Nectar is the largest loyalty scheme in the UK, with a number of big retailers including Sainsbury’s, Argos and Habitat all allowing customers to earn Nectar points at their stores. But were you aware that there’s an easy way to earn 20,000 bonus points? Here’s everything you need to know.
What are Nectar points?
The Nectar scheme was launched back in 2002, following the merger of existing Sainsbury’s, BP and Barclaycard loyalty programmes. The scheme is free to join and anyone can get a Nectar card.
Big names involved in the scheme include Sainsbury’s, Argos, eBay, Esso, and British Airways. A number of train companies are also participants, including Avanti West Coast, Southwestern Railway, Great Western Railway, TransPennine Express, Hull Trains, and London North Eastern Railway.
If you have a Nectar account, you can log in to see the full list of 300+ participating retailers.
How many Nectar points do you earn when shopping at retailers?
The rate at which you earn points varies between retailers. For example, at ASOS, you can collect two Nectar points per £1 spent. At Sainsbury’s, Argos and eBay, you can only collect one point per £1 spent.
It’s worth knowing that from time to time, some retailers participate in promotional Nectar offers. This makes it possible to boost the number of points you earn over a limited period. For example, eBay has previously offered triple points on spends over £15.
For the latest boost offers, plus details on how much you can earn at specific retailers, visit the Nectar website.
How can you earn 20,0000 bonus points?
While spending at partner retailers is the traditional way of earning Nectar points, there is a way of bagging yourself 20,000 bonus Nectar points by signing up for a specific reward credit card.
The American Express Nectar credit card gives you 20,000 bonus Nectar points if you spend £2,000 on the card within your first three months. You also earn points every time you spend at least £1 on the card – two points for every £1 spent. This is boosted to three points per £1 spent at Nectar partners when using the credit card and the loyalty card.
While you shouldn’t use the spending trigger as an excuse to overspend, if you’d normally spend £2,000 over three months anyway, then it’s a nice little earner.
The card comes with a £25 annual fee. However, it’s fee-free in year one, so you won’t pay anything as long as you cancel within the first year. Do bear in mind that you won’t qualify for the bonus if you’ve had another personal Amex card within the previous 24 months.
As with any rewards credit card, it’s a good idea to set up a monthly direct debit to pay off your balance in full. Do this and you’ll avoid the 29.8% APR interest.
How can you spend Nectar points?
You can spend your points with a number of participating partners. To view a full list of retailers, visit the Nectar website.
One Nectar point is worth roughly 0.5p when spent in popular stores such as Sainsbury’s. This means that 1,000 Nectar points gives you £5 off your shopping.
Do bear in mind that it’s sometimes possible to boost the value of your Nectar points when making a purchase through the Nectar website. Redeem points this way and you can get up to 0.8p for each point.
Are there other ways of boosting your points balance?
The Amex Gold credit card gives 20,000 bonus ‘Membership Rewards points’ when you spend £3,000 in your first three months. It also gives one Membership Reward point for every £1 you spend on the card.
Membership Rewards can be converted into Nectar points at the rate of one to one. However, there’s a nifty trick to boost your balance. Simply convert your Membership Rewards points into Avios at a rate of one to one. Then convert your Avios to Nectar points. Do this and you’ll earn 400 Nectar points for every 250 Avios you convert.
The card has a £140 annual fee, but there’s no fee to pay in year one. So if you cancel within the first year, you won’t have to pay anything. The card comes with an APR of 59.9%.
Another way of grabbing a Nectar points boost is through the Sainsbury’s Bank purchase credit card. While not as generous as the Amex offers above, this card gives 750 bonus points when you spend £35 or more at Sainsbury’s within your first two months.
You can bag this bonus up to ten times, so you can potentially get up to 7,500 bonus points. You also earn two Nectar points for every £1 spent at Sainsbury’s. One point is earned for every £5 spent elsewhere. This card comes with an APR of 20.9%.
For more ways to be rewarded for your everyday spending, see our list of top-rated reward credit cards.