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Review: the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card

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This is our review of the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card.

We cover this card because Nectar points can now be transferred into Avios points at the rate of 1 : 0.625, in chunks of 400 Nectar points. You can learn more about the Nectar and Avios partnership in our article here.

The review is part of our series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether of not they are worth applying for.  These posts are linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Cards Offers‘ area in the menu bar. Our other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.

Key links: Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card application form

Key facts: No annual fee

The representative APR is 20.9% variable.

This article was updated on 1st May 2021, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.

BEFORE WE GO ON …. Do you have a small business? Until 20th May 2021, you can receive a sign-up bonus worth 29,900 Avios with the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa credit card. This offer is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to learn more.

About the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card

The Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card is issued by Sainsbury’s Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of the supermarket chain.

The card is issued as a Mastercard.

Sainsbury’s Bank issues a number of credit cards with different features. All have the same earning rate per £1 spent. This version has the most generous Nectar sign-up bonus.

If you want to see what other options are available, visit this page of the Sainsbury’s Bank website.

What is the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card sign-up bonus?

You will receive 10,000 Nectar points when you spend £400 at Sainsbury’s, Tu Clothing or Argos within your first two months.

This is worth 6,250 Avios if you convert the Nectar points.

Details of how to convert Nectar points to Avios are on ba.com here.

What are the conditions of applying?

There is no stated minimum income requirement.

Feedback from readers is that the self-employed are not currently being accepted.

You must have held a Nectar card for at least six months. There is no requirement to have used it, but I imagine that Sainsbury’s uses your shopping patterns as a way of partially validating the information on your application.

Any other benefits?

All new cardholders receive two financial benefits:

  • 0% interest on balance transfers for 12, 14 or 17 months depending on circumstances
  • 0% interest on purchases for 12, 14 or 17 months depending on circumstances

Note that Sainsbury’s credit cards cannot be used with Apple Pay yet.

What is the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card annual fee?

There is no annual fee.

What do I earn per £1 spent on the card?

The earning rate on the card is 1 Nectar point per £5 for general spending and 2 points per £1 for spending in Sainsbury’s, Tu Clothing and Argos.

The website says that you receive 3 points per £1 for spending with Sainsbury’s. When you look at the small print, you will see that they are including the 1 point per £1 on base Nectar earning.

Points are earned ‘per transaction’. This means that a £4.99 purchase outside of Sainsbury’s will earn nothing. A £9.99 transaction would only earn one Nectar point.

What is a Nectar point worth?

In virtually all circumstances, a Nectar point is worth 0.5p.

Here is our HfP guide on how to spend Nectar points.

1 point per £5 charged to your card is equivalent to a 0.1% rebate on your spend.

In reality, it is worse than this because your spending is rounded down to the nearest £5 per transaction before points are awarded.

With 1 Nectar point worth 0.625 Avios, you would earn 0.125 Avios per £1 spent outside Sainsbury’s. Inside Sainsbury’s you would earn 1.25 Avios per £1.

If you value an Avios at 1p, your return on general spending is 0.125%.

Avios nectar shopping

How does a 0.125% return compare to a cashback credit card?

My default comparison card is the John Lewis / Waitrose Mastercard which is free for life and offers 0.25% cashback in vouchers.

On this basis, this is a good card to use in Sainsbury’s, Argos and Tu Clothing but you may have a more rewarding card in your wallet to use elsewhere.

Is the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card worth getting purely for the sign-up bonus?

Yes.

The Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card sign-up bonus is worth having. 10,000 Nectar points is worth 6,250 Avios.

You need to spend £400 in Sainsbury’s, Argos or Tu Clothing within two months to trigger the bonus. Before you apply, be certain that you can manage this.

It is likely that gift card purchases, for other companies, bought in Sainsbury’s would trigger the bonus.

Is the Sainsbury’s card a good card to use when travelling?

No.

