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No more sign up bonuses on Sainsbury’s Nectar credit cards

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The Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card offered a way of getting a one-off hit of 8,000 Nectar points, worth 5,000 Avios, due to its sign-up bonus.

It certainly wasn’t a great credit card for day to day spending, as I will explain, but arguably 5,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus on a free credit card was worth thinking about.

You no longer need to think about it. Sainsbury’s has pulled the Nectar Credit Card for new applicants and no longer offers a sign-up bonus on any of its credit cards.

No more sign up bonuses on Sainsbury's Nectar credit cards

Sainsbury’s Bank issues a number of credit cards with different features. All have the same earning rate per £1 spent.

Only one card – the Nectar Credit Card – came with a sign-up bonus.

This has now been removed from sale, to be replaced with the ‘Nectar Dual Credit Card’. This appears to be the same as the old Nectar Credit Card, but without any sort of sign-up bonus.

Why don’t we recommend Sainsbury’s cards for daily spending?

The earning rate on the Sainsbury’s cards is 1 Nectar point per £5 for general spending and 1 point per £2 for spending in Sainsbury’s, Tu Clothing and Argos. This is exceptionally bad.

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. Given that the return is so poor in the first place, this is astonishing penny-pinching.

No more sign up bonuses on Sainsbury's Nectar credit cards

What is a Nectar point worth?

In virtually all circumstances, a Nectar point is worth 0.5p.

1 Nectar point per £5 charged to any Sainsbury’s credit 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 and Argos you would earn 0.312 Avios per £1.

This is a joke compared to, for example, the free Barclaycard Avios credit card. This earns 1 Avios per £1 spent. You can transfer these to Nectar and get 1.33 Nectar points per £1, worth 0.66p.

Astonishingly, the free Barclaycard Avios credit card earns you 6.6x the rewards of a Sainsbury’s credit card. This is before you factor in the annual Barclaycard / British Airways upgrade voucher too!


The Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card had a half-decent sign-up bonus and we recommended it for a one-off hit of 5,000 Avios – as long as you promised to cancel it once you’d done that!

The on-going earnings rate of 1 Nectar point per £5 spent was always very weak. Even the ‘improved’ rate of 1 point per £2 spent in Sainsbury’s, Argos or Tu Clothing is a bit of a joke.

With no sign up bonus at all on the new Sainsbury’s Nectar Dual Credit Card, you don’t need to bother looking at the Sainsbury’s credit card range any longer.

PS. If you don’t have the Nectar American Express credit card, take a look at our review here.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2023 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current 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

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 bonus points (SPECIAL OFFER TO 2ND OCTOBER) and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

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

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (14)

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

  • Blenz101 says:

    I shall always fondly remember my old Sainsbury’s Bank credit card for its willingness to accept payment via 3V cards back in the day. Served me well.

    • The Original Nick says:

      I did like a 3V card!

      • Paul says:

        We all liked a 3V until NS&I abruptly stopped accepting them! I was lucky but some people got very badly stung.

        Apropos of nothing my kids tell me, both work for supermarkets during uni break. Purchase of gift cards over £100 raise immediate alarm bells now. The number of folk who walk away when told they just need to check something is astonishing!

        • blenz101 says:

          One benefit of having Sainsburys Bank cards was that once NS&I stopped you could still use the 3v cards to pay off your balance.

          It was also possible to buy the cards on the Sainsburys Bank card and then pay them straight off again generating points for spend. I used to buy out all the cards in a Morrisons at the self checkout and generate 1 GBP off per litre of fuel and sell those vouchers on eBay for 80 GBP+ each time. Made thousands that way as cards were never scarce in Morrisons and regularly restocked.

      • Mike Hunt says:

        Oh the great 3v search that brings back memories – I can remember seeing my cordless vacuum full of the little silver scratchings that covered the code – I must have done £10K to £15K if not well over – all from TESCO with bonus points for purchasing vouchers – the front desk woman knew me well at a couple of local TESCOS as they restocked like clock work weekly (all paid in to NSandI)

  • Simon says:

    I’m halfway through my spending to get the signup bonus from getting this card last month. Since the signup bonus was on offer when I signed up for the card I assume I still get the bonus when I hit the £2,000?

    Looks like I’ll be waiting in a chat bit queue later today to find out for sure

  • drdan says:

    Yes, sainsburys taking 3v online payments was amazing.

  • Benilyn says:

    Great for their 0% offers when they come around

    • Alex W says:

      Very true as it’s rare to find a points card with a 0% offer on purchases. If you do your weekly shop at Sainsbury’s it wasn’t a bad card to have.

  • WillPS says:

    Suspect the SUB promos will re-appear despite there being no ongoing SUB any more. Whether or not they’ll be worth doing is another matter.

    If they are gone for good I won’t miss dealing with their awful, awful systems and phone numbers with menus voiced by an text-to-voice generator from 15 years ago, followed by the worst lag I’ve ever experienced when actually speaking to an agent.

    The whole operation is so cynical and anti-customer in all its processes.

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    Those cards that advertise an earn rate per spend shouldn’t be allowed to in my opinion if they’re doing it per transaction – it’s misleading to the general public in a world of frequent small contactless transactions. A not unusual consumer buying coffee here and a sandwich there could easily end up spending several £100s per month and earn literally nothing.

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

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