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Earn Avios / Virgin Flying Club Miles with Tesco Clubcard
This is part of a series of simple, practical posts designed to help beginners travel better for less by using Airline Miles and Hotel Points
Part One – Travel Better For Less: Introduction
I have written before about the excellent travel benefits of Tesco Clubcard, so will keep this relatively brief (if you want to find out more, just give that post a read!).
Clubcard Points are the loyalty currency created by Tesco to reward members of its loyalty programme, ‘Tesco Clubcard’.
As I mention in that earlier post, it may sound unlikely, but Tesco Clubcard Points are actually one of the most useful types of Points/Miles you can collect here in the UK, and a fantastic tool for anyone wanting to travel better for less.
There are two main reason why they are so useful:
- They can be transferred to, or used for, a wide range of different travel-related partners (British Airways Avios, Virgin Flying Club Miles, cruise lines, trains, coaches etc) at generous exchange rates.
- They are relatively easy and cheap to get hold of in significant quantities.
This series is about getting started with airline Miles and hotel Points, so this post will focus on converting Clubcard Points to British Airways ‘Avios’ (which is what BA call their version of airline Miles) and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles.
Three quick and easy steps to get started
If you haven’t already:
- Sign up for a British Airways Executive Club account
- Sign up for a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club account *
- Sign up for a Tesco Clubcard account
They are all completely free and it only takes two minutes.
* If you think you might be booking a Virgin Atlantic flight in the near future, email me at email@example.com and I’ll send you a referral link instead, because that way we both get some free bonus Miles!.
Now that you’re ready to start collecting, it’s time for a bit more detail.
How do Clubcard Points Work?
Tesco Clubcard members receive 1 Clubcard Point for every £1.00 spent shopping at Tesco (either in store or online), Tesco Direct, Tesco Wine, Tesco Clothing (F&F), and Tesco Mobile. Members also receive 1 Point for ever £2.00 spent on fuel at Tesco petrol stations. This may not sound terribly exciting, and in itself it isn’t really. Fortunately, Tesco also offers lots of opportunities to earn bonus points!
Four times a year, the Clubcard points you have collected over the latest period are automatically converted into Clubcard vouchers which you receive by post (you can also access them from your account online). These vouchers can either be used at face value to buy things from Tesco (1 Clubcard point is given a value of 1 pence, so if you collected 500 Clubcard points you would be sent a £5.00 Clubcard voucher), or they can be redeemed through one of Tesco’s partners. Clubcard vouchers expire after two years – so do remember to use them!
Converting Clubcard Points to Avios / Flying Club Miles
Tesco Clubcard Points can be converted to British Airways Avios at a rate of 1 Clubcard Point to 2.4 Avios. The smallest amount you can convert is £2.50 (250 Clubcard Points), which gets you 600 Avios.
Note: It is also possible to convert to Avios.com instead of BA Executive Club, but the amount of Avios you receive is the same, and you can transfer Avios freely between Avios.com and BAEC anyway, so it doesn’t really make any difference.
For Virgin Flying Club, the rate is slightly more generous, with 1 Clubcard Point converting to 2.5 Flying Club Miles. For £2.50 of Vouchers (250 Clubcard Points), you will therefore receive 625 FC Miles.
Once you have your Clubcard vouchers, converting them to Avios / Flying Club Miles is very easy. All you need to do is input the amount you would like to transfer, add it to your basket, and then follow the instructions to complete the transfer. Use this page for Virgin Flying Club Miles, and this page for British Airways Avios.
Why do I want Avios or Flying Club Miles?
As I touched on in the introduction to this series, knowing how to collect Avios / Miles cheaply, and use them efficiently, allows you to travel in Business or First Class for less money than most people pay to sit in Economy.
Travelling better for less is what this all about!
How do I get lots of Clubcard Points?
OK, Clubcard Points are great – the challenge is getting hold of them in significant quantities. The good news is that there are quite a lot of ways to do this if you know what to look out for (we cover all the best deals here on InsideFlyerUK so you don’t have to search too hard!). The bad news is that there is almost always some sort of cost involved.
As a general rule of thumb, I am very happy to take advantage of any promotion or deal that results in me ‘buying’ Clubcard Points at face value. In other words, if it costs me £1.00 to get 100 Clubcard Points (£1.00 in Clubcard Vouchers), I will almost always do so as long as the process isn’t hugely time consuming.
Anything below that cost I leap at – for example the recent Pet Insurance Offer (expired now) which essentially allowed you to buy £40.00 of Clubcard Points (equivalent to 9,600 Avios, 10,000 Virgin FC Miles) for about £10.00-£15.00.
You can keep up to date with all the bonus Clubcard Point offers on our Forum, and we always run a post whenever anything really good crops up. You can also take a look at the end of my more detailed post on Tesco Clubcard for more ideas on how to generate Clubcard Points.
I will discuss TopCashback in the next part of this series, and how you can get at least £50.00 worth of Clubcard Points (12,000 Avios/12,500 Flying Club Miles) per family member, per year, from TopCashback.
Taking everything into account, most people should be able to collect something like £200.00 of Clubcard Points (equivalent to 48,000 Avios / 50,000 Virgin Flying Club Miles) each year without spending too much time or money on it.
That’s approximately enough Avios for a one-way ticket in Business Class from Madrid to most of South America (using British Airways partner Iberia), or for two people to fly from Ireland to Boston and back in Economy (using BA partner Aer Lingus).
Not bad for a few minutes here and there and ~ £200.00!
Once I’ve explained a few more ways to collect Avios and Virgin FC Miles, I’ll show you how to use them efficiently – getting as much flying and as much luxury as possible, for as few Avios/Miles and as little money as possible!