Especially galling was the fact that these changes came into effect immediately – with no advance warning given to customers.
What Tesco didn’t envisage was the widespread media attention and backlash that these changes received. There was a hurried slamming on the brakes and most of the references to these enhancements were removed from the FAQs on the Tesco website within a couple of days.
It was announced that these changes were being pushed back until 11th June 2018 (previously the 10th June).
That means that you have just a few days remaining to take advantage of the current range of redemptions partners and rates.
Here’s a recap of what’s changing:
The official comment from Tesco in January:
“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.
What does that mean?
Essentially, Tesco has moved to replace the present Clubcard rewards system which offers either 2x, 3x or 4x the value of your Clubcard vouchers depending on which partner you chose to redeem with.
Instead, they’re simplifying matters:
“We will be offering customers 3x the value of their vouchers with over 80 Clubcard Reward Partners (rather than offering 2x value for some Reward Partners and 4x for others).”
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
- 2.5 Flying Club miles
You can read more about converting Tesco Clubcard points to airline miles in this article here.
Also unaffected is the option to convert Tesco Clubcard vouchers into Uber credit, which 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 so I’m not going to post all 100+ partners that have been altered.
Key changes include:
- Restaurants (Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge, Prezzo and Zizzi etc) – DROPPING from 4X TO 3X value.
- Train booking via Redspottedhanky – GOING UP from 2X to 3X value.
Here are some other affected partners:
- Evans Cycles
- APH Parking
- Chef & Brewer
- 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
A full list of all affected partners can be found on this page of the Tesco website.
There are no two ways about it – this is a devaluation and a fairly painful one at that.
No matter how Tesco dresses it up, the slashing of popular redemptions options such as Pizza Express and Prezzo, stings.
As I said at the time, I struggle to get my head around what the thought process was at Tesco when signing off on the original timetable for these changes. Did they not know how strongly people would feel about the partners that offered 4x value being taken away?
Credit must be given, however, for reversing the decision and delaying these changes. Giving people an extra six months and an additional Clubcard collection period to evaluate the changes and redeem at current rates has helped to soften the blow somewhat.