Think you’re getting 3 x the value when you exchange your Clubcard vouchers at Tesco? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and you might not be getting the deal they promise you.
Ah, Tesco Clubcard points. Every little helps, or so they say. It’s nice to get a little something back for your loyalty, even though it probably means we have to spend more on our weekly shop. But Clubcard points have been useful to me in the past.
I used to save my points for the double-up events and buy all my kid’s Christmas presents. However, these stopped a few years back so I decided to start using their voucher scheme. This meant that I could exchange my points for up to 4 x their value at places like London Zoo and Pizza Express.
Then, in 2018, there was some slight controversy as Tesco decreased the value of some of their exchanges from 4 x to 3 x. However, getting 3 x the value for your points is still a bargain.
Not all as it seems
But, after a couple of exchanges, I realised that I might not be getting the bargain I hoped for.
During the summer, I decided to renew my car breakdown cover with the RAC. Usually, I do this through TopCashback to get the best deal. However, I remembered seeing that the RAC was one of Tesco’s exchange partners.
So off I toddled to drastically cut the cost of my cover, only to find out I wasn’t getting quite the deal I hoped.
You see, to exchange these vouchers, you often have to click on a link from the Tesco Clubcard site. Instead of taking you to (for example) RAC’s main site, it takes you to a slightly different part. Here you enter your details, but will find that your price will be slightly different. And not in a good way.
That’s right, using the Tesco Clubcard site means that your price could be more.
A few comparisons
Below are a few examples of how you can pay different prices.
A new customer looking for RAC cover including:
- Cover in any vehicle
- At Home
- Onward Travel
- Key Replace
Through the Tesco Clubcard link, the total cost comes to £184, or £61.50 in Clubcard vouchers.
If visiting the RAC direct, the exact same cover will cost you £72.50
Not only that but if you purchase through TopCashback, you’ll receive another 11% off.
That means that your cover should come to around £65.
So, although at first look you think you’re saving lots, it’s less than £5 if you go with Tesco.
Why not exchange your vouchers for your favourite magazine subscription?
I took a look at the cost of Grazia magazine. Probably, the finest literature out there.
Through the Tesco link, 51 issues will cost you £127.50.
But visiting Great Magazines directly will cost you £80.90. Plus, you will also receive a free Clive Christian 1872 Citrus Perfume – worth £45. (Please note that these offers seem to change each month)
At the time of writing, purchasing your subscription through TopCashback will earn you £6.30 back.
That means that buying directly will cost you £74.60 Deducting the value if the perfume will make the cost £29.60.
Through Tesco, it will cost you £43 worth of vouchers.
As you can see, the better value comes from visiting Great Magazines directly. But only if you want the perfume.
Legoland Annual Pass
Through the Legoland website, an annual pass to Legoland will cost you £60. Although, this price does seem to change regularly between £60 and £89.
You can also save an extra 3.15% (£1.89) if you shop through TopCaschback.
Through the Tesco Clubcard link, the price of an annual pass is £89 – or £30 in vouchers.
So, Tesco provides much better value for Legoland, compared to the two examples above.
Not all bad news…
But prices don’t always vary when following the Tesco links. I looked at other providers such as Affordable Car Hire, APH and English Heritage and these offered the same price if purchasing directly or through Tesco Clubcard.
I still decided to email Tesco to find out why some of their prices differ and this was their response:
Ours is against the full price for all our deals because it is already an offer and the company may have their own offers and reduced prices which don’t apply to our offer.
I hope this is helpful.
Please don’t get me wrong as there is still value to be had from Tesco Clubcard vouchers. However, I do think that if a company is offering a special deal, it should be available to all customers at that price.
I recommend that before you exchange your vouchers, take a look at cashback sites first to see what kind of offers are available. For example, there is little difference between the price of RAC membership between Tesco and the RAC site, so you will be better off using your Clubcard points elsewhere.
If you’re unsure where to spend your points, the Delivery Saver option offers good value if you shop online with Tesco. Or take a look at exchanging your points for restaurant vouchers, as long as there is one near you.
If you want to know more about cashback sites, take a look at my guide about how they work.