You’ve probably heard by now that Tesco’s Clubcard loyalty scheme is changing with the launch of “Clubcard Plus”. The scheme officially launches today and is a paid subscription scheme that offers members extra discounts in return.
This post may contain affiliate links (marked with a *) where I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information please read my full disclosure policy. All opinions are my own.
Martin Lewis recently likened it to the Amazon Prime subscription. The reason being it gives loyal customers extra perks and also makes subscribing customers more loyal and “sticky” in the process.
When you think about it this makes perfect sense from a marketing perspective as the supermarket retail market tends to be a constant price war with most of us switching more often than we change our socks.
The price competition has also intensified since Aldi and Lidl started expanding in the UK, so to try and find a new way to build customer loyalty is a pretty smart move.
It’s certainly worked for Amazon with Prime members being more loyal and buying significantly more than non-prime customers.
So, if you’re going to take inspiration from anyone’s model, then Amazon is probably a good place to start, as they’re in one of the most price competitive markets, yet have managed to get huge customer loyalty.
But the big question is… Is the Clubcard Plus scheme worth the £7.99 a month price tag? So, let’s take a look at how it works, what you get and if it’s worth the money…
How Does Tesco Clubcard Plus Work?
Basically for £7.99 a month you’ll get access to exclusive discounts and perks just for Clubcard Plus members. You can sign up for it on the Clubcard website and you’ll need the Clubcard App o access the discounts you get with the scheme. , which you can download from the App Store or Google Play.
10% off 2 “Big Shops” a Month.
As usual, though, there’s some small print you’ll need to be aware of before you rush to sign up.
The discount is capped at a £200 basket value, which would give you a £20 discount. If you spent £200 twice a month then you could potentially save £40 a month, which would easily cover the membership cost.
There are some exclusions though.
The first relates to how you shop.
You can only get the 10% Big-Shop” discount on in-store Tesco purchases. So, this excludes online orders or Click and Collect.
This is quite a big one for me, as my initial thought was that I could switch to online ordering via Tesco instead of shopping at Aldi to save some time. (It also means Jack’s, Booker and One Stop stores are excluded too).
The second relates to what items your discount can be applied too…
These are important as it’s easy to just base your potential savings on your average weekly shopping cost.
But’ if you’re like me you’re likely to have all kinds of things in your trolley that won’t be valid for a discount, so you need to factor this in…
The exclusions are below.
I’ve highlighted a few of the things I regularly buy that are excluded which makes it far more difficult to work out if it’s going to be worthwhile.
For example, if you’ve got little ones and buy baby formula, for example, it’s excluded so you need to bear this in mind.
- Fuel and motoring related products
- Gift vouchers and gift cards
- Savings stamps and postage stamps
- Tobacco products and accessories
- Infant baby formula milk
- Prescription medicines
- Newspapers and magazines
- Mobile phones, top-ups, and accessories
- Sports, bikes, and camping
- Car accessories and DIY
- Luggage and bags
- Media and Entertainment
- Garden and BBQ
- Stationary, cards and wrapping paper
- Party accessories
- Toys and nursery
- Seasonal non-food
- Bureau de change
- Carrier bag charges
- In-store café or coffee shop
- Alcoholic drinks subject to 25% discount off 6 bottles, or to the extent the discount would reduce the product value below the Minimum Unit Price
10% Always-On Instore
The second set of discounts available to Clubcard Plus members, is the 10% Always-on In-store discount.
Now, with this element, you get a permanent discount on several Tesco own-brand items. They are:
- F&F Clothing
- Fred & Flo Baby Products
- Carousel Baby Toys“Tesco Pet” own brand pet products (in Tesco packaging)
- Tesco Go Cook Cookware Range
- Tesco Fox & Ivy Homeware
There’s no cap to this too so you can buy as much as you like and get the 10% discount. You won’t get an additional 10% big shop discount though on any of these.
Again, this discount only applies to in-store purchases and not online orders or click and collect.
