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How can you earn Nectar points? (Part 2 – financial)

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How do Nectar points work?

It is now a year since the Avios and Nectar partnership was announced, which has led to a very interesting year for Avios collectors. A year in, I thought it was worth updating our introductory pieces on the Nectar loyalty scheme for those who are not familiar with it.

There are two articles on how to earn Nectar points. This one looks at credit card and other financial partners. The first part, click here, looks at how to earn Nectar points from traditional in-store shopping partners.

What is a Nectar point worth?

Here is a reminder of what a Nectar point is worth, because you need to know this to put the ‘earn and burn’ sections in context.

A Nectar point is worth 0.5p, in virtually all cases.

Since Avios transfer to Nectar at a rate of 1 to 1.6, Avios points now have a floor value of (0.5p x 1.6) 0.8p.

Where can I earn Nectar points?

HFP Amex American Express Nectar Card

American Express – the dedicated Nectar card

American Express issues its own Nectar American Express credit card.

Here are the headline details:

  • Get 20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2,000 within 90 days
  • Earn 2 Nectar points (1.25 Avios) per £1 of qualifying spend
  • No fee in Year 1, £25 annual fee thereafter
  • Representative APR 29.8% variable including the annual fee, 24.5% in Year 1

For the first year, with no annual fee and 2 Nectar points (1.25 Avios) earned per £1 spent, this is not a bad product. It becomes harder to justify the £25 fee from Year 2.

You will not receive the sign-up bonus if you have had any other personal American Express card in the last 24 months. This is a shame as the 20,000 Nectar points bonus transfers into 12,500 Avios.

You can apply for the Amex Nectar card here.

American Express – via Membership Rewards points transfers

You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into Nectar points at the rate of 1 to 1.

American Express cards which issue Membership Rewards points include:

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

Amex Reward Credit Card ARCC

American Express Rewards

The only ‘free for life’ Amex card which earns Membership Rewards Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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

With the launch of the Avios partnership, it no longer makes sense to transfer Membership Rewards points to Nectar at 1 to 1.

Instead, you should transfer your Membership Rewards points to Avios at 1:1 and then on to Nectar at 1:1.6. You receive 60% more Nectar points.

You will effectively get 0.8p of Nectar points for every 1 Membership Rewards point via this route.

There is one occasion when you may want to transfer directly to Nectar. Amex transfers to Avios must be done as a minimum of 1,000 Membership Rewards points and then in blocks of 500. Transfers to Nectar can be done for any amount.

If you are closing a Membership Rewards account, transferring your last few points to Nectar is the best way of getting your points down to zero.

Sainsbury’s Bank – credit cards

Sainsbury’s Bank issues its own range of credit cards. These are Mastercard products and are useful where American Express is not accepted.

There is a range of cards, each with different features – low balance transfer fees, 0% interest on purchases etc.

The cards are all free. The earning rate from ongoing spend is VERY weak, however, at 1 Nectar point per £5 spent. I don’t recommend using these cards for daily spend.

Spending at Sainsbury’s and Argos earns at a far higher rate of 2 Nectar points per £1. The credit card website implies you receive 3 points per £1 but this includes the standard 1 point per £1 you receive in Sainsbury’s irrespective of how you pay.

The best offer, from a points perspective, is the Nectar Credit Card. It offers a sign-up bonus of 8,000 Nectar points if you spend £400 at Sainsbury’s, Argos or Tu Clothing within two months of acceptance.

Sainsbury’s Bank – insurance

Sainsbury’s Bank offers regular sign-up offers of bonus points on selected insurance products.

There are also ongoing benefits depending on product. This includes double base points on all your Sainsbury’s shopping.

These offers may be personal to you, in which case you will only see them promoted via the Nectar app or may be available to all via the website.

Sainsbury’s Bank – loans

Similarly, Sainsbury’s Bank offers regular bonus points offers if you take out a personal loan.

These offers may be personal to you, in which case you will only see them promoted via the Nectar app or may be available to all via the website.


As you can see, there are numerous opportunities to earn Nectar points – and therefore Avios – via financial partnerships.

If you haven’t already seen it, click here to read Part 1 which looks at how to earn Nectar points from traditional in-store shopping partners.

We will keep you informed of the best new Nectar offers via Head for Points.

Comments (8)

  • BJ says:

    Currently 10,000 on SB Pet Insurance … but I was quoted over £50/month for a 1yo rabbit with a maximum benefit of £2000! Recently insured my 50+ self for a 6 figure sum for substantially less than that.

    Up to 22,000 currently available on life insurance with over 59s life insurance being the sweet spot provided you plan on cancelling after receiving the points.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      @BJ- what did your monthly premium payments down to with Life In’s?

      • BJ says:

        I can do the 50+ so I opt for lthe minimum £5 premium. I have not done my two policies this year yet but I think minimum is now £6.

    • Pablo says:

      Why not insure an imaginary cat for £6 per month?

      • BJ says:

        That was my intention but when I saw that they included rabbits I figure it would be cheaper still. I’ll try the cat later.

  • Jenny says:

    I have the pet insurance and the dual energy meaning all Saino’s n points are now x4. Intrigued to find out whether they’ll go to x5 if I get the credit card too!

    • jjoohhnn says:

      I thought it didn’t combine like that and you just got 3x points?

      • Jenny says:

        Have just checked my statement and for Dec I’ve had 18 points x 3 for the bonus, plus the original points. Perhaps three is the limit though?!

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