Who gets you flying furthest? Clubcard versus Avios

tesco clubcard petrol

We might not feel like jet setters while we're trawling the aisles in Tesco but, by converting Clubcard points to Avios, the weekly shop could well help bag us a week or two in the sun.

Clubcard holders can earn 600 Avios for every £2.50 in Clubcard vouchers they earn.

In terms of actual rewards, a Eurostar return to Paris starts at 9,000 Avios, or just £37.50 in Clubcard vouchers.

Quick jump menu
Converting Clubcard points to Avios
Earning more Clubcard points
Earning Avios more simply
Earning rewards: the cards compared
Avios: a quick note

So in this guide, we'll look at the various ways we can turn Tesco spending into Avios, and how to earn Avios through Clubcard wherever we spend - and how that compares to using a dedicated Avios rewards card.

Convert Clubcard points to Avios

There are two ways Clubcard holders can convert their points to Avios - as and when they want to, via the Clubcard voucher scheme, or automatically, whenever we have enough points.

avios converter

The rate of conversion is the same whichever method we use - we'll get 600 Avios for every 250 points we collect - but opting to convert Clubcard points automatically is the most effective way.

It's really simple to do. Just go to the My Account section of the Clubcard site, then click on the Flying Schemes option. The automatic convert option looks like this:

avios clubcard opt-in

Click confirm, and that's it!

avios clubcard

Anyone who signs up like this but doesn't already have an Avios account will have one set up for them by Tesco, and they'll receive the log in details in the post.

Once the accounts are linked, future Clubcard statements will show how many points have been earned and converted - and the impatient can see them on the Avios site as they're earned.

Don't delay

Once upon a time it was possible to earn serious bonus points for signing up: soon after the Avios launch, new converts were offered 4,500 Avios. Those days are gone, but that doesn't mean there aren't extra Avios available.

Every now and again - once or twice a year - people who have their Clubcard points automatically converted into air miles will benefit from a bonus points promotion, in which the number of miles they receive will be boosted by a certain percentage - we've seen boosts of 15% and 20%.

The Clubcard credit card

For boosting Clubcard points further - and wherever we shop - one of the Tesco Clubcard credit cards would seem like the obvious place to start.

Tesco have a range of Clubcard credit cards, all of which currently offer the same number of Clubcard points per pound spent, but we're going to be using the purchase offer credit card, detailed here:

Tesco Bank Purchases credit card (Go to provider »)
tesco bank purchases
  • 0% on purchases for the first 28 months
  • 0% balance transfers for the first 3 months (2.9% fee applies for the first 3 months, 3% thereafter)
  • Earn Clubcard points on all purchases
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable), your representative APR will be 18.9% APR (variable).

When shopping with Tesco, both in store and at their fuel stations, Clubcard credit card holders earn five points for every full £4 they spend. Away from Tesco the card earns one Clubcard point for every full £8 spent.

To keep things simple at this stage, we're simply going to show how many points we'd earn spending in store, or somewhere completely different - and how many Avios each type of spending can buy us:

Card Clubcard points earned on £500 spend Converted to Avios... Avios "bought" per £1 spent
Tesco Clubcard Tesco Clubcard Loyalty Card 500 Clubcard points 1200 Avios 2.4 Avios per £1
Tesco Clubcard credit card Tesco Clubcard credit card (in Tesco) 625 Clubcard points 1500 Avios 3 Avios per £1
Tesco Clubcard credit card Tesco Clubcard credit card (used elsewhere) 62.5 Clubcard points* 150 Avios 0.3 Avios per £1

*Clubcard members need to have a minimum of 150 points in their account before they'll be converted to either vouchers or Avios points.

The Avios credit cards

So far it should be clear to see that earning Avios through the Tesco Clubcard is best done - in store at least - by using the Tesco Clubcard credit card.

But how does it compare to using a dedicated Avios credit card?