These discounts put a slightly different spin on things for me. My initial concern was about exclusions from the big shop discount. For example, we always buy nappies when we do a big shop as well as pet food.
Now my worry was these being excluded from the big shop discount. But, as they’re on the “Always-on” discount, I’d still get 10% off these and then be able to get 10% off my food shop with the “Big Shop” offer.
You can find full Terms and conditions on the Clubcard website.
Tesco Mobile Double Data Offers
You’ll also be able to get double data if you’re a Tesco Mobile pay monthly customer. It works by simply doubling your data on your existing plan.
How much is this worth I hear you ask?
Well, to upgrade your plan from either 500MB to 1GB or 1GB or 2GB is usually around £1.50 a month. It can vary slightly depending on the deal you’re on, but this seems to be the most common value.
So, if you’re an existing Tesco Mobile customer, on a tariff that has a 1GB allowance, you might be able to reduce your tariff back down to 500MB.
The Plus membership would then double it back up to 1GB, saving you £1.50 a month. You’ll need to make sure you don’t have a habit of straying over your allowance though!
You can get the offer if you’re on a monthly contract and will get double Clubcard points on your bill too. To get it you’ll need to activate it in your Clubcard Plus account using the app.
Access to a No Foreign Exchange Fees Abroad Credit Card starting in the New Year
The last “perk” you get access to, is coming in the New Year. Although after looking into this I don’t really class it as a benefit worth considering.
The offer gives you access to a new Clubcard Plus credit card, which has initially being billed as a Fee-Free Foreign Exchange Card.
But there are already plenty of other Fee Free Foreign Exchange Cards available. That’s why I don’t see this as a benefit at all so think it’s best to just ignore it when weighing up if Clubcard Plus is worth it.
So, is Tesco’s Clubcard Plus Worth the £7.99 Subscription?
Well, as you’ve probably guessed, it depends.
As with most subscription plans, whether it’s worth getting or not depends on your current spending habits.
If you’re a regular Tesco shopper spending more than £80 split across 2 separate shops each month then probably yes. But it does tie you into Tesco. That’s why they’re doing it after all!
So, I’ve worked through a couple of scenarios below.
The average weekly spend on Food and Non-Alcoholic Drinks according to the Office for National Statistics is £60.60 per week. The national average household is 2.4 people so the reality is it will vary to this so I’m going to use a per person figure of £25.30 a week for my calculations.
Family of 4
Weekly Spend: £101.20
Potential Saving: £20.24 (based on 10% discount on 2 of these each month)
Monthly Subscription: £7.99
Savings after Subscription: £12.25
Couple with no Kids
Weekly Spend: £50.60
Potential Saving: £10.12 based on 10% discount on 2 weekly shops a month
Monthly Subscription: £7.99
Savings after Subscription: £2.13
Single Person Living Alone
Weekly Spend: £25.30
Potential Savings: £5.06 based on 10% discount on 2 weekly shops a month
Monthly Subscription: £7.99
£2.93 worse off a month.
So, as you’ll see the target for Tesco is the bigger spending families as they’re the ones most likely to benefit.
You might also get households with 2 Clubcards, signing up with both accounts to max out of 4 shops a month if they already do all their shopping at Tesco.
The figures above also just focus on the grocery side of the offer, so the figures will be different if you buy lots of clothes at Tesco for example.
Will I be signing up?
Well, no. For me, it simply isn’t worth it as I tend to use Tesco for my Top Up shops as I use Aldi for my main shop as it’s still significantly cheaper. Even with the 10% discount, Tesco will still fall short. When I compared the two last year, I found Aldi to be 16% cheaper on one of our big shops.
So, if you’ve got an Aldi or Lidl nearby then this is definitely something to bear in mind.
Are you thinking of signing up for Tesco’s Clubcard Plus Scheme? Or, like me, do you think it’s simply not worth the money? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens to the Current Clubcard Scheme?
Tesco has confirmed that the current Clubcard Scheme will remain the same and Clubcard Plus is offered in addition to this.