How to boost your Nectar points
Use a Nectar card to earn points & save at Sainsbury's, Argos & more
If you collect Nectar points, there are lots of ways to boost your stash through everyday spending. Plus we've tricks to earn points without spending a penny. Remember the golden rule – choose where to shop on price, NOT because you get points – but always get points if you're spending there anyway.
How does the Nectar scheme work?
The Nectar loyalty scheme is usually associated with Sainsbury's, but there are lots of other places you can collect and spend your points, including Argos, eBay and Habitat.
Confusingly, some retailers only let you collect Nectar points (rather than spend them), and others let you spend but not collect.
Where can I collect & spend my Nectar points?
There are only a few retailers that let you spend your Nectar points, but when it comes to collecting, there are too many to list. We've rounded up some of the biggies below.
|Where can I collect Nectar points?||350+ partners, including Argos, Asos, Booking.com, Currys PC World, eBay, Domino's, Dunelm, Esso, Expedia, Groupon, Habitat, Holland & Barrett, Just Eat, H&M, Lastminute.com, Lookfantastic, Mamas & Papas, New Look, On The Beach, Sainsbury's, ShopDisney
See the full list at Nectar.com.
|Where can I spend my Nectar points?||
Argos, Caffè Nero, Dulux Decorator Centre, eBay, Eurostar, Habitat, The Mail, Sainsbury's, Sky
You can also convert your points to Avios to spend at British Airways, and donate your points to Comic Relief and The Woodland Trust.
How do I collect Nectar points?
There are a few different ways to collect Nectar points when shopping – it varies by retailer.
- Swipe your card at the checkout in store (such as at Argos, Sainsbury's and Esso). You can swipe your physical card or scan the digital barcode using the Nectar app (available for iPhone and Android).
- Enter your cardnumber at the online checkout (such as at Sainsburys.co.uk).
- Link your online accounts (such as at Argos and eBay). To do this, sign in to Argos/eBay and go to your account.
- Click through to the retailer via the Nectar website (such as at Dunelm). Similar to a cashback website, simply visit Nectar.com and select a retailer. Click 'shop online' and you'll be taken to the retailer's website to make your purchase as normal. Your visit should be tracked by Nectar, but (as with any cashback) this can never be guaranteed. Check Top cashback sites for what to watch out for.
Earn Nectar points on everyday spending
Get personalised weekly bonus offers via the Nectar app and website
In 2019, Sainsbury's revamped the Nectar scheme, and the big change was that you can now select weekly personalised bonus point offers via the Nectar website or app (available on Android and iPhone). The app also now gives you a 'digital Nectar card' you can scan at the till, though your physical card still works as normal.
Each Friday, you'll be sent a range of points-boosting offers to choose from, based on your shopping habits (for example 20 bonus points for buying Sainsbury's haddock fishcakes). You can view the offers on the website or app, and 'save' the ones you want to use before doing your Sainsbury's shop. You then have to use them within a certain period – typically a week or so.
To get the bonus points, scan your Nectar card at the till (your physical card or your digital card via the Nectar app). Any bonus points you've earned will then automatically be added to your account.
Use the Sainsbury's SmartShop app to save on your shopping
You get up to 30% off items you frequently buy if you use the Sainsbury's SmartShop app (available for Android and iPhone) to scan items while you shop in one of its stores. It'll automatically trigger deals of up to 30% off on selected branded and own-brand products.
Look for ‘My Nectar Prices’ in the Nectar app to see what automatic coupons you've been offered and how long they're valid for – you can use them multiple times before the expiry date.
If you don't have a smartphone, you can get the offers when you use in-store scanners. However, you can't get these deals when shopping online.
Boost Nectar points' value with partners, for example Caffè Nero and Sky
Usually when spent in store at Sainsbury's, each Nectar point is worth 0.5p (so 500 points equals £2.50 off shopping). Yet if you redeem points with companies Nectar has partnered with via the Nectar website, you can sometimes get a slight boost.
