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‘Avios to Nectar’ online transfers return at 9am Wednesday

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Here’s some exciting news, at least in the context of the rest of the news so far this week.

Online transfers of Avios into Nectar points are due to return at 9am, Wednesday 21st.

Here is a ba.com screenshot to prove it:

'Avios to Nectar' online transfers return at 9am Wednesday

Let’s fill in the background here for the benefit of new readers.

In January 2021, Avios launched a new partnership with Nectar. This followed the termination of the existing deal with Tesco and its Clubcard scheme.

We were initially a little underwhelmed, because Nectar had historically been a little dull with few opportunities to earn and little scope for gamification. What appeared, however, was more interesting than we anticipated.

Avios and Nectar set up a two way transfer option:

  • 250 Avios got you 400 Nectar points
  • 400 Nectar points got you 250 Avios

You could move points, instantly, online, in either direction, as many times as you wanted.

Here is the key. 1 Nectar point is worth 0.5p. This is what you get if you spend them at Sainsburys, Argos, eBay.co.uk or any other partner. So ….

  • If 250 Avios get you 400 Nectar points …..
  • ….. then 250 Avios are now worth £2 cash, as long as you spend it in Sainsburys, Argos, eBay.co.uk etc
'Avios to Nectar' online transfers return at 9am Wednesday

Avios suddenly got a ‘floor value’ – and it was very high. You could now collect Avios knowing that you could get at least 0.8p for them. If you struggled to get the flights you wanted, there was an easy way out.

Of course, creating a 0.8p floor value created a lot of issues for British Airways. There are plenty of Avios redemptions which only get you 0.5p per point – redeeming for car hire, wine, ‘experiences’, BA seat selection, luggage fees, hotels etc. If you are based in the UK, you’d be pretty dim to redeem for any of those things at 0.5p per Avios when Nectar offers 0.8p.

A lot of HfP readers, faced with a lack of long-haul travel, began to empty out Avios balances into Nectar. It helped that Argos increased its transaction limit, letting you redeem £500-worth of Nectar points in one go.

There were security problems, however

Unfortunately, there were security holes in the Avios to Nectar transfer process. You could link any Nectar card to any Avios account, with no requirement for the name, address or email to match. You could even link and unlink the same Nectar card from multiple Avios accounts.

I don’t want to say ‘I told you so’, but I did tell you so. I wrote this article – “Is your Avios account now at greater risk from hackers?” – on 1st February. On 6th February, the first Head for Points reader reported Nectar fraud. On 20th February, The Sunday Times followed up with this story (paywall) featuring various HfP readers. Online transfers from Avios to Nectar were suspended.

There are a lot of British Airways Executive Club account numbers and passwords for sale on the dark web, as we reported here. Historically they were not hugely useful.

Only a fool books a flight with stolen Avios, using their own credit card to pay the taxes and risking arrest at the airport. Some fraudsters had success using stolen Avios to book hotel rooms, but it only really worked if you booked for an immediate (same day) stay which could be completed before anyone noticed the points were gone.

Nectar changed the game though. You could create a new Nectar account online, link it to a hacked British Airways account and drain the Avios, subject to the 50,000 points monthly cap. You could immediately redeem the points in Sainsburys, buy a high value item for resale from Argos or, even better, use it as eBay credit to buy an item from yourself or an accomplice.

Anyway ….

Let’s hope that we can now put all this behind us. Hopefully, from Wednesday morning, we can transfer Avios back and forth to Nectar without having to call BA and wait for 10 days. I am assuming that 2FA (two factor authentication) will be in place.

You can convert your Avios into Nectar, or vice versa, on this page of ba.com.

Thanks to Tim for this.

PS. If you have moved Nectar points into Avios this month to enter the current competition, do not initiate a move in the other direction before 29th July. It will invalidate your competition entry.

Comments (49)

  • Crafty says:

    Let the floodgates open…

    • Andrew says:

      They’ve been open for 7 months if you just make a monthly 2 minute phone call.

  • Timbo says:

    “21th” makes me think it was 20th, then pushed back at the last minute

  • Alex W says:

    I’m opening a new Nectar card and waiting until Christmas saver, assuming it happens again, to transfer Avios and get closer to 1p per Nectar point and therefore 1.6p per Avio.

  • The Urbanite says:

    Oh goody. Things on the phone line were getting ridiculous – you can transfer 50k per calendar month but one person claimed you could only transfer one month after the previous transfer went through…!

  • Peter K says:

    Great news!

  • peter says:

    Or maybe simply they just got to the point where people started flying again and are no longer afraid that all Avios will be spent at Sainsburry’s!

  • Crafty says:

    Does anyone recall, for all of our benefit, the first date we can transfer Avios to Nectar without losing eligibility for the current competition?

  • AJA says:

    Just don’t do the Avios to Nectar before 1 August unless you aren’t interested in the chance to win 100,000 Avios having transferred 400 Nectar to Avios.

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