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Tesco promises shoppers savings of over £400 a year but you’ll have to pay £7.99 a month. Is it for real?

Tesco has launched Clubcard Plus – a premium version of the popular Clubcard loyalty scheme. From Friday 8th November you’ll be able to sign up, and potentially save £384 a year on your groceries – as well as take advantage of other features.

You won’t get a new Clubcard – instead you’ll operate the extra savings from an app on your phone.

The idea, much like Amazon’s Prime, is to bundle in lots of services together and build brand loyalty. I’ve taken a look at what it offers to help you decide whether it’s worth paying out for.

How much does Tesco Clubcard Plus cost?

You can upgrade to Tesco Clubcard Plus for £7.99 a month. You’ll be able to cancel it for months you don’t use it as there’s no longer-term commitment when you sign up.

So if you do keep it all the time you’re looking at £95.88 every year.

What do you get with Clubcard Plus?

  • 10% off two big shops in-store each month. Max £200 per shop. Exclusions include:
    • petrol
    • lottery
    • gift vouchers
    • tobacco
    • baby formula
    • prescriptions
    • magazines
    • stamps
    • wine that is in the 25% off when you buy six bottles promotion
  • 10% off Tesco brands on every shop including
    • F&F clothing
    • Tesco Pet 
    • Fred & Flo 
    • Go Cook
    • Fox and Ivy
  • Double data from Tesco Mobile
  • Fee-free overseas spending with Tesco Bank credit card (from 2020)

Are the supermarket savings any good?

To cover the £7.99 a month you’ll need to spend £79.90 on groceries in Tesco. That could be one shop, or two lots of £40. If that’s your regular supermarket that’s going to be easy to reach, possibly with just one shop. 

But you can spend more and still get the 10% off your bill. A shop is capped at £200, meaning if it’s technically possible to make £40 every month before the fee, or a profit of £32.01. 

You can also choose which shops you use the discount for. You’ll need to go into the Clubcard app and download a code to scan at the till. However, it is in-store only and not online.

So if you do you main shop at Tesco then this is a must, as long as you are going to spend at least £80 across two transactions.

Should you swap to Tesco for the discount?

If you have a Tesco near you, then I think Clubcard Plus could be a good reason to swap over – at least for a couple of shops.

Though it’s not usually the cheapest supermarket out there, it’s not much more than others, and the 10% back could make enough of a difference to be worthwhile.

Consumer magazine Which? tracks a set basket of 66 branded goods every month via the MySupermarket website. The latest figures from September 2019 shows the following:

  • Asda – £129.50
  • Sainsbury’s – £132.97
  • Morrisons – £135.85
  • Tesco – £141.92
  • Ocado – £142.38
  • Waitrose – £143.85

So if you applied your 10% discount to this basket, the price would be £127, making it less than the Asda.

Of course, Aldi and Lidl aren’t included, and your basket could be very different in composition and price. Even so, I think it shows that on two of your shops it could very well be much cheaper.

Double your discounts hack

You should also be able to sign up more than once per household. Yes you’ll have to pay two lots of £7.99 every month, but if you are spending enough at Tesco it could be worth it as you’d get the discount on four shops rather than two.

Remember, as long as there is at least £79.90 spent each month on each card you are covering the fees. But only do this is you are likely to max out the two lots of £200 on the main Clubcard Plus account in your family.

Are the other features worth paying for?

If you don’t shop at Tesco then I don’t think the other features warrant the £7.99 fee on their own. But if you are already getting the fee back (and more) from Tesco groceries then it’s worth checking out what you could get.

The 10% off Tesco brands such as Tesco pets could save you a decent amount, but work out whether you can get these items for less elsewhere first.

The fee-free spending abroad credit card will be a welcome addition when it launches to new applicants in January 2020. However, I’d still expect Tandem’s equivalent with 0.5% cashback and Starling’s bank account with no charges for taking out cash abroad to be better options.

The double data offer on Tesco Mobile is handy too. Right now it would mean you’d get 8GB rather than 4GB for £10 a month on a 12-month contract, or 4GB rather than 2GB for £7.50. Most people won’t need more than 8GB so I don’t think the other options are worth considering. However, only go for this if you’re going to make the savings on groceries – otherwise you’re adding £8 a month to your bill, which isn’t competitive.

How to sign up for Tesco Clubcard Plus

From Friday 8th November 2019 you can apply online or via the Clubcard app.

> Sign up for Clubcard Plus

Can you cancel Tesco Clubcard Plus?

Yep, it’s easy to cancel, and there’s no commitment past each 30 days. So remember to stop it when you’re not using it (such as when you go on holiday). You can reactivate your membership when you want to get the benefits again.

More Clubcard savings

You can of course continue to earn Clubcard points on your Tesco shopping. Here’s my pick of the best ways to boost these and get more for your points.

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