Money off trains and taxis, eating out deals, bargain magazines, cheap entertainment and bonus airline points are some of the best uses of your Clubcard points.
If you shop at Tesco, you probably already have a Tesco Clubcard (if not sign up for one on their site or pick up a flyer in-store). But how do you spend the points to get the best value?
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What are Tesco Clubcard points worth?
You’ll get a point for every £1 you spend at Tesco. If you spend them in store on your groceries, 100 Clubcard points are worth £1, so that means they have a base value of 1p each. Read more about the value of supermarket loyalty schemes including Clubcard and Nectar points.
But they can worth more through Clubcard Boost. Here you swap your Clubcard vouchers for vouchers to spend elsewhere. The “boost” is the increase in value.
There used to be variable boosts. Some doubled your points, some tripled and some even quadrupled. But as of last year it’s now a simpler triple boost across most deals. So each point is worth 3p via a boost.
How to use Tesco Clubcard points
You need a minimum of 150 Clubcard points to spend them. Once you do, you’ll get a payout in the form of a voucher. You can get sent this in the post, but this can take a long time with statements only sent every three months.
Better is to convert points to vouchers via the Faster Vouchers process. You’ll only get a digital voucher via this method. Again you’ll need at least 150 points to convert them.
Whether paper or digital vouchers you can spend them in any Tesco store, Tesco online or boost them. Personally, I’d always go for the boost – as long as there’s something you’d normally buy!
If you want to use the vouchers for a boost then you simply head to the Clubcard website and use them to pay for whichever offer you select. You can’t part pay, so you need the full amount of points to get the deal.
In May 2019 Tesco let you use your Clubcard to gain extra savings on groceries in-store and online. This was to mark 100 years of Tesco and it was the first time we’ve seen special discounts for being a member of the scheme (unless you count the odd voucher in the post).
You don’t need any points on your card – you just need to have one. If you don’t it’s easy to get one in-store or register online.
There were 200 items reduced and overall prices were pretty good, though I found some of the special offers – such as £1 Sweet Baby Ray BBQ sauce disappeared from the shelves fast.
Back 9th September to 2nd October
Four months on and the promotion is running again. The website says it’s only in selected stores but everyone can grab the offers online.
I’ve taken a look at what’s on the Tesco website, and it’s not that impressive. From the 200 reductions, there are only a dozen items with 50% off, 69 with a third off. The bulk of the offers are either 20%, 15% or just 10% off. And the items aren’t anything I personally would be buying, except maybe Tesco Finest 150g crisp bags, down from £1 to 85p
Confusingly it’s running alongside offers for everyone called Centenary Deals. And from what I’ve seen these are better! Deals include 50% off Filippo Berio olive oil and the same discount on Cathedral City cheddar. So it’s worth a look if you are going to shop at Tesco anyway.
My best Tesco Clubcard deals
The key when working out if it’s a decent deal is simple. Can you get the same product on discount elsewhere? If you can then you need to compare whether the Clubcard Boost is actually any good. The best boosts are therefore on things which you rarely find at a lower price. Sadly, my top pick of Red Spotted Hanky which let you book train tickets was removed in January 2019 and Uber followed in July this year – but there are still some decent options.
There are hundreds of options, so I’ve scanned through them to find my seven best uses.
You get a triple boost here, with 50p in Clubcard vouchers getting you £1.50 of credit to spend on NOW TV’s website. You can use this to buy month passes for Entertainment (including channels such as Sky Atlantic), Cinema (with all the Sky Cinema channels) or day, week or month passes for Sports (with all the Sky Sports channels).
After more ways to save on NOW TV? Read my NOW TV deals page here.
Fancy pay less when going to the zoo? A theme park? Museum? All these are available at a discount.
A lot of the “days out” used to be quadruple points and have been reduced to triple – but they still represent decent value. It’s worth checking to see there isn’t a better offer out there, though one saving which is hard to beat is using your points for triple credit towards an English Heritage or RHS membership.
It’s worth checking out Kids Pass though if you go out a lot as some discounts might be bigger.
You can use your points to get cut-price cinema tickets, again at triple value. So 50p in vouchers will get you £1.50 to spend, It’s only for Cineworld.
You can also use your points towards the Cineworld Unlimited pass. You need a minimum of £10 in Clubcard vouchers for this, which will get your £30 credit.
Bonus airline points
If you already save airline points, this is a great way to get more. 250 Clubcard points are worth 625 Virgin Flying Club points or 600 Avios points. If I exchanged Amex points of the same value I’d get just 500 points. So that’s at least 20% more.
However, unless you travel a lot and earn lots of points, I do think you’re better off using a standard cashback credit card rather than be restricted to using air miles.
Magazines are also now in line with the “triple bonus” standard, meaning once more you can convert a minimum of 50p in Clubcard vouchers to get a £1.50 voucher to go towards a subscription. This is roughly what they were before.
So if you wanted to sign up to a year of Empire completely (at a cost of £62.40) via Clubcard points you would need £20.50 in points, and top it up by another 90p from your bank account.
Of course you can get other subscriber deals elsewhere which give good discounts. A quick search for Empire shows you can pay £46, so the Clubcard deal is still a decent saving, representing a 2x boost in real terms.
It’s a similar story for other magazines available via Clubcard, including Good Housekeeping, Elle, Garden Answers, Golf and Esquire.
This isn’t the best way to save on magazines though – you can get them for free! Read my cash hack to get free digital magazines
Tesco Mobile bills
You can now use your points to reduce the cost of your mobile bill. It’s only double rather than triple, but it could considerably cut your costs if you’re with Tesco Mobile. However, it’s worth checking you can’t get a better deal with a different Network.
Clubcard deals to avoid
Though you can save money by boosting your points in these areas, I think you can get similar savings elsewhere – meaning you should boost your points on the more valuable discounts listed above.
Even when these were 4x value I thought you could spend your points better elsewhere than at the chain restaurants included in Clubcard Boost. And now they are triple too the deal is worse.
That’s because you can get decent discounts for the likes of Pizza Express and Bella Italia elsewhere. A simple google often brings up voucher codes for 40% off or two for one. Plus you can save at more places more often with a Tastecard trial.
So let’s say you’ve gone to Pizza Express and the final bill came to £30, it would have cost you £10 via Clubcard vouchers, or £15 via Tastecard or another voucher.
Yes, that’s still a bigger saving, but it means your real boost is only 1.5x, not 3x. I think you’re better off using your points elsewhere.
List of Tesco Clubcard restaurants:
- Ask Italian
- Bella Italia
- Cafe Rouge
- Chef & Brewer
- La Tasca
- Pizza Express
It’s similar with converting your Clubcard vouchers to spend on hotels. Though you can get triple value on points to spend at Hotels.com, Novatel and Hilton, you’re locked into booking direct with those websites, which might not offer the best rates available. I think you’re better off searching for the lowest prices elsewhere, and then using your points at one of the options above.