On Monday 11th June it’s all change for Clubcard – but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.
When you shop at Tesco or a partner retailer you pick up one Clubcard point for every full £1 you spend. You can spend them at face value in Tesco shops, or you can “boost” them. Until now the boosts have doubled, tripled or quadrupled the value of your points. The value of the boost varies depending on what you swap them for such as a magazine subscription, Uber credit or entrance to a theme park.
Well this version of the boost ends on Sunday 10th June. After this date Tesco says all boosts will be triple. This means a fair few will stay the same, a handful will increase in value and a fair few of the most popular will decrease.
If this sounds familiar it’s because Tesco originally made the changes without warning back in January. After a bit of a backlash from customers the old system was put back in place with changes set for the new date of June 11th 2018.
So what should you do? Well, you’ve a few options. You can rush out and exchange your points now before the changes begin. But it’s not as simple as saying you’ll lose out if you don’t do this. In fact, the opposite might be true as some options are going to be better. Which means you might be better off waiting.
Watch me explain how boosting works on Shop Smart Save Money
Why you should boost your Clubcard points now
If you’ve looked through the Clubcard options and the exchanges you’re interested in are days out, theme parks and restaurants then get swapping now. These drop from four times to three times in value. You can do this until midnight on Sunday 10th June.
However, I don’t think these are the best partners to swap points for. The reason? You can almost always save money at most of these places.
Pizza Express for example. Yes swapping £2.50 for a £10 voucher sounds great, but you can almost always find ways to bring down the price of a pizza. For example, with a Tastecard you can get 2 for 1 on starters, mains and deserts. So you’re not really saving £7.50 for every tenner. You’re saving £2.50. In real terms, it’s a double boost, not quadruple.
Same for theme parks. It’s easy to get discounts. Turn up to Alton Towers on the day it’s £55, but book five or more days in advance and it’s £33. Or with Kids Pass for example an adult (12+) ticket will set you back £28. Compare this to Clubcard boost, which uses £13 of points. Once more it’s really just a double or triple.
I’m not saying there aren’t decent deals in the 4x boost selection, but I do think you’ll get a better deal if you shop around elsewhere for discounts and then swap your points for partners where it’s much harder to find savings from alternative sources.
There are of course some decent triple value boosts which won’t change, so if they take your fancy you can get them now or after the 11th June. A good one here is Uber credit.
Why you should wait to boost your Clubcard points
So unless you do want Pizza Express or Thorpe Park type partners, I think pretty you should wait. Some of the best alternative boosts are those which go up from double to triple from 11th June.
My top pick here is train ticket vouchers via Red Spotted Hanky. You can use these vouchers with all the other train ticket hacks I’ve written about such as advance booking and split ticketing. And it’s very rare to get extra discounts on rail fares.
Another decent bet is a Spa Finder option. Again, right now it’s double, so £10 in points will get you £20 in vouchers to spend on treatments. But soon that £10 will get you £30 to spend. Winning!
Which Clubcard boosts are changing
Tesco has listed all the affected partners, but it’s not a huge help. Rather than break it down, it’s just one list. So you’ll need to check each one to find out if the change is a reduction from four to three times the value, or up from two to three.
Once all the changes have gone through next Monday I’ll update my article sharing my top ways to use Clubcard points.
Watch my video from January when the change was first announced explaining why I think you’re better off waiting.