Tesco's Clubcard is one of the most generous loyalty schemes around, if used the right way.
It's possible to play the points and rewards scheme like a symphony, so here's the score. This guide explains how to reclaim lost Tesco vouchers and how to boost the value of those that you have.
In this guide...
Regular shoppers at retail megalith Tesco earn Clubcard points. Every three months it sends the points as vouchers, yet it's possible to gain massive extra value.
Flash your Clubcard at Tesco and you bag one point per pound spent. You can also earn via partners such as E.on, Esso and Living Social - see its full list.
When you earn over 150 points in a three month period, Tesco sends your points as Clubcard Vouchers to use in-store or online. If you don't reach the threshold in any one quarter, your points carry over and it sends vouchers at the end of the next quarter you earn 150 points in. Vouchers are valid for two years.
Many people lose or forget to use their Tesco vouchers, but there’s an easy way to claw back the last two years of unused vouchers (some report successes from even further back).
Log in online.
Go to the Tesco Clubcard* site and enter your details. When you log in, the site asks you for your email address, password and Clubcard number to access your account.
Make sure you're registered.
You'll need to be registered for a Tesco.com account. Tesco says doing this means you won't miss out on money-off codes the first time you shop (see Tesco Discount Codes).
Check for unspent vouchers.
In your Clubcard account, click on 'my vouchers' on the left-hand side and you should see a table listing the vouchers you still have to spend.
Instantly print vouchers or use the codes online.
If you want to spend vouchers online, you simply need to use the code listed, eg, beginning "A6TCD". To spend in-store, print vouchers yourself to use instantly.
If you're telling friends and family how to reclaim lost vouchers, but they don't have internet access, there is another way. Just phone Tesco customer services, and its staff will check whether you have any vouchers to spend. If so, it'll cancel the lost vouchers and add the points onto your balance for your next statement, so you'll get them re-issued.
Just based on those who've reported it to us, MoneySavers have so far found £32,952 in lost Tesco vouchers! That's worth up to £131,808 when converted into Clubcard Rewards vouchers - and the real total's likely to be much more...
Here are some MoneySavers who've shown it's worth the effort:
WOW - I've got £413 of unspent vouchers! Double that for Christmas - I think we'll be alright. Or quadruple with Virgin Holidays? Ridiculously excited.
Almost £600 worth of vouchers going back nearly three years. I knew I had a lot and this new website saved me having to dig though piles of old paperwork.
Thanks to your article, we found that we had nearly £150 of unclaimed Tesco vouchers! We have already doubled the vouchers' value online, which has been incredibly useful for Christmas.
Thanks for the tip on checking unused vouchers - just found over £50 worth not used - don't know how that happened but am happy to spend them now!
Report how much you've found: How many Tesco vouchers have you reclaimed?
How far back can I access unspent vouchers?
The online system will only show current vouchers. Tesco keeps Clubcard vouchers on your account for two years, so you can find and use any vouchers from up to two years ago.
Can you use vouchers online straight away?
Your account details will show you the code needed to redeem rewards online, so you'll be able to use them straight away.
Can I get a refund on Tesco Boost tokens?
No, Tesco's Boost tokens are non-refundable, even if they haven't been used. They're generally valid for six months from the date of issue, unless otherwise stated. Find more info on the Tesco* website.
Can I trade in cashback for Clubcard points?
If you've money squirrelled away with cashback site Topcashback*, there's another way to boost your Tesco points stash. You can trade in every £10 of cashback for 1,050 Tesco Clubcard points. This equals £10.50 to spend in-store, but up to £42 in Clubcard Boost deals (see Top 10 deals below).
If you're new to cashback sites, they work by giving you a cut of revenue earned for directing you to retailers and providers. See full help and warnings in the Top Cashback Sites guide.
You can swap a maximum of £50 of Topcashback earnings for Tesco points per year, worth up to £200 in Boost with Clubcard Partner deals. There's no minimum amount of cash you can exchange - every 20p is worth 21 Tesco points. This is an ongoing offer.
How to convert cashback into Tesco points
Log on to your Topcashback* account, click My Profile and then the Payout Details tab in the Navigation box on the right-hand side.
Scroll down to the Payout by Tesco Clubcard header and register your Clubcard number.
To request a payment, click Payout at the top of the page and select Tesco Clubcard points from the list.
