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Sainsbury’s is the new Avios supermarket partner!

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Yes, you read that right. Sainsbury’s has just been unveiled as the new Avios-earning supermarket partner.

Oddly, this isn’t the most important part of the announcement. What has been announced today will change the way you think about your Avios and how you spend them.

Am I overstating this? Not necessarily.

How to convert BA Avios points to Nectar points

Nectar points and Avios are to become interchangeable. Every route to earning a Nectar point is now a way of earning an Avios. Perhaps more importantly, every way of spending a Nectar point is now a way of spending Avios.

Given that, until today, your Avios spending options were restricted to flights, wine, car hire and hotels, this is a huge shift.

This is going to take a while to explain. This article focuses on the Sainsbury’s relationship and the Nectar conversion rate. A second article on Nectar and Avios – click here, but read this one first – starts to look at some of the new options available to you.

Let’s jump in.

How to convert BA Avios points to Nectar points

What is the conversion rate between Nectar and Avios?

The conversion rate will be:

  • 250 Avios = 400 Nectar points
  • 400 Nectar points = 250 Avios

Here is the key thing: there is no value loss in either direction. You can transfer your points as often as you want and you will still have the same amount you started with.

In theory, you could now keep your entire Avios balance with Nectar and just move the points across to Avios as you need them. There is no benefit to doing this, but you won’t lose out either.

An online tool will be available from Monday to allow you to move your points back and forth. I am assuming it will be instant.

A Nectar point is worth 0.5p isn’t it?

Yes. 99% of Nectar redemptions get you 0.5p per Nectar point. This means that you can look at the conversion offer like this:

  • 250 Avios = 400 Nectar points = £2
  • So …. 1 Avios = 0.8p

Since Nectar points are arguably almost as good as cash if you live in the UK since you can use them at Sainsburys, Argos, eBay and various other places at 0.5p per point, Avios points now have a floor value of 0.8p.

We will explain the impact of this in Part 2, but it is fundamental.

Nectar Avios light

What will I earn at Sainsbury’s?

On the face of it, the headline earning rate is poorer than Tesco.

You earn 1 Nectar point for every £1 you spend in Sainsbury’s. This means £1 spent in Sainsbury’s will earn you 0.625 Avios based on the 400 : 250 conversion.

In reality, it doesn’t work like this.

When Sainsbury’s reduced its earning rate from 2 Nectar points per £1 to 1 point per £1 a couple of years ago, it introduced ‘in app’ offers on top.

Each week you are offered a large number of bonus point offers via the app or website. Importantly, these are often for products that you normally buy. These are, effectively, extra base points as long as you buy what you usually buy – and as long as you remember to register for all the offers in the app.

I am told that the average number of Nectar points earned per £1 is substantially higher than the headline number of 1 per £1 due to these bonus points.

When does the new partnership start?

You will be able to convert Nectar points into Avios from next Monday.

However, nothing stops you from shopping in Sainsbury’s today and collecting Nectar points for your spending. You can then transfer them next week.

If you don’t have a Nectar card, you can register via nectar.com, via the Nectar app or by picking up a temporary card in a Sainsbury’s store.

How to convert BA Avios points to Nectar points

Is there a bonus to support the new partnership?

Yes.

If you convert at least 1,600 Nectar points into Avios before 14th February, you will receive a bonus of 500 Avios.

1,600 Nectar points would usually get you 1,000 Avios, so you will get 1,500 Avios instead.

Sainsbury’s is also giving you something. You will earn double Nectar points (2 per £1) on all shopping at Sainsbury’s between 25th January and 19th April.

Conclusion

I know this is a lot to take in ….. and wait until you read Part 2!

The bottom line is that I think this is a very positive move for Avios collectors.

You may or may not find that you earn the same number of Avios from your Sainsbury’s shopping as you did from Tesco, when all of the bonus Nectar points are taken into account.

The real win is that, because you can now convert 250 Avios into £2-worth of Nectar points, your Avios now have a minimum value of 0.8p each. This should change how you think about collecting Avios – and the choices you make to do so – and should also change how you spend them.

More on this to come.

As far as Head for Points goes, it will mean changes to how we operate. Any deal offering bonus Nectar points is now, by default, a deal offering bonus Avios.

Whilst a lot of Nectar partners have gone in recent years, there are still strong offers from Sainsbury’s Bank and Sainsbury’s Energy amongst others. Earning partners include Esso, Argos and numerous rail franchises. We will explore some of these deals in the coming weeks.

