Posts Tagged ‘clubcard’
Everyone knows the insurance industry is the worst kind of old boys club. Well, perhaps not the worst kind. Still, the fact that financial advisers can be sunning themselves on a cruise paid for on the back of advice given 20 years ago is why the whole financial services regime is currently undergoing a ‘reform’ to make it more transparent for everyone involved, with such ‘trail commission’ payments expected to be banned from 2014.
Now, HMRC have decided to get in on the act, with a new ruling that any such commissions that are thrown back to consumers will, from April onwards, be taxable. Earlier years’ bonuses will not be taxed. The insurance industry are perturbed by this new announcement, but are trying to spread the bad news by insinuating they are merely the first step on an HMRC cashback rampage.
The payments in question are basically repeat commission paid annually on longer term insurance-type investments. If you purchased the product with the help of a financial adviser, you can rest assured that he has been enjoying the benefit of the annual charge-back ever since you took it out. However, if you did not have an adviser, or in certain other circumstances, the investment product provider or broker will get the bung instead. Such firms are under no obligation to show you a penny of this free commission, but some do, notably Hargreaves Lansdowne who repay 16% of any commission received to its investors as a ‘bonus’. It is this cash payment returned to customers, either by way of an account credit or set off against management fees that HMRC have now ruled as chargeable. As far as they are concerned, it is an income generated by your investment, so unless it’s in a tax-free wrapper like a Stocks ISA or a SIPP, it’s fair game.
Hargreaves Lansdown, who is the largest bonus re-bunger, is understandably unimpressed. “It seems the Government is now seeking to tax small savers and investors. This is effectively a second tax on their income,” grumbled chief executive Ian Gorham.
However, he didn’t stop there, complaining to the Telegraph that it wasn’t just sour grapes, he was merely concerned that “the government may have set a precedent in taxing such loyalty schemes and savvy shoppers could well be next with Multi-buys, cashback credit cards and cashback websites all possible targets in the future.”
So should we all be worried about our clubcard balances? Is the taxman going to be making honey out of your Nectar card? Should you start declaring your Quidco and TopCashback earnings on your tax return? Apparently not. HMRC are reported to have dismissed these claims as “complete rubbish”, and the taxing of additional income on an investment product (i.e. designed to make the holder money) does seem to be entirely different from earning 20p from buying a kettle at Argos.
Still, you can never say never with HMRC, and perhaps the good folks at Hargreaves Lansdown have just given them a great idea for next year’s Budget…
It’s pretty creepy that Tesco use the Clubcard scheme to send targeted mail about Tena Lady and vodka (or this that just me?). But even creepier, now it seems your points might not be safe.
Today it was revealed that internet scamps have been hacking into Clubcard accounts to steal points off unsuspecting customers. Tesco and the police are investigating, and appealing for those who have been affected to get in touch.
According to Tesco the number of customers affected is ‘significantly less than 100.’ But those who’ve been hacked have been reporting login issues, and some Clubcard members have been informed that the vouchers were spent miles away from their home. Some poor sap on the Tesco site complained:
‘We logged on this month to find that £160 of vouchers that we were hoping to use at Christmas had been stolen from our Clubcard account. It had been spent in two stores in London, miles away from where we live.’
So if you see anyone in the er… London branch of Tesco wearing a balaclava and pushing a trolley full of someone else’s Christmas presents, give them what’s known in the trade as ‘an unexpected item in the bagging area’.
After much anticipation from some people without much else to do, Tesco bank have finally unveiled their first mortgage offerings. And they are pretty underwhelming.
Largely fixed rates, their best rate is 3.19% fixed for two years, with a 70% max LTV, although higher rates are available with a deposit down to a minimum of 20%.
While 3.19% isn’t a bad rate, it is far from market leading, with high street names like HSBC already offering 2.99% fixes for five years. Ray Boulger of mortgage brokers John Charcol chuntered “any hopes that the entry of Tesco would produce a significant increase in competition have been dashed, at least initially, by its opening rates, which seem to be designed more to avoid getting too much business than to ruffle the feathers of existing lenders.”
“Its opening rates would have been competitive a month ago but not now, unless Tesco has re-defined the word competitive,” he grumbled.
