Air miles more than you think from Tesco Clubcard
Way back in 2013, I wrote the blog (below) highlighting all the ways I planned to save Virgin Atlantic air miles for a once in a lifetime holiday to America. My goal was to pay for one of three airline tickets with air miles to make the family trip more affordable. Here is an update on what happened next:
Last year, my husband, daughter and I were sat in London Heathrow waiting for our flight number to be called. I had turned 30 a couple of days earlier and I turned to my husband and said “We made it, we’re actually doing this!” We had achieved something that 2 years earlier had seemed impossible.
While our air mile balance grew, so too had our ambitious plans for the trip, we headed to L.A. to visit Disneyland and the Hollywood Hills before picking up a car and driving up the Pacific Highway to San Francisco. A week there was followed by a few days in New York as it was “on the way home”.
Thanks to saving an incredible 105,000 miles we actually bought 3-return tickets to New York, costing 35,000 air miles each. In the end all we needed to spend money on were the internal routes from New York to California and back.
“So how did you do it?” I hear you cry! We used all the tactics outlined in my original blog as well as a few more…
Big purchases mean bigger rewards
Car insurance, football season tickets and even group meals out are a great way for the air miles to stack up.
- We don’t like to accumulate 10-11 months of interest paying our car insurance monthly, so we buy up front on the credit card, paying it off in larger chunks over a few months as soon as we can (the APR actually was better on the card than through the insurance provider at the time).
- My husband, father-in-law and daughter are season ticket holders at the local football club. We purchase everyone’s tickets on our card, paying it off as soon as we can, with the father-in-law paying us back.
- When we’re eating out with a group, we’ll often leave working out what the split of the bill is , pay it in full using the credit card and work out what everyone owes us later on!
Bonus air miles are given away as incentives for purchases all the time. Here are some we’ve taken advantage of while living on the mantra – only if it’s needed or we were planning on buying it anyway!
- Shops Away website from Virgin Atlantic is great for when you’re planning on purchasing something online. It works in the same way as Quidco, you click through to the retailer, make a purchase and earn air miles back!
- Do you pay monthly for wine delivered to your door? Or planning on a boozy Christmas? Sign up to Virgin Wines, buy one crate and you’ll receive 6,000 miles.
- Home Insurance from Tesco Clubcard came with a 12,000 mile bonus.
- We opened a Virgin Money ISA and earned another 6,000 miles.
- With Tesco Mobile, we earn Clubcard points on our bills and pay it off each month with our Amex – getting three times the miles!
- IHG hotels and Virgin Trains also offer air miles with every booking and again paying on the Amex doubles the reward!
The list of schemes and bonuses goes on and thanks to the blog www.headforpoints.com, we were kept up to date with all the latest offers.
If you’re thinking of taking on your own air miles challenge remember one thing: it only works if you’re spending the same as before! We make sure that we’re never out of pocket with the aim to earn miles and pay our credit card balance in full each month. We don’t ever go out of our way to buy something with a bonus scheme or if we can get it cheaper elsewhere.
Here’s my original post from June 2013:
Miles more than you think from Tesco Clubcard
“I’m nearly 30”, I turned to my husband and said. “I want to do something special. I want to go to San Francisco.” This is how the conversation started and within minutes we’d decided – my daughter, my husband and I are going to book a trip to the States. Then we had a thought: however will we afford such a trip?
Simple, I said; if we can get one of our airline tickets paid for using air miles, it’s much more affordable. So off we went to Virgin Atlantic’s website. For an economy seat, from Manchester to San Francisco and a return flight from L.A., it’s 42,500 miles: that’s our target.
I’d heard friends talking about the Tesco Clubcard Points to air miles exchanges so I looked into it. To my surprise there are a whole host of ways to earn Virgin Atlantic air miles but through the Tesco Clubcard is by far the easiest.
Here are just some of the ways we’re earning our miles:
A Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card Dual card – American Express and Visa.
We put all our purchases on them and pay them off at the end of every month. For every £1 spent on the American Express we get 1 mile and for the Visa its 1 mile for every £2 spent. You also get a bonus 3,000 miles with your first purchase!
The Tesco Clubcard Account
You can earn points and air miles on heaps of Tesco products. Here’s what we’ve earned points on so far but you can read about other purchases on the Virgin Flying Club & Tesco Clubcard website:
|Exchange Rates||Spend||Clubcard Points||Flying Club Miles|
|Tesco Gift-Card Store Non-Tesco cards||£50||150||375|
|Green Points Taking your own bags*||£0||2||5|
*no longer valid
Some of the most fruitful point’s earners for us have been the fuel and foods spend. Switching to Tesco has meant that we’re earning miles on our everyday essentials.
One of the schemes we found by accident is the gift card bonus scheme. If you know you’re going to eat a meal out and the bill will be over £50, why not buy a Pizza Express, Zizzi or Nando’s voucher at Tesco first and earn nearly 400 miles? We’ve bought B&Q vouchers, Toys R Us, Next; all the big retailers. As long as you’re buying at least £50 worth of vouchers you’ll earn triple points!
Most recently though, as part of the loyalty scheme, Tesco sends out bonus point vouchers when you spend so much in store on certain dates. So far, just on small food shops in May and June we’ve earned another bonus 200 points which equates to 500 miles!
Some examples of just what you can earn with the smallest of changes:
- My friends and I were clubbing together for a girlfriend’s birthday, the present was a £100 gift card for Debenhams. I bought the card at Tesco with my Amex card at 1 mile per £1, using my Tesco Clubcard at 7.5 miles and 3 Clubcard points per £1. In one purchase I earned 850 miles which is 2% of our target!
- We were going for a family meal to Pizza Express; again I bought a gift card at Tesco using my Amex card. In that purchase I earned 240 miles.
So what’s next?
Well as you can see on the Virgin Flying Club site the next thing to target would be Tesco mobile which offers 7.5 miles per £1. If my husband and I each got a basic contract at £10 a month we could potentially be earning 300 air miles a month on another essential! Needless to say once our contracts are up we’re making the switch.
With just the above steps in a little over 2 months we’ve earned over 6,000 miles. We go to San Francisco in June 2015. At this rate we’ll have enough for all three of us to go for free! That’s 127,500 miles – in case you were wondering!