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.
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, Blinkbox and Living Social - see a 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 haven't reached the threshold in any one quarter, your points will carry over and you'll be sent your vouchers at the end of the next quarter during which you do reach 150 points. Vouchers remain 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* website and enter your details. If you're new, you'll need to enter your email address 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 won't mean you 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 £32,779 in lost Tesco vouchers! That's worth up to £131,116 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 Boost with Clubcard Partner tokens?
No, Tesco's Boost with Clubcard Partner 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.
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 £210 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 register your Clubcard number.
Click Payout Details in the Navigation box on the right-hand side, then scroll down to Clubcard Vouchers.
Click Payable - points will reach your Tesco account in a few days.
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.
Tesco's Clubcard Boost* scheme allows you to redeem your points for two, three or even four times the normal value. You can either convert vouchers into tokens for experiences, restaurants and more, or double your points' value by spending them in-store or online in certain Tesco departments.
You can get the biggest boost to your points' value by exchanging vouchers for Clubcard Boost Partner* tokens (these were previously known as Tesco Rewards). 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).
Here are our top 10 picks from the Boost with Clubcard 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, Boost with Clubcard Partner tokens are worth four times the value - which makes it well worth the swap.
Full terms and conditions apply - usually the vouchers can only 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 or Odeon - up to 3x value but only worth it in pricey areas
Brochure: Click on these Cineworld* 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 online or by phone - print and take it to the cinema to redeem. Odeon lets you redeem the code when booking online, by phone, via its mobile app or buying in person. 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-£40 in vouchers gets you an annual subscription 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 up the gain and get 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.
There's no minimum spend with these vouchers at the time of writing, though Tesco has warned this may change, so check before you buy.
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 Beware buying vouchers MSE news story.
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 new 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 now charges a £1 booking fee and £1 standard delivery fee - see the Booking train tickets at RedSpottedHanky? MSE news story for more info.
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 Boost with Clubcard 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
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, usually up to about £100 for European return 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-£10 (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 - 3x value, but check ferry prices as they are often even cheaper
£10 in Clubcard vouchers gets £30 in Eurotunnel Rewards vouchers. Read more
Estimated value: 3x voucher value
When we looked, Eurotunnel ticket prices generally started from about £50 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 costs £169 online (it costs more if bought in person) - so at £50 in Clubcard vouchers, it's giving you just over triple-value for your points. See the Merlin Pass* offer.
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, £14 in Clubcard vouchers gets you single, roadside-only RAC cover, which normally costs about £28 if you buy online. Read more
How do I exchange under Clubcard Boost Partners?
You can exchange vouchers for Boost tokens online on Tesco's website*.
Am I really getting three or four times the value?
The pricing for Boost with Clubcard Partners is based on Tesco's list price. 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.
Tesco runs its double-up Boost at Tesco* promo on and off throughout the year - it means that £5 in Clubcard vouchers can be swapped for £10 of Boost vouchers to spend in certain departments in-store or online. It usually runs the promotion at Christmas time, but if they decide to run it at another time during the year then we will update this space.
Disagree? Think we've missed something? Let us know in the Tesco rewards discussion
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