A handy Avios transfer option: A review of the Nectar Card From American Express
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Nectar is an independent British loyalty programme owned by Sainsbury’s supermarkets. The programme partners with a number of companies — most notably eBay and BP (and, of course, Sainsbury’s) — among the 400 retailers that now participate in the scheme.
The Nectar programme received a huge boost early in 2021 after it announced a new partnership with British Airways, which makes Nectar points even more valuable, as you can transfer them to Avios.
American Express provides a unique opportunity to earn Nectar points everywhere, but especially retailers where Nectar members are already earning points, allowing them to “double-dip.”
The ability to double-dip comes in the form of the Nectar Credit Card from American Express.
Who is this card for?
The Nectar Card is marketed toward anyone who already collects Nectar points, or Avios or both.
It’s also good for those who regularly shops at Sainsbury’s supermarkets, BP, eBay, Argos, Debenhams, ASOS, Expedia and other retailers with which the programme partners.
Welcome bonus and annual fee
You’ll earn 20,000 bonus Nectar points when you spend £2,000 on the card within three months of activating it.
There’s a low £25 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.
Representative example: 29.8% APR variable with a purchase rate of 24.5% per annum based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200.
There’s a standard 2 points per full £1 spent when using the card wherever American Express is accepted. Where providing your Nectar membership card or number at any of the 400 retailers participating in the programme, you’ll earn an extra Nectar point per pound spent, bringing the earn rate to an impressive 3 points per £1.
If American Express is not accepted at any retailers in the Nectar programme, you would still earn 1 point per £1 for other payment methods. Note there are plenty of bonus offers in the Nectar programme (regardless of payment methods), such as 6 points per £1 spent online with ASOS or Debenhams.
You can obtain a simple 0.5p per Nectar point value by redeeming your Nectar points with dozens of Nectar partners to reduce your supermarket bill or even your daily coffee at Caffe Nero or a pizza at Pizza Express. Sure, this card won’t get you a first-class flight to New York, but there are so many other redemption partners that you shouldn’t have any difficulty using your Nectar points.
You can now convert Nectar points to Avios. You’ll be able to convert 400 Nectar points to 250 Avios. Alternatively, if you’re looking to build your stash of Nectar points, you can convert 250 Avios to 400 Nectar points. While you can manually convert the points one way or the other, you can also choose to automatically convert your Nectar points to Avios — or vice versa.
At this conversion rate, the welcome bonus would be worth 12,500 Avios which is great for a card with no annual fee in the first year.
Nectar members will be able to manually convert a maximum of 80,000 Nectar points or 50,000 Avios per calendar month. The cap is separate for both debiting and crediting — as in, 80,000 Nectar points debited and 80,000 Nectar points credited — per calendar month. Additionally, members can automatically convert a maximum of 40,000 Nectar points or 25,000 Avios in a calendar quarter.
You can also redeem your Nectar points for hotel stays, though read our guide here about why this isn’t a great deal.
This card doesn’t come with the sort of travel insurance or protection other, more expensive American Express cards feature, as it’s designed for customers who do the majority of their spending in the U.K. But it does come with:
- Refund protection for eligible items for 90 days up to £200, where the retailer you bought the items from won’t refund
- Purchase protection for eligible items stolen or damaged, up to £2,500 per item.
Keep in mind that some of these benefits, such as the insurances, are subject to enrollment.
Which cards compete with this card?
Given the partnership with British Airways Avios, if you’re keen to earn Nectar points, you could look at an Avios-earning credit card given how easily you can transfer points between Nectar and Avios.
If you’re looking for a fee-free Avios-earning American Express credit card, consider the British Airways American Express Credit Card. It could be a good choice for low-spenders and those who are new to the world of points and miles. Even without an annual fee, it still provides a welcome bonus of 5,000 Avios after spending £1,000 in the first three months of card membership.
This card is designed for anyone who is a regular supermarket shopper (i.e. large families), especially those who choose Sainsbury’s for their weekly shop, as well as anyone who already collects Avios, perhaps flies British Airways or its partner airlines and wants a handy way to convert airline points and supermarket points back and forth.
This card has a generous welcome bonus, low fees, uncomplicated earning structure and wide range of earning and redemption partners but is not as (potentially) lucrative as some of the higher-end American Express cards that focus on travel rewards.
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