Nectar loyalty card
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.
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. At the time of launch, Nectar confirmed it would be open to more companies to join, excluding rivals of existing members.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Nectar receives a payment from each retailer for each point paid to a customer. It then reimburses the retailer when the points are redeemed.
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.
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.
Other members (in the order they joined):
Points can also be collected for purchases from the following via the Nectar online store:
- Vision Express (removed from 1 January 2015)
- Amazon (removed on 1 February 2013)
- Barclaycard (was a launch member, however membership ended on 31 August 2005)
- EDF Energy (stopped issuing Nectar points as of 31 December 2010)
- Debenhams (was a launch member, however membership ended on 15 February 2008)
- ebookers (membership ended on 1 June 2009)
- Gala Bingo (membership ended on 1 June 2010)
- TalkTalk (membership ended on 31 August 2009)
- Winemark (Northern Ireland only)
- Dollond & Aitchison
- Brewers Fayre (membership ended on 1 Feb 2011)
- Beefeater (membership ended on 31 January 2011)
- Table Table (left scheme on 31 January 2011)
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