Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How can you earn Nectar points? (Part 2 – financial)

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How do Nectar points work?

With the announcement of the new Avios and Nectar points transfer partnership, which goes live on Monday, I thought it was worth doing introductory pieces on the Nectar loyalty scheme for those who are not familiar with it.

There are two articles on how to earn Nectar points. This one looks at credit card and other financial partners. The first part, click here, looks at how to earn Nectar points from traditional in-store shopping partners.

What is a Nectar point worth?

Here is a reminder of what a Nectar point is worth, because you need to know this to put the ‘earn and burn’ sections in context.

A Nectar point is worth 0.5p, in virtually all cases.

Since Avios transfer to Nectar at a rate of 1 to 1.6, Avios points now have a floor value of (0.5p x 1.6) 0.8p.

Where can I earn Nectar points?

HFP Amex American Express Nectar Card

American Express – the dedicated Nectar card

American Express issues its own Nectar American Express credit card.

Here are the headline details:

Nectar American Express

Bonus: 20,000 points

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • From January 2021, you can convert Nectar points into Avios (and vice versa)
  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £25 from Year 2

Representative 29.8% APR variable.  Annual fee applies after the first year.

See if you qualify for the 20,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 20,000 Nectar points as a sign-up bonus on the Nectar American Express credit card if you spend £2,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Nectar points are worth 0.5p each if spent in Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.  From January 2021 they can also be converted to Avios at the rate of 400 : 250.  1 Nectar point gets you 0.625 Avios.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the Nectar American Express card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The Nectar American Express credit card comes lets you earn 2 Nectar points for every £1 you spend.  This is on top of any Nectar points you would usually earn at Sainsbury’s and other Nectar partners.

Converted to Avios, you would be earning 1.25 Avios per £1.  This makes the card better value than the free British Airways American Express credit card for your first year, as the Nectar American Express is ‘fee free’ for the first 12 months.  There is a £25 annual fee from Year 2.

The sign-up bonus of 20,000 Nectar points is worth £100 to spend in Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.

20,000 Nectar points can also be converted into 12,500 Avios.

For the first year, with no annual fee and 2 Nectar points (1.25 Avios) earned per £1 spent, this is not a bad product. It becomes harder to justify the £25 fee from Year 2.

You will not receive the sign-up bonus if you have had any other personal American Express card in the last 24 months. This is a shame as the 20,000 Nectar points bonus transfers into 12,500 Avios.

You can apply for the Amex Nectar card here.

American Express – via Membership Rewards points transfers

You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into Nectar points at the rate of 1 to 1.

American Express cards which issue Membership Rewards points include:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

Amex Reward Credit Card ARCC

American Express Rewards

The only ‘free for life’ Amex card which earns Membership Rewards Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

With the launch of the Avios partnership, it no longer makes sense to transfer Membership Rewards points to Nectar at 1 to 1.

Instead, you should transfer your Membership Rewards points to Avios at 1:1 and then on to Nectar at 1:1.6. You receive 60% more Nectar points.

You will effectively get 0.8p of Nectar points for every 1 Membership Rewards point via this route.

There is one occasion when you may want to transfer directly to Nectar. Amex transfers to Avios must be done as a minimum of 1,000 Membership Rewards points and then in blocks of 500. Transfers to Nectar can be done for any amount.

If you are closing a Membership Rewards account, transferring your last few points to Nectar is the best way of getting your points down to zero.

Sainsbury’s Bank – credit cards

Sainsbury’s Bank issues its own range of credit cards. These are Mastercard products and are useful where American Express is not accepted.

There is a range of cards, each with different features – low balance transfer fees, 0% interest on purchases etc.

The cards are all free. The earning rate from ongoing spend is very weak, however, at 1 Nectar point per £5 spent.

Spending at Sainsbury’s and Argos earns at a far higher rate of 2 Nectar points per £1. The credit card website implies you receive 3 points per £1 but this includes the standard 1 point per £1 you receive in Sainsbury’s irrespective of how you pay.

The best offer, from a points perspective, is the Nectar Credit Card. It offers a sign-up bonus of 10,000 Nectar points if you spend £400 at Sainsbury’s, Argos or Tu Clothing within two months of acceptance.

Sainsbury’s Bank – insurance

Sainsbury’s Bank offers regular sign-up offers of bonus points on selected insurance products.

There are also ongoing benefits depending on product. This includes double base points on all your Sainsbury’s shopping.

These offers may be personal to you, in which case you will only see them promoted via the Nectar app or may be available to all via the website.

Sainsbury’s Bank – loans

Similarly, Sainsbury’s Bank offers regular bonus points offers if you take out a personal loan.

These offers may be personal to you, in which case you will only see them promoted via the Nectar app or may be available to all via the website.


As you can see, there are numerous opportunities to earn Nectar points – and therefore Avios – via financial partnerships.

We will keep you informed of the best ‘open to all’ sign-up offers via Head for Points.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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 – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

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

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(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 (71)

  • Matty says:

    ‘You will not receive the sign-up bonus if you have had any other personal American Express card…’ Which cards are these? Plat, Gold, BAPP etc.?

