and Tesco Clubcard – The good, the bad and the ugly…

Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.

A few weeks ago, with some fanfare, Tesco announced several new Clubcard redemption “Boost” Partners, including Sadly, this was almost immediately beset with problems, with lots of complaints on the Clubcard site, and long explanations of the problems eg this Head For Points article.

Since then, Tesco claim to have sorted this out. Armed with some soon-to-expire Clubcard vouchers, and the corrected instructions, we put it to the test!

In theory, is now a 3x Boost partner, offering 3 times the value of your Tesco Clubcard points. In practice though, and in common with many of the redemptions at above face value, things aren’t that straight forward, and the value gained isn’t the headline rate.

The first place to head to is the Tesco Clubcard site, specifically the dedicated redemption option page at

The next thing you need to know is you can’t just get a voucher and then straight away book on the main site. That’s what Raffles tried in his Head For Points article, and for most hotels it doesn’t work! You also can’t go getting a voucher for the exact total shown on the
search results, as that won’t work either….

Confused yet?

What Tesco have only just made clear is that your voucher (similar actually to the loyalty program redemptions) can only be used on the tax exclusive price of your stay. To see that, you have to search for a hotel, find the one you want, then click through, and finally get your calculator out!

Taking a stay in Barcelona when most of my normal “go-to” chain hotels were silly money, we have an interesting looking hotel showing a rate of £238.30 on the search screen. When we click through, we see this pricing:

The £238.30 price is actually made up of £216.64 in “hotel” and £21.66 in “taxes”. Any voucher amount more than £216.64 would be wasted.

Next, we hit a snag with ordering the vouchers. Unlike some schemes which offer £0.50 or £1 chunks, insists you redeem in £5 chunks, to a maximum clubcard voucher spend of £100. Only one voucher can be used per booking, so you can’t get two small vouchers and combine them. For this stay, that means the biggest voucher I can use without wastage is £70 of Clubcard points for a £210 voucher.

(With the minimum redemption being £5 and the maximum £100, that means you can get a voucher for £15 to £300 in £15 chunks)

After ordering via the redemption page on the clubcard site
, I quickly got an order confirmation. A few minutes later, the voucher code came through, along with the instructions on the special URL I had to visit to book through. Going through the normal home page means the voucher won’t work on most hotels! You do have to use the special one, which is very un-memorable –

Oh, and the hotel has to be one that accepts payment in advance (which most do, to be fair) – ones which only offer “pay at hotel” don’t work with the voucher.

So, going back to the special site I searched again for my hotel, and found it once more. Next, I added my voucher, and saw the price drop! Finally, I entered my credit card details to pay the taxes and the extra from the voucher rounding, and booked.

From this, for a 2 night booking, the headline price was £238.30. I spent £6.64 of hotel cost from the voucher £5 chunks, the £21.66 of taxes, and £70 of Tesco clubcard points, total amount £28.30 cash + £70 clubcard.

However, it isn’t fair to consider only that price. Had I booked with cash, I would have earnt around 10% cashback via Topcashback or Quidco (exact amount varies but is normally about 10%), and 10% towards a free night with the rewards program. Both of those are normally on the price
excluding tax, so probably £43.33. Those would’ve brought the “cash” price down from £238.30 to £194.98.

Adding it all up, I “spent” £98.30 in total on the two nights (cash + clubcard points), for a headline rate of £238.30 (2.4 time value), but instead of an effective cash rate of £194.98. That means I basically only got 2 times the value of the clubcard points.

Don’t get us wrong – getting 2 times real value from your Tesco Clubcard points is pretty good! In the real world, sadly you can’t actually save the claimed 3x value with Tesco Clubcard and, but we’ll take the actual 2x most days….


  1. Tom says

    Could you do a comparison of that “2 times real value” from the Clubcard points versus other redemptions, e.g. Avios / Flying Club miles? Even working of the base assumptions of 1p /1 Avios.

    One of the difficult decisions sometimes is working out where to use points and where to use cash for a trip.

  2. joe says

    Hi Craig, i just landed on your page and found it very useful.
    Question: where do you enter the tesco vouchers? Is it on hte ‘apply a coupon discount’?
    I thought that box was there just for promotions..


    • Nick Burch says

      It goes in as a coupon, but you need to have gone through the special link Tesco sends you / listed in our post above, in order for the voucher to be accepted on most hotels.

  3. Florence says

    What I found misleading was that even when you use the special link on the voucher email to go through to website for clubcard voucher users it brings up hotels in the search that cannot be used with this offer. i.e pay at hotel only, these are excluded from the voucher deal! Also the statement by Tesco that any ref to hotel exclusions does not apply to the clubcard voucher. What is the point of a special link!

  4. Jane says

    I cancelled my booking as something came up and I LOST all my voucher value as Tesco have said you can only use them once. This was NOT made clear. Stay away from Tesco.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *