Tesco will launch a new loyalty subscription service called Clubcard Plus later this year. So, is it worth paying for discounts, and does this mark the end of the fee-free Clubcard scheme?
The unique supermarket subscription service will cost £7.99 a month (a total of £95.88 a year) and will offer shoppers discounts on 'big shops' and Tesco brands, including F&F clothing, as well as special offers on Tesco Mobile and Tesco Bank.
We take a closer look at whether the new fee-charging loyalty scheme could save you money and what the innovation means for the future of the fee-free Tesco Clubcard scheme.
Tesco hasn't released many details about Clubcard Plus, except that it will be available later this year.
At this stage, Tesco has said members will be able to get up to four benefits each month including:
The offer that could potentially save shoppers the most money is the 10% off two 'big shops' in-store.
That said, Tesco couldn't confirm how much you'd need to spend to classify as a 'big shop', whether you'd get the same deal online, and whether it would be available every month.
With that in mind, we've analysed different levels of spending to give you an idea of how worthwhile a subscription could be. We're assuming the offer is available twice a month for 12 months.
|Value of your 'big shop'||10% saving on two 'big shops' each month||Savings over a year||Savings after Clubcard Plus annual cost|
Our rough analysis shows those whose 'big shops' tend to be worth £25 or less could lose out under this scheme. You'd save £60 but spend £95.88 on subscription costs - a potential £35.88 loss, unless you used other benefits as well.
Those who tend to spend more could generate a bigger saving. If you tend to spend £200 twice a month at Tesco, you may be able to save £480 over the course of a year, or £384.12 after you factor in the subscription.
But of course, this is dependent on Tesco offering the same 10% discounts each month.
Tesco told us that the Clubcard Plus loyalty scheme was not meant to be a replacement for the free Clubcard scheme.
The Tesco Clubcard loyalty scheme has been around since 1995 and allows members to earn one point for every £1 spent at Tesco. For every 150 points, you can get a £1.50 voucher to use in-store or online and members get the option to boost their points when they redeem them with certain partners.
Tesco's profits jumped 28% in 2018-19, according to its latest annual report - but it's battling in an uncertain market. In June, the supermarket revealed it's looking into 'untapped value opportunities'.
One of Tesco's biggest strengths is its Clubcard loyalty scheme. There are around 19m households with a Clubcard in the UK, with nearly half of members saying they shop at Tesco because of their Clubcard.
Indeed, Tesco estimates that loyal Clubcard holders put an extra eight items in their basket every week. So, feasibly Clubcard Plus could help the supermarket tap into more of our spending than just the weekly food shop.
Alessandra Bellini, Tesco chief customer officer, said: 'New Clubcard Plus is a breakthrough innovation giving customers even more ways to get the best value while shopping at Tesco, for their everyday essentials, weekly shops, mobile and banking.'
Paid subscription loyalty programmes aren't new but, as always, you should make sure you are using enough of the benefits to justify the cost.
We'll crunch the numbers once Tesco launches the full details of Clubcard Plus.
For now, you can explore ways to save on your shopping using our guides: