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 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%.
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?
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?
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.
Sign-up bonus and earnings rate:
- Get 20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2,000 within 90 days
- Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent
- Points transfer at 400 : 250 into Avios
- Points are worth 0.5p each when spent at Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.