Nectar loyalty card

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The Nectar logo

Nectar is a loyalty card scheme in the United Kingdom, run by Aimia. The scheme is the largest in the United Kingdom, and comprises a number of partner companies including Sainsbury's and BP. It launched in 2002 with initially four partner companies, and by 2010 had grown to include over 14 companies and over 400 online retailers. Loyalty Management Group established the scheme, replacing the existing schemes of three of the four launch companies, and was purchased by the Canadian Groupe Aeroplan (now Aimia) in 2009.[1]

A separate scheme is also operated by Aimia in Italy, and by Cencosud in Chile.


The Nectar scheme was launched in 2002, merging the existing loyalty programmes of Sainsbury's, BP and Barclaycard, and including Debenhams which did not have an existing scheme. It was run by Loyalty Management Group, then chaired by Sir Keith Mills, the founder of Air Miles.[2] At the time of launch, Nectar confirmed it would be open to more companies to join, excluding rivals of existing members.[3]

By 2010, Nectar claimed that 16.8 million people were part of the scheme, and that it had 14 member companies and over 400 online retailers.[4]


Cardholders receive points on purchases made at participating retailers both instore and online, generally beginning at one point per whole pound spent. Points for fuel at BP and Sainsbury's are awarded for each litre purchased. Extra points may be earned when buying certain products or during particular promotions. A number of other online retailers award points when purchases are made on their websites accessed through the main Nectar website.[1]

Sainsbury's and Homebase shoppers receive 2 points for each whole pound in each transaction. Once 500 points have been accumulated, they can be exchanged for a rebate of £2.50.[5] This equates to a discount of 0.5%. From 11 April 2015, Sainsbury's will be halving the rate that shoppers can accumulate points, to a rate of 1 point per 1 pound spent. Also from this date, customers will no longer receive 1 Nectar point for every carrier bag they re-use.[6]

Nectar receives a payment from each retailer for each point paid to a customer. It then reimburses the retailer when the points are redeemed.[7]


To be eligible to redeem at a given Sainsbury's store, the customer must have collected Nectar points in that store within the previous twelve months, and at least 24 hours earlier. A workaround procedure has since been put in place allowing customers to redeem points at any store. Points may be redeemed at any Argos or Homebase store without the cardholder having shopped in that particular store before, as these retailers operate web-based till systems that can communicate with the Nectar system as and when required. This is in contrast to the Sainsbury's till system, which communicates with Nectar just once per day, during the night, and only downloads cardholder information to a store if the card has been swiped in that store in the past twelve months.[8]

Nectar offers a range of non-cash rewards. Providing the card is used to collect points at least once in any twelve-month period, Nectar points do not expire. This allows cardholders to save up for more expensive rewards, such as Eurostar tickets and money off holidays with Expedia.

The Nectar scheme also offers the ability to discover entertainment activities through the Nectar Entertainment page. These include "staying in" options such as movies, gadgets and games and "going out" activities like days out and tickets.

International schemes[edit]

Aimia launched Nectar in Italy in 2010, with retailers including Auchan and UniEuro.[9]

Current members[edit]

Former members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Nectar... details of the UK coalition loyalty programme". The wise marketer. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "UK to get 'biggest' loyalty card scheme". BBC News. 5 June 2002. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Nectar hopes to keep customers sweet". Working Lunch. 5 June 2002. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Thomas, Joe (8 February 2010). "Sainsbury's claims biggest UK loyalty scheme with Nectar". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  5. ^, (2014). Sainsbury's Money Off | Use Nectar points to save instore at Sainsbury's. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Dec. 2014].
  6. ^ Kollewe, Julia (14 October 2014). "Sainsbury’s halves Nectar reward points to one per pound". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Bridge, Sarah (25 October 2014). "Nectar sees sales and profits rocket due to rise in customers eager for money-saving loyalty points and victory in long-running battle with taxman". Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Nectar Redemption Rules". Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Creevy, Jennifer (11 February 2010). "Nectar programme launches in Italy". Retail Week. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  10. ^ Jokers' Masquerade join Nectar Points
  11. ^ Hall, James (6 February 2011). "Nectar sets its sights on world domination". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  12. ^ Comparison between Nectar and East Coast Rewards Save East Coast Rewards
  13. ^ "Nectar". Vision Express. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  14. ^

External links[edit]