Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is the 10,000 Nectar points (6,250 Avios) bonus on the free Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card ending?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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%.

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 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?

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.

Conclusion

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 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.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

The following offers will expire on 2nd November 2021:

  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express

Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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 Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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:

Barclaycard Select Cashback Credit Card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (41)

  • BJ says:

    If SB remains true to form sign up bonuses will continue. To best of my recollection this one has been the best of recent years because it was the simplest in that you could spend £400 and be done with it. Any replacement is probably going to be of the spend X at Sainsbury etc Y times over the next Z weeks. Not user-friendly for avios collectors or those spending much more than £35-40 per shop but very sensible for Sainsbury obviously as their goal is to develop a shopping habit in their own store. If the other card along those lines is still available then probably there will be no replacement for this one.

  • Alex W says:

    “In virtually all circumstances, a Nectar point is worth 0.5p.” Is it time to update this line to reflect the value of Avios transfers?

    We have had the Sainsbury’s credit card for a while and it has been a good little earner. Given the interest free period you can save up the money you would have spent in savings/investments. Purchases continue to be interest free throughout the period so when you’ve paid off the monthly minimum you can spend it again. This roughly equated to our monthly food shop so we carried on using it in Sainsbury’s all year.

    • Rob says:

      Not really – 99% of Nectar redemptions are still 0.5p.

      • BJ says:

        But for some they were never worth less than 1p each, and very easy to earn before avios.

    • John says:

      I wouldn’t pay more than 0.8p for an avios unless I needed a very small amount to make a redemption immediately (and one with a 95%+ chance I will actually fly) – so no.

  • Pablo says:

    Can the £400 be spent on fuel? If not, do Sainsbury’s sell their own gift vouchers in store which can be used to pay for fuel?

    • Brighton Belle says:

      The last few times I presented a Sainsbury’s GC at a Sainsbury’s fuel station they refused it. The T’s & C’s don’t allow it. Some till operators will accept it.

    • Rui N. says:

      You can buy the gift cards in store and then use it for fuel. That’s how I spent most of my 2*£400.

  • Britbronco says:

    The card works with Google pay, so probably Apple pay as well?

    • StevieKicks says:

      Unfortunately not 🙁

    • Apbj says:

      Not only does it not work with Apple Pay, the Sainsbury’s card has a poor app and, in my experience, poor support. I had to argue for the missing sign-up bonus and missing points. The final straw was having a false ‘PIN error’ message; after a couple of weeks of cycling through PIN resents that required new PINs sent out through the post, it transpired that the card had been stopped for fraud checks but that no message was ever sent to tell me. I found this out only when calling up about the PIN error. The response was “well, you’re on the phone now so that’s fine.” And no, I couldn’t have the lost Nectar points. Card cancelled.

  • Sam says:

    FYI my self employed largish salary got declined on the eligibility checker. Tried my housewife with no personal income , but wholly my household income. She was approved and card is on its way.

  • Wally1976 says:

    Haven’t ‘done’ this card yet as don’t really shop much in Sainsbury’s/Argos. What are the easiest ways to spend the £400? Do they have Amazon vouchers for example?

    • Jonathan says:

      Rob has mentioned about gift cards in the article

      • Wally1976 says:

        Yes but just wondered if they stock gift cards for somewhere I would actually use (eg Amazon) and/or other alternatives to gift cards.

        • Tariq says:

          Gift cards is how I spent the majority of my £400. Never managed to find Amazon cards in Sainsburys – I think it competes too much with Argos.

    • BJ says:

      Loads of gift cards. Fuel via Sainsbury gift cards provided your local PFS accepts them.

  • jil says:

    Using this card through curve at Sainsbury’s, will this collect the correct higher nectar points?

    • Rob says:

      Unlikely.

    • apbj says:

      No, and in any case Sainsbury’s Bank likes to decline Curve transactions. I had to frequently call up to get Curve authorised/unblocked.

  • Rahaney says:

    Not having had a Nectar Card for 6 month I was switched/given the Dual Credit card instead when applying a few months back. Less generous bonus, requiring more continued spending and no I didn’t apply for the wrong one, it also happened to others on here.

    • BJ says:

      Had similar before, they are a real pain with this apply for one thing and getting another. I’m surprised they are allowed to let customers take a hit on their credit file not knowing exactly what they will get. On the bright side you get a good excuse to cancel soon after receiving the bonus.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.