The Nectar Credit Card by American Express is the best rewards card for individuals whose main goal is accumulating Nectar points. The across-the-board 1% rewards rate on all categories make it a good card to use for all of your general spending. Further value is found in the 20,000 Nectar point welcome bonus, which we value at around £100.
Nectar Credit Card by American Express Review
The Nectar Credit Card delivers a solid rewards rate around 1% across all categories of spending, except that warehouse spending earns a lower 0.5% in rewards. Rewards are earned in the form of Nectar points when you make purchases with the card. Technically, you'll earn 2 Nectar points for every £1 spent—these are in addition to the Nectar points you earn on purchases at Nectar partners as part of the Nectar loyalty program. As Nectar points are worth approximately 0.5 pence each, the rewards rate is an extra 1% (2 points/£1 * £0.005/point = 1%) of your card purchases.
The Nectar card carries a £25 annual fee, which is waived the first year. The Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Nectar points is valued at £100. In ongoing years, you need to spend £2,500 a year just to make up for the annual fee. The following table shows card rewards rates and annual fees two Nectar-earning credit cards: the Nectar Credit Card and the Sainsbury's Purchase Card.
|Grocery Reward Rate||General Spending Reward Rate||Annual Fee|
|Nectar Credit Card||1%||1%||£25 (waived year 1)|
|Sainsbury's Purchase Card||1%||0.1%||£0|
As the interest rate is higher than average, cardholders should be sure to pay off their balance in full every month. The interest charges on any carried-over balance would more than offset any earned rewards on spending.
The Nectar Card Benefits & Features
|Nectar Amex Features|
|Welcome Bonus||20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2,000 in the first three months|
|Earning Nectar Rewards|
|Annual Fee||£25 annual fee (£0 first year)|
|APR (variable)||22.9% on purchases|
Potential Value of Nectar Rewards
What is the potential value of the rewards you can earn using the Nectar Credit Card? It depends on how much you spend and how you redeem your Nectar points. We estimate the value of Nectar points to be 0.5 pence each. Given that, the following chart shows the estimated value of rewards by level of general spending, for both year 1 (including a waived annual fee and the 20,000 point welcome bonus) and beyond.
Bottom Line: The Nectar Credit Card by American Express delivers an expected 1% rewards rate on all spending where Amex is accepted, except warehouse retailers. The Nectar card is the most valuable during the first year: the £25 annual fee is waived year 1 and you can earn a 20,000 Nectar point welcome bonus. This card is an Amex, so may not be accepted everywhere.
Other Nectar Card Features
The Nectar Credit Card gives cardholders access to American Express’s Global Assist program. If all goes well, you will never need it! But in case of trouble while abroad, Global Assist provides access to an English-speaking doctor or lawyer, 24 hours a day. They can also put you in touch with an embassy or consulate, if necessary; or provide local medical assistance by arranging hospitalization, finding a specialist, or delivering hard-to-find supplies (e.g., contact lenses or prescriptions).
Purchase Protection is another perk of the Nectar Purchase card that you will hopefully never need. If anything you buy on your card is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, American Express will repair it, replace it, or refund you (up to £2,500 per item). This affords a level of protection especially to larger purchases.
American Express Invites
American Express Invites gives you access to presale tickets and reserved tickets to events such as the National Theatre or Justin Bieber, before they go on general sale.
How do Nectar Points Work?
Nectar Points can be earned by shopping at around 50 participating retailers, such as Sainsbury’s, Pizza Express, BP, British Gas, Argos and others. For a complete list see the Nectar website. Nectar points can also be earned by using the Nectar Credit Card or perhaps the Sainsbury’s purchase cards. Nectar points are usually worth £0.05, but you may find even more value through Double Up vouchers or other offers from Nectar.
Nectar points are earned on the Nectar Credit Card at a rate of 2 Nectar points/£1 spent (or 1 Nectar point/£1 at warehouse stores). Doing the math, given a Nectar point's £0.05 value, you earn 1% on general spending and 0.5% at warehouse retailers.
