How are Tesco Clubcard vouchers changing? Rewards voucher scheme explained - how supermarket points now work
The retailer is set to make major changes to its shopper loyalty card scheme, with Clubcard points alterations also set to apply to its petrol stations
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Tesco is set to make major changes to how its Clubcard points work in a move that has left many customers disappointed.
The UK’s biggest supermarket has already altered its loyalty scheme several times over the past year, including moving to paperless coupons, introducing personalised vouchers, and changing the terms on its meal deals. In light of the cost of living crisis, it has also started issuing warnings for customers to use any vouchers they have before they expire.
Alongside the adjustments to Clubcard, the retailer has brought in new home delivery charges for online shopping. Meanwhile, it has expanded its Whoosh rapid delivery offering into more towns and cities.
It comes amid changes to loyalty schemes at several other retailers. Boots has made its Advantage Card scheme less generous, while Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose have all revamped their offerings over the last 12 months.
These moves have all come against a backdrop of soaring food prices, which now look set to overtake energy bills as the biggest pressure on household incomes. Supermarket value ranges have seen some of the biggest cost increases, NationalWorld analysis has found.
So, how is Tesco changing Clubcard - and what does it mean in practice?
If you’re a Tesco Clubcard member, you may have received a message recently telling you it is changing how its points convert into vouchers with its ‘Rewards Partners’.
These are businesses who offer to turn your Clubcard points into larger savings. High street chains like Pizza Express, Disney+ and Legoland all take part, with Tesco offering more than 100 such partners in total.
At the moment, you can triple the value of your Clubcard points with Tesco’s partner firms. So, for example, £5 in Clubcard Points could get you a £15 voucher for a meal at Zizzi.
But from Wednesday 14 June, you will only be able to double your points, making the scheme much less lucrative. If you have taken out a code with a reward partner since 17 March but before 13 June, it will be valid for 12 months rather than the customary six (apart from with Disney+, with whom vouchers have to have been redeemed by 10 August). For Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members, the scheme will change from 21 July.
What has Tesco said?
In an email sent to customers in March, Tesco’s chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini said the move would allow the supermarket to offer a “wide range of exciting rewards” while also “keeping our product prices low”.
Ms Bellini insisted “you can still make great savings on everything from family fun, dining out, cinema trips and more” with Clubcard, which she said “continues to have the biggest and most generous Reward Partner scheme”. She urged people with any questions to visit the FAQs page on Tesco’s website.
Tesco says 25% of Clubcard users make average savings of £351 a year by using their cards to access 8,000 weekly deals in its stores. However, the loyalty scheme - which the supermarket makes money from by selling your shopping habits data to other businesses - has been criticised by some shoppers for the discounts it offers. The retailer also faces a probe on some of its ‘unclear’ loyalty offers.
How have customers reacted?
When Tesco made its announcement, it was heavily criticised on social media.
One Twitter user wrote: “At 3x it was a good incentive for me to shop at Tesco. But I think I’ll go elsewhere now, hunt down cheaper food and save money that way instead. Poor decision @Tesco I think this will bite you in the long run.”
Another user, who also referred to Boot’s Advantage Card changes, posted: “Tesco & Boots are reducing the value on their Loyalty Cards. Considering they are all ripping us off by constantly increasing their prices, they should be Increasing the rewards to customers not decreasing.”
A third customer said: “I’ve been a #tesco customer for as long as I remember and looking at the current offers (if you can call them “offers”) they are cutting the prices by barely anything! Now to add insult to injury they are cutting their rewards! Shame on you!”
Responding to the criticism, a Tesco spokesperson said: “Clubcard unlocks the best value from Tesco – from thousands of exclusive deals through Clubcard Prices, to money off your groceries and fuel, or accessing double the value of your vouchers with more than 100 Clubcard Reward Partners. We are making a change to how members can use their vouchers with our Reward Partners, but they will still be able to unlock great value in the same range of ways as before.”
How many Clubcard points can you earn at Tesco petrol stations?
Tesco has also announced another change to Clubcard that will also kick in from 14 June 2023. From this date, filling up at a Tesco petrol station will earn you fewer points.
Instead of getting a Clubcard point for every £2 spent on filling up your tank, you will get a point for every two litres you buy. With two litres of supermarket unleaded petrol currently costing an average of £2.80 and diesel prices currently sitting at around £2.84, it means you will have to spend more to earn points.
The arithmetic changes if fuel prices fall below £1 a litre. Should this unlikely event occur, you will be able to earn more in Clubcard points than you would have before the changes to the scheme. According to RAC figures, the last time petrol hit this level was in May 2020 (the height of the Covid pandemic when prices fell as no one was driving around), and the last time diesel cost that amount was in 2016.