I’m a fairly infrequent shopper at Sainsbury’s, to be honest – unfortunately, they’re just too damn expensive for me (I’m a bit of a tightwad…). But, I’m always looking for ways to save money at the supermarket so always use my Nectar Card to get extra points when I do shop or fill up with petrol there.
What, I’m really rubbish at though is actually cashing them in (I’m the same with Tesco Clubcard points). In fact, after checking today I’ve amassed over 4000 Nectar Points, which gives me nearly £21 worth of spend. Not bad considering I don’t shop at Sainsbury’s much, or even notice I’m collecting them. But what are my Nectar Points worth? To make things easier I’ve created a handy little Nectar Points Calculator for this post.
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What is the Nectar Card Scheme?
Nectar is a loyalty card scheme that allows you to collect points at various partner retailers such as Sainsbury’s, eBay and Debenhams. Now if you’re like me you’ve probably already got a Nectar card, especially if you shop at Sainsbury’s. Sainsbury’s has historically partnered with Nectar rather than having their own loyalty scheme like Tesco Clubcard or Morrisons More. However, in early 2018 after 15 years of collaboration, Sainsbury’s bought the Nectar scheme.
What are Nectar Points Worth?
Basically, 1 Nectar point is worth 0.5p so to save up a £1 worth of Nectar points you’ll need 200 of them.
500 Points are worth £2.50, 1000 points are worth £5, and so on.
But, to make it easier if your maths is a little rusty, I’ve built the handy calculator below. So, you can work out what your Nectar points are worth in good old English pounds and pence. Simply enter the number of points you have, and the calculator will convert it into pounds.
Nectar Points Calculator
How to Collect Nectar Points
I mainly collect Nectar Points with Sainsbury’s shopping and this is the store they’re most associated with. But you can collect Nectar points at loads of other places (457 brands in fact) such as:
Collect 1 point per £1 spend in Sainsbury’s. They do sometimes run offers though where you can collect more. For example, they’re currently running a promotion where you can collect 5 X Nectar Points on fresh meat, fish, fruit and veg. The offer runs until 9th July so until then you’ll get 5 Nectar Points per £1 spend on these items.
You can collect Nectar points on Fuel at Sainsbury’s or BP until 31st May 2019. From 1st June Esso becomes the fuel partner for the Nectar Scheme. When the switch is made to Esso you can collect 1 point per litre on fuel and 2 p
Collect 1 point per £1 spend by linking your eBay account with your Nectar account*. This is one of the easiest ways to collect them if you shop on eBay. You literally have to do nothing once you’ve linked your account. No pesky card swiping!
Collect 2 Nectar Points per £1 spend when you shop online.
Collect up to 2 Nectar Points per £1 spend. You only get the headline rate of 2 points per £1 on package, hotel, car or activity bookings. If you’re just booking flights through Expedia, you’ll only get 1 Nectar Point for every pound.
The way you can collect Nectar Points on Expedia has changed recently though, which means you need to be a bit careful. As of December, you have to access the Expedia site by first going through the Nectar site, as you would with traditional cashback sites such as Quidco and TopCashback. This means that you need to check if you’ll get a better deal via one of the cashback sites.
At the time of writing, you can get a way better deal by going through TopCashback* or Quidco*. The best being, a whopping 11% for a hotel booking of 2 nights or more down to 3.5% cashback for package deals. You get just 1% cashback for flights, but this still beats the 1 Nectar Point per £1 spend as this works out at just 0.5%. You can sign up with TopCashback here*.
Swagbucks had up to 5% cashback available.
Quidco didn’t have an offer for Expedia but the offers change all the time so it’s always best to make sure.
If you a fashion fanatic, then you’ll be pleased to know you can collect double points when you shop at asos.com and get 4 points for every £1 you spend.
This works out at 2% in Nectar Points, which sounds good. But, you need to access through the Nectar site again so make sure you compare it with the offers on the main cashback sites to check for the best deal.
For example, with TopCashback*, if you’re a new customer you can get a whopping 8.4%. Existing customers get 2.1% for orders over £100 and just 1.05% for spending under £100.
So, if you’re existing customer spending less than a hundred quid, then Nectar points are your best bet in this case.
But wait. Quidco will give you 3%… So, you’re better off going for Quidco in this case… You can sign up with Quidco here*.
So, make sure you always check to see if you can get a deal on the cashback sites before opting to collect Nectar Points.
More Ways to Earn Nectar Points
My favourite option is the Sainsbury’s Bank Dual Offer Credit Card (we have this one).
This card lets you collect up to 7,500 bonus Nectar points in your first two months. You can earn 750 bonus points every time you spend £35 or more in Sainsbury’s with your card. You can do this up to a maximum of 10 times in your first 2 months.
So, that would be 7,500 points back for a £350 spend over two months which works out at a better rate than the American Express Card.