The Lloyds Avios and British Airways credit cards

Lloyds Bank offer two rewards credit cards that can be used to collect Avios: the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card and the Lloyd Choice Rewards credit card. Each is actually two credit cards in one: an American Express card and a Mastercard.

In both cases the American Express version of the card earns Avios faster than the MasterCard version. The inclusion of the Mastercard is a kind of insurance policy for collectors, so if they find themselves somewhere that doesn't take Amex, they don't have to miss out entirely.

The Lloyds Choice Rewards card is a more general rewards card, though - we look at how the two compare in this guide. Here we'll focus on the dedicated Avios credit card.

Then there are the British Airways credit cards issued by American Express. They're very different cards, as will soon become obvious.

In brief, the three cards look something like this:

Credit card Annual fee Avios earning rate
british airways american express credit card British Airways American Express None 1 Avios/£1
lloyds bank avios rewards credit card Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards £24 Amex: 1.25 Avios/£1
Mastercard: 1.25 Avios/£5
british airways american express premium plus credit card British Airways American Express Premium Plus £195 1.5 Avios/£1

In slightly more detail, here's what cardholders can expect from each of them:

British Airways American Express credit card

British Airways credit card (Go to provider »)
british airways
  • Earn 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent
  • 9,000 bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Spend £20,000 within an anniversary year for a companion flight
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% p.a. (variable), your representative APR will be 22.9% APR (variable).

Other useful information:

Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards credit card

Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards credit card (Go to provider »)
lloyds bank avios rewards
  • Two credit cards - one account
  • 1.25 Avios per £1 spent on the American Express Card, and 1.25 Avios per £5 spent on the MasterCard
  • Double Avios for the first 6 months on the Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards American Express Card
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.94% p.a. (variable), with a £24 annual fee, your representative APR will be 23.7% APR (variable).

Other useful information:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card

British Airways Premium Plus credit card (Go to provider »)
british airways premium plus
  • Earn 1.5 Avios for virtually every £1 spent
  • 3 Avios for each £1 spent with British Airways and BA Holidays
  • 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 within the first 3 months
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% p.a. (variable), with a £195 annual fee, your representative APR will be 76% APR (variable).

Other useful information:

These aren't the only credit cards to offer Avios as a reward, and there are other reward programmes that offer users the chance to convert their loyalty points into Avios. Have a look here for more.

However, unlike reward schemes where we have to know the conversion rate between loyalty points and Avios, one advantage of these four cards is that there's only one, simple, rate for earning rewards, wherever we're spending.

We included in the table above the earning rate for each card; let's compare those against the Clubcard credit card for spending both at Tesco, and elsewhere:

Credit card Avios earning rate
tesco clubcard credit card Tesco Clubcard credit card With Tesco: 3 Avios/£1
Elsewhere: 0.3 Avios/£1
british airways american express credit card British Airways American Express credit card 1 Avios/£1
lloyds bank avios rewards credit card Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards credit card Amex: 1.25 Avios/£1
Mastercard: 1.25 Avios/£5
british airways american express premium plus credit card British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card 1.5 Avios/£1

At first glance, then, the clear winner for in store / Tesco Fuel spending is the Tesco Clubcard credit card.

Away from Tesco the winner would appear to be the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card - but remember that this card comes with a rather high £195 annual fee.

Then there's the fact that even if we do shop in Tesco, most of us also buy other things from other places during the month - so how does spreading our spending affect how many Avios we'll earn?

Perhaps most importantly, can we earn more Avios by sticking with just one of these cards, or would we earn more by combining a dedicated Avios credit card with our straightforward Clubcard loyalty card?

Clubcard versus Avios

Because there's a lot of information to take in here, we'll break it down card by card, in each case looking at the maximum points (and Avios) to be earned on various amounts of monthly spending, with a Clubcard adding points where possible.

Note the use of the word "maximum" there - the examples we give are best case scenario.

For example, as we've already mentioned, not everyone takes American Express - but Tesco do. So in the case of the Lloyds Bank Avios card we've used the Amex conversion rate when working out the rewards on spending.