The big USP for Tescos is the fact that you can get Clubcard points on your payments, and you even get your Clubcard points (4 points per £) on all repayments you make, not just on the interest. You are also allowed to make up to 20% of the outstanding balance repayments each year without penalty, and those get Clubcard points too.
However, assuming a mortgage repayment of £1000 per month, that would earn you 250 Clubcard points a month, or 3000 Clubcard points a year. Given that 1 point equals 1p, we are not sure that £750 of Clubcard rewards over 25 years is a desperately exciting incentive. But we could be wrong.
Still, being able to go hundreds of thousands of pounds in debt while buying nappies and milk is what this country has been crying out for, no?
Tesco may be a shower of gits by offering the dole queues unpaid work, but they’re not afraid of the future. They’re introducing an augmented reality service which enables you plebs who can’t afford to buy anything the chance to hold a Tesco Direct catalogue and see what products look like on your webcam on life-size 3D projections.
The Telegraph report that “more tech-savvy Tesco shoppers will be able to watch 3D film trailers projected onto a Tesco Clubcard and play with ‘virtual Pirates of the Carribean Lego’ on sale in the supermarket using their webcams at home.”
A Tesco spokesman said: “This is a really exciting new technology which in this form is a relatively untapped opportunity in the UK. Thanks to our work with Kishino, augmented reality will allow customers to be closer to our product and interact in a way that has never previously been possible.”
Will anyone actually get anything useful from this service though? We haven’t heard of anyone using Tesco’s Android app which acted as an in-store sat nav.
Time for your daily dose of banging bargains from the hallowed portal of savings that is HotUKDeals. Get ready to have your temptation-dodging skills tested – you’re going to want ALL of this stuff…
Come with us, if you dare, into the murky world of the Tesco Clubcard. On the face of it, it all seems so simple. You buy stuff, you get some points, you convert those points into other stuff. What could be confusing about that?
But there’s variables at play. Sometimes you get double points, and the word is that Tesco are taking those away next month. Never mind (as Kurt Cobain would say) because the word on the street today is that there’s QUADRUPLE points offers to be had. It baffles us but it might be of some use to you lot.
A few days ago, HotUKDeals was ABLAZE with talk of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, sometimes known as the Playstation Phone. It’s more than a phone, as it opens up into some kind of mini gaming console, with loads of old Sony Playstation games playable on it.
In short, an enormous boon, and here at Bitterwallet, we’re always on the look out for enormous boons. Anyhoo, the Xperia Play is available again for the sensational price of just £199.99, and it comes unlocked and SIM-free. Admit it – you want it.
Have you ever woke up and thought to yourself that you wanted to Adam Jensen, an ex-SWAT specialist who’s been handpicked to oversee the defensive needs of one of America’s most experimental biotechnology firms? You’d have a job that is to safeguard company secrets, but when a black ops team breaks in and kills the very scientists you were hired to protect, everything you thought you knew about your job changes.
Yeah, us too. Well now you can re-enact that EXACT scenario by investing in the wildly popular limited edition version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, where that’s EXACTLY the sort of thing that goes on. You can get it for £18.99 on the PS3 and Xbox 360 here, or for… erm, £18.99 on the PS3 at a different place here. Good luck Adam Jensen.
(deals found by HUKD members eddieconway, zeroHour2, barman200 and StefBarns)
If you’re a Tesco Clubcard holder, here’s a handy tip from avid HotUKDeals user ds2000 that seems to have gone down well and could see some of you making some great savings that you might not have known you were entitled to.
We’ll leave it to ds2000 to explain
This might not be great for everyone if you keep on top of your Tesco discounts, however – I’ve little doubt some of you are a bit like me and have forgotten Tesco’s love
Simply go to the link posted, you’ll need your Tesco card handy to log in.
Then click “Your Vouchers” on the right and hand side and see what you have/haven’t used. If you want your unused vouchers reissuing TO SPEND INSTORE – simply call 0800 59 16 88 – with the voucher reference from your login. To spend online simply copy the code and paste it at checkout.
Being forgetful I’ve just landed 12 months Xbox live and 2100 point for £26 – nearly 50% less than I would have paid – happy days!
For people that have moved houses/email address, its worth checking and correcting your contact details to.
So there you go – now what are you waiting for?
