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, including how to reclaim lost Tesco vouchers and how to boost the value of those you have. Plus we've details of how to add to your points haul without spending.
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 nab points in other ways, via partners such as E.on and Esso, and even without spending a penny. See Ways to Earn Clubcard Points.
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.
While 500 points equals a fiver to spend in store, you can trade it for up to four times that value (ie, £20) on Boost Partner items. These include restaurant vouchers, jewellery and train tickets (see our Top 10).
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.
Clubcard vouchers are valid for two years, but there's a crafty way you can extend their expiry date for another two years - perfect if you're saving up for something big and need more time. Here's how it works:
- Make a small purchase on the Clubcard Boost* voucher exchange site (not in-store or on other Tesco websites) and the remaining balance is credited back to your Clubcard account as points. They'll then be reissued as new vouchers (with an expiry date two years in the future) when you next get a batch. So if you spend 50p on a £10 voucher, you'll get £9.50 as new vouchers.
- There's no min spend, but the aim's to shell out as little as possible and you're limited to what's on the Clubcard Boost site. A good option might be the 50p Delivery Saver Coupon* (worth £1 towards a six-month delivery plan, though you don't have to use it), or if you will use it, a £2.50 restaurant voucher*.
Bear in mind you'll need to do this for each individual voucher though, so weigh up if it's actually worth it for smaller denominations. For example, if you've a £10 voucher it's probably worth it - if you've got a handful of £1 vouchers, maybe less so.
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 £33,412 in lost Tesco vouchers! That's worth up to £133,648 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.
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.
There are lots of ways to nab extra points – some involve making everyday purchases, while with others you don't need to spend a penny.
You can add to your stash of points without spending anything at all using a few of the tricks below. Always check the full terms and conditions though as most of these include giving your consent for Tesco to contact you about future promotions and offers. It may take a while for these to build up to significant amounts, but over time they can really pay off.
Give your insurance and mortgage renewal dates
Collect 100 points when you give Tesco Bank your renewal dates for car, home and pet insurance, and your mortgage renewal dates (you don't have to be a Tesco Bank customer). By doing this you agree Tesco can contact you about them. You'll have to enter your name, address, email and mobile number.
Register to join Shopper Thoughts and if you're eligible for the scheme you can collect points every time you complete the surveys you're emailed. They take between five and 20 minutes and the amount of points varies by survey (you'll usually get 100 points for a 15-minute one). There are also prize draws to enter.
Earn points testing products
Test food and groceries for Tesco, by signing up to its 'Orchard' scheme, and you can earn Clubcard points too. See our Earn freebies for testing products guide for more info.
Tell 'em about your shop
Collect 25 Clubcard points when you tell Tesco about your most recent visit. You need to keep hold of your receipt and use a code on there to take part at Tesco Views. The amount of points you can collect is capped at 25 points per month. Plus there's a £1,000 gift card monthly prize draw.
You accumulate Tesco Clubcard points* at a rate of one per £1 spent in store, but you can earn them in other ways too when spending either via partners or Tesco's other businesses.
Go wallet-free at Tesco & bag 500 'free' Clubcard points - now in more areas
The PayQwiq* app (available on Android and iOS) lets you store your credit or debit card and Tesco Clubcard details, then quickly pay for your shopping and automatically collect Clubcard points in Tesco with one scan of the barcode in the app. It was previously only available in four areas, but has now been extended to 1,400 out of 2,600 UK stores.
As a bonus, if you sign up now, until 15 January 2017 you can get an extra 100 Clubcard points each of the first five times you use the app (minimum £1 spend). The bonus points will be added to your account within two weeks of making a transaction.
Tesco checks your card is genuine by making a £2 request to your account. The money won't actually be taken but in some cases it will appear in your transactions and then disappear.
A full UK-wide rollout's planned for 2017, but for now you can use the app at all Tesco stores and petrol stations in London (ie, within the M25), Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus selected stores in the north, west and southwest of England. Carlisle, Exeter, Leeds, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Sheffield are among the cities covered, though some big ones such as Manchester and Birmingham aren't - see a full list*.