You won't be able to request a payout within 72 hours of changing your payment details, so bear this in mind before making changes.
How to exchange if you've more than £50 in your Topcashback account
Because the maximum cashback you can exchange for Tesco points is £50, if you currently you have more than this in your account you'll have to 'split' your balance for it to work:
Log into your account and go to the Payout tab. Then click the option at the top to 'Split your pay-out by merchant' to see a list of all your cashback transactions.
From the list, tick a combination of transactions which add up to no more than £50.
Hit 'Recalculate' and select Tesco points.
Unfortunately, if you've earned more than £50 cashback in one transaction, you can't swap any part of that amount for Tesco vouchers. For example, if you bagged £60 for buying a car insurance policy, you can't convert £50 of that into Tesco points. It's also worth noting the list of all your cashback transactions will only show if you've more than one transaction payable.
Boost your points to get max value
Once you've got your stash of points, the challenge is to make the most of them. Spend 500 points on your groceries at the checkout and you'll save a fiver - but spend them in the right way and you can really max their value.
You can get the biggest boost to your points' value by exchanging vouchers for Clubcard Boost* tokens to spend with its partners. They can be spent on days out, restaurants, train tickets and more. It varies, but in some cases you can redeem your points for up to four times their normal value (ie, 500 points gets you £20 in vouchers).
The pricing for Clubcard Boost is based on companies' list prices. Always check you're really getting three or four times the value before committing. So before exchanging £20 for something with a £60 RRP, check the price elsewhere in case it's cheaper and you're better off using the Clubcard voucher for something else.
Here are our top 10 picks from Tesco's Clubcard Boost with partners scheme.
Restaurant vouchers, including Prezzo and Cafe Rouge - up to 4x value (though check first that other 2for1s aren't available)
Every £2.50 gives £10 in vouchers for restaurants, including Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge, Prezzo and Strada. Read more
Brochure: Restaurant Deals*
Estimated value: 4x voucher value
There's an important caveat with this deal - some of the listed restaurants offer 2for1 vouchers separately (see Cheap Restaurant Deals). If you can grab one of those, save your Clubcard vouchers for something else as this means they'll effectively only be worth twice the value.
But if you can't get a 2for1, Clubcard Boost tokens are worth four times the value - which makes it well worth the swap.
Full terms and conditions apply - usually the vouchers can be spent on food only.
Reason for being a top pick? With a range of restaurants to choose from and at four times the value, they're a good swap to boost a family meal out - but only if no other deals are available for that restaurant.
£4.50 cinema tickets at Cineworld, Odeon or Movie House - up to 3x value but only worth it in pricey areas
Brochure: Click on these Cineworld*, Movie House* and Odeon* links for more info.
Estimated value: It depends - up to 3x value in pricey areas, as little as 1.5x where tickets are cheaper. Before you book check our Cheap Cinema Tickets page.
How to do it: When you exchange vouchers for Cineworld or Odeon tickets, you'll be emailed a voucher with a code. You can't use the Cineworld voucher to book by phone - you can book online (but a 50p booking fee applies to each ticket) or print and take it to the cinema to redeem.
Odeon lets you redeem the code when booking online, via its mobile app or buying in person. You can't redeem the Movie House voucher online or by phone - you must take it to the cinema. Codes must be used within six months.
There's no limit per customer on the amount of vouchers you can exchange.
Reason for being a top pick? Cinema tickets are always popular but have become increasingly expensive in recent years (typically £10+ depending on where you are), so this a great deal - and if you're a regular at the flicks the savings can soon add up.
Magazine subscriptions, including InStyle and Marie Claire - 2x value but check direct offers before signing up
Between £6-£41 in vouchers gets you subscriptions (from 3 months to a year) to one of a variety of magazines, including InStyle and Marie Claire. Read more
Brochure: Magazine subscriptions*
Estimated value: 2x voucher value
Normally these cost about £16-£99 depending on the magazine (though it varies widely), sometimes doubling the face value of the Clubcard rewards. However, it's sometimes possible to beat this with a free gift special offer. See the Magazine Subscription Offers thread.
Reason for being a top pick? This is always popular with forumites and a safe bet if you'll read the magazines.
