Nectar

Compare Nectar credit cards

Nectar is one of the UK’s most popular loyalty schemes, with more than 500 participating brands (recent notable additions include Esso). But did you know that you can earn extra points on the same transaction by swiping your Nectar card and a Nectar credit card?

By carrying your Nectar card when you shop at Sainsbury’s, you can earn points while you spend. Do the same with a Nectar credit card, and you could boost the rate at which you earn points, and tap into some great account-opening offers, too. The points you earn with your credit card are on top of the points you earn when you swipe your regular old Nectar card. For example, with an American Express Nectar Credit Card, you’ll get two points for every £1 spent in addition to your usual Nectar points.

But it can be difficult to know whether loyalty credit cards are worthwhile, and it’s easy to get hooked on collecting points – leading to unnecessary or frivolous spending. With different cards earning you points at different rates, and with points being worth different amounts at different retailers, you could be forgiven for getting confused. This guide will take you through how to decide whether a Nectar credit card is right for you, and how to compare the cards available to find the right one for your circumstances.

Comparison of Nectar credit cards

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Updated October 21st, 2019
Name Product Max. intro bonus Earn-rate with brand Default earn-rate Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
20,000 points
2 points per £1 spent
2 points per £1 spent
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
28.2% p.a. (variable)
20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2K within 3 months of account opening. Earn 2 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent at Nectar partners and elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum, your representative rate is 28.2% APR (variable).
7,500 points
2 points per £1 spent
1 point per £5 spent
£0
20.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
7,500 points
2 points per £1 spent
1 point per £5 spent
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
7,500 points
2 points per £1 spent
1 point per £5 spent
£0
20.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
7,500 points
2 points per £1 spent
1 point per £5 spent
£0
20.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

What is Nectar?

Nectar is a loyalty scheme owned by Sainsbury’s. You can collect and spend points at Sainsbury’s, and additionally with a range of shops and services like Argos, eBay and Eurostar. Each point is worth 0.5p when redeemed at Sainsbury’s, but occasionally you’ll come across promotions that allow you to redeem your points at a better rate – sometimes even to “double up”.

How to compare cards that offer Nectar points

There are currently two card issuers offering reward credit cards that let you earn Nectar points while you spend: Sainsbury’s Bank (on the Mastercard network) and American Express. Here are some of the key factors to consider when comparing the cards they offer.

  • Earn rate. How many Nectar points you receive per £1 spent. Each card may have more than one earn rate – typically you can expect one earn rate for money you spend with Sainsbury’s, and another earn rate for money you spend elsewhere.
  • Introductory offers. You’ll often be able to bag a few thousand Nectar points just for opening the account. Additionally you may be able to earn points at a better rate for a promotional period, or on, say, your first five shops.
  • Annual fee. Rewards/loyalty bonuses are often offset by an annual fee. It may be worth taking the hit on an annual fee if you’re likely to earn an even greater sum in rewards – time to get the calculator out! Multiply the amount you’d expect to earn in rewards each month by 12, and compare it against the annual fee.
  • Interest rates. Credit cards typically have a standard rate for purchases, but other rates are likely to apply for other types of credit, such as a cash advance (withdrawing cash from the account) or a balance transfer (bringing debt across from your previous credit card). Additionally, some credit cards come with a better rate initially, that later reverts to the standard rate.
  • Other fees. These may include fees for things like non-sterling transactions when you’re abroad, balance transfers, cash advances or late payments.
  • Other perks. This could be anything from travel insurance to a discount at the in-store cafe.

There shouldn’t be any difference between where you can spend or earn your points between these issuers, but the earn rates on the cards may differ. You should also keep sight of any sign-up bonuses, or annual fees.

Benefits and downsides of Nectar credit cards

Benefits

  • Sainsbury’s runs promotions throughout the year where shoppers can “double-up” (in other words each point becomes worth a penny) their Nectar points.
  • There are often promotions for other companies where you can spend your Nectar points too. For example at Pizza Express, where Nectar points can often be redeemed at an enhanced rate.
  • You can collect and spend points at over 400 different retailers.
  • There are usually some hefty sign-up bonuses to be had, although these may require a minimum spend.
  • It’s normally possible to have multiple cardholders – meaning you can earn points on their spending too (although there’s only ever one account holder – who is fully-responsible for the account).

Downsides

  • Depending on the card, you may have to spend quite a lot of money to get points of any substance.
  • You can’t use the full value of your Nectar points at any one time. They must be spent in 500-point (£2.50) blocks.
  • You may have an annual fee to pay, although this is typically waived in the first year.
  • As with all credit cards, you have to be careful that you are paying off your credit card on time, to avoid any interest stings.
  • Collecting loyalty points can be addictive – it encourages you to spend more than you might have otherwise.

Alternatives to Nectar credit cards

You may decide that the extra points you can get with a Nectar credit card aren’t worth it – if so, you can still get the general free Nectar card available from Nectar.com, the Nectar app or from Sainsbury’s supermarket. The card offers you 500 points per £2.50, and you will still be able to get the deals from other participating Nectar partners.

There are also lots of other supermarket loyalty schemes out there, with credit cards to match – for example, Tesco, Asda and M&S.

You may also wish to consider the option of a cashback credit card as another way to make your money go further.

Frequently asked questions

We exist to help you find better. The offers we've compared on this page are from a range of products whose details we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own financial circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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