Although you can only use it in certain areas for the time being, anyone in the UK can download the app now – so for example, if you live outside London but work or visit there, you can get the app and the bonus points now.
Paying your energy bill with E.on
Customers can earn up to 1,500 E.on reward points a year which can be exchanged for the same number of Clubcard points (or you can turn your E.on rewards into high street vouchers). Choose to take your E.on rewards as Clubcard points and register your Clubcard with E.on. Note it's NOT worth switching to E.on purely for this – see Cheap Gas & Elec for how to find the cheapest provider.
Get an extra point per £4 spent with Tesco's credit card
For devoted points chasers, the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card (18.9% representative APR) gives one extra Clubcard point for every £4 spent in store (on transactions of at least £4), and one point for every £8 spent elsewhere (£8 minimum spend) . You could get a better return with a cashback card though – for full help and options, see Cashback Credit Cards.
Ordinarily, you should repay IN FULL every month to avoid interest. However, Tesco offers up to 28 months 0% on new spending. This means you could do ALL normal spending on it to rack up the points, stashing away the cash you'd normally spend, then pay it off in full within 28 months. More info in the 0% Cards and Stoozing guides.
Earn points on all spending with the Tesco Bank current account
The Tesco Bank current account also gives Clubcard points on spending (though of course this month Tesco was hacked). Customers using their debit card get one extra point for every £4 spent in store (on transactions of at least £4) and on Tesco fuel, and one point for every £8 spent elsewhere (on a transaction of at least £8).
There's no minimum pay-in and there are no account fees to pay. You can find better bank accounts though – see Top Current Accounts for how to get up to 5% interest or a £100 bonus.
Tesco Bank mortgage repayments earn points
Customers who have a mortgage with Tesco Bank collect one point for every £4 of regular payments and overpayments, but not from any charges or fees related to the mortgage. These points should be added to your Clubcard account every three months. Check our Mortgage Best-Buy table first to compare though.
Bonus points through Tesco Mobile
Tesco Mobile* customers can collect one Clubcard point for every £1 spent on pay-as-you-go top-ups (done online, in store or over the phone) and pay-monthly bills. You'll need to register your Clubcard with Tesco Mobile to start receiving points – do this via your online account or by calling 282.
You could even get PAID to shop with in-store promotions
Look out for any Tesco promotions offering extra Clubcard points. These can open up loopholes where it's worth buying the goods even if you don't want them.
The best examples are the famous Johnson's Baby Powder and beef-in-gravy loopholes which originated on this site and ended up in all the papers. They worked like this:
When you bought any two Johnson's products, you got 100 extra points. The cheapest item was baby powder, at 76p. This meant you could spend £1.52 to get 101 points, worth £4.04 of Clubcard deals vouchers, making more than £2.50 PROFIT.
With the similar beef-in-gravy episode, one MoneySaver bought a few hundred pounds' worth, donated it to a homeless shelter and used the points for a return trip for two to New Zealand. Be careful with these loopholes, as Tesco reserves the right to block people for fair usage breaches.
Even if you can't make a profit, the bonuses can lead to serious discounts. For instance, Tesco once sold iPod Shuffles for £49 – a good price – adding 999 bonus points on top of the usual points. These were worth £42 of Clubcard deals, so the iPod effectively cost £7.
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 and Prezzo. 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-£40 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 £20-£100+ 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.
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.
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 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 or other deal for the attraction you're visiting in our MSE deals section, 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
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 £42.50 could get you a cheap Eurostar return to Paris (if you're quick). 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, but Avios will stop offering this from 1 Jan 2017 so you need to book soon.
For 30+ ways to max your Avios points, see the Tricks to Boost and Max Avios Points guide.
Avios* 2.5x voucher value
1,000 Avios points are typically worth £10 (it can be around £25 if you spend them on business class). So £12.50 in Clubcard vouchers normally buys £30ish 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 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 £30 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 thrill-seekers
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 a Merlin Pass is usually £179. 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 £30 if you buy online. Read more
How to complain about Tesco
If you've got a complaint about Tesco, whether it's over something you bought or service you received, don't suffer in silence. You can contact Tesco directly to try and resolve it, or use a free online complaints tool to help.
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