You Can Now Earn Avios with Nectar Points: Here is How it Works
British Airways and Tesco recently ended their partnership which allowed you to buy Avios with Clubcard Points. After a short pause, a new partnership has just been announced – with the Nectar Points scheme owned by Sainsburys.
I’m personally pleased. Not only because Sainsburys is my local supermarket – but I never managed to get the few transfers attempted via the Tesco system to work.
Here is How the Nectar / Avios Deal Works
Signing up for the Nectar points scheme and card is free. You simply head to www.nectar.com and hit the register button. This is a loyalty point scheme, owned and operated by Sainsburys. You can earn points at a lot of different outlets. This includes when buying fuel, food, and durable goods.
Here are some of the highlights of places to earn Nectar points:
- Sainsburys Supermarkets
- Esso Petrol
- Just Eat
Points add up fast, with the number of Nectar points earned varying across the stores. If you take advantage of offers and specials, you can easily double your points, or earn several hundred extra ones. For example, shop at Sainsburys, and you will get a voucher adding 400 (for example) points if you fill your tank with petrol.
While the base rate is 1 point per £1 spent – a little planning could see you double or even triple this number.
Exchanging Your Nectar Points for Avios
The base rate for exchange is 250 Avios per 400 Nectar Points. To make this transfer, you first need to link your Avios log-in with your Nectar points account. This is a one-time process, and after that you can swap points at the click of a button. You can also swap them the other way around… as a travel-focused website, I really have trouble recommending swapping valuable travel opportunities for mere groceries!
There are some introductory bonuses. If you swap 1600 Nectar Points the first time you use this system, then you get an additional 500 Avios in addition to the 1000 you would normally receive. This offer runs until the 14th of February 2021/
This setup is new, and I am sure there will be many more bonuses and incentives to keep things fresh and generate some much-needed publicity when things settle down.
Get More Nectar: This is the real incentive to exchange early. After you make your 1600 exchange, you earn double points at Sainsburys until the 19th of April.
How Best to Use Your Avios?
Once you collect Avios, the next step is to decide how to get the best value from them?
You will be surprised how quickly they add up to complimentary seats – especially if you are flying short-hall. With long-hall flights, especially those from Heathrow to the USA, the taxes and fees make up a huge proportion of the cost of the flight. To get even better value, you can wait for special sales for Avios points holders.
There are websites including seat spy which highlight flights with value seats for Avios. These have both free and paid services.
To get a great idea on availability, you can use the Avios seat finder, inside the BA.com website. There are a limited number of seats available on each flight – with business and first-class flights only available where demand is lower. This means that it pays to plan ahead with your Avios flights, and to book as early as possible.
Nectar, Avios and Amex
You can give your free flights an extra boost by combining collecting points on your Nectar card and the BA Amex credit card. This gives you 1.5% returns in Avios – on top of the points exchange outlined above. Keep in mind that you 100% need to pay off your balance every month. The interest rate if you don’t is huge – big enough to completely negate any benefits in terms of those complimentary seats.
Wrapping Up: Actions to Take Now
If you don’t already have a Nectar and Avios / BA account, then your immediate next step is to sign-up for them. Even if you don’t always shop at Sainsburys or their list of outlets, you might as well collect points when and if you do.
Get that first exchange done for the 14th of Feb, and you will get the (admittedly odd) valentines’ gift of 500 extra Avios and double points at Sainsburys until the 19th April.
Points add up fast, and as a member of the BA executive club, you will get special offers and previews on sales before they hit the mass market.
Get flying regularly, and I will look forward to seeing you in the BA lounges next time we both cash in our Avios for a flight from Heathrow.
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