Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How can you earn Nectar points? (Part 1 – non-financial)

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How do Nectar points work?

It is now over two years since Avios and Nectar unveiled their partnership. It is fair to say that it came as a big surprise, because we had assumed that any potential tie-up would be scuppered by a weak conversion rate.

In reality, we got an innovative two-way transfer system where you can move Avios and Nectar points back and forth, albeit that you lose some value if you reverse your transaction. This means that:

  • Avios is now the most valuable Nectar redemption, assuming you value an Avios at 1p (400 Nectar points = 250 Avios)
  • Avios now have a floor value of 0.66p – you should never redeem for anything which is poorer value than this – because 1 Avios gets you 0.66p of Nectar points to spend at Sainsbury’s, Argos, eBay etc (300 Avios = 400 Nectar points worth £2)
How can you earn Nectar points?

I thought it was worth updating our introductory pieces on the Nectar loyalty scheme for those who are not familiar with it.

(Everytime we update this article it gets shorter as more partners leave the scheme – this update has seen DFDS ferries, Europcar, Brakes and the remaining train franchises removed.)

Even if you do have a Nectar card, it is worth reading these articles as there may be a few quirks you did not know about.

I have kept this as factual as I can, so there is little discussion of whether a particular option is good or bad. At the end of the day, of course, if you are shopping in Sainsbury’s, Argos, eBay, Esso or with other Nectar partners then you will be collecting the points regardless.

The Avios transfer option into Nectar also offers an exit route for people who have collected a very small number of Avios from a flight and have no other easy way to use them.

There are two articles on how to earn Nectar points. This one looks at non-financial routes whilst Part 2, probably published tomorrow, looks at earning Nectar points from credit cards, insurance and loans. We’ll follow up with a third article on how to spend Nectar points, in case you were looking to cash out of Avios.

What is a Nectar point worth?

Let’s start with valuation, 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 300 to 400, Avios points now have a floor value of (0.5p x 1.33) 0.66p.

How can you earn Nectar points?

What the fixed 0.5p rate means is that no Nectar redemption is ‘better’ than any other. (Caffe Nero is the main exception for getting better than 0.5p as we wrote here.)

Whilst it is true that you can turn 1,000 Nectar points into a £5 Eurostar voucher, there is no particular benefit to doing that if you could get an identical £5 discount in Sainsbury’s simply by scanning your card at the till.

In many ways, the Sainsbury’s redemption route is also easier than faffing around ordering vouchers from other partners.

How do you join Nectar?

There are a variety of routes. You can pick up a temporary paper card in Sainsbury’s, which you can later register online.

Alternatively you can register via the website and then download the Nectar app. You can also register via the app directly.

You can either save a digital membership card to your eWallet or open the Nectar app instore. Either route lets you scan a digital card. You will also be posted a plastic card.

Nectar does not have household accounts although I assume the same account can be accessed from multiple smartphones.

Where can you earn Nectar points?

How can you earn Nectar points?


Sainsbury’s, if you are not aware, now owns the Nectar scheme. It took full control five years ago as we covered here. This made sense as Sainsbury’s (which also owns Argos and Habitat) had become by far the biggest partner.

The earning rate in Sainsbury’s is 1 point (0.5p) per £1 spent.

There are some exceptions, mainly driven by legislation:

• Spirits
• Liqueur
• Infant formula baby milk products
• Tobacco and related products
• Gift vouchers
• Savings or postage stamps
• Mobile phone vouchers, phone cards or charity products
• Travel money

You can substantially boost your points by the using the weekly bonus coupons which appear in the app or online. These are designed to fit around what you already buy so most should trigger if you are doing a big shop.

You need to opt-in to these offers. If you don’t want to waste too much time, simply open the app, go to the Sainsbury’s offers page and click ‘Save all offers’. If you buy the right things, you’ll get the points.

How can you earn Nectar points?


You earn 1 point per £1 spent in Argos.

If you visit a store, you can scan your card when you pay. If you are ordering online for home delivery or ‘click and collect’, you need to link your accounts via your Argos profile.

You can find out more on the Argos website here.


You earn 1 point per £1 spent on eBay. However, you can often do substantially better via regular promotions – there are currently semi-regular targeted promotions via the Nectar app and the occasional very generous ‘open to all’ deals like this one offering 20 points per £1.

There is a maximum of 300 base points per transaction, which would trigger on a £300 purchase.

Full details are on this page of the eBay website.


Confusingly, Esso is now part of both Nectar and Tesco Clubcard.

If you visit an Esso garage which has a Tesco Express store, you collect Clubcard points on your fuel and store spending.

For all other Esso garages, you collect 1 Nectar point per litre of fuel and 2 points per £1 spent on other items, including in the store.

