Tesco's Clubcard is one of the most generous loyalty schemes around, if used the right way. However, big changes are on the way, with some Clubcard Rewards due to be slashed next month.
It's still 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 monolith Tesco earn Clubcard points. Every three months it sends the points to you as vouchers, yet it's possible to gain extra value using Clubcard Rewards.
However, big changes are coming on 11 June, when Tesco will slash the maximum boost you can get with some Rewards partners by 25%.
Tesco originally announced these changes on 15 January, with immediate effect. But many customers reacted furiously, and MSE founder Martin Lewis demanded Tesco "urgently review" its decision. As a result, Tesco offered customers a "grace period" (originally till 10 June, now 11 June). See our Victory for MSE as Tesco delays cuts story for full details.
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 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 them as Clubcard Vouchers to use in store or online. If you don't reach this threshold, your points carry over and it sends vouchers at the end of the next quarter you earn 150 points in. The maximum amount of points you can earn in one quarter is 30,000. 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 – though this will be cut to up to three times the value from 11 June. Examples include restaurant vouchers, jewellery and train tickets (see more examples below).
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 '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.
Just based on those who've reported it to us, MoneySavers have so far found £33,502 in lost Tesco vouchers! That's worth up to £134,010 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?
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.
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.
Complete surveysRegister 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.
Tell 'em about your shopCollect 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.
Get 25% extra points with the Pay+ wallet-free app
The Tesco Pay+* app (a revamped version of its old PayQwiq app) is available on Android and iOS. It lets you store your credit or debit card and Clubcard details, then quickly pay for shopping and automatically collect Clubcard points at Tesco by scanning the barcode in the app.
Tesco unveiled the new app last September – as part of a promo it's now running until 31 December you get an extra Clubcard point for every £4 you spend in store. The bonus is on top of the usual one point per £1 – meaning you'll get five points for every £4 spent.You can also stack the extra point with other Clubcard offers – so, for example, if you pay with a Tesco credit card (which also offers an extra point per £4 spent) you'd collect a total of six points per £4 spent in store. The bonus points are available to anyone using the app, even if you've taken advantage of previous PayQwiq bonus offers. If you currently have PayQwiq on your phone you'll need to update it to get Pay+.
You can use Pay+ to pay at all Tesco stores and petrol stations. There's no minimum spend and you can pay for up to £250 per transaction. It's worth noting 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 will appear in your transactions and then disappear.
The Tesco Clubcard credit card gives you extra Clubcard points on top of the ones you'd normally collect. Plus, apply by 18 September and you'll earn 1,000 bonus points (worth up to £30) if you spend anything on the card within the first two months. You could get a better return with a cashback card though – for full help and options, see Cashback Credit Cards.
The bonus points will be applied to your account within 12 weeks of your first transaction, so unfortunately you won't get them in time to beat the changes on 11 June.
Ordinarily, you should repay IN FULL every month to avoid interest. But Tesco offers up to 20 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 20 months. Remember to repay before the 0% period ends to avoid the 18.9% rep APR. 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. Customers using their debit card get one extra point for every £1 spent at Tesco (on transactions of at least £1).
You'll also get one point for every £8 spent elsewhere (on a transaction of at least £8).
You can also earn a guaranteed 3% AER interest until April 2019, though to get this you'll need to pay in £750 and pay out three direct debits each statement month. You don't need to meet these requirements to earn the extra Clubcard points.
You can find better bank accounts though – see Top Bank 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
You'll need to register your Clubcard with Tesco Mobile to start receiving points – do this via your online account or by texting 'CLUBCARD' to 28578 for free from your mobile.
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 shopping at the checkout and you'll save a fiver – but spend them the right way and you really max their value.
On 15 January, Tesco announced major changes to its Clubcard Rewards* scheme, which generally gives you the biggest boost to your vouchers' value, by letting you exchange them for tokens to spend with partners on days out, restaurants, train tickets and more.
