Last Updated on 27 July 2022 by Dan
Hello everyone! Last year I ended up making more use of Sainsburys for my weekly grocery shop than I have done in the past, so throughout the year I’ve been building up those points on my Nectar card.
I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way about how to maximise those points as I go, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned with you today!
(Oh, and check out our guide to all of the Supermarket Loyalty Schemes and see where Nectar comes out!)
What are Nectar points and what is the usual earnings rate?
Nectar points are Sainsbury’s loyalty scheme, and get 1 point per £ of spending which are worth 0.5p each.
So if you didn’t follow any of the tips below and just did your weekly shop, this basic rate is what you’d earn.
Let’s boost this further!
Ways I recommend to maximise Nectar points
Download the Nectar App and get a regular bonus
The Nectar App is the secret to a lot of Nectar boost tips. The first and easiest is to download the App and link your Nectar card. This is one of the few cases where I’d recommend also allowing the app to send you notifications, as you’ll get a heads up to some of those earning opportunities.
After you’ve done a shop with your Nectar card you’ll get an instant notification that points have been added to your account – but there’s a random (and I’ve found actually fairly frequent) chance that you’ll get a virtual scratchcard which will offer you the chance to win extra points.
These are usually only between 5 and 30, but that’s still the equivalent of an extra £5-£30 worth of shopping to earn that so it’s not bad – especially when you do it each time.
Accept offers on the Nectar App
Now we get into the bigger earners. Each Thursday the Nectar App will send you a collection of offers for specific products, nearly always Sainsbury’s own brand items.
You need to opt in for these to apply – simply click the weekly offers button on the Nectar home page. Each offer will have an accept button below but just scroll right to the bottom and choose to save all offers. You don’t get penalised in any way if you don’t buy the thing, so you may as well accept them all in case you do.
The offers are valid for a week and if you buy that item you’ll earn a specific number of extra Nectar points. However these are quite generous and substantial – a packet of mushrooms and some chicken breasts got me an extra 150 points. Start stacking these up and pull in 400-500 extra points a shop, which actually becomes some decent cashback fast.
What’s nice about these offers is that they’re tailored for you as well – they’re using your shopping history to target what you’ve bought so it’s quite likely that they’re going to relate to products you’ll be buying anyhow.
And just occasionally, you’ll get a “3x/4x/5x” Nectar points on your whole shop offer which is well worth having!
It’s the opting in bit most people miss, so make sure you do.
Bonus – To really rack up the points, do your big shop on a Monday night. It’s the point at which your new offers for the next week and any expiring offers intersect, so you’ve got the most chances to gain!
Also accept Partner offers in the Nectar App
It’s not just spending at Sainsbury’s which can benefit from offers found within the Nectar App – there’s a separate section where you can opt into offers from third parties as well.
Esso particularly tends to benefit from a number of offers appearing, so if you’re spending anywhere with a Nectar affiliation, it’s well worth opting in.
I’m showing a picture of the relevant section on the Nectar app to click on to demonstrate where to look (note you can also do this through the website as well).
Watch the printer by the till for coupons
Sometimes when you pay with Nectar you’ll get an extra offer via a small machine by the till printing out a coupon which usually contains an offer similar to the above. I don’t see this happen so often any more, but as these can tend to be of the 3x/4x/5x point bonus when shopping it’s worth keeping an eye out.
Get extra Nectar points with your Petrol at Esso
If you’re stopping off at an Esso to fill up remember to swipe your Nectar card there, as you’ll get a point per litre of fuel. If you’re doing a big fill up, that’s instantly quite a few point!
Link your Nectar account to Ebay
If you regularly Ebay you can link your Nectar card to your account and earn an extra point per £1 when shopping there. At time of writing, Nectar are also offering a 250 point bonus for doing that linkage (via the Nectar app again).
Keep an eye out for Sainsbury’s Specials
There’s just occasionally some really good offers from Sainsbury’s when they want to promote something new – I got a cool 1000 points for trying out paying for my shopping using SmartShop for instance. £5 for something very easy was well worth it.
Another regular is “The Great Fruit and Veg” challenge where opting in provides you with some fairly general bonus Nectar points on purchases of fruit and vegetables in store.
Link your card to Nectar Connect
Of all the linked services, we’ve made the most extra Nectar points from.
Nectar Connect provides extra points from other brands when opted into and gives you Nectar points on a per pound spend with them. It’s a bit of a pain because you have to keep opting into offers, but because places that you’re actually quite likely to spend frequently come up with offers it can be very beneficial.
I think Nectar Connect is particularly worth some attention, so I wrote a separate blog post focusing on Nectar Connect here.
Ways to maximise Nectar points I DON’T recommend.
When searching to boost Nectar points you may see a couple of other promotions or ideas that I actively don’t recommend. They’re usually decent schemes, but I don’t recommend them simply because you can do better with other options.
Sometimes this is because it simply represents better value, and sometimes it’s because you can get the same payout in cash, which is always better that points that tie you in a little bit more to what you spend and can have their value charge.
Shopping through the Nectar portal:
You’ll see you can obtain bonus Nectar points by doing online shopping through the Nectar portal, which will provide you with x number of Nectar points per £ spent, which is usually pretty generous.
Again, these payout rates are good but they always either only match or are not as good as what you can get via TopCashback or QuidCo, where you get cash (better than Nectar) for shopping in exactly the same way as this Sainsbury’s scheme by shopping through a link.
Using TopCashback and QuidCo is one of my favourite easy moneysaving tips that really makes a difference (I’ve made over £1,000 from it). You can read my full guide to using TopCashback here, and my guide to using QuidCo here.
If you’ve come across any other ways to boost Nectar points or have a question on one of the methods please do let me know! Just pop a note in the comments below.
(Oh, and a reminder to check out our guide to all of the Supermarket Loyalty Schemes!)