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Tesco Clubcard Prices: what are price differences for card holders - and why has supermarket been criticised?

Tesco launched its Clubcard Prices initiative in 2020 to offer members of its loyalty scheme big savings on their shop

<p>Tesco has been criticised by several shoppers for its Clubcard Prices scheme (image: AFP/Getty Images)</p>

Tesco has been criticised by several shoppers for its Clubcard Prices scheme (image: AFP/Getty Images)

Tesco has had a busy week after announcing major changes to its Clubcard scheme and a swathe of new store openings.

It has also revealed a cost of living campaign for its customers.

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However, it’s not all been plain sailing for the UK’s biggest supermarket after some shoppers pointed out the major differences between standard product shelf prices and Clubcard ones.

So what are the price differences consumers have pointed out?

Here’s what you need to know.

The UK CPI rose 0.1% between December and January, meaning goods and services cost 5.5% more than they did a year ago (image: AFP/Getty Images)

What is Tesco Clubcard - how does it work?

Tesco Clubcard has been around since the 1990s.

Designed to promote customer loyalty, while also gathering information on the shopping habits of shoppers, it has been a big part of the reason why Tesco is the UK’s largest supermarket chain.

Using a Clubcard on your shop allows you to collect points which can be accumulated into a voucher that will give you money off your next visit.

In autumn 2020, Tesco added a further incentive to the loyalty scheme by offering specific discounts for Clubcard holders.

Usually, these chop a few pounds off the standard shelf price of items.

It is this Clubcard Prices offering that has angered consumers this week.

What are the complaints about Tesco Clubcard Prices?

Several consumers have taken to social media in recent weeks to argue that Tesco Clubcard Prices are inappropriate given the cost of living crisis.

One user pointed out that a 90g tin of Nescafe Azera, normally £6, was £2.90 for people with Clubcards.

Another accused the supermarket of artificially raising prices as they claimed the Clubcard Price was what the standard price of a particular item used to be.

Meanwhile, a different shopper pointed out a crate of Bud Light had a regular price of £16 but was just £9 with a Clubcard - a 44% discount - and accused Tesco of ‘big tech’ tactics.

Responding to the criticism, a Tesco spokesperson said: “Through Clubcard Prices, we’re giving more than 20 million customers access to thousands of exclusive deals on everything from everyday staples like fruit and veg to treats like prosecco and ice-cream.

“It’s easy and free to sign up, and customers can register on the Tesco Grocery & Clubcard app, website or in store to start saving straight away.”

The supermarket has also pointed out that customers can alter their data sharing preferences by logging into their Clubcard account.

What cost of living measures has Tesco announced?

Consumers who don’t have Clubcards and are irked about being excluded from Tesco’s special prices might want to look away now.

The supermarket has announced it has launched a ‘Value Hacks’ campaign to help those on its loyalty scheme save money.

It will alert Clubcard users via email to cost of living tips that can be used in-store, including shopping with its Scan as You Shop service to keep tabs on budgeting and pointing out its Aldi Price Match scheme.

“We know it’s tough right now, which is why we want to show customers all the ways we can help them spend less, and leave them with more money in their pockets – to manage the rising cost of living, or to treat themselves and their loved ones,” said Alessandra Bellini, Tesco chief customer officer.

Tesco has also pointed out that £17 million worth of unused Clubcard vouchers are expiring in May 2022.