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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 two years since the Avios and Nectar partnership was announced. 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.

How can you earn Nectar points?

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 1.33, Avios points now have a floor value of (0.5p x 1.33) 0.66p.

Where can I earn Nectar points from finance partners?

How can you earn Nectar points?

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

The representative APR from year 2 is 36.3% variable.  The representative APR on purchases, and in the first year, is 30.7% variable.

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 cards 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.

How can you earn Nectar points?

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:

But you shouldn’t do this, because ….

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 1:1.33. You receive 33% more Nectar points.

You will effectively get 0.66p 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 directly 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.

How can you earn Nectar points?

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 higher rate of 1 Nectar point per £2. The credit card website implies you receive 3 points per £2 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. You may occasionally see a higher offer off 10,000 points in the Nectar app. Picking up this card would get you (8,000 Nectar points x 0.625) 5,000 Avios.

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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2023)

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 £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

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

30,000 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

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.

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 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 (15)

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

  • David says:

    Slightly OT. When Amex acquired Marriot or Nectar. Were there any other financial institutions who bidded for these individual products? Like Halifax or Nationwide for example? At times it feels like Amex has a monopoly but glad at least we have Barclays as healthy competition.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      I don’t think Halifax has a history of doing points credit cards. Back in the day MBNA was the biggest issuer of points cards

      • Andrew. says:

        Halifax is a trading name of BoS, and a decade or so back BoS had a massive affinity portfolio.

        They came in a variety of flavours that offered points, cash, or cash for the branded organisation (eg football club or charity).

        My BoS card originally earned “mortgage points” so if you subsequently drew down a Home Loan you’d get a credit of 1p per point credited to your loan.

    • RussellH says:

      When did Amex acquire Marriott?

      • Peter K says:

        They didn’t. I think he means when they got the contract to have a card issuing points for Marriott. Of course, this was actually the SPG (Starwood preferred guest) card until Marriott bought them out.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Only Barclays have seriously entered the co-brand space of late. The others (Crearion, New Day, that crowd that did the LH fiasco) had very slim portfolio and all threw the towel in after not very long in the game.

      Presumption is that especially with low interest rates there wasn’t the margin to feed another mouth?

      • Rob says:

        When IHG left Barclaycard, Creation was the only company that bid for the contract.

        The legacy card companies are too bogged down with historical overheads and legacy IT to make it work. The reason we don’t see more fintechs coming in (We’ve got Capital On Tap, Jaja, Tymit, Currensea) is that you need a lot of float.

        A new UK co-brand would be targetting 100,000 sign-ups. Assume £10k average credit limit. This is £1 BILLION of working capital that a start-up needs to raise, at a low rate, to fund day to day balances.

      • WillPS says:

        NewDay haven’t thrown in the towel at all, they’ve picked up the JL contract which is one of the biggest fish in this market there is!

        Jaja are focussing all their laser beams on this. They kicked off the vast majority of their ‘legacy’ customers (mostly from Bank of Ireland) recently – I can only imagine this is in order to free up funds for a new contract (for the reason Rob mentioned above!).

        Totally makes sense when you think about it too – the path to making money as a standard/vanilla/rewardless credit card paid in full each month is so narrow it possibly doesn’t exist with the interchange fee cap, particularly with interest rates going up. With an Asda card, targeted at Asda shoppers, they’re making a healthy commission every single time that card is used at Asda – which more than outweighs the tiny bit of interchange revenue you effective pass back.

  • Mikeact says:

    Just wondering why Barclays products are not shown in the list….

    • Rob says:

      Arguably, yes, if the article was on MSE and all about how to use Nectar points for supermarket shopping then they should be discussed, but most HfP readers are only looking to get Nectar points to convert to Avios. Except me, of course, who uses them for coffee.

      • Peter K says:

        Coffee? Is that a good nectar redemption? You should dedicate an article to that… not that it’s likely to generate many comments 😉

      • Bgs says:

        Doesn’t work for me today for some reason (Cafe Nero), says “nectar voucher not available),

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

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