Newest Review: ... pay it off or transfer it when it gets to the end of the deal in February 2014. It was easy to apply for, I did it online at tesco ban... more
A hyped up average card that is not that beneficial
Tesco Clubcard Credit Card
Member Name: yackers1
Tesco Clubcard Credit Card
Advantages: Accepted everywhere (but then it is a Mastercard), you get club card points on all purchases
Disadvantages: Poor reward system, poorly advertised, higher interest rate than other cards
Applying for this card is a very quick and easy process that can be done online via Tesco Finance.Com. It takes a matter of minutes to complete the well laid out application form and a decision is made almost immediately. The paperwork is then sent through the post, for signature and return, to complete the application.
The application process is no different to that of many other credit card providers that carry ut the process online. I can't say that the process was any quicker or slower, any easier or more difficult or any more complcated than that of other providers. I can confirm that I had no problems though and it was a painless transition.
Credit card designs have become a bit of a fashion statement and there are numerous attractive, of specific interest and innovative (I refer to the mint card with the rounded edge) designs available that are used to lure in consumers from existing providers. That said, when I applied for this card I was offered two options, being a card that looked like the normal clubcard (i.e. blue and red) and a card that was silver in colour with strawberries on it. Neither of them are that attractive, original or funky looking so I opted for the normal clubcard design, and what a mistake that was.
There were many places where there was a response of "we don't take Tesco clubcards here" as I handed the card over. My standard response of "it's a credit card" quickly turned in to sarcasm that, I regret to say, were almost to the point of rudeness. Whilst a Mastercard that looked like a clubcard was a talking point at many cash tills it soon got tiresome. Another thing I found was that I sometimes handed the cashiers my actual clubcard (after all I do carry a club card as well) which was actually quite embarrassing. It was soon time to change to the strawberry design.
The current interest rate is on this credit card is 16.9% APR. In all honesty this is not a great rate (at the time of writing both the 'basic' Natwest and RBS credit cards are at this level) and there are lower rates (the MBNA platinum card is carrying an interest rate of 15.9%) and higher rates (the American Express Blue Sky card is carrying a rate of 17.9%).
****The Tesco rewards****
The way in which the points are added to your account are very confusing and , along with a few other people I know that signed up for this card, was under the belief that I would get 5 club card points for every £4 spent in Tescos store, or on Tesco Direct, and 1 clubcard point for every £4 spent elsewhere. In addition to this I thought that for every £4 spent in Tesco I would not only get 5 points for using the credit card but also 4 points for using my regular clubcard, amounting to 9 points per £4 which is a bit of a bonus.
However this assumption was wrong. When you are granted a Tesco credit card it is automatically linked to your existing club card account. Therefore, you will actually only receive 5 points and not 9. I'm sure it states it somewhere in the small print but this linking of accounts is not clear to see and I know of many people that caught out with this, just like I did.
I was informed by a friend that Tesco have been very clever in that if you use your credit card to pay for the shopping then you, as the credit card holder, will automatically get the points even if you hand over a different club card. I was sceptical about this but decided to test it out by going shopping with my mum. At the checkout I handed over her club card (which was subsequently swiped) but paid with my credit card. When the statements came in we were amazed to discover that the points were awarded to my card, as opposed to hers. I guess this is a way that Tesco prevents consumers cheating the system.
Whilst this scheme is all above board, I think that it is a bit naughty and Tesco should be forced to clearly state how their credit card rewards scheme actually works. I now find myself asking the question is the Tesco credit card actually worth using? After all, the true benefit is 1 point per £4 spent regardless of where you use the card (bearing in mind that all club card holders will get 4 points per £4 (or 1 point per £1) for shopping at Tesco.
A Mastercard customer can benefit from many other offers and deals, such as 15% of a Champney trip, 10% of Hertz Rent-a-car and 10% of Superbreak amongst many others. This is great if you actually use any of these, but if you are like me then these deals are as good as a chocolate tea pot.
It should be noted that these other rewards are available to all Mastercard users and is not exclusive to Tesco credit card holders so it is not worth signing up for a Tesco credit card purely for taking advantage of any of the offers advertised by Mastercard.
As with many other credit cards it is possible to keep an eye on your spending via an online account. I think online accounts are fantastic tools as they not only let you know how much you've spent and how much you have left to spend etc. but they are also a great way of ensuring that your card is not being misused or cloned. If there are any problems then an online account allows you to pick these up earlier and inform the credit card provider much earlier than would have been the case if the problem was only picked up when a statement was issued.
If you are considering getting a Tesco credit card in the belief that you are going to amass hundreds and hundreds of additional points over a short period of time (just like I did) then I'm afraid you are going to be disappointed. You will get additional points, but it equates to 1 for every £4 you spend. Just think how much you will need to spend to amass those points. Hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Now think how long it is going to be before you are going to spend that sort of money. Weeks? Months? Years? I did this calculation and I was flabbergasted. The amount of additional points was so minimal that it just wasn't worth getting this card for the points alone.
If you take the above in to consideration you basically have a standard Mastercard with, what appears to be a typical interest rate of 16.9% APR. Whilst it is not the highest rate out there, it definitely is not the lowest and, if like me, you use your credit card throughout the month and religiously pay off the balance in full at the end of each month then who cares about the interest rate? It can be 75% for all I care. All I wanted was the rewards and the Tesco credit card fails to deliver on this. That said most credit cards seem very poor on the reward front and whilst the marketing gives you all the spiel about how good the card is, all the rewards you will get etc etc in reality you get very, very little. Just goes to show that you don't get nothing for nothing in life.
Summary: A card with minimal rewards that, in my opinion, is mis-sold
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