Tesco is no longer just a supermarket, but a bank as well. The Tesco MasterCard can be used anywhere that MasterCard is accepted, but it also doubles up as a Tesco Club card, allowing consumers to collect points not only on their regular spending but extra points when shopping at Tesco’s. The card has a number of features to recommend it, including a discount scheme, a buy now pay later facility, and zero percent commission on Tesco travel money which can be delivered free on amounts over £500.
One of the best features of the card is the zero percent APR on purchases for the first 15 months. The time period of nine months is less on balance transfers, which levy a competitive 2.9% fee.The current APR on purchases and money transfers is 16.945% to 21.944%, depending on personal credit.
The same APR applies to the offer of buy now pay later purchases that allows card holders to pay zero interest on selected items over £250 available from Tesco Direct, for a fixed amount of months: if the item is not paid off within that period the standard purchase APR will be applied. Tesco Direct offers many items at discount prices.
The APR on balance transfers is slightly higher at 18.268% to 24.238%, and cash advances are charged at a set 24.942%. The cash advance fee is 3% with a minimum charge of £3, making it an expensive option. The foreign exchange fee is 2.75%.
The Tesco MasterCard doubles up as a Tesco Club card, giving one point for every £4 spent. It also gives one point for every £1 spent at Tesco petrol stations, excluding purchases of Esso fuel. Points are redeemable in the form of Tesco Clubcard vouchers which can be spent in store or on line, or at Tesco petrol stations. Clubcard vouchers can also be redeemed for air miles, with a £2.50 voucher equalling 60 air miles.
Holders of the Tesco MasterCard also have a number of offers to choose from which should particularly appeal to travellers. The current offers for 2011 include discounted airport parking, discounted hotel rates and discounted luxury spa stays. Cardholders who pay using the Tesco MasterCard are entitled to a 15% discount with APH for airport parking, and 10% off APH airport hotel rates and airport lounges.
Other offers include 20% off anything at Buygift.com, 20% off the best rates at Best Western Hotels, 10% off UK short breaks from Superbreak, and 15% off overnight stays or spa day packages at Champneys Health Resort Spas.
If the discounts appeal then the Tesco MasterCard has advantages even for cardholders who don’t shop at Tesco. The buy now pay later feature is an excellent way of purchasing goods interest free, providing the balance if paid off before the APR kicks in. The additional incentive of 0% APR for 15 months on purchases makes the Tesco MasterCard one worth considering for anyone who routinely carries a balance.