Esso has regular bonus point offers via both the Nectar app and its own app.

How can you earn Nectar points?

Sainsbury’s Energy

Sainsbury’s Energy, which is actually run by E.ON following a recent switch from npower, offers two routes for collecting Nectar points.

Historically you would have received sign-up bonuses for switching to the company. These are not currently available because switching makes no sense at present due to the energy price cap. This may change as 2023 develops due to falling wholesale prices.

You will also receive triple Nectar base points on every Sainsbury’s shop going forward (double points if you only switch one fuel) for as long as you remain a Sainsbury’s Energy dual fuel customer. There is a cap of 3,500 bonus points per fuel per year.


You earn 2 points for every £1 ex-VAT you spend at office supplies group Viking. You need to link you Viking and Nectar accounts to earn.

Own-label purchases earn double, so you receive 4 points per £1 spent.

You can learn more about the Nectar partnership on this page of the Viking website.

How can you earn Nectar points?

Nectar Hotels

Nectar has a hotel portal powered by Rocketmiles – see our article here – which earns up to 2,000 points per night.

Note that bookings made via this portal will not quality for elite status benefits or hotel loyalty points as they will be treated as third party bookings.

The Woodland Trust

You receive 20 Nectar points per £1 spent on Woodland Trust membership. All membership types, including life memberships, are included.

Dulux Decorator Centre

This is a hangover from the (now closed) Nectar Business scheme. You earn 2 points for every £1 you spend.

How can you earn Nectar points?

Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday

You need to link your mymail account to your Nectar account and enter the unique code number printed in each issue of the newspaper.

Each code number gets you a spin of the Golden Wheel which will determine how many Nectar Points you collect.

Subscribers can spin the Golden Wheel every day in the Mail+ app.

And ….. the Nectar shopping portal and Nectar Connect

Nectar makes some big claims about the number of retailers with whom you can collect points.

In truth, 98% of them are only partners because they are in the Nectar shopping portal. This lets you earn a variable amount of points by clicking through from the Nectar app or website to a particular online store.

Any partner in the Nectar online store is also likely to be on TopCashback, Quidco, Virgin Shops Away or the British Airways shopping portal. You should compare rates before making any transaction.

Nectar also has a card linking scheme called Nectar Connect. This allows you to register your credit and debit cards and automatically earn points when you spend at a small number of retailers. I have got more positive about Nectar Connect in the past year as I explained in this Nectar Connect review.

In Part 2 …..

In Part 2 of this article – hopefully published tomorrow – we look at Nectar’s financial partners. Earning points from a credit card is easier and quicker than many of the partners listed above.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous 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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

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

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (21)

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

  • SammyJ says:

    “Nectar does not have household accounts although I assume the same account can be accessed from multiple smartphones.”

    Yes, indeed you can. You can add the nectar card to Applepay too – everyone in my household has a copy of my mum’s Nectar card. Additionally I believe you can link any Nectar card to any Avios account, my mum’s Nectar points auto-transfer across into my BA Avios.

  • RussellH says:

    My and my partner’s Nectar cards have been linked for years, even before we shared the same address.
    While we each have separate log-ins, we each need to save the weeks offers to our accounts, logging in to either account shows all the points collected on both accounts.
    It used to distinguish between my points and hers, but that is no longer the case.
    For the past few years, all points are shown as mine if I log in, and all are hers if she logs in. The actual account entries are identical.
    I have no recall of how the accounts were linked, it was done years ago, so maybe this is no longer an option?

  • andiron says:

    There is also many quirks with Nectar. For example if I buy something for £11 at Sainsbury’s and pay £10 with Nectar points I only get 1 point per £1 spent. If I do the same on Ebay – pay £10 with Nectar voucher and £1 by card I get 11 points.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Reverse vending machines: I got 840 points yesterday at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, for feeding my empties into their machine.

    Paid for the fuel to Edinburgh for a comedy night out!

  • Jose Marques says:

    I have had £85.00 worth of nectar points stolen from me through a cloned card. Sainsbury’s is not cooperating in investigating the fraudulent activity.

    • Qrfan says:

      I got mine back in 2 weeks. There’s no way the card was cloned in my case though. Not the physical one at least. It’s never left the house.

  • tony says:

    I used to shop at Sainsbury’s but the quality fell so far, customer service became comical and delivery slots were so hard to find that I’m shunning the Avios for a better experience with Ocado.

    • VivAldi says:

      Same here, switched to Aldiz since they accept Amex I can collect Avios there.

  • ADS says:

    my weekly Nectar offers come out on a Wednesday … which is the last day that the previous week’s are valid … so on a Wednesday I have two weeks’ worth to benefit from …

    Last Wednesday I spent just over 15 quid and banked 620 bonus points !

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

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