Nectar Card: How Does The Loyalty Scheme Work?
Nectar Card is for more than just Sainsbury’s. Earn Nectar points from and spend them with Argos, ebay, Habitat and hundreds more. Plus, did you know of exclusive Sainsbury’s Offers, Partner Offers, and Nectar Connect? Three big ways to save even more.
How To Get a Nectar Card
- You can get Nectar as an app for free (Apple iOS, Android Play Store)
- You can also order a physical card.
It's a bit confusing to sign up to Nectar, as you go to nectar.com, but often in the process you are re-directed to account.sainsburys.co.uk. This is because Sainsbury's bought Nectar in 2018.
Account details for Sainsbury's and Nectar are connected. If you change your password on Nectar, it will also change your details for Sainsbury's.
Nectar and Sainsbury's Groceries accounts now use My ID, a service that allows customers to use the same login information for both accounts. This means you can register for Nectar by using your Sainsbury's Groceries email and password.
I found registering for Sainsbury's Nectar to be the most fiddly of all the supermarkets with the process failing multiple times. It was solved by speaking to a Live Chat Agent.
A Live Chat Agent is able to create an account for you, however it takes up to 15 days to receive the Nectar card and be able to start using it.
How Do I Use My Nectar Card?
After you have registered your Nectar Card, you can start to use it in Sainsbury's in-store or online, as well as with partners such as Argos and ebay.
In-store at Sainsbury's, simply scan your Nectar card at checkout.
If you're using the SmartShop app, you'll need to connect your Nectar card to it.
If you're using the SmartShop handset in-store you'll need your Nectar card handy. Simply scan it with the barcode reader. (If you only have a digital Nectar card via the app, open it and scan that).
Benefits of Nectar Card
- Nectar Prices
Nectar Prices are discounted products personalised to your shopping habits. You can receive Nectar Prices when you shop at Sainbury's using SmartShop (the app or in-store handset).
When you scan the applicable item you receive the discounted price automatically at checkout. You can see what prices are available to you on the Nectar website or Nectar app. Navigate to the Nectar Prices page.
In the screenshot above, you can see an example range of products available via Nectar Prices.
Important - Nectar Prices are exclusive to you. They are personalised to your shopping habits.
2. Sainsbury's Offers
Sainsbury's Offers is a different section of the Nectar website and app that lists products you may earn extra Nectar points on.
You need to save the offers before you shop using the Nectar website or app.
Then, when you shop pick the exact same items. At checkout, remember to swipe your Nectar card and you'll get the extra Nectar points.
The process is the same if shopping online or via SmartShop: Save the offers first via the Nectar website or app. Then, at checkout you should automatically collect the extra points (presuming your Nectar card is synced with your online account which is should be by default).
One of the most common offers is to get a multiple of Nectar points next time you shop. So you should definitely check this before heading into the supermarket and save the offer so you can get extra Nectar points for free.
I wish Nectar would just save the Sainsbury's offers automatically without having to manually select them. Unlike Co-Op Membership there is no limit to how many you can save. You can save all of them! So even if you're not interested in one, you should just whizz in and save them all. For this reason, it'd be good if they were all automatically saved by default.Tom
3. Partner Offers
IMPORTANT - When you navigate to Partner Offers on the Nectar website or app, it will only show you a selection of featured offers. There are many more available within 'search':
- 10x points when you spend £15 on one item at ebay
- 3x points when you shop online at Debenhams
- 3x points when you use Booking.com (via Nectar)
- 4x points when you shop online at Wowcher (via Nectar)
- 5x points when you shop online at Expedia (via Nectar)
- Collect 1 points per £1 spent at B&Q
- +150 points when you link your ebay and Nectar accounts
- +4,000 points when you buy car insurance from Sainsbury's Bank
- Up to 39% off select Theatre productions in London
- Free Tree for your school or community from Woodland Trust
- +20,000 points with American Express Nectar Credit Card
Warning: These benefits are listed as examples. They may no longer be available. Partner offers update regularly. Login to your Nectar account and check the Partner Offers page to see an up-to-date list.
How Many Nectar Points Per Pound Do You Get?
You can get 1 Nectar Point for each qualifying £1 you spend in Sainsbury's in-store or online*.
You get 1 Nectar Point for each litre of fuel you purchase at Sainsbury's petrol stations.
