Feedback from HfP readers is that you pay the same price as shown on their website, availability is the same as shown online and the vouchers get you a ‘real’ 2x face value as Eurotunnel rarely discounts.

APH Airport Parking is also worth considering. I don’t know how easy it is to find APH discount codes, which cannot be combined with Tesco vouchers, elsewhere. The fact that you need to book via a special Tesco page suggests that better deals may be available.

Using Tesco Clubcard points for cruises

Clubcard redemptions for cruises:

Tesco works with many of the top cruise groups such as Cunard, P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean.  These are all at a headline rate of 2x face value.

Back in ”the old days’ when Tesco was throwing around Clubcard points like confetti, I read some great stories about people who had ‘free’ holidays via Clubcard points.  The rules have been tightened over the years and of course it is now harder to earn 10,000 / 20,000 / 30,000+ points per quarter. The conversion rate has also been halved from 4x face value to 2x.

You need to do the sums to see if these deals make sense. How much cheaper can you get the product if you book elsewhere? Look out for any caps on the amount of vouchers you can use, any minimum stay requirements and any advance booking rules. With cruise deals you are generally required to book the brochure price which may often be discounted via brokers.

If you are staying in the UK for a while, it is worth having a look at cottages.com and Hoseasons.

Clubcard redemptions for hotels:

This is also the land of small print.  You can use Clubcard deals for 200% of face value with Butlins and Warner Hotels.  All of the other hotel partners (Hilton, Accor, Macdonald etc) have left.

Hotels.com has the greatest flexibility, allowing redemptions at 2x face value.  The only snag is that you will not be able to earn Hotels.com Rewards in conjunction with Clubcard vouchers.  This reduces the ‘real’ value by at least 10% because Hotels.com Rewards gives, effectively, 10% of your pre-tax spend back in free night credit. With Hotels.com Rewards being scrapped this summer, however, the Tesco deals become better in comparison.

Conclusion

Fundamentally I have never been able to get my head around the small print with many of the Tesco Clubcard travel deals. Even Hilton didn’t work for me for that reason.

Hotels.com is probably the best travel option remaining unless you collect Virgin Points.  That isn’t to say that some of the other deals are not worth it – they just don’t work for me.

If you’ve got any experience of redeeming Clubcard vouchers for travel or other deals for genuine bargains then do post below.  All of these deals can be found at the Clubcard ‘travel deals’ page here.

Comments (56)

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

  • HughM says:

    One way of earning Clubcard points was to complete a survey at tescoviews.com (25 points a time, once a month).
    That option is now closed: “We have now changed the way we collect surveys, and reach out to customers directly for their views. That means we are no longer accepting survey responses through this website.”

  • TooPoorToBeHere says:

    Absolutely baffled at the comments about Tesco quality being superior to Sainsburys.

    Tesco has meant mid-to-poor-quality, mostly poor, and grasping prices ever since the latter days of Terry Leahy. As the growth started to fall off under his leadership, they gutted the quality of the product to try to keep the numbers up and it’s never really recovered. Early-to-mid-2000s you could safely chuck anything in the trolley at Tesco knowing it would be decently priced compared to elsewhere and reasonable quality – no longer the case.

    They compete with Aldi price (odd how they never mention Lidl!) on key lines but quality is poor and they’re terrible for pricing on anything where they think most people won’t remember what it costs elsewhere.

    As for redeeming the points, I concur with the article author. There were always T&C restrictions, or the redemptions were limited to poorly-priced options, for anything we might have used. I just used to have a look at ebay for which vouchers were most valued, redeem for those, and sell them.

    Wasn’t here for the great days of Avios redemption but the “buy a £50 strip of money-off vouchers on ebay for a fiver and redeem against 3v card purchases” thing worked well for a while. Never crossed the line into just photocopying the vouchers but I’m sure some did.

    • QFFlyer says:

      I agree with this. I left the UK pushing a decade ago but used to shop at Tesco, even then meat was always better quality at Sainsbury’s. Everything was generally mid-range, but the pricing was good, and double points on petrol, of which I used a lot, plus proximity to home and free parking (vs Sainsbury’s being central and attached to a paid car park, although it did refund the cost if you shopped, it meant needing cash) meant it made sense for me.

      But the way it’s changed now (and as observed when I’ve visited) combined with no more BAEC earning, wouldn’t tie me to Tesco any more like it did before.

  • Sididdly says:

    Supermarket airline bonus related is that the Nectar/Avios conversion bonus posted today.

  • Retron says:

    I have Tesco (and casinos via a cashback website which paid out in Clubcard points and Avios, and also crazy IHG point giveaways back in the day) to thank for a run of annual holidays to America and Japan, flying First… initially astonishing my late dad (who became a very quick convert to the points game), and then ruining three of my friends’ views of travel for life. I doubt any of them would have happily flown economy long haul again!

    I convert mine to Virgin points these days. Eventually I might have enough for a flight, but in the meantime I still have a stash of Avios to work through…

  • elguiri says:

    I find the best use for me has been for IMO car wash. Instead of £8.50 for a ‘triple wash’ I just use £3 of vouchers.
    In the IMO app there are bundles available at discount, but even on the 12x wash bundle, the single price is £6.41 so better than 2x value using conversion.

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

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