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British Airways Executive Club and Tesco are ending their relationship on 18 January, 2021. But the next (and last to be convertible) batch of Tesco Clubcard vouchers should be arriving into your Clubcard account shortly.
As a result, many readers – especially those who accumulate vouchers waiting for a conversion bonus – will have an imminent decision to make. Should you convert the lot to Avios while you still can? Or hang on to them?
Converting to Avios
£1 of Clubcard voucher will convert into 240 Avios. Crucially, your Executive Club account must be registered to a UK address – not a problem for most readers but some of you will have different set-ups.
You must convert a minimum of £2.50 (600 Avios). At InsideFlyer UK’s standard valuation of 1p per Avios, you are receiving £2.40 of value for every £1 of voucher. Or conversely… you are notionally buying Avios for 0.42p.
Unless of course you can convert those Clubcard vouchers into something worth more than £2.40…
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Sadly, I don’t believe that Virgin Atlantic will survive the coronavirus. Others might take a more optimistic view – or simply spend their remaining Flying Club miles to fly to the Caribbean to escape the latest lockdown. But you also have the option of holding onto your Tesco vouchers until you have a firm use for Virgin Atlantic miles. Clubcard vouchers normally convert into Flying Club miles overnight, so you can usually put a reward on hold with Flying Club before converting your Tesco vouchers.
£1 of Clubcard voucher will convert into 250 Virgin Atlantic miles. You must convert a minimum of £2.50 (625 miles). It has been awhile, however, since Tesco and Virgin have given away 1,000 free miles for signing up to auto-convert. I also can’t recall the last conversion bonus.
But if you prefer to convert Clubcard vouchers into airline miles and then spend those miles on long-haul flights in Business Class, you can certainly hang on to your Clubcard vouchers and see what happens with Virgin Atlantic and this partnership.
Hilton, Mercure, Novotel, etc.
Tesco Clubcard offers a few hotel chains with which Clubcard vouchers can theoretically be spent for 3 times their face value. You can find the list here.
Each partner has slightly different rules for redeeming, and the actual value received is usually less than the headline 3x figure, because “Tesco rooms” tend to have limited availability and slightly higher rates – you definitely aren’t receiving the best prepaid room rate. You will also miss out on cashback, earning points, status credit, etc. I definitely do NOT recommend trying to use Tesco vouchers on chain hotel stays.
Hotels.com isn’t quite so bad. But using Tesco vouchers means that you miss out on cashback and Welcome Rewards. This means that your 3x face value ends up far closer to 2.0-2.5x.
It’s also worth noting that the Tesco website is full of complaints from Clubcard collectors. When hotel stays are cancelled due to the coronavirus, Hotels.com is unwilling or unable to refund the amount paid with Clubcard vouchers.
But again, you don’t need to use Tesco vouchers for imminent Hotels.com stays – you can wait until travel has returned to something resembling normal…
Other 3x Reward Options
We won’t be heading to the cinema anytime soon. But once it feels safe to do so, Cineworld will be one of the best value Clubcard partner options. When you exchange Clubcard vouchers for Cineworld credit, you’ll be emailed a voucher with a code. Take the code to the cinema and you’ll receive 3x the voucher value.
Days Out / Restaurants
Tesco offers 3x partnerships with 100+ attractions and many high street restaurant chains. If these were activities that you would otherwise pay cash for, then they become an excellent use of your Clubcard vouchers.
However, it is worth noting that you can easily pick up 2-for-1 deals at many attractions, and restaurant chains often offer promotions as well. So for the same hassle of converting Clubcard vouchers into partner vouchers, you could have found a better deal elsewhere…
You can exchange your Clubcard vouchers for an annual 16-25, Family & Friends, Senior or Two Together Railcard. If you normally pay the £30 cost for one of these railcards in cash, getting it for just £10 in Clubcard vouchers is a great deal.
If you’re in the market for a ring or a watch, Goldsmiths might be your best option. Assuming that you have shopped around for the best price, you might receive a true 3x value by converting your Clubcard vouchers into Goldsmiths credit.
It has been awhile however since I’ve seen stories of cashing out Tesco vouchers for high-value items that can be immediately resold online for close to their retail value…
The Bottom Line
Many of the most lucrative reward options are no more. Some of the remaining reward options offer a headline value of 3x, but actually deliver less.
My perspective? Even though I don’t particularly need any more Avios, none of the remaining options make more sense. So I’ll be cashing out my vouchers to Avios well before 18 January…
What about you? Have you made a decision regarding what to do with your Tesco vouchers? Let us know in the comments section…