UPDATE: Faced with a backlash of angry and frustrated customers, Tesco has backed down and delayed this devaluation – full details to come in next week’s edition of Tricks of the Trade.
Tesco began emailing customers yesterday with details of some changes that have been made to their Clubcard loyalty scheme with immediate effect.
The wording from Tesco implies this is an enhancement to Clubcard but is it as simple as that?
Let’s start with the official comment from Tesco:
“Tesco Clubcard is a big part of how we help customers and is our way of saying thank you for shopping with us.”
“We’ve listened to our customers and simplified our Clubcard Reward partners so that they’re more straightforward for everyone.
“This means that from 15 January, we will offer customers three times the value of their vouchers with over 100 Clubcard Reward Partners including days out weekend breaks, holidays and more.
Essentially, Tesco has moved to replace the present Clubcard rewards system which offered varying levels of value for your Clubcard points depending on which partner you chose to spend your vouchers with.
Instead, they’ve simplified matters:
“We’re simplifying the Clubcard rewards you can collect through the majority of our Reward Partners.
Previously, you could either get 2x, 3x or 4x the value of your Clubcard vouchers – but starting from 15 January 2018, we’re making everything 3x the value. So you won’t have to keep checking whether you’re getting 2x, 3x or 4x the value depending on which reward you’re claiming; everything will be 3x”.
Are transfers to Avios or Virgin miles affected?
The thing I feared most was an ‘enhancement’ of Clubcard transfers to Avios or Virgin miles. Thankfully, those seem to have come through this overhaul unscathed.
That means each Clubcard point is still worth:
- 2.4 Avios points (via either avios.com or the British Airways Executive Club).
- 2.5 Flying Club miles
You can read more about converting Clubcard points to airline miles in this article here.
Also unaffected are Clubcard transfers to Uber, which from talking to friends and family, has become a tempting option since its introduction in July 2017.
Which partners are affected?
All of the partners listed below have either gone up from offering 2x value to 3x value or down from 4x to 3x. It’s quite the list and so I’m not going to post all 100+ partners that have been altered.
Here’s an example of some of the affected partners:
- Evans Cycles
- APH Parking
- Pizza Express
- Chef & Brewer
- Café Rouge
- Bella Italia
- La Tasca
- P&O Cruises
- Bird World
- London Zoo
- Whipsnade Zoo
- Activity World Ltd
- Dundonald International Icebowl
- Silver Blades – Solihull Ice Rink
- The Hampden Experience
- The World of Glass Ltd
- Mersey Ferries
- Blackpool Tower
- Blackpool Tower Eye
- Edinburgh Dungeon
- York Dungeon
- London Dungeon
- The Coca-Cola London Eye
- Shrek’s Adventure! London
- SEALIFE London Aquarium
- SEALIFE Centres & Sanctuaries
- Alton Towers Resort
- Chessington World of Adventures
- Warwick Castle
- Legoland Resort Windsor
- Legoland Discovery
- Thorpe Park Resort
- Merlin Annual Pass
When are these changes being introduced?
Err, they’ve already been introduced.
These changes came into effect on the 15th January 2018.
Yes, unless you miraculously chose to convert a stash of Clubcard vouchers to your preferred partner in the last couple of days, there’s a good chance you’ve been left significantly ‘out of pocket’ by this announcement.
I don’t have an issue with Tesco moving to simplify the Clubcard scheme and offering a more unified 3x value across the majority of partners. I realise that loyalty programs have the ability to modify their schemes at will.
What I do have an issue with is how quickly these changes have been implemented.
Not offering customers a period of notice to cash out their vouchers at current rates is hardly going to win them any popularity contests. Considering we are approaching the end of a Clubcard quarter during which people may have worked hard to accumulate points to convert to a particular scheme, only for its value to be slashed, will also only rub salt into the wounds.
Have you been affected by these Clubcard changes?
Header image credit: Jasni / Shutterstock.com