Jewellery from Goldsmiths - 3x value, great if buying bling
Every £10 Clubcard voucher gets you a £30 Goldsmiths voucher, so a £600 ring will cost £200 in Tesco vouchers. Read more
Estimated value: Up to 3x voucher value
If you're planning a big jewellery purchase this can be a great way to wring maximum value from your Clubcard points.
If you're saving up for something, be careful. Only convert when you have the full amount you need, and use vouchers quickly. While Goldsmiths is a big company, if it went bust you'd probably lose the cash, so ensure you minimise the time between buying and redemption. See the Giftcards - your rights MSE news story.
It's also worth noting, while you can use as many vouchers as you want, Goldsmiths will also only accept one code against the purchase.
Goldsmiths is generally reasonably-priced and competitive for branded items but you may find cheaper elsewhere, so always do a price comparison (see the MegaShopBot) before converting.
Reason for being a top pick? If you want something specifically from Goldsmiths, this is practically a cash discount. Particularly for those looking for engagement rings, this can seriously boost spending power. It was even better in the past, as you got four times the value, but currently it's only three.
Train booking with RedSpottedHanky - 2x value, but beware of the booking and delivery fees
Trade in Clubcard vouchers to spend at train booking site RedSpottedHanky and you get 2x their in-store value, so £5 becomes £10. You'll need to beware the booking fee though. Read more
Estimated value: 2x voucher value
In our check, prices were usually identical or very similar to other train ticket sites, so this is a decent saving. However sadly the site charges a £1 booking fee and £1 standard delivery fee so take that into account.
Reason for being a top pick? While this is two times value, rather than three or four, as it's money off train tickets and they're a standard price, this is almost a cash redemption for someone who needs to make a journey by train, although you'll need to stomach the booking fee. For more tricks to slash train fares, see Cheap Trains.
Days out including London Zoo and Hampton Court Palace - up to 4x value and perfect for a cheap family excursion
Get £10 days out tokens for £2.50 Clubcard vouchers. Read more
Brochure: See all days out vouchers*
Estimated value: Up to 4x if no alternative vouchers or deals are available.
You can exchange £2.50 in vouchers for £10 towards your entry ticket at London Zoo, Paradise Wildlife Park and many more...
It's worth checking first though if you can get a 2for1 deal for the attraction you're visiting, in which you might be better off using your Clubcard Boost vouchers for something else. Here's a few of the top attractions:
London Zoo - although you can get a 2for1 with National Rail
Hampton Court Palace - although you can get a 2for1 with National Rail
Lightwater Valley - Tesco is currently the best deal
Shakespeare's Globe - although you can get a 2for1 with National Rail
Tower of London -although you can get a 2for1 with National Rail (until 30 April 2016)
If you're thinking of a trip to a theme park, you can get one Alton Towers* ticket for £2.50 of Clubcard vouchers, plus £20.99 of cash. You buy a code for £2.50 of vouchers, then log on to Alton Towers’ site to select your day and pay the £20.99.
An adult gate ticket at Alton Towers is £50 but £38 seven days in advance online normally, so this is a decent saving.
Reason for being a top pick? It's a good way to cut the cost of family days out, but check for other offers before converting.
Avios (formerly Air Miles and BA Miles) - typically 2.5x value but you have to pay taxes and charges
Convert Clubcard vouchers into Avios points and £2.50 becomes 600 points, so £37.50 could get you a cheap Eurostar return to Paris. Read more
You have to pay taxes and charges. Unlike the old Air Miles system, Avios charges passengers taxes and fees on flights. Yet under its Reward Saver scheme, you pay a fixed £35 fee on BA economy flights in zones 1-3 (mainly Europe, see Avios' map for a full list), if you've earned at least one Avios point in the year before you book.
You don't pay taxes on Eurostar trips, which makes them an excellent value exchange.
For 30+ ways to max your Avios points, see the full Boost Avios Points guide.
Avios* 2.5x voucher value
1,000 Avios points are typically worth £8-£11 (though up to £20 if you spend them on business class). So £12.50 in Clubcard vouchers normally buys £30-ish in Avios points.
BA Executive Club Points* 2.5x voucher value
Avios says the main Avios scheme's better for irregular travellers and BA Exec's best for frequent flyers, offering benefits such as free airport lounge access. However, you can pool Avios and BA Exec points, so if you change your mind later, it doesn't matter.
Reason for being a top pick? It's an easy way to boost Avios points. The return's typically 2.5x value, but much more if you redeem during an extra Avios promo period and spend in the right way (eg, on the Eurostar, where you don't pay additional taxes).
