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 – 20,000 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

30,000 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 (November 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 with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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

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, along with a sign-up 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

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 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)

  • Kris says:

    It’s better promo at the moment when u have Sainsbury’s credit cards (new costumer) . ” Collect 750 bonus points each time you spend £35 or more on Sainsbury’s shopping with your credit card, up to ten times in your first 2 months, that’s 7,500 points”

    • Kris says:

      Sorry not better but maybe easier to catch this bonus

      • Lumma says:

        Not really, you need to spend at least £350 to get 7,500 which would involve spending exactly £35 ten times, whereas the other card is an extra 2,500 points for spending £400 in total. If you need a big electrical item you could manage this in one go

        • Jan M says:

          You could of course get both… Especially as Amex isn’t accepted everywhere…

  • Richard E says:

    Rob, thanks for the great overview of Nectar, which I have never looked at before.

    Question: being a Sainsbury’s energy customer allows you to double/triple the nectar points on Sainsbury’s shops. Being a Sainsbury’s insurance customer means you double shopping points.

    I assume these offers do not layer? I don’t expect you can get a 6x multiple, but if you got the 3x and 2x would you end up with 4x (base spend plus 3-1 plus 2 – 1)?

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      No they don’t layer and as always with large organisations IT, I’m wary of there being no awareness of each other’s offers and risk of one replacing the other (eg your 3x offer replaced with 2x offer)

      It’s base points only and so think it’s capped so is of limited value…

    • BJ says:

      No, you get the best one you’ve got. Sometimes they don’t work and you have to call to fix it so keep an eye on your earnings. No worries though, they were quite generous when I eventually got round to calling them after I had difficulties.

    • Rob says:

      No idea, sorry.

    • Charlieface says:

      AFAIK you do get 4x (not 6x of course)

  • mark2 says:

    Re MR to Nectar transfers. You will get a better rate via Avios, but the minimum is 1,000 MR. Transferring to Nectar is useful to use up the last few points when closing your MR-earning card.

    • RichS says:

      Which Rob put in the article:
      “There is one occasion when you may want to transfer directly to Nectar. Amex transfers to Avios must be done in blocks of 1,000 Membership Rewards points. Transfers to Nectar can be done for any amount.”

      • Genghis says:

        @Rob “ Amex transfers to Avios must be done in blocks of 1,000 Membership Rewards points” is incorrect. It’s min 1k then blocks of 500.

  • Brian P says:

    my question, do you earn more nectar points by using the nectar mastercard in sainsburys than another card (e. g. BA AMEX)… THANKS

    • PaulC says:

      Yes it’s 3 Nectar per £1 spend in Sainsbury’s.
      Surprised it wasn’t mentioned in the article.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        But that includes the usual nectar base points given for any purchase.

        • PaulC says:

          ah I didn’t realise that but still no mention in the article that its 2NP per £1 spend at Sainsbury’s, Argos and TU Clothing plus the base point.

          • sjclub says:

            Yes it should be made clear that the earning rate on the Sainsbury’s Bank MasterCard of 1 nectar point per £5 is for purchases made OUTSIDE of the Sainsbury’s group. In Sainsbury’s and Argos you’ll collect 2 points per £1 spend on the Sainsbury’s MasterCard, plus the 1 point per £1 onto your nectar card.

      • Ali M says:

        that MAY be worth the 25 pound fee for the card then if someone does 10k worth of shopping at Sainsburys in an year

        • Dance-Ace-Base says:

          there’s no fee on the mastercard

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          And if you do, there’s still an argument to be made to slender 9k at lidl and put the remaining 1k towards a flight…

      • Jamie says:

        It won’t be mentioned in the article as there is no benefit to HfP from people taking out Sainsbury’s credit cards, they want to push you to Amex Nectar for £ benefits to them.

        • Rob says:

          Virtually no HfP readers qualify for the Nectar Amex bonus so it makes minimal difference to us 🙂

          You have no understanding of how business works. If people don’t see HfP as unbiased then no-one will trust our recommendations and then won’t sign-up for the stuff we do recommend, some of which does pay us (and some doesn’t).

  • Dan says:

    Will we be getting a credit card review of the Sainsbury’s nectar card? A more in-depth one I mean and how it compares across the board?

  • Andrew says:

    So BAPP remains a higher Avios or Nectar earning card than the Nectar Amex.

    • Dan says:

      Yes but with a £195 fee

      • Genghis says:

        Indeed. Assuming 1p replacement cost of those avios, I make breakeven point of £78k spend where BAPP becomes better, assuming no value placed on the 241, say as a single traveller.

        • Hotelier says:

          For ”low spenders” that can’t get welcome bonus (Myself), I think best option would still be BA Blue card and spend £10k, then upgrade for a month to BAPP to get Companion voucher and CXL. I just did and got 6000 avios for upgrading, had to call back as didn’t get them automatically and Call centre (Manila?) said offer was in account but didn’t know why it had not been triggered, plus 3000 avios for 1st supp card. That’s total of 19000 avios + Voucher paying almost no fee.
          Under the new Nectar/Avios exchange the Nectar Amex £10k gets you 20000NP = 12500 Avios.

          • Dawn says:

            @Hotelier – that’s really helpful, didn’t realise I could do it like that.
            In April my 24 months without a card is up. Am I right I could get the Amex Gold first and spend to get the bonus without affecting then applying for a BA Blue card and then doing what you said about spending £10k and then upgrading to BAPP? Sorry to be thick but what’s CXL?

          • Hotelier says:

            @Dawn CXL (Cancel). You can apply for the blue card and do it but you won’t get the welcome bonus if you had the Gold Card. In your case I would apply to the BAPP directly, basically follow Rob’s article about best strategy for welcome bonus, and try to hit the £10k as soon as possible timing it with a big purchase? the welcome bonus on the BAPP outweighs the fee is you are eligible for it. You can try to refer as many people as possible during that time as the referral bonus is 9000 avios from the BAPP.
            In my case about to cancel all Amex cards and start the 24 months. With flight cancellations, I am now sitting on four companion vouchers which will struggle to use and enough Avios for them.

          • Genghis says:

            Equally, holding the Nectar Amex means you can apply for a BAPP every two years and get SUB his n hers.

            But each person has their own circumstances and spend patterns so needs to run their own numbers to come up with the approach that’s best for them.

    • Rob says:


  • The Streets says:

    There’s also a bonus feature with the Sainsbury’s Credit Card: You’ll get 750 bonus Nectar points when you use your card to buy £35 or more of Sainsbury’s shopping, up to 10 times during the 2 months after we open your account.

    I bought 10x Sainsbury’s gift card of £35 amount which triggered it

    • The Streets says:

      Although looks like this is no longer available if you choose the Sainsbury’s card with the 10,000 sign up

    • Tariq says:

      Is this in addition to the card which has a signup bonus of 10k points after £400 spend?

    • Richardyorkshire says:

      Do you have to do this in store, or can you do it online?
      I”m presuming it’s a single transaction, do you have to do 10 separate times?

  • Neil says:

    I need to do a big shop and was going to wait until Monday. Does anyone know will the double points trigger as soon as I transfer points to Avios on Monday or will there be a waiting time?

    • Alex D says:

      No one knows – the transfer could be instant or it could take a day or two. I would try today/tomorrow as you could get lucky and they’ll let it go through early. I think in another thread someone said they have already done it

    • James says:

      Maybe just calm down a bit… some of the comments here are like watching poorly parented little children run amok in the supermarket sweet aisle.

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