Tesco Gift Cards: How To Spend and Check Them [Complete Guide]

When my sister gave me a Tesco gift card I thought it would be straightforward to spend it, but there were a few things I didn’t know, and had to find out for myself.

If you’ve been given a Tesco gift card, how do you spend it, can you use it for online purchases, and how do you check your balance? 

You can spend a Tesco gift card in any UK Tesco store, but you can’t use it for online purchases. You can check your Tesco gift card balance by visiting their website, and entering your gift card number and PIN. Alternatively, you can call 03450 757 757.

Read on to find out more about how to redeem a Tesco gift card and how to check your balance, including what you CAN’T buy.

Can I Spend a Tesco Gift Card Online in the UK?

Here’s the first thing that came as a surprise to me. I’ve got really used to buying things online (with Tesco, there are a lot more options on their site, rather than in most of their stores).

You can’t spend a Tesco gift card online, but you can spend it in any Tesco store in the UK (excluding Ireland). The gift card has some exclusions, including tobacco, vaping, photo, lottery ticket purchases, and more. 

My original idea was to buy a new coffee machine online but turns out that I couldn’t…. so I thought I’d put a list together of what you CAN spend your Tesco Gift Card on instead.

woman using tesco gift card to pay her groceries

Here’s what you can spend your Tesco gift card on at any Tesco store: 

Things You Can Spend a Tesco Gift Card On

  • Groceries: Not the most exciting thing to spend a gift card on, but as Tesco themselves say, every little helps – so why not use the gift card for your weekly shop? Hardly a treat, though.
  • Homeware: At Tesco Extra stores, there’s a pretty good selection of homeware items. You can use your gift card to buy bedding, kitchenware, home decor accessories, DIY items, and storage solutions. Tesco is the only store to stock the exclusive Fox & Ivy homeware range, but they also sell other brands. This is where I ended up spending mine.
  • Clothing: Tesco’s in-house clothing range, F&F, sometimes has some good pieces – I got a wool coat that was surprisingly high quality, but you have to spend some time digging around.
  • Small appliances: Tesco sells a range of small appliances, such as toasters, kettles, and blenders. Your Tesco gift card could pay for one of these if you need a new one.
  • Stationery and books: You can buy the latest bestselling novel at large Tesco stores or choose from stationery items, like pens, paper, and printer cartridges. All very practical.
  • Tesco fuel: With fuel prices rising seemingly exponentially, you can’t go wrong by using your gift card to fill your tank at a Tesco fuel station.  I was surprised you could use it for this, so this might change in the future.
  • Tesco fuel station kiosk items: These are just like mini versions of a Tesco store but they’ll also take the Gift Card as if you were in a bigger Tesco.
  • Kids’ and baby items: Tesco stocks various kids’ and baby items, such as food, clothing, toys, and accessories. Using your Tesco gift card is the perfect opportunity to spoil the kids – but it’s YOUR gift card, so up to you!
  • Tesco Cafe: Many larger Tesco stores have cafes, and you can use your Tesco Gift card to enjoy some coffee or a meal. Treating yourself to a nice spot of cake and tea is a good idea, too.

(sources: Tesco Homepage and Tesco Frequently Asked In-Store Questions)

As you can see, you can use your Tesco gift card to buy a wide range of items.

Tesco sign

Things You Can’t Spend Your Tesco Gift Card On

There are, however, some exclusions. You can’t use your Tesco gift card to pay for any of the following: 

  • Esso fuel: Some Tesco stores have an Esso fuel station instead of a Tesco one. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use your Tesco gift card at an Esso fuel station. 
  • Lottery purchases: You can’t buy lottery tickets with your gift card. 
  • Tesco Mobile stores: It can be tempting to spoil yourself by using your gift card toward a new mobile phone or accessory, but you can’t redeem it at Tesco Mobile stores.
  • Non-Tesco photo labs: You can use your gift card for photo printing and services if it’s a Tesco brand lab or kiosk. 

(source: Tesco Frequently Asked In-Store Questions.)

How Can I Check a Tesco Gift Card Balance?

Tesco gift cards come in various denominations ranging from £5 to £150. If your Tesco gift card has a lot of money on it, you might struggle to spend it in one shopping session.

Thankfully, you can spend it partially and keep the balance for later. So, how do you check your Tesco gift card’s balance? Here’s the step by step instructions below:

You can check your Tesco gift card’s balance by navigating to the Tesco website, and entering your 19-digit gift card number and PIN. You can also view your recent transactions, which can be useful if you forgot how much you spent recently.

man checking his email to see his tesco gift card balance

I’ll discuss how to do this in more detail below: 

FIrst, navigate to their website. Here, you’ll be asked to enter the 19-digit number that appears on the gift card and the PIN. The 19-digit number is embossed on the front of the gift card, which is similar to a credit card number. You can find the PIN at the back of the gift card, where you’ll need to scratch the paper off to view it. 

Check your email or text messages for your e-gift card details. If you have a Tesco e-gift card, check the email or text message containing your e-gift card which shows your e-gift card number and PIN.  

View your balance and recent transactions. After entering your gift card number and PIN, the website will display your gift card balance and your recent transactions. It can sometimes take up to two hours for transactions to appear, so bear this in mind if you’ve recently been shopping.   

Call 03450 757 757, if you prefer. If you don’t have internet access or you’d rather phone, dial 03450 757 757 and follow the prompts. Remember to have your gift card number and PIN handy. 

Check your till receipt. If you still have the till slip from your most recent Tesco gift card purchase, your gift card balance will be displayed at the bottom. 

(source: Tesco Gift Cards)

A Note on Tesco Gift Cards and Clubcard

If you have a Tesco Clubcard, you won’t earn points when you use a gift card to pay for items. The same is true for buying a Tesco gift card.

When Do Tesco Gift Cards Expire?

Your Tesco gift card is valid for five years, and you can’t reload it if it’s an e-gift card. Some credit card-type gift cards, however, can be reloaded. Hopefully you can find something to spend it on in five years! It’s also good if you find an old gift card down the back of the settee…

Overall, I hope this helps you if you’ve received a Tesco gift card and were wondering exactly how to use it and monitor your spending. Happy shopping!


The things I love to buy are clothes, fashion, fragrances/perfume and I'm always on the lookout for accessories and jewellery. I love animals and have had many pets over the years - currently three extremely pampered cats!

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