    • memesweeper says:

      All of them that are not business, supplementary or corporate cards in your name.

  • memesweeper says:

    Long shot this but I’ll ask anyway: does anyone know if the Sainsbury’s Nectar MasterCard can be used via bendy to pay HM govt and still qualify for points and/or interest free on initial spending period?

  • M says:

    For every insurance product you take out with Sainsbury’s Bank they will double the points of the Sainsbury’s shopping base points. This can multiply quickly.

    So take out Car Insurance = 2x Sainsburys Nectar
    Add Home Insurance = 3x Sainsburys Nectar
    Add Pet Insurance = 4x Sainsburys Nectar

    On the Sainsburys Bank credit cards it is 2 points for every £1 spent at Sainsburys, Argos or Tu Clothing (1 point for every £5 elsewhere). This is in addition to the points you earn in store. In the credit card case the points are awarded on the full £ spend, including all alcohol and all the other exclusions.

    • P4D says:

      what about holiday insurance? looks much cheaper than pet insurance quotes I looked at? Any view on which product is most cost effective for this (if one does not particualrly need any of these products, seems that holiday insurance is cheapest?)


    • Charlieface says:

      Sainsbury’s Energy also multiplies 1x per fuel

    • Aston100 says:

      Pet insurance quote was almost double that charged by Tesco.

  • Zana says:

    Thought I’ll add that Sainsbury’s Bank MC often has special bonus point offers, both specifically for spend at Sainsbury’s and spend at non-Sainsbury’s. I got 3,000 bonus points for £200 spend at Sainsbury’s last Christmas and now has a 3,000 bonus points on any £300 spend (worth £15 at the till) which is quite generous!

    • Paul pogba says:

      How do they notify you of these offers, is it on an app like Amex?

      • memesweeper says:

        Yes, get the app — I know of no other way of getting offers

      • Zana says:

        I often get a letter in the post but I suppose that it depends on the marketing preferences you’ve selected and whether you agree to being contacted by post.

  • Bear says:

    Hmm, interesting reading. I have BA Amex blue and Tesco Mastercard, inc club card, for when Amex not accepted. Only bought fuel at Tesco. Recently tfrd £110 of vouchers to avios. Quickly worked out ages ago that by shopping at Aldi mainly & Lidl we saved around £20-30pw on ordinary weekly shop. See no rush to Sainsbury’s – even more expensive.
    Have managed to obtain 241 vouchers last 3 years but will miss out this year, currently around £12k spent, and probably upgrade to BAPP later in year.
    Need to switch Tescocard at some point but not sure to what.
    Did I read somewhere above that its possible to ‘upgrade’ to BAPP once passed £10k and obtain 241?

    • Rob says:

      Yes, apply for the BAPP online as usual, your free BA card will automatically be spotted and cancelled and the 241 automatically issued.

      Due to Amex IT issues the voucher will be 1 year, probably, but a quick email to Amex gets the 2 years.

      • Bear says:

        Thanks Rob.

      • Lee says:

        Rob, I think you are out of date for this. You can’t apply online any more.

        • Rob says:

          Er, no 🙂

          There is no formal ‘upgrade’ route for the BA cards (you are thinking of Green to Plat on a charge). You simply apply for the BAPP and Amex automatically cancels your free BA and rolls everything over.

  • Barry says:

    The Amex’s Nectar Card section contains : Spending at Sainsbury’s and Argos earns an extra Nectar point on the credit card. You will receive three Nectar points per £1 via the American Express plus the point you will earn in-store.

    So is it a total 4NP for every £1 spent in Sainsbury’s using the Amex to pay, and using Nectar card to collect points for the shop ?

    I don’t see this in other online reviews of the Amex Nectar

  • Novice says:

    I have a question of a hypothetical scenario;

    So, just say I go through Avios portal to get something from Argos (because you get more Avios I think not sure atm) but also click on the ‘collect nectar’ sign and fill my nectar details and use a Nectar credit card (when I get it) then will I get all points so Avios/Nectar/CC???

    I’m asking you lot because you are all clearly way more savvy at this than me.

    • Novice says:

      Nectar CC expects you to have been a member 6 months. And, I can’t do the Amex at the moment as writers sat at home for months don’t really have anywhere to spend 1000s on. My biggest spend has always been my travels. My bills are not that high. I’m a simple creature.

      It is as though everything is getting harder now. First we had the 24 months rule with Amex so I couldn’t churn for as many times as I wanted and now this.

      • peter says:

        Switch electricity to Octopus and pay the year upfront (get free £50 too). If you use Amazon, top up your account. And all the other.. get Xmas/birthday gifts early 😀

  • DenisO says:

    I use a BA Amex Premium Plus Card whenever possible (to earn Avios and 241 vouchers).

    I have been using a Tesco Credit card when Amex not accepted – to generate Tesco Clubcard points to convert to Avios.

    This has been very successful with trips to Australia, Caribbean and Europe (Business and First) in recent years.

    With the demise of the Tesco/Avios relationship what is the best non-Amex credit card to use instead of Tesco card (when Amex not accepted) to generate Nectar points (to convert to Avios) ?

    Any advice welcomed …

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