Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card Review
The Sainsbury’s Nectar credit card is both a rewards card and a 0% purchases card with relatively good in-store rewards and a decent 0% purchases period, but the card isn't so useful for delivering competitive rewards on general, out-of-store spending. So while you can use the Nectar card for a large upcoming purchase and take advantage of paying no interest on purchases for 20 months, you won't earn significant rewards on this purchase (unless it's at Sainsbury's, Argos and Tu Clothing).
How do rewards on the Sainsbury’s Nectar card compare?
The Sainsbury’s Nectar credit card rewards Sainsbury's shoppers on their in-store grocery and fuel shopping. Rewards are distributed in the form of Nectar points:
- Collect 3 points per full £1 spent at Sainsbury's, Argos and Tu Clothing when you use your credit card and swipe your Nectar card
- Collect 1 Nectar point for every full £5 you spend elsewhere
Are these rewards good compared to other rewards cards in the UK market? The Nectar points you can earn on the Sainsbury's card translate into roughly a 1% rewards rate on Sainsbury’s shopping and 0.1% elsewhere. Here's how they compare against other UK grocery rewards cards:
- Sainsbury's in-store rewards: essentially beat the Tesco Purchases card, and are the same as the Partnership Card and the Nectar Credit Card by American Express.
- Sainsbury's out-of-store rewards: are roughly in line with what you'd earn on the Tesco card, but are worse than the Partnership or Nectar card.
The following table compares rewards rates from Sainsbury's, Tesco, John Lewis/Waitrose and the Amex Nectar card:
|Amex Nectar card vs. Sainsbury's Purchase card||Nectar Partner Effective Rate||Grocery Reward Rate||General Spending Reward Rate||Type of Card|
|Amex Nectar Credit Card (£25/year)||1.5%||1%||1%||American Express|
|Sainsbury's Nectar Card||1.5%||1%||0.1%||MasterCard|
|Tesco Purchase Card||0.25%||0.125%||£0||MasterCard|
While the Sainsbury’s Nectar card does offer balance transfer functionality, the 3% fee to transfer your balance for a 3-month promotional period is higher than you can find elsewhere in the market.
Bottom Line: The Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card is a way for cardholders to earn Nectar points on their spending, primarily on their Sainsbury's spending, but the Amex Nectar card returns higher rewards on general spending (but Amex isn't accepted anywhere).
Sainsbury's Bank is rated with a TrustScore of 4.0 out of 5 from over 4,000 at TrustPilot. Most reviews relate to Sainsbury's car insurance, Sainsbury's car insurance or Sainsbury's car insurance, not the credit cards.
"Very easy to fill in the application form"
"What a joke, Sainsbury’s have blanket blocked buying from United Airlines, crazy as one of the biggest airlines in the world! "
"Made a 0% Balance transfer which took nearly 4 weeks to transfer across. Several attempts to log in online failed to make a payment, unable to get through by phone, leading to delayed direct debit and missed payment. Direct debit then set up, the card was safely locked away as not needed for use. A periodic check of my Sainsburys statement however showed they had removed the 0% because of the missed payment—no email, letter or call was made to inform me."
"Got a balance transfer credit card with over £10000 limit. On first attempt, transfer declines. Reason: there are some cards we cant transfer balance from."
"Really clunky online servicing. The times I had to use customer services they made mistakes that ended up costing me more in interest payments. However the worst thing was that a payment I made didn't go to a higher interest purchase. Instead they paid off a large chunk of my zero interest balance transfer, and then charged me interest on the purchase. When I contested this they said this was standard policy because the monthly statement hadn't yet been generated when I made the payment. I am still escalating this complaint three months later."
Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card Benefits & Features
|Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card Features|
|Earning Nectar Points|
|Welcome Bonus||New cardholders can collect 10,000 bonus points when they use their card to spend a total of £400 or more at Sainsbury’s, Argos or Tu Clothing during the 2 months after the account is opened|
|0% on Purchases||17 months|
|0% on Balance Transfers||For 3 months (3% fee, £3 min)|
|APR (variable)||20.9% on purchases|
How do Nectar Points Work?
Nectar Points can be earned by shopping at nearly 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 Sainsbury’s credit cards. Nectar points are usually worth £0.005, but you may find even more value through Double Up vouchers or other offers from Nectar.
Nectar points are earned on the Sainsbury’s Nectar card at a rate of 3 Nectar points/£1 at Sainsbury’s, Argos and Tu Clothing, and 1 Nectar point/£5 spent elsewhere. Doing the math, given a Nectar point’s £0.005 value (0.5p per Nectar point), you earn 1.5% on Sainsbury’s shopping but just 0.1% elsewhere.
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 cause a major headache for some people. 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.
Do Nectar points expire?
Be aware that Nectar points do not technically 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 Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card Compare to Other Credit Cards?
To better understand the value of the Sainsbury’s Nectar card you need to compare it to other available options. We compared this card to other rewards cards so you can see which is better suited to your shopping habits.
Sainsbury’s Nectar Card vs. Tesco Purchases Card
The Tesco Purchases card delivers quite paltry rewards of 0.25% extra on Tesco shopping and 0.125% on other purchases, making it pretty easy to beat. If you are a diehard Tesco shopper though, you will earn some rewards using the Tesco card. Individuals happy to actively manage their account can extract more value by finding Clubcard Boost deals. The Tesco Purchases card gives cardholders 18 months of 0% interest on purchases, useful if you can't pay off new purchases right away.
Quick Takeaway: Those happy to shop at either Tesco or Sainsbury’s will probably earn higher rewards by shopping at Sainsbury's using the Sainsbury’s Nectar card.
Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card vs. Platinum Cashback Everyday Card by American Express
The Platinum Cashback Everyday card by Amex is one of our favourite rewards cards. Cardholders earn solid ongoing rewards between 0.5% and 1% on all spending and benefit from easy redemption of their rewards, in the form 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.
Quick Takeaway: The Platinum Cashback Everyday is a better all-around rewards card for your general spending. If you're looking for a rewards card specifically to save on your grocery spending at Sainsbury's, the Sainsbury’s Nectars card may provide more long-term value for you.
Sainsbury’s Nectar Credit Card vs. Nectar Credit Card by American Express
The Nectar Credit Card by American Express is a solid everyday rewards card. Cardholders will earn 1% of extra rewards by using the card, not just at Nectar partners but on all general spending. A 1,000 Nectar points each time you spend £40 or more at Sainsbury's with your card, up to 10 times in the first 2 months. welcome bonus makes the Nectar Credit Card particularly appealing in the first year. This bonus is worth £100 to spend at Nectar partners. American Express does require no history of bad debt so only those with a strong credit rating should consider this card.
Quick Takeaway: Those with a healthy credit score and happy to have an American Express card will get more value from the Nectar Credit Card, especially if you plan to use the card on general purchases. One stand-out feature of the Sainsbury’s Nectars card, though, is no interest on new purchases for a period of time, which may be useful to some with any big upcoming purchases.