Nectar launches a hotel booking site – is it any good?

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Nectar has launched its own hotel booking site, which you can find at hotels.nectar.com.

As you will see, it is a white lable version of Rocketmiles, which is itself part of Agoda.  Annoyingly it is not part of the main Rocketmiles website, which means you can’t use any of the generous Rocketmiles ‘first stay’ bonuses such as this one which is worth 5,000 Avios.

With no ‘first booking bonus’, you are reliant on the base points for your return.  You will earn 1,000 to 2,000 Nectar points PER NIGHT.  This means £5 to £10-worth of Nectar points.

All hotels cheaper than around £25 seem to have been removed from the site, so you can’t book a £3 hostel in Bangkok and come out on top!

There is no direct correlation between price and points.  In general, you should expect 2,000 points per night when spending £200+ per night but this is not a strict rule.

Is Nectar Hotels a good deal? 

It’s OK, but you can do better.  For a start, remember that you won’t earn hotel points or receive status benefits on hotels booked via Nectar Hotels.

Secondly, your return is unlikely to exceed 5% assuming 0.5p per Nectar point.  Hotels.com Rewards will give you 10% of the ex-VAT price back, although you need to do 10 nights before it pays out.  Even the main Rocketmiles site would probably give you more than 5% back if you took Avios, Virgin Flying Club miles or Heathrow Rewards points.

There are also some very aggressive direct booking offers at the momentRadisson is offering £17-worth of bonus points, on top of base points, per stay.  Hyatt is offering triple points, equivalent to a 23% return on your spending.

The one upside is that it is simple.  You aren’t messing about with joining a new loyalty scheme and you don’t need to do any further nights before you can redeem.  You can cash out your reward on your next visit to Sainsbury’s.

The Nectar Hotels site is here.  If they do run a generous ‘first booking’ bonus at any time we’ll let you know.

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Comments

  1. I seriously doubt you can find a £3 hostel in Bangkok anyway 🙂 The cheapest I recall in hotel searches were about £8 I think if anybody wants to give it a try. I recall both Rob and Genghis looking for something cheap in Thailand in recent months.

    • Can find one for £2 in Hanoi Vietnam for a random date in November

    • Genghis says:

      Wasn’t me. I’m sure someone mentioned Cambodia for around £3 a night (hotels.com)

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Yeah you need to search for 1 person but they’re there.

        • Unreal, that’s less than a coffee in a Bangkok Starbucks.

          • callum says:

            That’s because it’s Starbucks…

          • @Callum, it is also true of Black Canyon, S&P, World of Coffee etc. Just seems weird we can pay less for a bed for the night than a coffee. Not a fan of chain coffee shops myself, much prefer independent places that serfe decent coffee and where you never know what you might find to enjoy with it.

        • Novice says:

          I have never done this so I’m intrigued. How does it work? Do you book through Rocketmiles and never turn up and still get points after the date? Please clarify. I wouldn’t mind doing this.

      • I thought you or Rob might like to try for a (big) change and share an article on your return 🙂 Now there’s a though … Rhys!

      • Can be found even for less than that!

      • Loads on hotels.com for £3 in the right places!

  2. Sam G says:

    Echo the strong warning on Opodo and flight changes – took hours of calls to reach them when Singapore Airlines cancelled a flight and we needed to urgently rebook before transit stopped at Changi. When I did reach them they couldn’t help me, said I would get a call back which never came. Finally escalated enough with the airline to get rebooked by them directly. Opodo emailed me TWO MONTHS later to see if I still needed help rebooking…. you’ve been warned!

    • Online travel agencies invariably operate with shyster mentality. Happy to take your money on any given day but are completely useless in times of crisis or indeed at any point things fall out the box of normality. They’re generally the equivalent of bucket shops you used to see advertised in the back of the local paper. Avoid at all costs, they’re just simply not worth the hassle or aggravation. Book with the airline directly or with a reputable travel agency who puts value on customer service. They do still exist.

      • Yep, can echo that! I have a four flight itinerary (with three different airlines) booked with Kiwi.com for flights around SE Asia in October (presuming it’s possible to fly by then). The first flight has been cancelled, and the only options given are to cancel the whole booking (and lose money on the other three flights which were non-refundable) or keep the itinerary without the first flight (and receive no money back). They will not provide the details to allow me to contact the airline directly (that would be a ‘security issue’ apparently) and they do not refund on partial itinerary (although I know the airline, Scoot, provides full refunds for cancelled flights). I only used them for convenience, however wished I had booked all the flights individually.

        • ankomonkey says:

          Scoot offered me a refund without prompting for a non-cancelled flight with them – just in case I couldn’t/didn’t want to travel. Exceptionally impressed 🙂

      • mvcvz says:

        Very well said indeed. I could not agree more and would not give any of these charlatans a single cent of my money, even if it meant never travelling further than Skegness for the remainder of my days.

    • Paul74 says:

      +1 the present situation is highlighting very well the reasons for staying well away from set ups like this, or at least approaching with caution.

  3. The RocketMiles site is in $. I can’t see how to change it to £. Or is it only in $?

    • It shows up at the top of the page for me, next to sign-in and language selection.

  4. Shame about the Hilton in Cape Town. They had great staff, decent rates, views of table mountain from your room, free transfer in hotel car to the waterfront area and they even picked us from the airport in their BMW for almost the same price as a taxi. Will miss it if we ever go back to Cape Town.

