Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Nectar collectors will be able to convert points to Avios

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Nectar and British Airways have teamed up to allow shoppers to convert their points into Avios.

From Monday 25 January, 18 million Nectar cardholders who can collect points via 300+ participating retailers, will be able to convert them into Avios to redeem through the British Airways Executive Club against flights, upgrades, hotel stays, car hire and more.

The partnership comes just days after the British Airways and Tesco partnership ended, meaning Clubcard holders can no longer convert their points into Avios.

Details of the new Nectar Avios scheme

Shoppers at Sainsbury’s, Argos, eBay and Caffé Nero to name a few, can collect Nectar points, though the amount you’ll receive depends on the retailer. There are 400+ retailers to collect and spend points at – see the full Nectar partner list.

You’ll need 400 Nectar points to convert into 250 Avios, with 4,000 Avios eligible to redeem against a flight to Amsterdam (taxes and charges on top though).

The conversion works both ways so customers can also change 250 Avios into 400 Nectar points.

As part of the launch, customers will receive a one-off bonus of 500 Avios when they convert 1,600 Nectar points by 14 February, and for Sainsbury’s shoppers, they’ll receive double the usual Nectar points until 19 April 2021.

To convert points, shoppers need to link their Nectar and British Airways Executive Club accounts. If you’re new to either scheme, you can join both for free.

Avios don’t expire as long as members collect, use or buy at least one Avios every 36 months. If customers change their mind about a flight, they won’t lose their Avios as changes or cancellations can be made up to 24 hours before a flight for a small fee.

How good is the new Nectar Avios Scheme?

For most online spends, you’ll earn two points for each £1 spent, though at Sainsbury’s, it’s one point per £1 spend, for instance.

The majority of redemptions equals 0.5p per Nectar point so based on 400 Nectar points, it works out as £2 for 250 Avios so one Avios equals 0.8p.

Rob Burgess, editor of frequent flyer website Headforpoints, said: “This is an extremely positive change for Avios collectors. Not only can they continue to collect Avios when they do their supermarket shopping, they can also, should they wish, use the generous conversion rate to spend their Avios at Sainsbury’s and with other Nectar partners, including Caffé Nero, Esso, eBay and Argos.

“Given the lack of opportunity to fly right now, those sitting on large pots of Avios now find they have an abundance of uses for their points.  This will be particularly attractive to anyone who is Avios rich but currently cash poor.

“With a straightforward conversion rate of 0.8p of Nectar points per one Avios point, this new arrangement knocks most other Avios redemptions out of the park. In fact, we are concerned it may be too generous, with British Airways still offering only 0.5p per Avios when you use your points to part-pay for a BA flight, paid seating, car hire or hotels.”

Burgess added that the “weak spot” is earning Avios in Sainsbury’s itself.

“The previous Tesco partnership earned 2.4 Avios per £1 if you converted your Clubcard points. The new Sainsbury’s deal earns just 0.625 Avios per £1 if you convert your Nectar points, although Sainsbury’s is more generous than Tesco with bonus point offers.

“All in all, we see this as good news for both Avios and Nectar collectors. Both groups now have additional ways to earn and spend their points,” he said.