UPDATE – NOVEMBER 2022: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry. We produce a monthly directory of the top UK travel credit card offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Credit Cards’ menu above. Thank you.
Is Sainsbury’s Bank about to cut the bonus on the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card?
When the Avios and Nectar partnership launched in January 2021, I initially thought that Sainsbury’s Bank would prove to be a good place to earn points. In general, I was wrong.
However, one sweet spot was the 10,000 Nectar points sign-up bonus on the free Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card. This is worth 6,250 Avios.
It certainly isn’t a great credit card for day to day spending, as I will explain, but arguably 6,250 Avios as a sign-up bonus on a free credit card is not to be ignored.
Is this generous sign-up offer going away?
The application page for the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card has changed. It now says:
“Apply by 8 August 2021 to collect 10,000 bonus points when you use your card to spend a total of £400 or more at Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat or Tu Clothing during the 2 months after your account is opened.”
What will happen after 8th August? We don’t know. We don’t have a commercial relationship with Sainsbury’s credit cards and they do not tell us what is going on. Your guess is as good as mine.
If you were thinking of applying, you may want to do it sooner rather than later.
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.
The representative APR is 20.9% variable.
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?
Until 8th August, 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.
You can learn more about the Nectar and Avios partnership in our article here. Details of how to convert Nectar points to Avios are on ba.com here.
We have no idea what will happen to the bonus after 8th August.
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.
The small print used to say that you must have held a Nectar card for at least six months. I imagine that Sainsbury’s uses your shopping patterns as a way of partially validating the information on your application.
The wording has now been softened and says that you must be a Nectar cardholder and “should have been one for at least 6 months”. It is no longer compulsory, it seems.
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 are very likely to 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.
The Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card has a great sign-up bonus and it may be going away after 8th August. We have no information about whether the bonus will disappear entirely or simply shrink after this date. It could even go up, of course.
The bonus of 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, and this card is not a great ‘keeper’ for daily spending.
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.
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibly to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points. The site discusses products offered by lenders but is not a lender itself. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as an independent credit broker.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – November 2022 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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:
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
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
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
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
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.