  5. Alex W says:

    Sorry to sound like a broken record but nectar points are consistently worth 1p in the annual Christmas double up, albeit limited to 10,000 points last year.

    • Peter K says:

      That’s only by assuming that you can’t buy the same product cheaper than in Sainsbury’s. I often find on branded products they are significantly more expensive than exactly the same product elsewhere.

      • mark2 says:

        The double up only applies on certain ranges including Taste the Difference wine.

        • Jerrry Butler says:

          Ahh! A Bon Viveur after my own heart, Taste the Difference, a quintessential imbibing experience if ever there was one.

      • Also, other offers like 25% off 6 bottles of wine also disappear within Sainsburys themselves during double up. I use mine almost exclusively for 1p on LNER when it comes around.

      • Alex W says:

        Same principle applies with flights though. If you can get the same (better?) flight with easyJet for £100 when BA is charging £50 + 10,000 Avios, you are better off paying for easyJet. However it does not mean that your Avios are routinely worth 0.5p.
        A value savvy person waits to redeem until they get 1p+ in value.

        • I’ve been going on about this on HFP for years. Too many couldn’t see the cash fares for the miles so to speak. However, the cheap deals on Qatar and others, and the shift of HFP to highlight these more prominently 3-4 years ago has thankfully changed this, at least amongst HFP readers.

    • Only if a) you live near a Sainsbury’s (it is very Southern focused) and b) you can be bothered to take a special trip there and c) you want the items they have in double-up and d) assuming it comes back, which it might not.

      • Harry T says:

        There’s quite a few Sainsbury’s near me in Newcastle! We even have a couple of Waitroses now 😂

        • David says:

          There’s a fairly decent Sainsbury’s five miles NE of INV airport !

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            I think that’s the North Sea you’re thinking of there?

          • David says:

            Close, but not the North Sea, it’s Charlie Chaplin’s favourite seaside holiday town – Nairn.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Historically it was Southern-focused. Not now though; Sainsubury’s went on a northern acquisition spree – not least snapping up Jacksons in 2014 which had 120 or so stores, so definitely a big northern presence now. I don’t live in a huge city yet have probably 8 branches within 10 miles…

        • I live in a Cumbrian town of 30k people and we have a massive Sainsburys (usually with more staff than customers, but that’s another issue). There’s another one 45 minutes North, and 30 minutes South.

          • RussellH says:

            Penrith, Cockermouth, Carlisle, and, IIRC, Kendal.

            I remember the “good old days” pre-Nectar when you got Sainsbury’s points which you exchanged for AirMiles (pre-Avios) at the CS desk.
            The really annoying thing was that you points a/c was tied to a particular store – I had cards from Edinburgh (Cameron Toll), Witney (Oxon) and Chiswick.
            They opened a big store in Stirling, about 2 weeks before I moved to Cumbria…

      • johnnt5a says:

        Sainsburys useful for me, 1 mile walk/cycle, we have a huge one

        • Freddy says:

          I’ve been banging on about the nectar credit card for yonks – if you doubled up at Christmas it’s the equivalent of 2% return on the double up

          • Alex W says:

            +2. Mrs W and I both had the Nectar Amex for 1 year each – Christmas will be free for the next several years! Or at least heavily subsidised.

  6. Aston100 says:

    Perhaps an opportunity for IHG in Cape Town to boost their meagre portfolio over there?

  7. RussellH says:

    I got totally the wrong idea from the headline. I assumed it was a site where I could spend my Nectar points on a hotel booking, not get even more points to be spent in Sainsbury’s.

  8. Chrisasaurus says:

    Typo (lable) near top of article…

    Is this a white label to the full extent that the properties will be identical to rocket miles? (Aside from the removed cheap ones as mentioned.) Have often found some properties simply absent from there

  9. Quote

    “Bear in mind that if you need to cancel or reschedule your flight you will – as we found in the last few months – find it far easier if you booked direct with the airline.”

    Rather hope someone from American Express travel is reading this

    Utterly dire, desperate and downright incompetent!

    Siding with United and creating an entirely new definition of “cancelled”

    Bereft of all knowledge even at the basic level of Qatar’s generous and supportive travel policy.

    You are left on hold and the responses are pathetic. Just yesterday advised me that changing my Qatar ticket to any date would be £415 per person plus fare difference…….. this following cancellation of flights by Qatar Airways!!!!

    It is utterly frustrating and infuriating just how ignorant and poorly trained even the platinum concierge staff are.

    Not a service I personally would use again and reflects very badly on Amex Platinum Charge card in particular

    • Lady London says:

      @Paul I think Amrx Plat are really pushing it with their level of fees now. The value just doesnt stack up.

      – lounge access almost guaranteef to be refused at even slighy busy times pre-Covid. Distancing through Covid is not going to help that
      – insurance that wont deal with pre-existing conditions even for an extra premium rendering it no-value for a big.chunk of Amex Plat’s best customers
      – inconsistent level of customer service. particularly if landing with Philippines outsourced call center
      – Shop Small got smaller. Once per shop now minimum £10.
      Beware Shop Small in Amex Spain only gets 25%off and minimum purchase is 20 euros. So this benefit could downgrade further too.

      Other than an old-school snob status it’s not clear why to still pay £600 for the Amex Plat. People here wouldnt have it for snob reasons?

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