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‘Avios to Nectar’ online points 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.

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

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

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 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.

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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year 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.

Comments (49)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • NR says:

    Same problem for me. Locked out for 72 hours because they claim the DOB did not match!

  • Harry Holden says:

    Ditto to wrong DOB. I wonder if it is as simple as in my profile my month is 06 but in the verification it only enter 6.

  • Andrew Mc says:

    Whilst I had the DOB issue on Chrome Mobile, Android and my wife (also Chrome Mobile, Android, but different device) didn’t, and it also failed on DOB check on Mac, Safari (though just left spinning indefinitely, rather than outright rejecting my DOB), it then proceeded to work fine on Mac, Chrome! And I am now a fully fledged conversion success story….supposedly 🙂

  • Mike says:

    Worked perfectly on my laptop first time – not sure what my laptop runs on – other than electricity!!

  • NR says:

    Update: I contacted Nectar via live chat. The agent was able to reset the exchange account and I was able to initiate the points transfer. It recognised my DOB this time.

  • Timbo says:

    Anyone who has been locked out for 72hrs this morning, try again now. I had another go a few minutes ago and it was unlocked and now recognised my DOB. Transfer initiated.

    • Harry Holden says:

      Thanks – worked for me now.
      10 days though…

      • Timbo says:

        I get the impression that account names are being manually checked on both sides. There can’t really be any other explanation given that the transfer was instant for the brief period before they suspended it.

  • Bettyboo says:

    After all this time I was expecting a little more than a date of birth check. Can’t believe that BA don’t have 2FA on their accounts.

    • Will says:

      Surely 2FA is just an off the shelf bolt on these days.

    • peter says:

      DOB is a bit like “Please confirm you’re 18 or over? [YES] [NO]”

  • Richard says:

    Great, works for me now. I guess the fact you have to click a confirmation in an email sent to the mail registered your BAEC account does provide some form of 2FA. A other have said though … 10 days?? Are they sending the points by carrier pigeon?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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