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Tesco announced a month ago that their long-standing points promo on branded gift cards was coming to an end. This gave you 150 Clubcard points for every £50 of branded gift cards you bought. As a reminder, 150 Clubcard points can converted into 360 Avios.
Just as it ended, a new promo replaced it that was fundamentally the same, giving 75 points for £25 of spend. In the article I ran detailing that offer, I noted that it was time limited, and wondered what was going to come after it. As I said at the time:-
It only runs until 16 October. It’s possible it might be extended, as Tesco does occasionally do that with promos. My gut feeling is that this is a soft landing towards a devaluation of this Clubcard collecting opportunity. It may drop down to 2 points per £1 spent or even worse be removed altogether and just roll into the standard 1 point per £1 Tesco spend.
Well, that promo ended on Sunday night, and what we are left with is even worse than I feared. Purchases of branded gift cards no longer earn any points at all, not even base points. Buy £25, £50, £100 or any amount of branded gift cards, and you get no Clubcard points.
This is definitely going to catch a lot of people out. Your average shopper assumes that just about everything in Tesco at the very least earns the standard 1 point per £1 spent. There is a short list of non-qualifying items, which specifically cites Tesco gift cards as being non-qualifying:-
“Points will not be awarded for non-qualifying products, including tobacco or tobacco related products, lottery, stamps, prescription medicines, infant formulae milk, Tesco Gift Cards, saving stamps, in store concessions, Paypoint payments or for purchases of some Tesco Bank products. Other products may also be excluded from the scheme at the discretion of Tesco.”
This exclusion is understandable, as the person spending those gift cards gets points for the spend. Tesco isn’t going to award points twice for the same spend. In citing Tesco branded gift cards as non-qualifying, the inference is that other gift cards ARE qualifying. Currently, there are no signs up explaining that they don’t generate Clubcard points.
To me it seems a strange decision to exempt branded gift cards. These cards are pretty much the perfect item for any retailer to sell. Prior to activation, all they are is a piece of packaged plastic. It costs Tesco nothing to have these in the store. There is zero “shrinkage” (in-house theft) as there is no point in stealing them. They only become valuable once activated, and when activated, Tesco has full payment. Whatever profit they make on them, it involves no advance investment on their part. I can fully understand why Tesco historically was so generous with Clubcard promos on them.
A Christmas Hope
I hope that the lack of signage is an indication that the current situation is a temporary thing, and that another offer is around the corner. This last two years, Tesco has run promos relating to branded gift cards around Christmas time, most notably vouchers in their magazine giving extra points for gift cards purchase. So perhaps they intend to do something similar again. We can but hope.