This is our review of the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card.
We cover this card because Nectar points can now be transferred into Avios points at the rate of 1 : 0.625, in chunks of 400 Nectar points. You can learn more about the Nectar and Avios partnership in our article here.
The review is part of our series of articles looking at the major UK loyalty credit cards and discussing whether of not they are worth applying for. These posts are linked to the relevant sections of the ‘Credit Cards Offers‘ area in the menu bar. Our other UK airline and hotel credit card reviews can be found here.
Key facts: No annual fee
The representative APR is 20.9% variable.
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.
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?
You will receive 8,000 Nectar points when you spend £400 at Sainsbury’s, Tu Clothing or Argos within your first two months.
This is worth 5,000 Avios if you convert the Nectar points.
Details of how to convert Nectar points to Avios are on ba.com here.
What are the conditions of applying?
There is no stated minimum income requirement.
It is recomended that you should have held a Nectar card for at least six months before applying although many readers have been accepted without meeting this criteria. I imagine that Sainsbury’s uses your shopping patterns as a way of partially validating the information on your application.
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. They do work with Google Pay.
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%.
This card compares terribly with the new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched a free Mastercard credit card which earns Avios:
It earns 1 Avios per £1 you spend. If you decided to convert these into Nectar points, you would receive 0.625 Nectar points per £1 you spend. This is FIVE TIMES better than the earning rate on the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card.
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. 8,000 Nectar points is worth 5,000 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.
Gift card purchases made in Sainsbury’s would trigger the bonus. Online purchases of gift cards via the Sainsbury’s website do NOT count. This is because they are processed, and charged, by a third party company.
Is the Sainsbury’s card a good card to use when travelling?
As Sainsbury’s Bank adds a 2.75% foreign exchange fee, you might want to get a separate free credit card to use abroad.
Unfortunately there are no credit cards with 0% foreign exchange fees worldwide which earn airline or hotel points. (The Virgin Atlantic credit cards have 0% FX fees in the Eurozone.) One option is to get a free card from Currensea. Currensea is a simple but clever idea. You pay abroad with your Currensea Mastercard debit card. Currensea translates the cost to Sterling with just a 0.5% fee (83% less than Sainsbury’s Bank charges) and withdraws the money from your bank account. You can find out more about Currensea by clicking here. Currensea is free so there is no risk in giving it a try.
What other options do I have for earning Nectar points?
If you want a Visa or Mastercard credit card which is accepted everywhere, get the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard. It earns 1 Avios per £1 spent and these convert into 0.625 Nectar points per £1 spent. Our full review of the Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is here.
If you want to maximise your Nectar points, you need the Nectar American Express credit card – although it isn’t accepted everywhere.
The Nectar American Express credit card is free for the first year and earns 2 Nectar points per £1 spent. This is TEN TIMES more generous than the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card for spending outside of Sainsbury’s and Argos. 2 Nectar points per £1 is equivalent to 1.25 Avios per £1 spent.
It also comes with a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Nectar points for spending £2,000 within 90 days. This would convert into 12,500 Avios.
The Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card has a decent sign-up bonus. 8,000 Nectar points will convert into 5,000 Avios.
The on-going earnings rate of 1 Nectar point per £5 spent is terrible, however, when you compare it with the Barclaycard Avios Mastercard.
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 or the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard.
The application form for the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card can be found here.
(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards? Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)
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.