Quick jump menu
I want to look at spending with the... ...Tesco Clubcard credit card
...British Airways American Express credit card
...Lloyds Bank Avios credit card
...British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card
I just want to see how they compare!

Bearing that in mind, to see how a particular credit card measures up, skip ahead using the menu to the right.

Just the Tesco Clubcard credit card

This is the simplest example we can give; because the Tesco Clubcard credit card doubles up as a normal Clubcard, we don't have to worry about adding extra loyalty card points.

Tesco Bank Clubcard credit card
Tesco Clubcard credit card (inc. loyalty card points)
Total monthly spend Made up of Clubcard points earned Total Clubcard points Converted to Avios
Tesco shopping Tesco fuel Shopping elsewhere
£250 £100 in Tesco,
£50 at Tesco Fuel,
£100 elsewhere
125 62 12 199 477
£500 £200 in Tesco,
£100 at Tesco Fuel,
£200 elsewhere
250 125 25 400 960
£750 £300 in Tesco,
£150 at Tesco Fuel,
£300 elsewhere
375 187 37 599 1437
£1,000 £400 in Tesco,
£200 at Tesco Fuel,
£400 elsewhere
500 250 50 800 1920

If the figures in the columns for fuel and shopping elsewhere look lower than expected, bear in mind that we've only awarded points for full multiples of £4 and £8 respectively - as would Tesco.

Using the British Airways American Express credit card

Now things get a little more complicated. Here's how spending as above with the first of our Avios credit cards rewards us.

We'll keep our spending at Tesco and add in a Clubcard loyalty card when possible as that's a closer comparison to the Tesco Clubcard credit card which includes loyalty point earnings.

Remember that every 250 Clubcard points earned converts to 600 Avios (and 125 Clubcard points converts to 300 Avios).

british airways american express credit card + Clubcard loyalty card
British Airways American Express + Clubcard loyalty card
Total monthly spend Reward points earned Avios earned Clubcard points earned Total in Avios
Tesco shopping Tesco fuel Shopping elsewhere
£250 (£100 Tesco,£50 Tesco Fuel, £100 elsewhere) 100 Avios, 100 Clubcard points 50 Avios, 25 Clubcard points 100 Avios 250 125 550
(250 + 300)
£500 (£200 Tesco, £100 Tesco Fuel, £200 elsewhere 200 Avios, 200 Clubcard points 100 Avios, 50 Clubcard points 200 Avios 500 250 1,100
(500 + 600)
£750 (£300 Tesco, £150 Tesco Fuel, £300 elsewhere 300 Avios, 300 Clubcard points 150 Avios, 75 Clubcard points 300 Avios 750 375 1,650
(750 + 900)
£1,000 (£400 Tesco, £200 Tesco Fuel, £400 elsewhere) 400 Avios, 400 Clubcard points 200 Avios, 100 Clubcard points 400 Avios 1,000 500 2,200
(1,000 + 1,200)

Obviously the number of Clubcard points earned depends on how much we spend in Tesco, and we get fewer points on fuel expenditure when using the plain old loyalty card than when using the Clubcard credit card.

But using the loyalty card with a dedicated Avios credit card, even the least rewarding of the four we're looking at, is already paying off.

Using the Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards card

The Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards credit card offers 1.25 Avios per £1; let's see what spending with it can earn including our Clubcard loyalty card at Tesco:

Lloyds Bank Avios credit card + Clubcard loyalty card
Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards credit card + Clubcard loyalty card
Total monthly spend Reward points earned Avios earned Clubcard points earned Total in Avios
Tesco shopping Tesco fuel Shopping elsewhere
£250 (£100 Tesco, £50 Tesco Fuel, £100 elsewhere) 125 Avios, 100 Clubcard points 62 Avios, 25 Clubcard points 125 Avios 312 125 612
(312 + 300)
£500 (£200 Tesco, £100 Tesco Fuel, £200 elsewhere) 250 Avios, 200 Clubcard points 112 Avios, 50 Clubcard points 250 Avios 612 250 1,212
(612 + 600))
£750 (£300 Tesco, £150 Tesco Fuel, £300 elsewhere) 375 Avios, 300 Clubcard points 187 Avios, 75 Clubcard points 375 Avios 937 375 1,837
(937 + 900)
£1,000 (£400 Tesco, £200 Tesco Fuel, £400 elsewhere) 500 Avios, 400 Clubcard points 250 Avios, 100 Clubcard points 500 Avios 1,250 500 2,450
(1,250 + 1,200)

