Tesco treats for its Clubcard holders

By Martin Lewis, August 25, 2011

If you are one of the millions holstering a Tesco Clubcard in your wallet, it is time to sit up and listen. Tesco's latest Clubcard vouchers flopped through letterboxes this month, earned by spending at the giant.

To coincide, it has relaunched its double your vouchers' value in-store promo.

Yet it is possible to further play Clubcard points like a symphony. I am going to show you how.

Before we start, do remember the golden rule: never choose where you shop because of a loyalty scheme such as Clubcards, yet always use it if you shop somewhere with one.

Step 1. Reclaim old or lost Clubcard vouchers

Flash your Clubcard at Tesco and you bag two points per every pound spent. Then every three months you are sent the points as vouchers - 500 points equals £5 to spend in-store.

Millions lose or forget to use them, yet there is an easy way to claw back the past two years of unused vouchers.

Log in to the Clubcard section on www.Tesco.com and click the 'Your Vouchers' area, showing your voucher history, including the ones that have not been redeemed. These unused ones can then instantly be spent on line, or you can ask for a reissue of them in printed form.

I have been blown away by people telling me how much they have got back.

Step 2. The Top Tesco Rewards

While Tesco has its double-up promotion on, before doing that, it is worth checking to see if you can beat that by redeeming your points via the Tesco Rewards brochure.

It is available online or you can pick one up in-store.

It features a variety of deals such as days out or on jewellery and magazine subscriptions. Many can be swapped for treble the face value of vouchers, so £10 becomes £30. So, if you have just found £60 of old vouchers, that is potentially £180 of rewards.

However the 'treble-the-value' is based on list prices, and sometimes these are much higher than goods actually cost, eg, discount vouchers could be available. Always check what things would actually cost to buy first to see if it is a good-value exchange.

The following are my top picks:

● Train Tickets

Thanks to RedSpotHanky you can swap a £10 voucher and it is worth £30 to spend on train fares and includes cheap advance fares. You can use your railcard and there are no booking fees.

● Jewellery (Goldsmiths)

This is fabulous for engagement rings, giving three times the vouchers' value. Every £10 Clubcard voucher gets you a £30 Goldsmiths voucher, so a £600 ring costs £200 in Tesco vouchers.

Though, of course, if you are buying branded items do check they are not available cheaper elsewhere.

● Airmiles and BA Miles

A useful and easy way to top-up miles: the return is three times the face value - possibly even more for BA Miles, especially if you have a companion voucher. Every £2.50 Clubcard voucher gets you 50 Airmiles or 500 BA Miles. Do note this is not about starting to collect miles this way, it is about boosting your miles stash if you are already collecting.

● Days out

Offers vary but £5 Clubcard vouchers usually gets you £15 in days out including attractions such as Glasgow Science Centre and The Cadies & Witchery Tours in Edinburgh.

For major theme parks two-for-ones are often available, so do check for other offers before converting.

For more info on why I picked these, and my full top ten of rewards go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/tesco

Double voucher value in-store

If nothing in the Rewards brochure floats your boat, Tesco's Summer Clubcard Exchange promo at least lets you double your vouchers' worth - but you need to act fast. Until 1 September, you can swap ordinary Clubcard vouchers in store for double their normal in-store value at big Tesco's, so a £5 voucher buys £10 of goods.

Sadly, the list is far narrower than Tesco's previous double-value promotions.

This time, you can double vouchers on Finest food and drink, cosmetics, fragrances, plants, opticians and pet food. Mobile Phones and Accessories can be doubled up via Tesco's website.

Free points boost on 0 per cent Tesco card.

Spending on the Tesco credit card earns one point per every £4 spent. Converted into rewards, this is worth 0.75 per cent of spending - not as good as the top cashback card.

Yet the doozy is it is the joint best-buy 0 per cent deal on new spending, giving a mammoth 15 months 0 per cent.

Therefore, if you have planned expenditure and need to spread the cost (never take borrowing lightly - always minimise it), you get 0 per cent and the points.

After the interest-free period, it jumps to 16.9 per cent representative APR, so only do this if you plan your borrowing and repayments to clear the debt by then.

For full help and warnings, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/0%cards

Last updated: 12:00pm, August 25 2011