Remember Tesco slashing the worth of clubcard vouchers? Well, there’s more trouble with them as scores of people faced stupidly long queues while trying to cash them in at stores. Those trying to use them on the website, in an attempt to escape the throng, were met with an error message as Tesco’s site couldn’t cope with the number of people trying to log on.
And so, the complaints started rolling in. And they couldn;t get through to the call-centres either.
So, obviously, customers did the only thing left as an option, and that was to swarm around internet forums and whine and moan about the whole shoddy experience.
Tesco said: ‘We experienced a huge last-minute rush over the weekend. This meant that some customers were not able to exchange their vouchers or had problems with the process, and missed the deadline of 5th December. We are doing everything we can at our customer service centres to help those customers affected.’
Will they be extending the deadline? Don’t hold your breath.
Still, at least Tesco are looking after their staff, right? Well, all 280,000 employees of the company been given a Christmas present of a voucher worth up to £20 as well as a discount booklet worth a further £120! However, you can only spend it at a Tesco store.
The Telegraph report that the £20 voucher is only redeemable on a “spend £5 and get £1 off” basis, meaning staff would have to buy £100 worth of groceries to get the full benefit. Except the discount booklet can’t be used on useful things like food or booze. How entirely pointless.
Merry humbug one and all!
Hey exciting Tesco Clubcard loyalty scheme customers! Have you been saving up your Clubcard vouchers? Were you thinking that you might swap ‘em for something at four times their value?
Perhaps you were going to snag a holiday with them or something?
Well, you better hurry up because Tesco will be cutting the reward rates from 6th December from being four times the value to three times the value.
Currently, £10 in Clubcard vouchers can be exchanged for a £40 token to spend on food at places like Pizza Express and Café Rouge, but from 6th December you’ll only get a £30 token in exchange for a £10 voucher. You’ll have to act sharply if you want to reap the benefits of the latest Clubcard offer where you can exchange every £5 in vouchers online for £10 in rewards tokens to spend in selected stores.
The last date to exchange your vouchers online at the higher rates is 5th December. For full details see tesco.com/clubcard.
Tesco has justified this change to customers by highlighting their decision to continue giving shoppers double points where, for each £1 spent on products that qualify for points either in-store or online, customers now get two points rather than one.
“Double points means we send out more vouchers, so customers have more value to spend with our rewards partners. To help both Tesco and our partners manage this increase (after all, there are only so many seats in a restaurant or rooms in a hotel), we will be making changes to our rewards rates.”
At the start of this month, Clubcard points earned on fuel purchases went down from one point per £1 spent to one point per £2 spent. Also, Tesco are looking to close accounts that have not been used for the last two years.
As we briefly revealed last week, Asda are having a U-turn on their stance over loyalty schemes and are introducing a new ‘voucher book’ offer in an attempt to hang on to customers in the run-up to Christmas.
In theory, the rules are simple – spend £40 or more and you’ll get a book of vouchers worth £40. In practice, although there are savings to be made, it all looks fairly complicated and time-consuming with much tearing of coupons forseen by our crack team of bargain analysts.
The first book of vouchers, Green Voucher Book One will be redeemable between the 1st and 14th of November against a specific list of groceries as seen here. In the fortnight after that, Red Voucher Book Two will be launched, filled with different coupons for different products.Hmmm….
If you’re an Asda shopper, you can look forward to standing in checkout queues for that bit longer while baffled punters argue the toss over about why their vouchers aren’t being accepted. Grim.
Meanwhile, in a move that sounds like it could be much more fun and significantly easier, Tesco are bringing back their Clubcard ‘Double Up’ voucher exchange offer again, starting on Monday November 8th. As ever, there’s more info from the geniuses at HotUKDeals.
You might think you need your head examining if you’re prepared to hand over your personal details to a supermarket’s loyalty card scheme but if you’ve got a Tesco Clubcard, it’s one of the perks. Not just your head, but your whole body.
The retail giant has been criticised by The Society Of Radiographers for failing to make clear the associated risks that come with CT scans, which are currently available to Clubcard holders.
The radiographers say that as well as the perils of radiation exposure, CT scans can flag up things that later turn out to be perfectly harmless, leading patients to clog up their GPs surgeries and causing everyone untold sleepless nights.
Tesco – groceries, clothes, electricals, toys and a laser beam up your Harris.