You’ll also get bonus Nectar Points on all your other shopping. 2 Nectar Points for every £1 spent at Sainsbury’s (shopping or fuel) and 1 point for every £5 spent anywhere else. This is a bit measly though! So if you’ve got another cash back credit card, you’re probably better off using this everywhere else.
This card also comes with the added bonus of 0% interest on purchases or balance transfers for the first 27 months. You’ll have a 3% fee or balance transfers though so keep this in mind. And remember to make sure you pay off the balance or switch at the end of the interest-free term. Or you’ll get stung with an interest rate of 20.9% APR….
If you’re looking for a bigger Nectar Points boost, the American Express® Nectar Credit Card could be worth a look.
If you spend £2,000 in the first 3 months you get a bonus of 20,000 Nectar Points (£100 value).
Plus, you get 2 points per £1 spent on your card on top of your usual points.
The card usually has a £25 a year annual fee, but this is waived for the first year. So, make sure you cancel after the first year as the points you’ll get probably don’t justify the fee.
Browser Extension / Nectar Toolbar
The Nectar Toolbar is worth installing as you get 100 Nectar Points (50p) just for adding it to your browser. Then if you use it as your search engine you can collect up to 200 points a month just for using it as your search engine. You get 1 point for every 2 searches you make. It’s powered by Yahoo though, so you’ll have to weigh up the results are as good as you usually get if you use Google.
The toolbar also lets you know when you’re on a website where you can collect points. The toolbar works with either Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.
How to Boost Nectar Points
So can you boost your points like you can with the Tesco Clubcard scheme?
Yes, you can boost your points by using the offers function when you log into your account. But unfortunately, the offers seem to be few and far between. For example, on my account I can see just one decent offer – get a £12 pizza at Pizza Hut for £5 worth of points. That’s my lot!
The second way to boost them is to wait for the Sainsbury’s Double Up promotion which usually runs twice a year. The last one was in November last year with an event this year yet to be announced.
Where to Spend Nectar Points
So, as there’s not really any deals to boost your Nectar points, where should you spend them? The places you can spend Nectar points is pretty limited, to be honest. Argos, eBay and Sainsbury’s tend to be my go-to places to redeem them, although you don’t tend to get a great deal. You can just swap for the value of the points rather than boosting as you can with Tesco Clubcard points.
- Spend at Sainsbury’s to get money off your weekly shop. 500 points are worth £2.50 unless they’re running a Double Up event which usually happens twice a year.
- Redeem Points on eBay– again 500 points are worth £2.50. If you’ve already linked your accounts to collect Nectar points on eBay*, you can get a voucher online by redeeming in multiples of 500 points.
- Spend Nectar points at Argos. You can spend them online or in-store by swiping your Nectar card at the till and choosing how many points you want to use.
- Doing a spot of Decorating? You can redeem at Dulux Decorator Centres*. Although this one of the more frustrating deals. You’ll have to redeem a minimum of 4,000 Nectar points to get a credit voucher!
- Use to buy Train Tickets. Swap your Nectar points for either a £2.50, £5, £10, £20 or £50 voucher with LINR (London North Eastern Railway)to use on Advance purchase Train Tickets or use your points to pay in full or part payment on Eurostar Escape Train Tickets – 500 Points are worth £2.50
- Redeem Nectar Points on Cinema Tickets at Vue Cinemas, but as with most of the deals 500 points only equals £2.50 off.
Other Nectar Card Perks
You can get 20% of Sainsbury’s Bank Travel Insurance when you quote a valid Nectar Card Number. You’ll need to weigh this up against better quotes and Cashback availability though.
Better Exchange rates on Foreign Currency are available for Nectar Card Holders with Sainsbury’s Bank.
For example, the Sterling to Euro rate is 1.11 Euro to the pound for Nectar card holders versus 1.10 Euros for non-Nectar card customers. A small difference but still a better rate, nonetheless.
Plus, you can collect Nectar Points at the same time – 10 Nectar Points for each £100 you exchange.
New Nectar Scheme
Sainsbury’s has recently launched the “New Nectar” scheme in Wales and the Isle of Wight. Essentially, it’s a switch to a digital app-based system. Shoppers will still be able to collect their usual 1 Nectar point be £1 spent in-store.
But, the new scheme is meant to reward shoppers with Nectar points for choosing weekly offers similar to Cashback Apps such as Shopmium. Offers are based on stuff they normally buy in Sainsbury’s so should benefit cardholders.
Nectar Cardholders will be able to tell Sainsbury’s which offers they do and don’t like. Plus, they’ll be able to select five permanent offers to get points on continuously.
You can read more about the New Nectar scheme here.
How to Register for the Nectar Scheme
If you haven’t already got a Nectar card the quickest way to start collecting points is to register online via the Nectar website. You can then use your card number for your next online shop. Or you can pick up in-store at Sainsbury’s.
How many Nectar Points have you collected and how do you like to spend them? Have you tried the New Nectar scheme? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. As always thanks for reading!