From looking out for short-term Sainsbury's promotions to filling up your car at the right fuel station, there are loads of ways you can boost your Nectar points haul. Here are our top tips for making the most of this popular loyalty scheme.
Watch out for Nectar points boost promotions
From time to time, Nectar will run various short term promotions where you can earn bonus Nectar points while you shop.
Some of these can be extremely generous, such as the hugely popular Double Up events that allow you to earn twice as many points as usual, which tend to run later on in the year.
However, there are also various smaller promotions that can earn you hundreds of extra points, such as the one that's just launched this week.
Until 28 June, Sainsbury’s is running a big fruit and veg promotion aimed at getting people to buy healthier food with the promise of extra Nectar points when they do.
While it is possible to bag the extra points both online and in-store, you will need to use the Nectar app to collect them.
On the app, each customer is set a personalised fruit and veg target, based on their usual shopping habits.
They then earn points as they get towards that target, with the opportunity overall to bag more than 750 Nectar points.
You can also earn badges based on purchasing portions of specific fruit and veg, and with each badge, you’ll collect additional Nectar points.
Note that some items are excluded if they don't actually contribute to your recommended five fruit & veg portions a day.
These include potatoes, yams, plantain, cassava, baked beans, coconut, garlic, chillies, ginger, herbs and fruit juice.
Any points you rack up will be paid out within 28 days of the promotions ending.
Get tailored offers through the app
It's worth noting that the Nectar card loyalty scheme was revamped in 2019, meaning you could potentially save more on your Sainsbury's shopping.
The free-to-join scheme still allows you to pick up one point per £1 spent in-store and online at Sainsbury’s stores, but you can now get weekly one-off, limited time offers, based on what you buy most frequently. Importantly, those offers aren’t limited to Sainsbury’s either ‒ you’ll get personalised deals from other Nectar members like eBay, Argos and Esso too.
You can save the offers you like and ignore the ones you don’t, so you get more relevant offers (and help Sainsbury's learn more about your spending preferences, of course).
Crucially, your offers can only be viewed through the website or app.
As part of the shakeup, you can now also leave your physical Nectar card at home and simply scan using the app on your phone (it's available on both Apple and Play stores).
How many points can I earn?
This all depends on your shopping habits as promotions are tacked on to items you might be interested in.
To give you a rough idea of what you could save, MoneySavingExpert wrote about how one of their writers was offered 20 bonus Nectar points when buying Sainsbury's fishcakes.
So the savings could be fairly significant if used regularly.
And ultimately, it seems that's what the new changes are about: getting more people spending regularly through their app in particular.
Fill up for less
Where you fill up your car can also have a big impact on the size of your Nectar point balance.
If you go to a Sainsbury’s garage for example, you’ll earn one point for every £1 you spend on fuel.
You aren’t limited to Sainsbury’s forecourts either, as you can also pick up Nectar points at Esso. At the moment you get 500 points for your first trip to the pump, and then on your second, fourth and sixth fills of at least 30 litres, you’ll get double, quadruple and then six times the usual amount of points.
Keep an eye out for short-term promotions
Every now and then Sainsbury's will run promotions where you can save big on fuel.
The catch is you need to spend a set amount in Sainsbury's to qualify, but you can save up to 10p a litre on fuel as a result.
These promotions don't tend to last very long and you only get a few days' notice before they launch, so you need to act fast when you see them pop up.
We'll generally let our newsletter readers know when one's about to launch, so if you've not done so, consider signing up.
If you want to save even more when you fill up, read our guide to getting cheap petrol or diesel.
Rack up Nectar points with reward credit cards
There are a host of credit cards tied into the Nectar scheme that allow you to build up your points total, no matter where you spend your money.
The Nectar Credit Card is a perfect example. It’s an excellent all round credit card in its own right, with 17-month 0% periods on both purchases and balance transfers. But the big selling point is how you can build up your Nectar points with it.
You get three points per £1 spent at Sainsbury’s, Argos, Habitat and Tu Clothing, as well as one point for every £5 you spend elsewhere.
What’s more, spend a total of £400 at any of those stores within the first two months of card ownership and you’ll pocket 10,000 bonus points.
Bear in mind that this is a rewards credit card, so you'll need to be able to pay it off in full each month to avoid hefty interest charges
Take advantage of sales
Of course, you can save a fair amount to staying on top of sales and discounts.
Sainsbury's has previously run sales for specific areas such as baby care products.
Keep an eye on loveMONEY's daily newsletter and our weekly roundup of top supermarket deals to ensure you're not missing out.
Bank with Sainsbury’s
Aside from credit cards, Sainsbury’s Bank offers a number of financial products, including home insurance, pet insurance, car insurance and life insurance.
If you take out one of these products, you can get double Nectar points on your shopping and fuel at Sainsbury’s.
This applies until you cancel your policy, miss a payment or don’t renew your policy with the same level of cover.
The more products you take out, the more you can boost your points, but it’s almost certainly not worth taking out such a product just for the sake of extra Nectar points.
Make sure you shop around for the best insurance policy, irrespective of whether you get extra Nectar points on top.
Book a holiday
Book your holiday with Expedia and you will get a bunch of Nectar points.
You'll get two Nectar points for every £1 spent on package bookings, hotels, car hire or activity via Nectar’s dedicated Expedia page, and one point per £1 spent on any individual flight.
You must visit the Nectar page (either on your phone or computer) and select the dedicated Expedia page to access the site. Going direct to Expedia will no longer earn you Nectar points.
If you're a frequent traveller, consider joining a frequent flyer scheme, so you can earn points even on flights booked through Expedia; you just need your name on the ticket.
Also look at rewards credit cards that have specific travel perks as these may have a better earnings rate than the Nectar or Clubcard schemes.
Travel by train
You can earn Nectar points when you book train tickets with Great Western Railway (GWR).
With GWR, you get two points for every £1 spent on tickets bought online, 50 points for the online purchase or renewal of a weekly season ticket and 200 points for the online purchase or renewal of a monthly season ticket.
For annual season tickets, you'll collect 2,500 points.
You can even collect Nectar points with your next takeaway. Ordering through Just Eat gives you one point for every £1 spent, making that chicken jalfrezi taste extra good.
Use Nectar eShops
You can collect Nectar points on your online shopping, in much the same way that you can earn cashback from sites like Quidco.
Just go to the Nectar eShop website, search for the brand that you want to shop with, then follow the link over to that retailer.
Your transaction will be tracked and you'll get points back based on your purchases.
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