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

Nov 28, 2019

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Two of the biggest supermarket chains in the U.K., Tesco and Sainsbury’s, both have their own loyalty programmes. Tesco has Clubcard, while Sainsbury’s is a key player in the wider Nectar programme. While we focus on maximising your travel through airline and hotel loyalty programmes, these two shopping programmes can provide great travel rewards as well, especially if you are regularly shopping at either of these supermarket chains.

First, their similarities. You’ll earn both one Clubcard point per £1 spent at Tesco and 1 Nectar point per £1 spent at Sainsbury’s. Both programmes are also free to join.

You have the opportunity to earn plenty of bonus points in both programmes, too. With Tesco, there are set bonus offers for spending with partners like Tesco Mobile, Tesco Bank and Tesco credit cards. In the Nectar programme, there are also partners beyond Sainsbury’s at which you can collect Nectar points, including Sainsbury’s Bank, Sainsbury’s Energy, Esso, Expedia and eBay.

But the programmes are different, particularly in how valuable the points are and how you should use them.

The most obvious difference, which you might have already guessed is that the programmes are completely separate and there is no way to combine points between the programmes. You cannot earn Nectar points at Tesco and you can’t earn Clubcard points at Sainsbury’s.

The biggest difference is their value. Though earn rates are the same at the respective supermarkets, you can redeem 150 Clubcard points to give you a £1.50 Tesco voucher (so effectively a 1p value per Clubcard point). However, with 500 Nectar points you’ll only receive a £2.50 Sainsbury’s voucher, meaning the points are only worth 0.5p each. This means that for supermarket bill discounts, Clubcard points are worth twice as much as Nectar points.

Now, 1% back isn’t all that exciting, especially if you are reading this to maximise your travel. But there are ways to use your supermarket points for travel rather than supermarket discounts — and this is a huge difference between the two points programmes. We think Clubcard points are far more valuable than Nectar points if you want to use them for travel because you can convert them to two of the largest and most popular airline loyalty programmes in the UK:

  • British Airways Avios — You can cash in £2.50 of your vouchers for 600 Avios. We value these 600 Avios around £6.60, so you are getting much better value by doing this than just receiving the £2.50 off your supermarket shopping.
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club — £2.50 worth of Tesco Clubcard vouchers can be exchanged for 625 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles. We currently value Flying Club miles slightly higher than Avios, so you’ll be looking at around £8 worth — more than triple the value of just receiving £2.50 discount at Tesco.

Nectar points cannot be converted to any airline miles but you can use them for train tickets instead. For every 500 Nectar points, you can obtain a £2.50 discount on Eurostar and/or London North East Rail (LNER) tickets. Note that you will still be getting the same fixed 0.5p per Nectar point value from using them this way, which is half the standard value of a Tesco Clubcard point.

Bottom line

Whether you are doing your grocery shopping or buying petrol with Sainbury’s or Tesco, there are ways to be earning points to give you added value. Regardless of where you’re shopping, be sure that you’re a member of each programme in order to rack up points along the way.

Featured image by FangXiaNuo/Getty Images

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