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Use Tesco Clubcard points to buy Cineworld vouchers? Don't get caught out by scheme shake-up

Tesco has tweaked its rules on how Clubcard holders can spend their points at Cineworld, which has meant some customers have lost out on big savings at the cinema chain. 

People who convert their Tesco Clubcard vouchers into Reward Partner codes for Cineworld on or after 16 September will now be subject to new terms and conditions that state they can only use that code once, regardless of how much money is left on the voucher.

So if you exchange your Clubcard vouchers for £15 to spend at Cineworld, for example, but only use the code to spend £10, you will not be able to use the code again. The remaining £5 will be lost.

Tesco said these changes are explained on its Clubcard Cineworld page when a customer redeems their vouchers, and in the email customers receive with the voucher code. Some shoppers, however, have still been caught out.  

See our Tesco Clubcard guide for more on how to make the most of your Clubcard points.

'I exchanged my vouchers for £45 to spend at Cineworld but only spent £6 - so I lost £39'

Alice Higginson, from Aberdeenshire, told that she lost out on almost £40 after exchanging her Clubcard vouchers for £45 to spend at the cinema group.

Alice and her family were set to go to Cineworld on 19 October to see the new James Bond film. Ahead of the screening, Alice purchased a Cineworld Plus membership for £5.95 online and then later attempted to buy four tickets for the film in a different transaction. 

However, when she came to use the code again at the checkout she was shown a message telling her the code had already been used. She had to exchange further Clubcard points to watch the film with her family.

Alice said: "Is it fair to do this when I have always bought this product and knew the terms previously? It also means that if you want to buy tickets and use them in the cinema to buy food, you will need to order two separate sets of vouchers. You will need to know the monetary value of the food before you go or you may lose out or not have enough money."

If you've been caught out by this change it's worth complaining to Tesco to see if it can refund the money lost or the points redeemed - but bear in mind there are no guarantees. You can contact its customer services team by calling 0800 591 688 or 0330 123 1688 or by emailing it via the Tesco website

If you are planning a trip to see a firm, see our Cheap Cinema Tickets page.

How the Clubcard Cineworld scheme now works

If you are a Tesco Clubcard holder, you can exchange your Clubcard vouchers for codes to spend with Clubcard Reward Partners, including Cineworld. You get three times the voucher value, meaning that when you exchange 50p worth of vouchers, you get £1.50 to spend at Cineworld.

When you exchange vouchers for Cineworld, you'll be emailed a voucher with a code. You can't use the Cineworld voucher to book by phone but you can book online (a 70p booking fee applies to each ticket) or print the voucher and take it to the cinema to redeem. 

Previously, you could use the same code across multiple transactions. But since 16 September you can only use the same code for one transaction and there will be no change or credit given if you don't use all of it in one go. 

Tesco told us that, in future, you will need to exchange your vouchers for smaller monetary amounts and it will send you multiple codes to use across separate transactions.

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