Tesco is suspending cuts to its hugely popular Clubcard loyalty scheme following a public outcry.
The nation’s largest supermarket chain said it had “listened to customers’ feedback” and will not now be introducing the changes until June.
It had come under heavy criticism for announcing via email on Monday that many of its higher bracket rewards – for such things as eating out and trips to London Zoo – would immediately be worth less.
How does Tesco Clubcard work?
For every £1 spent in store, on fuel or on a Tesco financial product, such as loan or mobile contract, members ‘earn’ one point.
The points are converted into money off vouchers you can use on your grocery shop, or for treating yourself to a meal at certain restaurants or a day out at various attractions.
The vouchers are sent out every three months.
Depending on the ‘reward’, the vouchers are worth two, three or four times their value.
What’s the fuss all about?
Tesco riled its loyal customers by emailing them on Monday telling them it was “simplifying” its voucher system by making everything worth three times the value.
While that would see some offers go up in value, many of the higher ticket attractions – such as a day out at Alton Towers – would come down from four times to three.
That led to some people who had been saving their vouchers for months saying that instead of having £400-worth, they were holding £300.
But what really angered Clubcard members was that there was no notice – the changes were to be introduced immediately.
All change now, though?
Well, Tesco says its has listened to the feedback and has decided to delay the introduction of the changes until June.
At this stage, it still looks like the values will still be formalised to three times but at least you get a few months to spend them.
Martin Lewis, founder of the Money Saving Expert website, told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours, it appeared Tesco had responded to “all the anger that’s been out there and the campaigning”.
He added: “They’ve done the right thing and they’re giving those people who have been saving up to get their four-times vouchers some time to redeem them.”
Customers who used such vouchers at three times their face value will be refunded, the supermarket said.
How do you get the most out of your points?
There are many other ways to boost your points.
For example, the Tesco Pay+ app lets you store your credit or debit card and Clubcard details, then pay for shopping and automatically collect Clubcard points at Tesco by scanning the barcode in the app.
At the moment, it’s offering an extra Clubcard point for every £4 you spend in store until 28 February 2018. That’s on top of the usual one point per £1 – meaning you’ll get five points for every £4 spent. Use a Tesco credit card and you’ll get another point/£4 – which means 6 points for £4.
All Tesco products – from mortgages and loans to mobile phones – all offer Clubcard boosts for customers.
And, if you don’t mind a bit of marketing every now and then, you could consider giving Tesco Bank details of your renewal dates for such things as car insurance, or home insurance.
You’ll get 75 points for doing so but will be contacted by Tesco when the policies come up for renewal.
Finally, if your vouchers are coming to the end of their two-year lifespan and you don’t want to lose them, consider making a small purchase on the Clubcard Boost voucher exchange site (not in store or on other Tesco websites) and the remaining balance is credited back to your Clubcard account as points.
They’ll then be reissued as new vouchers (with an expiry date two years in the future) when you next get a batch. So if you spend 50p on a £10 voucher, you’ll get £9.50 as new vouchers.