15% was obviously too low, so Tesco and Virgin Atlantic are back with 20%… Tesco Clubcard and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club have announced another conversion bonus, running from 1 February until 14 March, 2016.
The current promotion offers 20% bonus miles when converting Clubcard vouchers into Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles. The standard rate is 250 miles per £1, so this promo would take that to 300 miles per £1.
In 2015, we saw a 30% bonus in February, a 20% bonus in May and a measly 15% bonus in November. These promotions are obviously quite regular, so there’s never really any reason to convert until you have reasonably firm plans and a likely requirement for Flying Club miles. Otherwise just wait until the next promo…
For those not fully familiar with Tesco Clubcard, it should be noted that you collect points year-round, but these can’t actually be spent on anything until they are converted to vouchers each January, April, July and October… Vouchers should have been issued recently for the January statement run. There’s no need to spend vouchers right away, you can leave them in your account for up to 2 years.
A useful trick for extending the life of your points / vouchers is to spend a high-denomination voucher on a small miles transfer. The balance of the voucher will be converted back into points shortly ahead of the next statement date, and turned back into a brand-new voucher (extending its life by another 2 years). The only downside is that you can’t use those points until they are converted back into a voucher – horrible if a conversion bonus or other requirement comes along…
Virgin Atlantic also continue to push hard to convince Tesco Clubcard members to set their accounts to automatically transfer vouchers to miles each quarter. This time, they are offering 1,000 miles for doing so. However, nothing stops you from signing up for “Auto Opt In”, but then cancelling once those bonus miles have been earned. I’ve been able to do that so many times I’ve lost count. It is important to remember to cancel the “Auto Opt In”, as you don’t want to have your vouchers automatically convert, particularly outside of a bonus promotion.
Another option is to set “Auto Opt In” on a secondary, dormant Tesco Clubcard account. You will earn 1,000 miles irrespective of whether any Clubcard points are ever converted from that account to Flying Club.
The opportunity to convert Tesco Clubcard points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles is fantastic. I’m sure that even the most loyal Avios collector appreciates the ability to fly in one direction with Avios and the other on Virgin Atlantic, getting around any award availability problems from being loyal to just one airline / alliance. The Clubhouse lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal 3 is also something to be tried at least once!