Previously we've seen partner deals worth 2x or even 3x the value, but when we last checked we could only find one dea that gave a (small) boost in value:
Caffè Nero – 350 points (normally worth £1.75) gets any hot or cold drink
You can swap your points online or via the app, to get a QR-code voucher to use at Caffè Nero. It gets you a hot or cold drink of any size, so you can boost the value of your points by going for a pricier drink. However, it's worth noting 'speciality drinks' and extras aren't included.
Earn points on fuel at Esso garages
Scan your card or app at the till and you can collect one point per litre of petrol or diesel and two points per £1 spent in the shop – on most items – at most Esso garages (about 1,000 are participating in the promo, though those with Tesco Express shops attached aren't).
You won't earn Nectar points on tobacco-related products, phone cards, baby milk, stamps, utility cards, e-top ups and lottery tickets.
And of course, don't let loyalty points determine where you fuel up, as Esso may not be cheapest. See our Cheap Petrol & Diesel guide for tips on finding the cheapest prices.
Avios points can be converted to Nectar points (and vice versa)
You can convert points at a rate of 300 Avios to 400 Nectar points. If you want, you can set up an automatic conversion for a minimum 300 Avios to Nectar a week.
You can also exchange the other way, though the conversion isn't exactly matched as 400 Nectar points only gets you 250 Avios (not 300).
To convert points, you need to link your Nectar and British Airways Executive Club accounts. This can be done at either the Nectar or BA Executive Club website. If you're not currently a member, you can join for free.
Earning Amex Membership Rewards? Boost your Nectar points by swapping to Avios first
This trick used to give you a bigger boost, but the conversion rate changed in November 2022, making it a little less exciting. Here's how it works now:
Amex doesn't advertise this but there's a trick to manipulate its Avios and Nectar partnership, so 300 Amex points could be worth 400 Nectar points, if you swap them the right way.
300 Amex points are worth 300 Nectar points if you swap them directly. But if you swap them the 300 Amex points for 300 Avios points first, THEN swap them for Nectar points, the conversion rate is higher (300 Avios = 400 Nectar).
Here's how to do it:
- Swap your Amex points for Avios via the American Express website.
- Link your Nectar and British Airways Executive Club accounts, which can be done at the Nectar or British Airways Executive Club website. Both are free to join if you're not already a member.
- Convert your Avios to Nectar points via the British Airways website. You can also choose to have your points swapped automatically in the future.
- Swap your Amex points for Avios via the American Express website.
The Amex Nectar credit card – earn wherever you spend
If you're an avid Nectar collector, you can earn more points by using the Nectar American Express* credit card, but always pay it off IN FULL each month or you'll be charged 28.8% interest on purchases, which dwarfs any points gain.
You'll earn two Nectar points (worth 1p) per £1 spent on the card (plus your usual Nectar points). And spend £2,000+ in the first three months and you get an additional 20,000 bonus points (worth £100).
The £25 annual fee is waived for the first year (representative APR including fee is 36.3%). Overall this makes it a decent alternative to the top-paying cashback credit card, provided there's something you want to buy with your Nectar points.
Earn Nectar points without spending
You can add to your stash of points without spending anything at all using the tricks below.
Answer online survey questions
You can earn extra points for completing surveys via Nectar Canvass – up to 120 points a pop. Once you've registered and done the welcome survey, you'll be entered into a competition for a chance to win 10,000 Nectar points. You'll get an email when there's a new survey to complete. Plus, every time you attempt a survey, you'll get an entry in the Sainsbury's quarterly £5,000 prize draw.
Check your account regularly for offers & bonus points
Make sure you log in to your Nectar account regularly, on the website or the app, to check for new offers. Some require a spend, for example 100 bonus points on your next shop at Sainsbury's. But occasionally you can find an offer for bonus points without any spend required – you just have to log in and load it to your card.
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