The best ways to collect and spend Nectar points

If you’ve got a Nectar card, are you making the most of your points?

One of my most popular articles is Why I hate Nectar points. It’s mainly about my frustration with the Double Up scheme, which I’m not a huge fan of. So why am I writing another post about Nectar if I’m not a fan?

Well, because if you shop at Sainsbury’s you may as well collect the points. Plus, unlike Clubcard and other loyalty schemes, you can rack up points at lots of other retailers including Argos and eBay.

And if you’ve got points, you’ll need to spend them. Most of the time it’s going to be exchanged at face value, though you can now swap them for Avios points.

Options to boost the value aren’t great, especially since Nectar dropped one of the few decent deals which gave two cinema tickets for 500 points and reduced the Double Up weekend to just once a year (normally late November).

In this article I’ve explained how Nectar works and how you can sign up, plus I’ve shared more tips for both collecting and spending Nectar.

nectar logo

How Nectar points work

One Nectar point is worth 0.5p, meaning if you earn 1 point from a purchase it’s the equivalent of 0.5% cashback. 100 points are therefore 50p, 200 points £1 and so on.

This is half the value of a Tesco Clubcard points. I’ve written more extensively about the value of different points in this loyalty cards article.

Value of Nectar points

  • 1 Nectar point = 0.5p
  • 2 Nectar points = 1p
  • 100 Nectar points = 50p
  • 200 Nectar points = £1
  • 500 Nectar points = £2.50
  • 1,000 Nectar points = £5
  • 2,500 Nectar points = £12.50
  • 5,000 Nectar points = £25

Points can usually be doubled once a year in Sainsbury’s stores, though it’s a limited choice of what these boosted points can be used on – and there’s no guarantee the offer will take place each year.

How Nectar works

Nectar is the loyalty scheme for Sainsbury’s, Argos and a handful of other retailers. It’s actually owned by Sainsbury’s, though it can be collected and redeemed with other brands.

How to collect Nectar points

You earn points when you shop at participating shops retailers. I’ve a long list of the best places to earn Nectar points below.

When shopping in stores you’ll need a Nectar card, which can be a physical plastic one or a digital one stored on the Nectar app. Online you’ll need to either connect your Nectar card to the relevant account, or shop via the Nectar website.

You can also earn them on all spending via a couple of Nectar credit cards, or by converting Avios points.

How to spend Nectar points

Your options for using Nectar points are quite limited. It’s most likely you’ll use them in-store at Sainsbury’s and at a handful of partners.

Most of the time you’ll swipe your card to redeem your points in-store, or select to use them online. With some partners you need to convert your points into vouchers. You can also swap them to Avios points.

I’ve got more information on all of these options below, along with my picks of the best ones.

How to sign up to Nectar

You can get a Nectar card online, via the app or by picking up a form in a Sainsbury’s store.

Once you’ve done this a physical card will be posted out, though you’ll have a digital card via the app straight away.

How to check your Nectar points balance

Not sure how many Nectar points you have? The Nectar app and website both contain your current points total, as well as a record of where and when you earned your points.

The best places to collect Nectar points

Sainsbury’s

Earn points as you spend

You’ll get one point for every £1 spent at Sainsbury’s. 500 points are worth £2.50, so this which works out at 0.5% (more on the value of loyalty card points in my How much are loyalty points worth article).

Swipe at the till to get your points, and keep an eye on the app or digital account for special offers which boost the number of points you’ll get.

You might also get vouchers for extra points at the till, sometimes double or triple points on your next transaction. If you can be bothered to buy a single, cheap item at the start of your shop, you should then get any vouchers printed out ready for you to use on the rest of your shopping.

Get bonus points via weekly offers

April 2021 Update – it looks like a number of customers have stopped receiving these weekly bonus offers. Read more here.

Nectar was relaunched in 2019. The big idea with “new” Nectar is as well get generic point offers, you’ll get ones tailored to your shopping habits. These change every Friday.

