Putting Tesco Clubcard points towards money off a holiday sounds like a good deal in theory. But if you’ve done that with travel company Cosmos Holidays, we’ve found you might have been charged extra for your trip.
There’s no better coping strategy for dealing with the gloomy British winter than booking a holiday in the sun.
But if you booked that holiday through travel company Cosmos Holidays using Clubcard points, then you may have been charged more than if you’d just booked it normally.
Points meant paying more
Until recently, Clubcard customers were able to trade in £10 worth of points for £30 worth of Cosmos vouchers – but to use the vouchers you had to go to a separate section of the Cosmos site.
In November, we checked prices on 36 different package holidays and 33 of them cost more when booked through the Clubcard section of the Cosmos site than when booked normally. The site didn’t give us any indication that prices would be different.
The holidays we looked at in our snapshot research cost £1,159 on average through the regular Cosmos site. But the same packages cost £1,285 on average, before applying any vouchers, when booked through the Clubcard section of the site – a difference of almost 11%.
The worst offender was a 14-day holiday in Florida. It normally cost £1,685, but, even after applying a £30 voucher, we would have paid £1,903 on the Clubcard section of the site – an extra £218.
Who else is charging extra?
I own a Tesco Clubcard, and mostly use my points to get discounts on train travel. It’s always a nice bonus when a few months’ worth of food shopping has paid for a ticket back home to Manchester.
But until a Which? member contacted us to report this problem with Cosmos, I’d never considered that I might be offered a different price just because I’m using Clubcard points. Are there other companies out there doing this too?
We contacted Cosmos about this, and it said it was about to change its website so that everyone would be charged the same. When we asked why Clubcard holders had been charged more, Tesco said that sometimes Cosmos prices were lower because of temporary discounts, and that Cosmos previously wasn’t able to accept Clubcard vouchers as payment in these cases. We think Cosmos should have made this clearer on its website at the time.
If you’ve noticed that you’ve been charged extra when using Tesco Clubcard points – or any other loyalty card – let us and we’ll investigate further.