Click for the second part of our Nectar and Avios introductory coverage, where we look at possible arbitrage opportunities.

PS. Here’s your first odd arbitrage. You will be able to order any hot or iced drink, any size, at Caffe Nero for the equivalent of 219 Avios (350 Nectar points). For lovers of super-sized iced drinks, this suddenly becomes the best Avios redemption you can get!


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Until 9th April 2021, American Express is running the biggest sign-up bonuses ever seen on a UK payment card.

You will earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points on American Express Business Platinum (apply here) and 50,000 Membership Rewards points on American Express Business Gold (apply here) which is FREE for your first year. Points transfer 1:1 into Avios. Here are links to our reviews:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

100,000 points sign-up bonus – SPECIAL OFFER TO 9th APRIL – and a long list of travel ….. Read our full review

Amex American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

50,000 points sign-up bonus – SPECIAL OFFER TO 9th APRIL – and free for a year Read our full review

Here are your other options. There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (546)

  • Dance-Ace-Base says:

    I can get a 5% discount for Sainsburys at Perkbox (Employee perks scheme. For any freelancers out there you have access if you’re an IPSE member. If you want a £50 discount referral to IPSE please ask)

    The Nectar shopping portal isn’t as extensive as the BA option but hopefully comes with less chance of the points being snatched back 6 months later.

    • G says:

      Is that 5% discount in-store too or online online? and how is it redeemed? May be interested!

      • memesweeper says:

        +1

        refer IPSE to
        memesweeper

        protonmail.com

      • Dance-Ace-Base says:

        The Sainsburys one works online now too.

        You have to buy a voucher – £1 to £500 at a time – which you can scan at the till or enter a code online. I get 7.5% off M&S, 5% at Morrisons etc.

        You can pay with Mastercard and Visa but sadly no Amex

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Isnt that payable only by debit card? You lose credit card points.

      • The real John says:

        Which credit card pays you 5% worth of points? Anyway Curve should work

      • Dance-Ace-Base says:

        Mastercard and Visa at Perkbox.

        There are other employee schemes. Many people don’t realise their workplace offers access.

    • Fenny says:

      Perkbox don’t take Amex for purchase of vouchers. It’s my only complaint about them.
      And you can get a voucher for a free Caffe Nero coffee every month, so no need to spend your Nectar points 🙂

      • Dance-Ace-Base says:

        They stopped that, but you can get a free monthly rental at Rakuten movies.

        With decent discounts on most supermarkets, argos, halfords, boots, B&Q, Virgin, ebookers, Eurostar, boohoo, H&M, New Look and on and on and on I easily recover more than the cost of my IPSE membership. IPSE starts at £80 with my referral code so not hard to end up in profit.

        • Dance-Ace-Base says:

          And currys, Just Eat, Uber, Deliveroo, Expedia, Last Minute…

          Even 8% off at Greggs

        • Brian W says:

          They haven’t stopped the free monthly Nero! It’s been improved, you now have a choice between the Nero coffee or a Greggs sausage roll.

          It’s called “Your free monthly Treat” now that’s probably why you’re missing it.

  • dezbez says:

    Major developments – wonder if we’ll see a reaction/response from Tesco in the coming days

  • Sam G says:

    interesting news! I like the Sainsbury near me but I generally find it to be expensive for a weekly shop vs Aldi (which it is very near to it). But in these times of very little else to do I will have a little go at visiting both for a while and being more scientific about comparisons and see if it’s specific items that drive up my Sainsbury bill, perhaps I could alternate or stock up in Aldi periodically.

    No Sainsbury petrol though so that’s a pain but they’ve started construction on another Sainsbury nearby that will have one at some point

  • mark2 says:

    On looking at the app I can get 80pts per bag on the coffee that I have been buying for decades. I would happily buy 30 or even 50, but know that if I drive the 12 miles (or order online) I shall be lucky to get 10.
    Also remember that you can get 20% off a Sainsbury’s gift card via the Amex PayPal offer.

