Nectar trials new 'Shopper Rewards' offering bonus points on bank card spending
Nectar has quietly launched a new trial which gives some members bonus points for spending on their bank card with firms such as Costa Coffee, Nando's and Airbnb, MoneySavingExpert.com can reveal.
Update Tue 4 Feb: We first published this story last week - you no longer appear to be able to sign up to the Shopper Rewards scheme. We'll continue to follow the scheme and update this story if and when the trial's reopened.
The loyalty scheme hasn't formally announced the trial yet, but this week it emailed a small number of Nectar members telling them that they can sign up to be part of 'Shopper Rewards', which allows them to earn up to 50 points per £1 spent in certain stores.
Nectar says the trial only has space for 1,000 members, but while it is technically only intended to be targeted at those who receive the email, when we tested it at MSE Towers on Wednesday, two different members of the team were able to sign up via the Nectar website. Nectar's confirmed to us that people who haven't had an email invitation can still sign up to join the trial – but the capacity of the trial is capped at 1,000 in total.
See Loyalty Points Boosting for tips on increasing the value of your Nectar points.
How does Nectar's 'Shopper Rewards' work?
At the moment, Nectar hasn't released full details of how the trial works – or given any indication of how long it's running for or when it could be rolled out nationally. When we asked it what was happening on Wednesday, it would only tell us that it is "trialling a new Nectar Rewards service with a small number of customers".
But here's what we've pieced together so far from the email to Nectar members we've seen and the Nectar website itself:
- You have to sign up for 'Shopper Rewards'. Nectar says it's supposed to be open to those who've received an email invitation, though we were also able to sign up directly via the Nectar website, and Nectar's confirmed anyone who does can still take part in the trial. You'll need to be a Nectar member to take part.
- You have to link one or more credit or debit cards to your Nectar account. See a list of compatible cards below. Nectar will then use your data via open banking (its data processor is called Cardlytics UK Limited) to work out relevant offers to give you.
The Nectar website says connecting your account will give it access to 36 months of your historical transaction data and that this is done "via the open banking regulations" – see more on what this means in our Open Banking explained guide.
- Once you've registered, you pick offers before you earn points via them. You appear to be able to do this by logging in to your account. We don't know the full list of participating retailers, though we've seen offers from Airbnb, Costa Coffee, Dunelm, Just Eat, Nando's, Oliver Bonas and Robert Dyas.
- To earn bonus points, you then spend on your bank card as normal. You don't need to show your Nectar card.
- On the Nectar website you'll be able to see how many points you've collected. You'll also be able to see how much your points are worth, and take more actions, such as disconnecting your card.
Example of offers we've seen include 50 points per £1 spent at Costa Coffee, 20 points per £1 spent at Nando's, 20 points per £1 spent with Just Eat and 20 points per £1 spent with Airbnb.
Those are pretty decent returns, given that when spent in-store at Sainsbury's, each Nectar point is normally worth 0.5p. However, crucially the offers we saw all stated that they could only be used once – so you're unlikely to be able to amass a huge number of points with repeated trips to an individual retailer.
Remember, if you do take part in the trial, don't see these bonus points as a reason to spend – instead spend as you normally would and then see any bonus points you earn as a nice extra.
Again, this hasn't been confirmed by Nectar, but when we checked the website it appeared you could link cards from the following banks and card providers to your Nectar account:
- Bank of Scotland
- First Direct
- Lloyds Bank
- M&S Bank
- Ulster Bank
The website states that American Express, Barclaycard, The Co-operative Bank, Metro Bank and Sainsbury's Bank will be "coming soon".
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