Every little helps. But just how much of a help is Xtras?
Mobile phone contracts aren’t cheap. So any chance to cut your outgoings is welcome.
Tesco Mobile's just announced Xtras scheme, which offers discounts for viewing ads on your phone, promises to do just that. On paper, at least.
But how exactly does it work? How much can you actually save? And how many ads do you have to watch to qualify?
Read on and we’ll walk you through it.
What is Tesco Mobile Xtras?
In a nutshell, Tesco Mobile Xtras is a scheme that enables the network's customers to reduce the price of their monthly contract in return for checking out advertisements on their smartphone.
The full-screen advertisements, which are static not videos, appear on the homescreen when customers unlock their phone. If you want to know more or want to save it to look at later, you can click on the ad.
It’s not just about adverts, though. Xtras also serves up coupons and money-saving offers. At launch, companies who are partnering with Tesco in this way include Doritos, McDonalds, Branston and British Airways.
And you'll be invited to view news content too. Initially this comes from News UK, which is the news agency that publishes The Times and The Sun.
How much can I save with Xtras?
Tesco Mobile customers can trim their bill by £3 per month by using Xtras. On some of Tesco's cheapest monthly contracts that spells a saving of up to 40%.
How many adverts do I have to watch to get the discount? Or how often?
To get your monthly £3 discount you’ll need to watch adverts on 21 days of each billing month. But you only need to view one advert per day for it to count towards your tally.
Adverts appear every second or third time you unlock the phone. So you won't get an ad every time you unlock it.
Who’s eligible for the scheme?
Tesco Mobile customers with an Android phone who are on pay monthly or SIM only deals can sign up for the Xtras scheme. We've been told it may be extended to pay as you go customers at a later date, though.
Do I need a particular phone to use Xtras?
At launch, Extras is solely available to Tesco Mobile customers with Android phones. That means if you’ve got a Samsung Galaxy handset, or one from HTC or Motorola, you’re good to go.
If you own an iPhone or Windows Phone, you’re out of luck. For now, anyway.
How do I get started?
First of all, you’ll need to head to Tesco’s site or the Google Play app store and download the Tesco Xtras app. Then enter your details and use checkboxes to indicate what sort of topics you’re interested in. And that’s it. You’re now enrolled in the scheme.
Will the ads be of interest to me? And will they be suitable?
As mentioned above, to ensure you see ads about areas and products you’re interested in there are in-app checkboxes to tick.
Xtras also harnesses geo-location technology to serve up ads for products, shops or restaurants that are in your vicinity while you’re out and about.
Tesco pledges that all adverts have been vetted to be suitable for under-18s. And if parental controls are set to 'under 12', children are not able to download the Xtras app and won't be able to enrol in the scheme.
Suppose I’m not interested in a particular advert. Can I ignore it?
You can. If an advert doesn't appeal to you, you can just close it by clicking on the ‘x’ in the corner.
Does viewing the adverts eat into my data allowance?
So you don’t use up your data allowance by viewing ads, Xtras customers are provided with an additional 200MB of data usage per month.
Because the ads are ‘stills’ and not data-hungry video, that’ll be ample.
If I sign up and decide it’s not for me, can I leave the scheme easily?
You can leave the Xtras scheme at any time. To do so, just delete the app.
I’m a Tesco Mobile customer but I’m not interested in Xtras at all. Can I opt out?
Yes. There’s no obligation to use Xtras at all. If you’re not interested, just do nothing and carry on as you are and you won’t be enrolled in the scheme.
Do I still get Clubcard points for paying my monthly bills?
Yes. The Xtras scheme will run alongside Tesco’s existing customer promotions for mobile phone customers. That means you’ll still accumulate Clubcard points for paying your monthly bills.
Can I watch the ads on a desktop computer or laptop and still qualify for the discount?
No. The promotion only applies when you watch ads on your smartphone.
Are there any plans to bring Xtras to the iPhone?
Tesco told us that while it's open to the idea of bringing Xtras to the iPhone, Apple’s strict controls on how developers use its hardware mean it'll remain Android-only for now.