Sainsbury's Nectar card customers can exchange their points for vouchers of twice their usual value from today, to spend on Christmas goods including toys, homeware, Tu clothing, electricals and Taste the Difference wine.

The supermarket's seven-day event will allow customers to exchange Nectar points in multiples of £10, up to the value of £40, across seven categories (see our Loyalty Points Boosting guide for more on Nectar, Tesco Clubcard, Boots Advantage and Morrisons Match & More).

Sainsbury's shoppers have from 19 November until 25 November to swap their points and vouchers must then be redeemed before 11.59 on 25 November, subject to store closing times.

The promotion comes just a month after the supermarket announced that it is to cut the amount of points shoppers can earn in half from next year. At present customers earn two points for every £1 spent in stores on qualifying items.

However, from 11 April they'll only get one point per £1 spent (see the Nectar points cut in half at Sainsbury's and points for bag reuse scrapped MSE News story for more information).

What are Nectar points?

Nectar is the loyalty scheme used by Sainsbury's to reward its customers. You can also collect points when spending at other retailers, including BP, eBay, Expedia and British Gas (see the full list of participating brands) and when shopping at certain retailers via the Nectar eshop (see a full list of participating stores).

When redeemed in store at Sainsbury's, each Nectar point is worth 0.5p – so 1,000 points equates to £5. But there are often ways to get more for your points by exchanging them via the Nectar online store to spend on days out, entertainment and restaurants.

How does the double up event work?

Nectar points can be exchanged for a double up voucher once you've earned 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 or 4,000 points. If you have more points than this, the excess will remain on your card.

Each 1,000 points is worth £10 in vouchers – double their usual value of £5, when exchanged at Sainsbury's stores.

The maximum amount of points you can claim per category is 4,000, getting you a £40 voucher.

What can I exchange points on?

You can exchange points in the following seven categories. Vouchers can be spent both online and in stores for all categories apart from electricals, where vouchers can only be used in stores.

  • Tu Clothing (including footwear and accessories)
  • Electricals (vouchers can be used in stores only)
  • Entertainment
  • Homeware
  • Toys
  • Cards, gift wrap, decorations and selected gifting
  • Taste the Difference wine – including still, sparkling and fortified wine

For a full list visit of what items are included, see the Sainsbury's website.

Where can I exchange points?

The double up voucher exchange is only available in stores at the customer service desk or at designated tills, but not in Sainsbury's Locals or petrol stations. See a full list of participating stores.

To avoid confusion on the total amount of your Nectar balance Sainsbury's recommends that points should be exchanged at a store you've visited and earned points at in the previous 12 months. However you will still be able to swap points at stores that aren't the ones you usually use.

You can't exchange vouchers online.

Where can I spend vouchers?

You can spend them in stores, excluding Sainsbury's Locals and petrol stations, and you can also use them online, except for the electrical items category, which must be spent in stores.

Each voucher must be spent on its allocated category and you will need to bring your Nectar card with you to the store to swap your points for vouchers.

You can't earn points on the double up purchase.

How many vouchers can I get?

Only one voucher up to a maximum of £40 can be issued per department per Nectar card.

Can I get change from the double up vouchers?

If, for example, you have a voucher for £40 and only spend £35 you won't be able to transfer the voucher between categories or back into points or cash – so make sure you spend the full voucher before closing time on 25 November when the offer ends.

What happens if I lose my voucher?

If your voucher gets misplaced you should contact the customer service contact centre on 0344 811 0811, where they will arrange to replace it.

Can I buy something worth more than I have in vouchers?

Yes. If your item is worth more than the value of your voucher you can pay the remaining total in cash, by credit or debit card. Alternatively, you can use any Nectar points you have remaining on your card, at the rate of £2.50 equals 500 points.

What if I buy something and want to return it?

Items can be returned or exchanged within 28 days, in line with the usual returns policy of Sainsbury's. This means that you can:

  • Return the item at the customer services desk and exchange it for an item of the same value on a like-for-like basis in the same category as the Nectar double up voucher. OR
  • Pay the difference by card, cash or Nectar points if the item you want to exchange it for is more expensive than the value of the voucher. It must be in the same category as the voucher was issued for.

If the exchange item is of a lower value than the voucher you will lose the difference in value and this cannot be transferred back to points or cash.

If an item is unwanted then the refund will be calculated by refunding the value of the double up voucher before the promotion. For example, 1,000 points exchanged for a Nectar voucher worth £10 will be refunded as 1,000 points on to your Nectar card worth the normal value of £5.