When I logged in I was given six different offers on Sainsbury’s produce. Five were product-specific, such as an extra 20 points if I buy some organic red peppers, or 10 points for any fresh salad. There was also a bonus 200 points if I spend £40 in store. A few days later I got another six offers which this time covered milk, soup and bread.

The offers I was given when I first signed up to new Nectar

You have to save the offers to your account, though there’s a handy “save all offers” button. And of course you still have to scan your card at the till.

In the app you’ll also have a digital card and tills are being adapted to accept this card rather than the swipe system with previous physical Nectar cards.

Based on the offers I’ve seen, it’s pretty average. 10p back on some organic peppers isn’t going to make me buy them.

But if it was something I wanted to buy, those 20 points would be more than the two I’d get normally.

The deals are meant to be based on your shopping habits and seeing as I very rarely shop at Sainsbury’s nowadays, it’s possible regular shoppers will get better options.

But something is better than nothing so it’s a welcome addition if you regularly shop at Sainsbury’s.

And remember, these loyalty schemes are never a reason to choose a supermarket. It’s better instead to go on price and factors such as how easy it is for you to get there.

Nectar Prices promotions

Sainsbury’s has introduced occasional discounts for Nectar holders. You can read more about this here.

Argos

You can now earn points at Argos. It’s one point per £1 spent, though it’s occasionally doubled. You’ll need to link your accounts.

eBay

If you link your account to eBay you’ll get 1 point per £1 spent (so the same as Sainbury’s). There are also bonus offers throughout the year that can be found in the Nectar app. Register your Nectar card on eBay

Avios

You can convert 250 Avios points to 400 Nectar points – handy if you’ve got a surplus of Avios points that you won’t use.

You can usually do this online, but at the time of writing there’s a bug which means you have to phone up Avios (0344 49 333 03) to switch their points to Nectar.

It took me all of four minutes to do this, though it can take a while for the points to reach your Nectar account.

ESSO

Esso replaced BP on Nectar in the summer of 2019. You can earn 1 point per litre of fuel, or swipe in-store to get two points per £1 spent on other things, so roughly 1% back in points.

Trains

You can link your Nectar card (either in your account or at checkout) with a handful of train companies. When you buy a ticket you will earn two Nectar points per £1 spent. 

Via Nectar credit cards

If you shop at a Nectar store a lot, it might be worth getting a Nectar credit card. There are two main options.

The American Express Nectar credit card is the best bet and will earn you up to three points for every £1 spent, worth 1.5%. Otherwise, it’s still a decent two points per £1, which works out at 1%. There’s also a bonus worth £100 pounds when you first sign up and spend £2,000.

There’s also Sainsbury’s Bank’s own Nectar credit card (Mastercard) which comes with a £50 bonus when you spend £400 in two months at the likes of Sainsbury’s, Argos or Habitat.

However, I think you’re often better off with a standard cashback Amex as you can use the money you earn anywhere, not just places like Sainsbury’s.

Thinking of getting a Nectar credit card?

Via utilities & insurance

You can earn bonus points for signing up to other Sainsbury’s Bank products such as home insurance and also Sainsbury’s Energy. Though they could be worth it, these offers shouldn’t be a reason to choose Sainsbury’s over other providers as they could work out more expensive than options you find via a full comparison.

Via Amex membership rewards

You can convert American Express Rewards points to Nectar points at a value of one to one. However, you can boost this if you first convert your Amex points to Avois points and then onto Nectar points.

Other retailers

You’ll see many other brands listed on the Nectar website, such as Expedia and Groupon. To earn points via these retailers you have to click through via the Nectar portal. Most of the time you’ll get two points per £1 spend, so the equivalent of 1% back, but they can be more or less.

Retailers include:

  • ASOS
  • Just Eat
  • Booking.com
  • Expedia
  • Groupon
  • Europcar
  • Dulux
  • Very
  • Dominos
  • Wayfair

These extra places to earn might sound appealing but I would avoid using them. You can usually beat these rates by clicking from a cashback site instead. Here’s my guide to the best cashback sites and welcome bonuses.