  • Craig says:

    So can I use the flower card via bendy to pay seagulls and Ernie? 🙂

    • Jane says:

      🙂

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Flowers is an Amex card, unless your talking about Sainsbury bank card…

      • Aston100 says:

        Quick, we need new code words.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          We need an emergency meeting of the code word Committee! We can’t let the daily mail publicise any loopholes we can find like bendy with the orange bank to feed the seagulls

    • Rob(staaaar) says:

      Er, I have no idea what that means; made me smile nonetheless 😄

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        What makes flowers grow and bees collect it to make honey. Heck what is this article about!

  • lcylocal says:

    How is the double nectar points offer going to work? Is this for everyone or do you have to process a transfer first?

    • bryan says:

      My reading is you have to convert at least 1600 Nectar points before you qualify for double points on your shopping

      • Rob says:

        That’s not how I read it, but I imagine we will see on Monday.

      • Sprout says:

        Yes. According to Nectar website its only when you process a transfer….

        Get 500 bonus Avios when you convert at least 1,600 Nectar points into Avios (worth 1,000 Avios) from 25 January 2021 to 14 February 2021 inclusive (the “Launch Period”); & Get Double Nectar points when shopping at Sainsbury’s from your date of conversion up to and including 19 April 2021 when you convert your Nectar points into Avios during the Launch Period. Full terms and conditions will be on the offer page when the offer goes live on 25 January.

        • lcylocal says:

          Thanks that’s really helpful. Will have to remember to do my first transfer on Monday to hopefully trigger the double points from my weekly shop on Wednesday.

      • PJJ says:

        Can you convert 1600 Nectar points for the 500 bonus points more than once and get the bonus each time ?
        With 88k Nectar points it would mean doing it 55 times but getting 27.5k extra
        T.I.A.

        • Rob says:

          No.

          Because you wouldn’t even need 88,000 points. You’d just need 1600 which could sent backwards and forwards 55 times!

  • Carol says:

    I just bought a delivery saver pass for midweek at £18 for 6 months and ordered a new nectar card. I didn’t realise the cards expire if left unused for a year or more. Can’t remember how much was on there anyway so not really an issue for me.

    • Fenny says:

      What’s the minimum order value for Sainsburys? I gave up my Tesco pass when they put the minimum up from £25 to 40. But now I’m home during the day, I could have a fortnightly delivery from Sainsburys for some of the heavier staples (nearest is 12 miles away and I’m not driving over there to shop)

      • Carol says:

        It is £40 but you need a minimum of £25 in your basket before you can save it to go back to, to add to or amend. I put in a bottle of champagne that I will remove in a couple of days 🙂

        • Stagger Lee says:

          You can have delivery for anything above £25 but the delivery fee is £7 for any order under £40

          • Fenny says:

            My average weekly spend is around £25-30 in Aldi. Not worth £7 for a delivery and there’s only so many packets of dishwasher tabs I can use in a year!

        • Fenny says:

          Mum sets up her Morrisons order with 2 bottles of gin each week, then goes back to put what she wants in before the cutoff date!

    • David Meyer says:

      You can get them to re-activate your old account and get your points back. Just go on their online chat and ask. I did!

  • Aston100 says:

    Haven’t thought about Nectar in ages.
    Looking at the current offers, I see you get 70 points for buying a tin of chopped tomatoes. I note a tin of Sainsburys own brand costs 35p. Would this mean that the item is essentially free? (70 points being worth 35p right?). If so, what is to stop someone from buying dozens of these and selling them and profiting?
    Yes I know it is just a tin of tomatoes, but I’m thinking of the principal here and that next time it could be for something of much higher value.
    I must be misunderstanding something.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you mean the targeted offers you get every week it’s only on 1 purchase you don’t get the bonus per item.

    • Dance-Ace-Base says:

      Sell those tins on ebay, buy them yourself, earn even more nectar. Repeat.

      (I’m not serious. I know there are ebay fees. But I’ve seen sillier.)

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      The offers are very, very specific so be careful. Also they’re targeted based on your shopping habits, so unique to you. Or atleast me and my partner end up with different offers sometimes…

    • Freddy says:

      I would have thought you’d get the bonus points on one item only

    • Rob(staaaar) says:

      I had a 200 bonus points for ‘bananas’ the other week, so I bought 1. Points showed in the app before I reached the car park 😁

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        I frequently get 30 to 60 points for a small baguette that costs roughly 30 or 40p. And then 100 points for a houmous that costs like £1.50. Makes a nice lunch

      • Lumma says:

        I always seem to get 100 points for buying root ginger. Snap a tiny bit off for about 3p worth and weigh it at the self service tills

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