5 Nectar points hacks for 2021 and how to convert them to Avios

Find out how to boost your Nectar points, convert them into Avios and use these to save on your next holiday.

A new partnership between Nectar and British Airways (BA) means that, as of 25 January, 2021, Nectar customers can exchange their existing and new points for Avios points. Avios points are like air miles, but not only can you use them for flights with BA, you can also spend them with its sister airlines: Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus. Plus you can use them for hotels and other travel costs.

While you’re dreaming of your next getaway, to help maximise your stash of Nectar points we’ve rounded up five hacks to boost what you earn on your spending.

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How does it work?

Let’s take a real-world example: 400 Nectar points can be exchanged for 250 Avios points, which works out at a conversion rate of 0.625 Avios per point. So if you collected 2,400 Nectar points from shopping at Sainsbury’s, for example, you could swap them and get 1,500 Avios points. That’s over a quarter of the way towards the total for a flight to Amsterdam.

Need to know

400 Nectar points = 250 Avios points

To convert Nectar points into Avios points, link your Nectar account with your BA Executive Club account (which is free to join). You’ll need to sign into your Nectar account and head to the BA landing page. From there, click the “Link accounts” option. You can also join the equivalent clubs for BA’s sister airlines by visiting their sites and signing up.

Hack 1:

Bag your bonuses

There are two easy ways to start maximising your Nectar point power right away, if you haven’t converted any of your points before.

Swap before Valentine’s Day for a one-off big bonus

If you swap 1,600 Nectar points into Avios points before 14 February, 2021, you’ll receive a one-off bonus of 500 Avios points. Overall, this will give you 1,500 Avios points.

What else do I need to know?

Swapping 1,600 Nectar points into Avios needs to be your first conversion, and done in one transaction.

It’s also worth knowing that there’s a cap on the number of points you can transfer per month and per quarter. Nectar and Avios customers can manually convert up to 80,000 Nectar points (or 50,000 Avios) per month. The cap is separate for both debiting and crediting – so that’s 80,000 points debited and 80,000 points credited per month. Members can also automatically convert up to 40,000 Nectar points (or 25,000 Avios) in a quarter.

All of this means you could transfer 40,000 Nectar points automatically each quarter, and an additional 80,000 manually on top of that each month.

Double your Nectar

If you’ve made the 1,600 Nectar conversion into Avios, you can also take advantage of another limited-time offer. Normally, £1 spent at Sainsbury’s equates to one Nectar point, but up until 19 April, 2021, you’ll receive double Nectar points per £1 spent at the big orange supermarket.

Total for hack 1

4,400 Nectar / 2,750 Avios. This goes over half way towards paying for a night at a hotel in the centre of Budapest (4,600 Avios)

What else do I need to know?

Let’s say you spent £250 per week (around £1,000 per month) on a family shop at Sainsbury’s, before 19 April, 2021. With this double offer, you’ll earn 2,000 points (£10), instead of 1,000, which can be converted to 1,250 Avios. Bear in mind that you’ll have to wait up to 28 days after the promotion ends to get the points.

Hack 2:

Reward credit cards

You can also boost your Nectar points by doing your shopping with an American Express Nectar Credit Card. This Nectar-branded option gives you the most bang for your buck – you collect two Nectar points for every £1 spent on the card.

The welcome bonus

When you first become a customer, you can get up to 20,000 bonus Nectar points (converted into 12,500 Avios) if you spend £2,000 in the first 3 months. That’s on top of the double points you’re collecting for each £1 spent of that £2,000. Overall, you’d get 15,000 Avios points with this hack.

Total for hack 2

24,000 Nectar / 15,000 Avios

What else do I need to know?

There are eligibility criteria for getting the card. And, as with all reward point credit cards, if you carry a balance from month to month, you’re likely to rack up hefty interest charges, which will outweigh what you earn in rewards. Clear your balance in full each month if you can, and take advantage of the card’s interest-free grace period on purchases – that way it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.

Hack 3:

Collect points at more than 300 Nectar partners

You can bag even more Nectar points when shopping at Nectar’s partnered shops through the Nectar site or the app. There are more than 300 brands where you can collect points – for example, eBay, Argos, and ASOS. £1 spent at partners typically equates to one Nectar point. But at some partners, you’ll get two Nectar points per £1 spent, such as when you buy snacks at an Esso service station (though fuel gets one point per £1 spent).

So, if you filled up your car at Esso and bought a few snacks for the road – a Yorkie (60p), a 1.5 litre bottle of Evian (95p), and a pack of McCoy’s (85p) – you’ve bagged yourself 60 Nectar points without even trying.

On the hunt for a padded puffer coat to warm your cockles? Shop through the Nectar site or the app to buy the trending item at ASOS (£107) and receive a further 107 Nectar points.

What else do I need to know?

You can download a Nectar browser extension, which reminds you to collect your Nectar points when shopping at partner stores online.

Hack 4:

Tailored offers via the Nectar app

Download the Nectar app to see offers, including tailored deals. Sainsbury’s says that customers using the Nectar app collect 3.6 times more points on average than those who don’t.

What else do I need to know?

With the app you get limited-time offers regularly and they’re based on what you buy most frequently. For example, a member of Finder’s team was offered 100 Nectar points to buy Sainsbury’s strawberries, and another 100-point bonus to put some cereal in her shopping basket.

Hack 5:

Get a welcome bonus at Sainsbury’s Energy

Switch to a fixed-price Sainsbury’s Energy tariff and get up to 10,000 bonus Nectar points (6,250 Avios).

What else do I need to know?

The offer applies only on fixed energy tariffs (where your rate stays the same for the period of the deal) and you’ll need to make the switch by 18 March, 2021. You’ll also need to take out a 1- or 2-year tariff, and the maximum 10,000 points are only awarded to those who get a dual fuel, 2-year fixed tariff. Dual fuel switchers also receive triple Nectar points on all Sainsbury’s shopping for the length of the tariff (maximum is 7,000 points a year). If you switch only gas or only electricity, it’s double points (maximum 3,500 a year). Full terms for the deal are on the Sainsbury’s Energy site.

Before you switch your energy, it’s always smart to compare all the options to ensure you choose the best deal for you all round.

Bottom line

Following these hacks would get you more than 24,000 Avios points. While prices and taxes vary depending on the season and the flight class, these can bag you a BA economy class return flight to Nice (15,000 Avios), including luggage, as of February, 2021, and you would need to pay roughly £3 in flight taxes.

But collecting another 2,000 Avios could get you a BA economy return flight to New York City (26,000 Avios). For this, you would need to pay around £221 in flight taxes, but it’s still cheaper than playing for the flight outright (£400).

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