Andy’s Analysis – earning points

So what’s the best place to earn Nectar points? Very simply it’s any retailer you are spending money at that offers them. But don’t go out of your way – it’s better to shop where you get the best price.

Be careful too of earning points via credit cards or other promotions if you’re not a regular Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay shopper. You might be better off getting cold hard cash you can spend anywhere.

Where to spend Nectar points

I wish I had more to say here but sadly, it’s rare to get many boosts to the value of your Nectar points, though from time to time there are special offers. Here are the best places to spend your points.

Sainsbury’s Double up weekend

The Nectar/Sainsbury’s Double Up Weekend used to run twice a year, but for the last four years it only ran at Christmas. There’s no guarantee but hopefully it will be back in November or December 2021.

Even though I’ve not been a fan in the past it really is the only way to increase the value of your points. Essentially you swap your points for a voucher to spend in Sainsbury’s that is worth twice their value. So 500 points will get you a £5 voucher.

However you’re severely limited where in-store you can spend the voucher, and as I shared in that article, there are other annoying restrictions. There’s also a £100 limit per account.

Still, I have picked up some nice Taste the Difference wine for the last few years, and I’m planning on doing the same this year and stocking up. In the past I’ve also used a voucher against a NOW TV box with Entertainment Passes, which was a decent deal.

Caffe Nero

The only other redemption which gives you a slightly better value is at Caffe Nero. Here 350 points (normally worth £1.75) gets you any drink in any size.

So as long as the drink you buy is priced at more than £1.75 you’re getting better value than using points at other partners.

Sainsbury’s shops

To use your points in Sainsbury’s stores you must have used your Nectar card in that specific store in the last year. You can also use them online on the Sainsbury’s website.

They can also be used on petrol but you have to pay in the kiosk, not at the pump.

Argos

You can use multiples of 500 points at Argos, each worth £2.50. To spend them in an Argos store you swipe your card; online you must have connected your card.

eBay

To spend Nectar points at eBay you must convert them to a voucher. 500 points are once again worth £2.50, but there’s a minimum spend at eBay of £10 to use the vouchers.

Converting to Avios points

I think that most people are better off using cashback credit cards and air mile reward credit cards. You’ve got the flexibility to use your earnings how you want, and not be restricted to certain flights.

However, if you are an Avios fan, then you can boost your points by converting 400 Nectar points to 250 Avios.

Other Nectar points redemptions

There are a fraction of the partners you get with Tesco Clubcard, and few opportunities to boost the value.

Once more 500 points are usually worth £2.50. You also have to spend them in chunks (usually 500 points or 1,000 points) rather than choose how many you’d like to use.

You can exchange them for the same value at the following retailers:

  • Vue – 500 points for £2.50
  • Eurostar – 500 points for £2.50 (minimum 2,000 points)

Bad options include swapping for movie rentals at Sky Store, but you can get far cheaper rentals elsewhere.

Some of these retailers let you swipe your card or link your card to use points. Others require you to exchange the points for a voucher or code via the Nectar website.

Andy’s Analysis – Spending points

My big frustration with Nectar is the limitation on where to redeem the points. That and the disappearance of offers to boost their value.

The truth is you are most likely to spend them at Sainsbury’s. And that’s probably the best place too – as long as you have one nearby.

It’s worth holding some back for the Double Up offer, even if it’s just to stack up on some wine ahead of Christmas.


Nectar points special offers

Occasionally there are increased points offers at Sainsbury’s and other partners., both to earn extra points and sometimes (though more rarely) to use them.

You can usually find these in the Nectar app and website so it pays to check every now and again. I also get emails about bonus Nectar offers on eBay, so keep an eye on your inbox.

When I spot any really good ones I’ll share them below.

99 free points via Esso

Enter a competition via Esso to win tickets to the British Grand Prix and you’ll automatically get 99 Nectar points, worth 49.5p. You need to enter your Nectar card number in your entry. Ends 31 May 2021 and you will get your points within 28 days of the competition ending.

