Shoppers will earn just half as many points for spending the same amount of cash at Sainsbury's from April next year, it was announced today.

From 11 April 2015, Nectar card holders will earn only one point for every £1 spent in-store and online on qualifying items at Sainsbury's, compared with the two points they currently earn (see our Loyalty Points Boosting guide for tips on how to earn more at Tesco Clubcard, Nectar, Boots Advantage and Morrisons).

Sainsbury's shoppers will also no longer receive one Nectar point for every bag they reuse when shopping in-store, although they'll still be able to earn one Nectar point per litre of fuel when they fill up at a Sainsbury's forecourt.

Nectar says that while Sainsbury's shoppers will earn fewer 'base' Nectar points, customers will earn more 'bonus' Nectar points through "more personalised points offers and bonus events throughout the year".

It says this will include a month-long fuel event where shoppers will earn 10 points per litre of fuel, and "better" Double Up events, where shoppers can exchange Nectar points for two, three, four or more times the standard value to spend at restaurants or on days out at "key times" across the year, for example, Christmas.

Value of points isn't changing

Nectar has confirmed the value of points will remain the same. So 500 points are worth £2.50 to spend in-store, or sometimes more when turned into rewards to spend at restaurants or days out.

The changes also only apply to Nectar points earned at Sainsbury's. The number of Nectar points you can earn at other retailers such as eBay, Expedia and Homebase will remain the same.

The number of additional points earned using a Sainsbury's Bank credit card and American Express' Nectar credit card will also remain the same. With these you earn an extra two points per £1 on top of the two points you get for using your loyalty card in-store and online at Sainsbury's.

So instead of earning four points per £1, from 11 April 2015 you'll earn only three points per £1 when using your Sainsbury's credit card. Any promotional points offers that came with your credit card are also unaffected.

'Fundamental premise of Nectar remains unchanged'

A spokesperson for Nectar says: "We're working with Sainsbury's to evolve the Nectar programme with greater emphasis on special rewards and deals. 

"From April 2015, Nectar collectors will earn one point for every £1 spent in-store or online with Sainsbury's, compared with the existing two points per £1. Although Nectar collectors will be earning fewer 'base' Nectar points, they will earn more 'bonus' Nectar points through more personalised points offers and bonus events throughout the year. 

"The fundamental premise of Nectar – to say thank you to customers – remains unchanged. Through the latest technology and customer insight, we can achieve this in a far more personalised and relevant way."