The changes were due to be brought in immediately but after an outcry from customers (and a call from Martin), Tesco agreed to postpone the changes until 11 June. This gives you time to beat the cuts – Tesco says Rewards tokens are valid for six months "unless otherwise stated", so if you're planning a big meal or a day out over the summer, act now.
Currently you can still swap Clubcard vouchers for Rewards tokens worth two, three or four times the value. But from 11 June they mostly move to three times the value – and while a few offers will improve, many of the best, including those from Pizza Express, Café Rouge and London Zoo, are getting worse. (A few which have a non-monetary value, eg, Avios points, aren't changing.)
Even after the changes, this is still a good way to spend your points. Here are our top 10 picks from Tesco's current Clubcard Rewards scheme.
Pricing for Clubcard Boost is based on companies' list prices. Always check you're getting three 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.
Restaurant vouchers, eg, Prezzo, Cafe Rouge – up to 4x value (check other 2for1s aren't available) 3x value from 11 June
Every £2.50 gives £10 in vouchers for restaurants, including Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge and Prezzo. Read more
Full info: 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 or Odeon (only worth it in pricey areas). Not changing
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 70p 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.
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, eg, Autocar, Marie Claire – up to 3x value but check direct offers before signing up. Not changing
Between 50p and £28 in vouchers gets you money-off vouchers or full subscriptions (from 3 months to a year) to one of a variety of magazines, including Autocar and Marie Claire. Read more
Full info: Magazine subscriptions*
Estimated value: Up to 3x voucher value
Depending on the magazine you opt for, taking out a subscription could triple the face value of the Clubcard rewards (though it varies widely). However, it's sometimes possible to beat this with a free gift special offer. Check the Magazine Subscription Offers forum thread before you exchange.
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 you're buying bling. Not changing
Every £5 Clubcard voucher gets you a £15 Goldsmiths voucher, so a £600 ring will cost £200 in Tesco vouchers. Read more
Full info: Goldsmiths*
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. You can only use the vouchers in store.
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 booking and delivery fees. 3x value from 11 June – so wait
Trade in Clubcard vouchers to spend at train booking site RedSpottedHanky and you get 2x their in-store value, so £5 becomes £10. Beware the booking fee though. Read more
Full info: RedSpottedHanky*
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.
It's worth noting the value of this reward will be going up to 3x on 11 June. So unless you're buying an advance train ticket, you may be better off waiting till then to swap your vouchers.
Reason for being a top pick? While this is currently 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, see Cheap Trains.
Days out including London Zoo and Paradise Park – up to 4x value. 3x value from 11 June
Get £10 days out tokens for £2.50 Clubcard vouchers. Read more
Full info: 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, Lightwater Valley 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
Tower Bridge exhibition – 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
Paradise Park – 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). Not changing
Convert Clubcard vouchers into Avios points and £2.50 becomes 600 points. Read more
Full info: Avios*
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.
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.
Hotels.com – 3x value, but check comparison sites. Not changing
£5 in Clubcard vouchers gets £15 in Hotels.com vouchers. Read more
Full info: Hotels.com*
Estimated value: 3x voucher value
Hotels.com lists 100,000s of hotels – both independents and big chains like Hilton, Travelodge and Holiday Inn. While 3x the voucher value could mean a significant discount on your holiday, Hotels.com may not always be the cheapest place to book your hotel. So check comparison sites before making a purchase.
Reason for being a top pick? This is a good way to cut down the cost of travelling, providing you can't find a cheaper deal elsewhere (see Cheap Hotels).
Day trips to France with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle – 3x value, but check ferry prices as they're often cheaper. Not changing
£5 in Clubcard vouchers gets £15 in Eurotunnel Rewards vouchers. Read more
Full info: 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 – 3.5x value. 3x value from 11 June
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
Full info: This is a big saving as a Merlin Pass is £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.
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.
Free tool if you're having a problem
This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. It's totally free, and offered by a firm called Resolver which we like so much we work with it to help people get complaints justice.
If the complaint isn't resolved, Resolver with nudge you to escalate it to the relevant ombudsman and trade body.
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