58 thoughts on “The best ways to collect and spend Nectar points

  1. Useful article. I’m an avid nectar collector so employ many of these techniques. The best by far is that Nectar AmEx card, but I don’t think I read in the article that it can be linked to PayPal. This is especially useful when online shopping with sites that don’t take AmEx. Just hit 200 000 points with collecting through this card over 4 years.

  2. Sainsbury was my main shop due to the layout which is spacious and clean with good carparking also the good quality of there meat and fish. The nectar points were an added bonus which I compliment with the use of the sainsburys credit card.
    With the recent refurbishment which included an argos store, the reduction in floor space has resulted in less choice for food cupboard items. This along with there itemized pricing which is either nonexistent or printed so small you can’t read it, which must be against gov guidelines, I have decided to shop elsewhere.

  3. I quite often visit a local Sainsbury’s and seeing that I had £65+ on my Nectar card, I opted to use my Nectar card to buy some clothes at Sainburys. My card was rejected and a store assistant at the checkout queried what I was doing. I told her that I was trying to purchase with my Nectar card and she replied, “You can only redeem Nectar points at the store where you gained the points”. So I replied, “But that would be here!”. No answer. I also buy petrol at a local M&S station which gives me Nectar points but I couldn’t spend the Nectar points there either.

  4. The points aren’t as good as they used to be but shop right & it’s free money for spending what you do anyway! So far this year earned around £400 back. If have the Amex nectar card & the normal nectar card you can use both to double or triple the points earned. I use the credit card for all monthly purchases, fuel @ Sainsbury’s, online shops etc & albeit the Amex card costs £25 per annum it’s nothing considering the earnings. Just make sure you pay the balance every month & no interest.
    The Sainsbury’s double up event again isn’t as good as was, but I use for electrical items, got a £120 vac this year (microwave etc previously or Xbox controllers). You basically use £50 worth or vouchers to get £100 one. Vac cost £20 but the voucher was free in essence. Still have £116 left which I have eye on eBay item for Black Friday. Can convert nectar points to spend on eBay too. Might not be for everyone but I can’t complain. In 3 years prob earned over £1500 back as we put holiday on credit card one year for points & bunch of furniture.
    If using credit card online make sure you use Quidco too for cash back there as well! Had around £300 on top from there in last 2 years!

  5. I started to collect Nectar points from the daily mail and Virgin trains as I could use them at Cafe Nero for coffee.
    I have now read on the Nectar website that Cafe Nero no longer accept Nectar vouchers.This is a blow.I don’t know why they stopped them as they are still on some Nectar lists

  6. I think it’s probably best to boycott Nectar the rewards are rubbish. It’s an insult to call it loyalty. They get a lot of valuable data from customers having these cards and we get nowt for it. I’m going to spend my £21 (ten years collecting) in Sainsbury’s on something nice to eat then close my account.

  7. I will tell you a story about Sainsbury’s and why they are so penny-pinching.

    Sainsbury’s once offered to honour the money off promotions as their rival Tescos. One day I tried this at Sainsbury’s Newhaven and was told the promotion I was trying to take advantage of was ‘not valid’ . I complained to the manager but to no avail and, in such circumstances, I always complain to the CEO of any company that tries it on. I got a reply from the CEO of Sainsbury’s who said he was sorry to hear of my difficulties but he respected the decision of his in-store colleagues, but taped a £1 coin to the letter from his “own pocket”. I gave it away to a rough-sleeping woman to try and redeem the CEO’s utter ignorance.

  8. ‘Fill up Friday’ emails no longer arrive; fed up with the hassle of contacting NEW Nectar is there some other method of accessing the offers?

    1. Hmm, sorry Pauline all I can suggest is to try a different way to contact Nectar. It could be your email though? Check the Spam/Junk folders in case it’s going there.

  9. Why is that, when redeeming Nectar points at Sainsburys, there are no points earned on the items bought? (I think in fact the whole transaction earns no points, even if points of less than the total value are redeemed.) Surely the points used are just a means of payment, in lieu of cash?

    Does this restriction apply when redeeming elsewhere?