You may be able to earn more than 1 Nectar point per £1 spend using Nectar offers.
How Much is a Nectar Point Worth?
1 Nectar point is worth £0.005p. That's 0.5p.
- 1 Nectar point = 0.5p
- 10 Nectar points = 5p
- 100 Nectar points = 50p
- 1,000 Nectar Points = £5.00
We know this because the Sainsbury's Nectar FAQ says you can spend your Nectar points in blocks of 500 points for £2.50 (if 500 points = £2.50, then 1 point = £0.005p).
As it costs £1 to get 1 Nectar point and that equals 0.5p, the cashback equivalent is 0.5%.
- This is half the amount you earn from Tesco Clubcard (1%)
- Co-Op Membership gives you 5%
- Iceland Bonus Card gives you 5%
However, there are many Nectar events throughout the year which allow you to double the value of your Nectar points (albeit only to spend on select items - watch out!). Plus, if you use offers to collect more than 1 Nectar point per pound spent, then it's worth more.
Most people have heard of Nectar Points but not Nectar Connect.
What is Nectar Connect?
Nectar Connect launched in 2021. It is a free service where you connect your existing debit / credit card to Nectar, and exchange your transaction data for extra Nectar points and offers.
This uses the Open Banking Initiative which is Government regulated.
How do I use Nectar Connect?
- Start here on Nectar website
- Go to Nectar Connect
- Follow the process of reading the terms
- Connect your existing back account / debit card / credit card
Once you've done that you can then see a list of your personalised Nectar Connect offers, for example:
The Nectar Connect offers change each month.
You need to 'Activate offer' before making the purchase either in-store or online.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Nectar Connect is closing on the 27th October and has already been removed from the Nectar app.
How to Stack Cashback with Nectar Connect
As Nectar Connect is done via your financial transaction statements and not via any online tracking, it means you can collect Nectar points in-store as well as online. If online, you're able to first visit a cashback site, then use your debit/credit card as normal, and earn both cashback and Nectar points at the same time.
Nectar Connect is a great idea in principle, however members of Latest Deals find the offers are lacklustre. Often the shops are irrelevant to your spending. Plus, you need to remember to review the offers each month and activate those you are interested in.
Nectar Connect is "free" in the sense of not having to pay anything, but you are handing over your financial transactions data which does have a value.Tom
How Does Nectar Compare to Other Loyalty Schemes?
Nectar is different to other loyalty schemes because you can earn Nectar points from a range of retailers including Sainsbury's, Argos, ebay, Habitat and more. Plus, you can use it in a similar fashion to cashback on Partner Offers, earning up to 10X Nectar points on select purchases. Other supermarket loyalty schemes do not offer such a range of partnered brands through which you may earn points with.
Nectar may also be spent with a wide range of partners, however, we find that Tesco Clubcard offers better value for money here.
The majority of people use Nectar exclusively with Sainsbury's: You earn points from your Sainsbury's shopping and spend them at Sainsbury's. The default value of rewards here is low in comparison to others. The cashback equivalent is 0.5%, compared to 1% with Tesco Clubcard, and 5% with Co-Op Membership and Iceland Bonus Card.
However, with Sainsbury's Offers it is possible to increase the value of your Nectar Points and simply get discounts on a personalised range of products (no Nectar spend required). This makes it more similar to ASDA Rewards which gives you money back (up to 10%) when you make select purchases.
Nectar Connect is innovative and has potential to be good, however Latest Deals members have found the offers are lacklustre and often irrelevant to personal spending (despite it meant to be tailored). Perhaps this may improve in future.
The Nectar Partner offers are worthwhile if you're not using any other kind of reward scheme, and it may be possible to stack rewards if the Partner has their own loyalty programme on top. However, in general you cannot use cashback and Nectar Partner offers at the same time with online spending, and cashback tends to be worth more. There are also problems and exclusions if you use voucher codes.
Any free loyalty scheme is better than none. If you shop at Sainsbury's, Argos, or ebay you should get a Nectar card. However, in terms of comparative benefits it is at the lower end of supermarket rewards.Tom
Read more from our series on supermarket loyalty cards:
You may also be interested to learn how to put all your loyalty cards onto your phone in one app: Stocard. Read our full guide here, it will save you hours!