As Sainsbury’s Bank adds a 2.75% foreign exchange fee, you might want to get a separate free credit card to use abroad.

Unfortunately there are no travel rewards cards without a foreign exchange fee.  One option is to get a free card from Currensea. Currensea is a simple but clever idea.  You pay abroad with your Currensea Mastercard debit card. Currensea translates the cost to Sterling with just a 0.5% fee (83% less than Sainsbury’s Bank charges) and withdraws the money from your bank account. You can find out more about Currensea by clicking here Currensea is free so there is no risk in giving it a try.

What other options do I have for earning Nectar points?

The obvious alternative is the Nectar American Express credit card.

The Nectar American Express credit card is free for the first year and earns 2 Nectar points per £1 spent. This is TEN TIMES more generous than the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card for spending outside of Sainsbury’s and Argos. 2 Nectar points per £1 is equivalent to 1.25 Avios per £1 spent.

It also comes with a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Nectar points for spending £2,000 within 90 days. This would convert into 12,500 Avios.

Our full review of the Nectar American Express is here and you can apply for the card here.

Nectar American Express

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 27.3% APR variable.  Annual fee applies after 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.

Conclusion

The Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card has a great sign-up bonus. 10,000 Nectar points will convert into 6,250 Avios.

The on-going earnings rate of 1 Nectar point per £5 spent is weak, unfortunately.

However, earning 2 Nectar points (worth 1.25 Avios) for every £1 spent in Sainsbury’s, Argos or Tu Clothing IS attractive. This card may be worth keeping if you are a regular Sainsbury’s shopper and are not earning 1.5 Avios per £1 from a British Airways Premium Plus credit card.

The application form for the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card can be found here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Card Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (104)

  • Rob says:

    Don’t see any travel rewards there!

  • Aston100 says:

    Is that back again? I looked into it a year or two ago, but they seemed to have removed the funds return aspect.

  • Paul says:

    What impact does announcement yesterday by Mastercard that they are raising their fees 5 fold for UK card used in the EU ( – thanks to Brexit – the gift that keeps giving!!) have on consumers.

    Will I pay more for goods and services if I use it in the EU
    Will it help regenerate reward cards such as Hilton or others
    Is there any upside.

    • The real John says:

      No, but EU sellers may raise their prices in general to cover higher fees from their banks.

    • Rob says:

      Go back and read it again.

      It is a fee for ONLINE transactions made in the EU by UK customers. Not many of those.

      Mastercard and Visa settled with the EU to impose the 0.3% fee GLOBALLY on all transactions made physically in the EU.

  • Peter says:

    Imo this card is not worth keeping even of you regular shopper. There is plenty of discount for Sainsburry when you buy gift cards – TopCash gift cards, Perkbox has 5% off.. just to name few.

  • Rob says:

    Does anybody know if the Amex Nectar card gets any bonus points for adding supplementary cardholders?

    Thanks

  • Aaron says:

    I’m assuming the spend will count when buying things online from Argos?

  • RedEyeDonkey says:

    I get that this is a free 60 quid’s worth of points or whatever but for many people the cost of a hard pull/credit acount application is way higher than 60 quid in their lost score etc. Just make sure it’s worth bothering for such a pittance. I prefer to only get long-term holding cards in the UK – we just don’t have those 100k+ point bonuses that make it worth taking a hit/perhaps not being able to get virtually free loan money if you needed it unexpectedly etc.

    • Rob says:

      Three years ago we ran an offer for 1000 Clubcard points (2400 Avios) for getting the Tesco credit card and 500 readers applied. I know because we got paid on those, unlike these. HfP was a lot smaller than it is now then.

    • Harry T says:

      Unless you’re needing to apply for a significant loan or mortgage etc in the next six months, I can’t see why you would worry too much about your credit worthiness.

  • Navara says:

    Over the years like others I have quite a few now non earning Avios credit cards. Would it have a detrimental effect on my credit score if I culled them all in one swoop?

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