  10. I wonder if there are any arrangements for housebound customers with weekly deliveries to make use of the build-up of nectar point cash values!

  11. Hi
    We buy a lot on ebay for our business and get our Nectar points mostly this way. In early October we had something like £100 worth of points built up and my wife went out for petrol at Sainsburys. When she tried to pay she was told there were no points available to spend. Checking up we had a negative points total !!
    Rang Nectar and explained and they were absolutely clueless and in the end accepted every ebay transaction point was reversed going back 2 months and told us we must have returned everything we had bought on ebay and were believe it or not adamant about this. Contacted ebay who eventually accepted that the points had been incorrectly removed and said to leave it with them. Numerous phone calls later we are still waiting and keep getting told they are ‘on with it’.
    No idea if/when we may get the points back but not holding my breath.
    Has anyone else experienced this please?

    1. Hi there. I realise your post was a few months ago, but just to say that yesterday I noticed on my sainsbo’s shopping receipt that my nectar points balance was -1150 points, even though I’ve not spent any of my points in years. Long story short I phoned nectar customer service today, and they told me there had been several fraudulent transactions on my nectar card and have set up a new account for me and re-credited me with all of my (18,000) points, plus a bit extra ‘for the inconvenience’. No hassle, and apparently they’re sending me out the new card today. I hope your points got sorted, but if not try again!

      1. This also happened to me and I lost £105 however nectar issued a new card and credited points just need to find something to spend them on!

  12. Andy, How do I connect daily mail nectar points to my sainsburys acc. Tried to double up today and told not available

    1. Hmm, I don’t know. Have you tried Nectar’s help desk? Let us know what you find out

    2. It should automatically connect to Nectar, not sainsburys. But only when you have an account with daily mail. It’s like how eBay connects to Nectar. It’s called http://www.mymail.co.uk . On the homepage it’s says it’s linked with nectar. I collect the daily mail points everyday if I can, which is the best way to top up points as you can find free newspapers all over which saves paying for the paper. And if you collect 5 numbers out of 7 through the week you get a bonus 30points.

  13. Hi Andy, just to let you know, Hull trains no longer accept Nectar card details when booking with them. They used to as I used to travel to Hull for business quite a bit but I enquired last month and they confirmed the change.

  14. I think that the best use of Nectar points is just money off your shop at Sainbury’s.

    It’s a shame that the scheme is so poor, it’s actually a waste of my time and effort to keep the card in my wallet and it’s maybe better to just get rid of it.

    The only Brightside with Nectar is that since I seldom shop there or fill-up, they occasionally give me 200 points just to shop/fill up and something similar for BP.

    But overall at 0.5% reward, it’s a loyalty scheme that makes you question your loyalty.

  15. Argos don’t give Nectar points but you can spend them there. I was told this week that Sainsbury’s haven’t made up their mind yet about this one.

    1. 10 x nectar points at Sainsbury’s next weekend. 26-28th may.

  16. Nectar points! Hardly worth the bother

  17. Hi Andy is it better to transfer my points which total £105.77 to date to my PayPal account? I do buy a lot on eBay through Quidco. I obviously want to get the best out of it. Thanks.

  18. Are Currys PC World on the Nectar scheme?

  19. You can add Daily Mail nectar points to this article-

    Monday – Friday – 5 Nectar points per day
    Saturday – 10 Nectar points
    Sunday – 15 Nectar points

    PLUS collect a bonus 30 points for buying at least 5 newspapers
    out of 7 each week (Saturday to Friday)

    I’ve got 10,000 nectar points saved up now (as i get free Daily Mails from work and shop at Sainsburys) any pointers on best things to spend on? I personally feel its all a ploy to get to you to spend more but hey if im spending it anyway might as well collect points!

    1. Thanks Deepa. Yes, it’s tricky knowing where to spend the, – especially when you have so many! There’s a decent cinema/pizza deal which normally pops up every July/August, and the Double Up deal in November/December is good for getting wine! Otherwise, I think it’s just a case of using them on your Sainsbury’s shop – there are very few offers which boost the value.