With the annual fees comes the chance to earn rewards faster - and when combined with Tesco's Clubcard the Avios rack up at about 30% faster.

Using the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card

Finally we come onto the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card. It has the highest rate of reward - but it also has that £195 annual fee to bear in mind:

British Airways Premium Plus credit card (Go to provider »)
british airways premium plus
  • Earn 1.5 Avios for virtually every £1 spent
  • 3 Avios for each £1 spent with British Airways and BA Holidays
  • 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 within the first 3 months
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% p.a. (variable), with a £195 annual fee, your representative APR will be 76% APR (variable).

Bearing that in mind, here's how combining Clubcard points and the earning power of the Premier Avios Rewards card can boost the rate at which we pick up rewards:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card + Clubcard loyalty card
British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card + Clubcard loyalty card
Total monthly spend Reward points earned Avios earned Clubcard points earned Total in Avios
Tesco shopping Tesco fuel Shopping elsewhere
£250 (£100 Tesco, £50 Tesco Fuel, £100 elsewhere) 150 Avios, 100 Clubcard points 75 Avios, 25 Clubcard points 150 Avios 375 125 625
(250 + 375))
£500 (£200 Tesco, £100 Tesco Fuel, £200 elsewhere 300 Avios, 200 Clubcard points 150 Avios, 50 Clubcard points 300 Avios 750 250 1350
(750 + 600))
£750 (£300 Tesco, £150 Tesco Fuel, £300 elsewhere 450 Avios, 300 Clubcard points 225 Avios, 75 Clubcard points 450 Avios 1,125 375 2,025
(1,125 + 900)
£1,000 (£400 Tesco, £200 Tesco Fuel, £400 elsewhere) 600 Avios, 400 Clubcard points 300 Avios, 100 Clubcard points 600 Avios 1,500 500 2,700
(1,500 + 1,200)

But do remember that although the British Airways card comes with a host of other benefits, unless we're spending at least £1,200 a month on this card (and paying it back in full every month), the cost of having it will tend to outweigh those advantages.

The cards compared

So now we've broken down how spending on each card plus a Clubcard can reward us, let's compare those figures:

Credit card Avios earned with total monthly spend of
£250 £500 £750 £1,000
tesco clubcard credit card Tesco Clubcard 477 960 1,437 1,920
british airways american express credit card British Airways American Express 550 1,100 1,650 2,200
lloyds bank avios rewards credit card Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards 612 1,212 1,837 2,450
british airways american express premium plus credit card British Airways American Express Premium Plus 625 1,350 2,025 2,700

If it wasn't clear before, using the Tesco Clubcard credit card might seem like the easiest way to earn Clubcard points, but when it comes to earning Avios, it loses out to combining the basic key fob loyalty card and a dedicated Avios credit card.

Keep in mind these are credit cards, and that they therefore come with interest charges and fees - reward credit cards are generally only rewarding when balances are repaid in full each month.

Here's a recap of those fees - click through for up to date information from the provider:

Card Intro Purchases Balance Transfers Annual Fee Representative APR (variable)
tesco bank purchases credit card Tesco Bank Purchases credit card 0% for 28 months 0% for 3 months
2.9% fee
£0 18.9% APR
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable), your representative APR will be 18.9% APR (variable).
british airways american express credit card British Airways American Express credit card £0 22.9% APR
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% p.a. (variable), your representative APR will be 22.9% APR (variable).
lloyds bank avios rewards Lloyds Bank Avios Rewards credit card 0% for 24 months 0% for 24 months
3% fee
£24 23.7% APR
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.94% p.a. (variable), with a £24 annual fee, your representative APR will be 23.7% APR (variable).
british airways american express premium plus British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card £195 76% APR
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% p.a. (variable), with a £195 annual fee, your representative APR will be 76% APR (variable).

