How to earn 5 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles per £1 spent on your supermarket shopping
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While using an airline cobranded credit card for your everyday spending can be a great way to earn points and miles, there’s an even better option for your weekly supermarket shopping. Reader Mike sent in a great tip for stacking Tesco Clubcard points, which can earn you a whopping 5 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for each £1 you spend at supermarket chain Tesco.
Here’s how it works.
If you have Tesco Clubcard, you probably know you can earn Clubcard points each time you swipe your card at the till at Tesco. If you then paid for your groceries with a points-earning credit card, such as a Membership Rewards-earning credit card, for example, you would earn both Clubcard points and Membership Rewards points.
Here’s the trick though. Clubcard points can be transferred to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club at a very generous rate of 1:2.5, while Membership Rewards points, for example, only transfer at a rate of 1:1. So 1,000 Clubcard points is worth more Flying Club miles than 1,000 Membership Rewards points.
So, it makes sense to earn as many Clubcard points as you can.
If you’re shopping at Tesco, you’ll earn 1 Clubcard point per £1 spent. But if you have a Tesco Bank current account and pay with the debit card associated with this bank account, you’ll earn an additional 1 Clubcard point per £1 spent. So a £100 Tesco shop would earn 200 Clubcard points. These transfer to Flying Club miles at a rate of 1:2.5, so 200 Clubcard points would become 500 Flying Club miles.
That’s a huge 5 Flying Club miles for each £1 you spend at Tesco. Note that you can’t directly transfer Clubcard points into Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. First you need to convert your Clubcard points into Clubcard vouchers at a rate of 250 Clubcard points per £2.50 voucher. Each £2.50 voucher can then be redeemed for 625 Flying Club miles (so a rate 1 Clubcard point is 2.5 Flying Club miles).
There’s also the option of transferring your Clubcard vouchers into British Airways Avios, rather than Flying Club miles. The rate isn’t quite as good, at 1 Clubcard point becoming 2.4 Avios, so you would earn 4.8 Avios per £1 spent at Tesco where you pay with the Tesco debit card. It is the same process to convert via Clubcard vouchers, it’s just that the conversion rate isn’t quite as attractive for Avios compared with Flying Club.
Unfortunately, Tesco Bank is not accepting any new applications for current accounts right now, so you cannot sign up for the debit card if you do not already have one. However, if you’re a regular Tesco shopper, it’s worth checking that odds and ends drawer at home to see if you have a Tesco debit card — you may have signed up for one some time ago and forgotten about it. If you hold the Tesco Clubcard Mastercard, this will also earn Clubcard points for each £1 you spend at Tesco, but the earning rate is much lower than using the Tesco debit card — you’ll only earn 1 Clubcard point per £4 spent with the Mastercard.
The extra step of converting Clubcard points into vouchers, and then into Flying Club miles or Avios is a bit of a pain, but if you’re a regular Tesco shopper, it’s well worth it. The transfer rate is very generous into both airline programmes, especially for Virgin. While paying with a points-earning credit card is usually a great way to maximise your travel, if you do have the Tesco debit card, you can earn a whopping 5 Flying Club or 4.8 Avios per £1 spent.
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