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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.

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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?

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 BoostHere 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.

> How to convert your Tesco points to vouchers

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.

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.

There are hundreds of options, so I’ve scanned through them to find my six best uses.

1. Train ticket vouchers and railcards

Exchanging your Clubcard points for a code means you save 66% on trains – but only until 31st January 2019.

This is pretty much where all my points have been going for the last few years. You can buy vouchers to spend at booking site Red Spotted Hanky in multiples of £1.50, each one using 50p of points. When you make a train booking you do get charged a £1 fee, but I think the deal balances this out. The vouchers are valid for six months.

However you only have until the end of January 2019 to convert your points. After this Red Spotted Hanky will disappear from the Clubcard Boost store, though it will hopefully return at some point.

Alternatively, you can swap your Clubcard points for a railcard – if you’re eligible. You can swap £1 in vouchers for a £3 spend on the Railcard website, meaning you could nab one for £10 rather than the full £30. At the moment

> Swap your Clubcard points for Red Spotted Hanky vouchers

Read my 10 cash hacks for cheaper trains for more tips.

2. Uber and Uber Eats

Again you get a triple boost here, with 50p in Clubcard vouchers getting you £1.50 of credit to spend on Uber.

The obvious way to use your Uber credit is on taxi journeys – and this is a great money saver. I don’t think there are any other ways to get such a discount on Uber, other than a code for your first journey.

But another great use of the same credit is on takeaways. Uber Eats uses the same app but you can order at all sorts of restaurants and takeaways for delivery. It’s like Deliveroo.

> Exchange your points for Uber credit

After more ways to save on Uber? Watch my vlog

3. Days out

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.

4. Cinema tickets

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.

> More cinema deals and discounts

5. 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.

> Swap Clubcard points for Virgin, or BA Avios points

6. Magazine subscriptions

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.

> Swap your Clubcard points for magazine subscriptions

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 

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.

Restaurants

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
  • Prezzo
  • Zizzi

Hotels

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.

What are loyalty card points worth?


 

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