    2. Yes, but then you have to read The Daily Mail!

      1. Hey Andy was wondering what you think of this offer:

        £150 worth of nectar points if you spend 53 on magazine

        Looks good but since you haven’t blogged about it I’m suspect about it being real now I’m

        1. Hi Hannah, it’s probably a decent deal but I have a boycott of that newspaper so don’t want to encourage anyone to buy it!

    3. What do you mean “add nectar points to this article” how does this work thanks.

  20. I went to use my nectar card points at a Sainsbury garage and they wouldn’t convert it as I had to make a purchase and go back next day to be able to pay for the petrol with it. Stupid or what

    1. There must be some technical reason it’s so complicated otherwise it’s ludicrous.

  21. Christine Fenney March 21, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Can you get nectar points when booking a holiday with Thompson

    1. Hi, I don’t think so. It looks like Nectar used to do this but I’ve checked the website and there’s nothing listed.

  22. Despite looking and looking I cannot find how to redeem my points

    1. I am having the same problem!
      Tesco points are so much easier.

    2. Same here. Useless scheme. Tesco shows how it should be done

  23. Hi Andy

    Think I’ve spotted a couple of typos above under Expedia – 200 points is £1 not £10, and I think you mean 1,000 points (£5) rather than £1,000 (£50).

    Also on your latest email is says “200 points are just 10p”, which I think should be £1 – a little more worth while!

    Nit picking over, thanks for collating some useful info for us.
    Sam

    1. Thanks Sam!

  24. It’s saying here that you can collect nectar points when you shop in Argos however when I tried this on Monday I was told this wasn’t right!!

    1. I have used my nectar points to buy with Argos last week (Dec 17) but points can only be used to order online for click and collect. You then have to bring your nectar card into the store and swipe it. You cannot use it in their stores to make a purchase like you would at Sainsburys.

      1. I’ve used it in store twice this year, they are funny about it but did it

      2. I use it all the time this way and they never question it – in fact someone got my details and spent £41 and never got questioned.

    2. Surely you have to shop at Argos through the Nectar website to gain points.

  25. Regarding the amex nectar card, its actually 2 points pound if you read the fine print. Their quoted 4 points per £1 actually includes the assumed 2 points you’d get by swiping the nectar card. Its a bit sneaky.

    1. Yeah it’s not great! But that still works out as 1% which is better than most cashback credit cards.

  26. Is there a cunning way to convert nectar points to say avios or house of Fraser vouchers or Clubcard points or cineworld vouchers. Nectar scheme is so not so flexible.

    1. Sadly not. I’ve noticed you can convert them to Debenhams, iTunes and TopShop giftcards, so you could do that and then sell them on Zeek – but you will have to pay a small fee. I’m going to use my points on Expedia I think.

  27. I’ve spent 500 pound I Argos in Sainsbury’s why havnt put me any sector points plus I have British gas and have never received any sector points could anybody tell me why

    1. ive just tried to connect my nectar card to british gas and they dont do it anymore, they have their own rewards now

  28. Hi Andy

    Thanks for the post – you missed out the Nectar toolbar/browser extension which is worth 200 nectar points a month just for doing your internet searches via Yahoo

    https://www.nectar.com/my-nectar/manage-account/nectar-browser-extension

    Thanks

    1. Ah great! I’ll take a look. Thanks Kim

    2. Used to be able to use points at Laithwaites. , no longer offering this, nothing else appeals

  29. When do I link my nectar card to My Mail

    1. Hi Susan, I’m not a Daily Mail reader so I missed this! I’ve just googled and found this link with more information https://www.mymail.co.uk/pages/mymail-and-nectar

    2. Your Daily Mail points will automatically change to Nectar points if you have been collecting them. I’ve had an e-mail from the Daily Mail saying as from August 2017 they are changing.
      I’m not happy because where I live there is a Sainsbury’s but I would have a round trip of several miles. Other shops mentioned there is Argos but NO others. Not a good move for me as I won’t benefit collecting Necter points.

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.