Nectar points can be redeemed:
- in store by swiping your Nectar card at the till, with retailers such as Sainsbury’s, Argos and BP
- online with evouchers via the Nectar online store, with retailers such as Eurostar, PizzaExpress and Hertz (for a more complete list, see Nectar’s official list).
Please note that you must have shopped and earned Nectar points at a particular Sainsbury’s store before you can redeem any Nectar points there. This seemingly minor condition can really catch people out. Imagine the case where you normally shop at your local Sainsbury’s but—come time to redeem your accumulated Nectar points—you drive to a larger Sainsbury’s store that has Homeware and Toys sections. When you get to the till, you may find that your Nectar points are not working if you haven’t used your Nectar card at that store in the past 12 months. Be sure you’ve shopped at a particular Sainsbury’s store before (in past 12 months) if you want to redeem Nectar points there.
Also, be aware that Nectar points do not expire, but if you don’t earn or redeem any Nectar points in a rolling 12-month period, then your Nectar account may be closed and all Nectar points lost.
How Does the Nectar Credit Card by American Express Compare Against Other Credit Cards?
To better understand the value of the Nectar Credit Card you need to look at it in the context of other available options. We’ve compared this card to other grocery rewards and cashback cards so you can see which has more earning potential for you.
Nectar Credit Card vs Sainsbury’s Purchase Credit Card
The Sainsbury’s Purchase Credit Card is a solid rewards card for Sainsbury’s shopping. The rewards on all other purchases are weak, making it a poor choice for your general spending. The Sainsbury's card does offer 29 months of 0% interest on new purchases, useful if you can't pay off your purchases right away.
Quick Takeway: Both cards will help you earn Nectar points. If you have a strong credit history and are happy to have an American Express card, the Nectar Credit Card will deliver more value through 1% returns not just on your Sainsbury’s shopping, but on all of your card purchases. If you can't pay off new purchases right away, the Sainsbury's Purchases card may offer more savings potential.
Nectar Credit Card vs Platinum Cashback Credit Card
The Platinum Cashback card by Amex is one of NimbleFins’ favourite rewards cards. Cardholders earn solid ongoing rewards between 1% and 1.25% on all purchases, depending on how much you spend a year, and benefit from an easy rewards system of statement credits that appear automatically every year. One drawback is that rewards are distributed at the end of every year you hold the card, instead of being available as you earn them throughout the year. As an added bonus, cardholders earn 5% on purchases in the first three months, up to £125 of rewards. Keep in mind that you must spend £3,000 a year in order to receive any cashback rewards.
Quick Takeway: These two cards are actually quite similar in terms of the value of their rewards, although the Cashback may come out slightly ahead. Both cards charge an annual fee of £25 and offer quite similar ongoing rewards rates 1% for the Nectar and 1% to 1.25% for the Platinum Cashback. Both cards offer a similar welcome bonus also—the Nectar Card's is worth £100 and the Platinum Cashback's is worth up to £125. For this comparison, the best card for you may come down to how you prefer your rewards—as Nectar points that you can spend at Nectar partners or statement credits to reduce your credit card balance once a year?
Nectar Credit Card vs CostCo TrueEarnings Card
The Costco TrueEarnings Credit Card can be very valuable in the wallet of those who like to travel and dine out. The card returns 1% on general spending (including Costco), 2% on travel, and 3% on restaurant dining. There is no other card that offers such a high rewards rate on dining. Rewards are delivered as a Costco voucher once a year. Those who shop at Costco can take advantage of these great rewards.
Quick Takeway: While the Costco card does offer stunning returns on dining and travel, it may not suit everyone since rewards come in the form of a Costco voucher every year. The Nectar Credit Card rewards cardholders with lower ongoing returns but may be more accessible if you don't live near a Costco.