Buying fuel: a note

While the spending examples we've given above assume we're buying fuel at Tesco, it's not the only option for people who are intent on collecting Avios.

Clubcard holders can also earn points at Esso: stations with a Tesco shop attached reward customers at a rate of one point per £3 spent on fuel, and one point per £1 spent on shop products; filling up at other Esso stations will earn points at a rate of one for every two litres of fuel.

Then again, members of Shell's Drivers Club can get at least 10 Avios for every 20 litres of fuel they buy - and with an Avios credit card, they'll earn even more.

But note well here - when it comes to fuel, finding a cheaper price per litre is better value than paying more just to get reward points. See our points for petrol guide for more.

Avios: the best travel rewards?

Finally, because Avios is the loyalty scheme for British Airways, it's the UK's biggest air miles scheme, and as well as being able to earn Avios in numerous ways, BA's partner links mean there are numerous ways to redeem Avios once we've collected them.

More on Avios
Lloyds Bank Choice Rewards vs Avios
Is it worth buying extra Avios?
Compare air miles cards

Some of the options listed on the Avios site include:

It's possible to get a return flight or Eurostar trip from just 9,000 Avios, based on the cheapest available tickets for the destinations in mind.

So even using the least rewarding of the cards, spending £500 a month for a year means a free ticket to Paris on Eurostar, or an almost free flight to a variety of destinations in Europe, with points left over.

There are conditions, of course - and most notably, for anyone hoping to earn a free flight or two, extra charges and taxes to be paid.

Within Avios zones 1, 2 and 3 (Europe and its borders, more or less) Avios operate a Reward Flight Saver, under which the fees are a nice and simple £35 per return flight.

Anyone hoping to travel further afield will need to check how much extra they'll have to pay - and it can run into the hundreds of pounds.

Getting money off budget flights instead - for example through Nectar's partnership with Easyjet - might end up cheaper, although there are fewer destination choices.

Find out more about Avios and the other ways of collecting points towards flights in our guide to air miles, here, or compare the deals here.

Comments

1
5 March 2013
Brian

Hi

So is it better to use the Lloyds Amex and get fuel at Tesco or use it at Shell and collect Avios through them? Having a brain block.

Thanks, Brian.

2
8 August 2011
benda halliday

How do I add my Clubcard points to my Airmiles?

8 August 2011
Choose team

You can convert Clubcard points to AirMiles <a href="http://www.tesco.com/clubcard/deals/" rel="nofollow noopener">on the Tesco site here</a> &amp;lt;img src="/images/icons/newwindow_blue.gif" width="12" height="11" alt="new window"&amp;gt;. You just need your Clubcard number.

3
4 August 2011
lainymac

Hi P. Yes you can pool all these points together, but to do so, you need to transfer your tesco clubcard points into BA MILES (not airmiles) and be a member of the BA executive club. Then your points will be used collectively.

4 August 2011
Choose team

Alternatively, you could pool all the AirMiles(TM) from Clubcard, Shell and Lloyds/Amex into one account. AirMiles do automatically by name and address. But, to our knowledge, there's no way to switch BA miles to AirMiles(TM) so you'd still lose out there.

4
27 July 2011
P.BOSLEY

Can you collate all your air miles earned (i.e. if you have a Tesco / Lloyds Duo credit card / Shell fuel card and a BA credit card) can you pool all these points together for a specific flight requirement?

27 July 2011
Choose team

You can convert Clubcard points to AirMiles and put them in the same account as your Lloyds Duo and Shell card points as long as the name and address details are the same.

Unfortunately, though, there's no way to convert BA miles to the AirMiles scheme. Hope this helps.

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