Tesco's new student card lets parents pay for shopping while they are away at university

TESCO has launched a new student card that parents can top up to help their child pay for their weekly food shop.

The Student Shopper scheme comes with two cards – one for the parent or guardian and the other for the student living away from home.

The cards are linked together with a shared balance that either side can access, so the parent can add money to theirs that the student can then spend.

You can top up the cards to a maximum of £200 at any customer service desk in store.

There's no minimum amount you have to load up the card with and spending is free of charge – the card itself is also free to sign-up to.

Tesco has 3,400 stores across the UK including superstores and smaller Extra outlets, all of which can be used to add money to the Student Shopper card.

Supermarket loyalty schemes – which has one?

MOST UK supermarkets have loyalty schemes so customers can build up points and save money while they shop.

Here we round up what saving programmes you'll find at the big brands.

  • Iceland: Unlike other stores, you don't collect points with the Iceland Bonus Card. Instead, you load it up with money and Iceland will give you £1 for every £20 you save. Cash isn't protected though.
  • Morrisons: Morrisons' More gives customers five points per £1 spent in store. When customers earn 5,000 points they receive a £5 voucher.
  • Sainsbury's: While Sainsbury's doesn't have a personal scheme, it does own the Nectar card which can also be used in Argos, eBay and other shops. You need 200 Nectar points to save up £1 to spend on your card. You need to spend at least £1 to get one Nectar point.
  • Tesco: Tesco Clubcard has over 17million members in the UK alone. You use it each time you shop and build up points that can be turned into vouchers – 150 points gets you a £1.50 voucher. Here you need to spend £1 in Tesco to get one point.
  • Waitrose: myWaitrose also doesn't allow you to collect points but instead you'll get access to free hot drinks, and discounts off certain brands in store.

You can find your nearest branch using the online Tesco store locator.

If you're looking to get one, shoppers can find the Tesco Student Shopper in the gift card display in superstores and Extra stores.

To keep of track of how much is left on the card, the remaining balance is shown on a receipt after topping up or spending.

This can also be found by asking the customer service desk in store or calling Tesco's customer service line on 0330 123 4055..

But it's not clear if you'll lose your cash if one or both of you misplaces the card – we've asked Tesco and we;ll update this story as soon as we get a response.

Cash on the card also isn't protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme should Tesco go under.


Mark Loch, Tesco Bank’s group payments and money services director, said: “The Student Shopper card aims to offer some reassurance to parents and guardians that there’s always money available for the basics like food and other essential household items.

“For students themselves, having a card dedicated to their groceries means they can keep it separate from their other spending, helping them to budget better.”

Asda runs a similar scheme which works in the same way as the Tesco version, complete with two cards with a shared balance that can be topped up by parent or child.

Again, we've asked Asda what happens if you lose the card but it's not FSCS protected.

Meanwhile Morrisons has a special loyalty scheme just for students as part of its More loyalty club.

Here, as long as you have a confirmed place at a university, you can access student-only offers and earn extra discounts and More Points.

If you're already in the mood for winter, Asda has just released its Christmas Savings Scheme and it pays up to 5.3 per cent.

We've also rounded up 16 tips to slash your supermarket shopping bill by hundreds of pounds a year.

And this is how to cut the cost of dining out as a family.

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