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New Nectar points boost if you connect your payment plastic to it – earn up to 30 points (15p) per £1 spent

London / UK - October 28th 2020 - Holding Sainsbury's nectar card, customer loyalty points card.

Loyalty giant Nectar has launched a new scheme that allows you to link your account to a debit or credit card and earn bonus points when spending at selected partners, such as Costa Coffee, Just Eat and Interflora. You'll need to be comfortable sharing your bank data though and must actively opt in to offers.

Normally Nectar card-holders earn points spending at Sainsbury's and partners such as Asos, eBay and Esso. The amount you get varies – at Sainsbury's, it's usually one point per £1 spent. Nectar points can then be spent at Sainsbury's, where they're typically worth 0.5p each, or at partners such as Caffè Nero where you can boost the value – see full info in our Loyalty Points guide.

Now the new Nectar Connect scheme lets you earn extra points when you spend on plastic at a range of new partners. It's open to new and existing Nectar members, though you'll need an online or app-based bank account or credit card to sign up. 

How Nectar Connect works

Nectar Connect uses 'Open Banking', which lets you share your financial data with third parties (see full details in our Open Banking guide). It's important to understand that if you sign up to Nectar Connect, Nectar will have access to all your transaction data, and even some historical data, so only do this if you're comfortable sharing your info – see more on what data's shared below. If you're happy to go ahead, here's how to sign up:

  1. Connect your Nectar account to your card. First log in to your Nectar account online or in the app, then click 'Nectar Connect' and select your bank or card provider – most major ones are taking part. You can also link to a Nectar rewards credit card, in which case you get the usual Nectar points for spending plus additional Nectar Connect points on top.

  2. Give Nectar Connect access to your data. Log in to your online banking and let Nectar Connect access your data. Note that under Open Banking regulations, you must renew this permission every 90 days. 

  3. Activate your offers. You can do this online or via the app at the 'Offer Hub'. What's available will vary, as you'll be shown personalised offers based on your spending. Examples we've seen include Interflora (30 points per £1 spent on your next purchase), and Costa Coffee, Just Eat and Papa John's (20 points per £1 spent on your next purchase). There are also bigger bonuses available for higher spending – for example, 1,400 points for signing up to Simply Cook and spending at least £9.99.

    Nectar hasn't said how many offers you'll see, but we've typically had 10 to 16, and you can activate them all. Against each offer you'll see how long it lasts (currently 50 to 90 days, though that could change).

  4. You'll automatically collect points when paying by card – but don't use this as an excuse to overspend. Once you've activated an offer, you'll immediately be able to earn points – so you could even do this on your phone while waiting in the queue at a particular retailer. You don't need to do anything to claim the points, as your spending's tracked automatically, though points may take up to 25 days to be added to your account.

    As always, see the extra points as a nice bonus for spending you were planning to do anyway rather than a reason to spend more. For why retailers do this kind of thing, see when to use loyalty schemes.

Nectar says "hundreds" of firms are taking part – it's not published a full list but others include Coach, FatFace, Five Guys, Harvey Nichols, Hawes & CurtisKate Spade, Lakeland, Kidly, Matalan, Pets at Home and Quiz. Let us know more you've seen at news@moneysavingexpert.com.

If you're doing spending you would anyway, you could earn 100s of extra points

The key here is you can only earn bonus points with a limited number of firms. If you're planning to spend at one of them anyway, Nectar Connect could be an easy way to earn extra points. If not, it may not be worth it.

The number of points you get with each partner varies, but if for example you spend £20 at Just Eat after activating the offer mentioned above, you'd bag 400 points, worth £2. You'd need to spend £400 to earn the same amount shopping at Sainsbury's. 

It's worth noting that the offers we've seen apply to just your next purchase – so you won't earn these points on regular spending with the same partner retailer. While there's no guarantee you'll get offers from firms you shop at a lot, it's likely Nectar will try to show you offers you'll actually use. So check your Offer Hub every so often, see when your existing offers expire, and activate any new offers you'll use.

Remember if you take part Nectar can access a heap of your financial data 

By signing up, you give Nectar access to your bank and account details, plus detailed info about ALL your transactions, including the amount, date, time and type. Crucially, this doesn't just apply to transactions at Nectar partners – it includes all transactions made while your account's linked, and even historical transactions going back between six months and three years prior to you joining, depending on your card.

Nectar only has 'read-only' access to your data, so it can never make changes to your bank account or payments on your behalf. But it does also share your data with processing partner Cardlytics and its partner firms, so if you're uncomfortable with that, don't sign up. 

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