Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: the Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

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. The page to transfer points is 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.

EDIT: This card was removed from the market in July 2023. The replacement ‘Nectar Dual’ card does not have any sign up bonus.

Review Sainsbury's Nectar Credit Card

Key link: Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card application form

Key facts: No annual fee

The representative APR is 22.9% variable.

Reward credit cards generally have high interest rates and are not suitable for anyone who does not pay off their full balance each month. If you do not clear your balance, you should look for a non-rewards credit card with a low interest rate.

This article was updated on 1st April 2024, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.

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, Habitat, 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 here.

What are the conditions of applying?

There is no stated minimum income requirement.

Review Sainsbury's Nectar Credit Card

Any other benefits?

All new cardholders receive two financial benefits:

  • 0% interest on balance transfers for up to six months (3% fee applies)
  • 0% interest on purchases for up to six months

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 1 point per £2 for spending in Sainsbury’s, Tu Clothing and Argos.

The website says that you receive 3 points per £2 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 0.312 Avios per £1.

If you value an Avios at 1p, your return on general spending is 0.125%.

Review Sainsbury's Nectar Credit Card

This card compares terribly with the new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched a free Mastercard credit card which earns Avios:

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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.

Our full review of the Nectar American Express is here and you can apply for the card here.

American Express Nectar credit card

Nectar American Express

First year free and 20,000 points sign-up bonus – worth £100 or 12,500 Avios Read our full review


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. Even if you spend a lot of money at Sainsbury’s and Argos, the ‘improved’ earning date for spending there (1 Nectar point per £2 spent) is still very weak.

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 responsibility 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.

Comments (12)

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

  • Ian m says:

    I don’t think you can earn nectar points on alcohol purchases either.

    • WillPS says:

      Sainsburys Bank award on your total basket value. Doesn’t matter if you’ve bought bananas, baked beans, formula milk, lottery tickets, gift cards… As long as it goes through a standard till in the supermarket you’ll get points.

    • lumma says:

      You don’t get nectar points on spirits purchases with your normal nectar card but you do on all other alcohol purchases. You can’t buy spirits with nectar points either. They claim it’s something to do with minimum unit pricing

      I doubt the credit card would be able to distinguish between the two

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Spirits don’t earn nectar points wine etc does

    • Tim Hewson says:

      Rules may be different in Scotland (due to anti-promotion rules for alcohol there), but in England at least I get points on Beer purchases.

  • Mayfair Mike says:

    I think merely holding this means nectar points earned every month (on genuine purchases not the bonus ones) are doubled at the end of the month. In my nectar app I get a line item “Bank Dbl Pts Offer”. Your points are doubled for holding a bank product ie this card. Its possible to stack these with other Sainsburys financial products too, like insurance.
    So rather than cxl this card after the sub, I chopped down the credit limit to whatever the lowest was and leave it in the drawer purely for the multiplier effect.

    • Travel Strong says:

      I’ve held this card on and off over time (currently holding it) – and have never had such points doubling.

      • memesweeper says:

        Weirdly, I did for a while then it stopped. I’ve no idea why it started or stopped. I no longer hold the card (but I may again).

  • Rob says:

    …. but bans you from the Barclaycard Avios cards and their huge bonuses. You need a lot of FX spend to compensate for missing a 50,000 Avios bonus ….

  • memesweeper says:

    Whilst this *is* a terrible rewards card for day to day spending compared to many others, it is the only rewards card (AFAIK) that comes with 0% on spend in the first few months. If you can get a good limit and hammer the card after opening, then stop using it entirely and pay off during the interest free period, I think it’s potentially useful. I’ve used it this way before and may well again.

  • Max says:

    Does Sainsbury’s petrol count towards the £400 spend?

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

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.