How I use an app to earn thousands of bonus Avios

Mar 11, 2021

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If you’re an Avios collector, then we highly advise you to download the Nectar app now.

Since Sainsbury’s and British Airways announced their new partnership in January, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Nectar — and therefore Avios — earning potential that has come along with it.

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Gone are the days of reams of vouchers printed off at the till. In true digital-age fashion, Sainsbury’s and Nectar have switched focus onto an app.

Related: How to turn your supermarket shopping into nearly free flights in 2021

After recently switching all my shopping to Tesco to build up my stack of Virgin Points, the Nectar app has lured me back to spending some of my money at Sainsbury’s in order to earn bonus Nectar points, which I can then convert to Avios, each week.

Related: What are the differences between Tesco Clubcard points and Sainsbury’s Nectar points?

@thepointsguyWhy you should shop at Sainsbury’s #fyp #learnontiktok #travel @nickyjkelvin♬ ROBOT – Simen Andreas Knudsen

Here’s how it works.

First of all, you’ll need a Nectar account. If you haven’t got one of those yet, you can sign up here. Then, download the Nectar app to your Apple or Android smartphone and log in using your credentials. Once that’s done, you’re ready and raring to earn those Nectar points and then transfer them to Avios.

Every Thursday, the app sends a push notification (as long as you allow it to), alerting you of your new offers for the week. There can be up to 10 offers per week, with bonus points from 10 up to 150 per item.

Regular Sainsbury’s shoppers who use their Nectar card each time will notice that the offers tend to be for items that match your usual spending habits. Don’t judge me for the ham and cheese sandwich — it’s a go-to when I’m hungry and on the move. For those who don’t often shop at Sainsbury’s, you may see the same items featured week in and week out.

You can pick and choose which of the offers you’d like to save. Personally, I save all of them weekly and actively look to buy each item to maximise my Avios earning.

Related: How I earned 20,000+ Avios in the past year without flying British Airways

Once at the check out in your local Sainsbury’s store, simply open up the Nectar app and scan the barcode to make sure you’re rewarded for your purchases.

From the example above, buying the four items alone this week would earn me 290 Nectar points and cost me less than a tenner. To earn that amount of points the normal way, for which Nectar awards 1 Nectar point for every £1 spent at Sainsbury’s, that would mean spending £290.

However, I’d already earned 140 Nectar points from the same batch of rewards, meaning in one week, I could earn a total of 430 bonus Nectar points.

The new partnership between Nectar and Avios allows you to transfer Nectar points to Avios and vice versa. With it, 400 Nectar points will get you 250 Avios, or 250 Avios will get you 400 Nectar points. While for most TPG readers, converting Nectar Points into Avios is most valuable, some may also find value in transferring Avios to Nectar points.

So, using this week’s example, my potential 430-point earning will bag me 250 Avios after conversion, just from doing the food shopping I would have done anyway.

Looking at the bigger picture, 250 Avios per week over the course of a year stacks up to 13,000 Avios — worth £143 based on TPG’s most recent valuations. That’s more than enough for a return flight to Europe in Club Europe, British Airways’ short-haul business class.

In times when most of us aren’t flying, that’s a great bonus on top of all the other ways that you can earn your miles.

The app updates as soon as you’ve done your shop. Then, usually, after I’ve just bought something, I open the app to an invitation to rub the screen to earn even more Nectar points.

A couple of times, I’ve earned 15 and 10 Nectar points. And other times, I haven’t been so lucky.

10 or 15 Nectar points might not seem a lot, but that’s the equivalent of spending £10 or £15 in-store that you’re getting for free.

Bottom line

Earning Avios really has never been so easy.

Even those who don’t usually shop at Sainsbury’s may seriously want to consider downloading the app and getting involved. Even if all you do every week is buy the recommended items, you could be 13,000 Avios — or more — per year better off for it.

Featured photo by Tony Anderson/Getty Images.

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