Day trips to France with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle - 3x value, but check ferry prices as they are often even cheaper
£10 in Clubcard vouchers gets £30 in Eurotunnel Rewards vouchers. Read more
Brochure: Eurotunnel Le Shuttle*
Estimated value: 3x voucher value
When we looked, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle ticket prices generally started from about £49 each way. So unless you can grab one of its rare cheap return specials, this is a good way to cut the total cost.
If you aren't fussy about how you get to France though, it's also worth considering ferry deals - they can be even cheaper.
Reason for being a top pick? This stacks up well in the value stakes, unless you can track down a deal (see Cheap France Day Trips).
Merlin Pass: Alton Towers, Chessington, Thorpe Park - 3x value though really best for frequent thrillseekers
A standard Merlin Annual Pass costs £50 in Clubcard vouchers. Passes are valid for unlimited entry for one person to Merlin attractions (which include Alton Towers, Legoland and Chessington) for 12 months. Read more
Estimated value: 3x voucher value
Brochure: This is a big saving as at the time of writing a Merlin Pass is £169. You can get it for £50 in Clubcard vouchers, which means you're getting more than three times the value for your points. See Merlin Pass* details.
Reason for being a top pick? This is super-popular with thrill-seeking forumites. But if you're only going to make the odd visit, stick to 2for1 Theme Park Deals.
RAC breakdown cover - up to 2x value but check elsewhere before committing
What you get varies depending on the policy you choose. For example, £18 in Clubcard vouchers gets you single, roadside-only RAC cover, which normally costs about £28 if you buy online. Read more
Tesco runs its double-up Boost at Tesco* promo on and off throughout the year – and its Christmas double-up has now started. It allows you to swap £5 in Clubcard vouchers for £10 of Boost vouchers to spend in certain departments in-store or online.
How does it work? Vouchers can be exchanged - online or in-store except Express stores - until 11.59pm on Sun 27 Dec, and must be redeemed by 11.59pm on Wed 30 Dec. You'll need a minimum of £5 in Clubcard vouchers to take part - you can double-up vouchers to spend online at Tesco Direct* or F&F* or in stores in the following categories:
- Car care
- Decorations, lights and Christmas trees
- Entertainment & books
- Health and beauty gifts
- Mobile phones & accessories
- Opticians and DIY
- Party and gifts
- Sports & leisure
- Technology and gaming
Tesco has confirmed customers will be able to use their doubled-up vouchers on Black Friday deals (although some products may be excluded under the usual Boost terms and conditions so always check before you buy).
How do I exchange my vouchers? If you're exchanging vouchers in-store then head to the customer services desk. If you want to double-up online you'll need to exchange your vouchers on the Tesco Clubcard website when the double up launches on Monday.
How many can I exchange? There is no limit on the number of vouchers you can exchange. The minimum is exchange is for £5 but this can be made up of smaller vouchers (you can only exchange vouchers in multiples of £5).
What can I get? Top redemptions we've spotted on Tesco Direct include a 500GB PlayStation 4 with Destiny for £145 in vouchers (currently £289 cash, when we checked the next best price we could find elsewhere was £289), an Xbox One Console with Kinect for £175 in vouchers (currently £349, £350 elsewhere) and a Barbie Glitter Hair Doll for £9 in vouchers (currently £18, £15 elsewhere).
Is there anything I can't boost? The offer isn't available with Tesco Direct partners and on baby formula for 0-6 months, fireworks, jewellery and watches. Tesco's Hudl tablet is also no longer available as the Hudl2 has sold out and there are no plans to release a Hudl3.
Anything else? Always compare prices elsewhere first to make sure you're really getting a bargain. You can't get change from exchanged vouchers in store, so the cost of the product must equal or exceed the value of the voucher. If the item costs more than the value of the voucher, you can make up the difference, or if the voucher is too much the remainder will be credited back to your account for the non-boost value.
Exchanged Boost tokens cannot be swapped back into points or into cash, so you need to be sure you'll use them before converting. For more info see the Hang on to Tesco Clubcard vouchers MSE news story.
How to complain about Tesco
If you're not happy about with Tesco Clubcard or the service you receive at the supermarket, you should first contact Tesco in person, by phone, or in writing. However, if you're still not satisfied, then...
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