Boost Your Points With A Loyalty Credit Card

If you are serious about maximising your Clubcard or Nectar points, you may want to switch to a credit or charge card that also earns points.

There are four cards that you could consider getting – two are American Express cards and two are Mastercard.  You should consider getting both an American Express and (because Amex is not accepted everywhere) Visa or Mastercard for your purse or wallet.

Please remember that you should only consider getting one of these cards if you clear your balance promptly every month and do not pay any interest to your card issuer.

These cards are not designed for people who pay interest on their credit card balances because the interest rates are not competitive.  This page of the Moneyfacts site shows more suitable ‘low interest rate’ products if you search by ‘Low Standard Rate’.

If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here to get your free Experian Credit Score.

Here are details of the four Clubcard and Nectar cards you can get:

 

Nectar 185

Option 1:  The American Express Nectar credit card

Key link:  American Express Nectar card home page

The American Express Nectar credit card comes with a sign-up bonus of 20,000 Nectar points!  These will be deposited directly into your Nectar account.

As the card is FREE for the first year, and you can cancel at any time, this is an excellent offer.

You need to spend £2,000 within the first six months of having the card to receive the bonus.

The interest rate on this card is high and I would strongly encourage you not to apply if you do not clear your balance in full each month.

The card has a £25 annual fee but is FREE for the first year.

The representative APR is 27.3% variable when you factor in the annual fee, assuming a credit limit of £1,200. The representative APR for purchases is 22.2% variable.

The earnings rate is very attractive.  You earn 2 Nectar points for every £1 you spend.  The website says that you will earn 4 Nectar points per £1 at ‘Nectar partners’ but this is not really true – they are adding together the 2 points from the credit card plus the 2 standard Nectar points per £1 that you would earn anyway at Sainsburys etc.

Further details and the application form for the American Express Nectar credit card can be found here.

 

Amex 185

Option 2:  The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card

Key linkAmerican Express Preferred Rewards Gold home page

The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card comes with a sign-up bonus of 10,000 Nectar points!  Technically, you will receive 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points, but these can be converted to Nectar points at a ratio of 1:1 via the Amex website.

As with the Nectar card above, Amex Gold is FREE for the first year and you can cancel at any time.

You need to spend £3,000 within the first six months of having the card to receive the bonus.

The card is free for the first year.  After that, there is a charge of £140 per year, so I would strongly recommend cancelling it at the end of your first year if you don’t see substantial value after that.

The earnings rate is not as attractive as the official Nectar Amex card featured above.  You earn 1 Nectar points (assuming you convert your Membership Rewards points to Nectar) for every £1 you spend, with double points for every £1 you spend outside the UK.  One extra benefit, however, is two free airport lounge passes.

The representative APR is 56.6% variable including the annual fee (free in year 1) based on a notional £1,200 credit limit.  The interest rate on purchases is 22.2% APR variable.

Further details and the application form for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card can be found here.

 

Tesco Mastercard

Option 3:  The Tesco Clubcard Mastercard

Key link:  Tesco Clubcard Mastercard home page

The Tesco Mastercard is a potential card to use at places where American Express is not accepted (mainly smaller shops).

There are various versions of this card depending on the features you want.

The card has no annual fee.  The representative APR is 19.9% variable on the core ‘Purchases’ card but may vary on other versions.

The earnings rate is average.  You earn 1 Clubcard point for every £8 you spend, with each transaction rounded down to the nearest £8.  Spend at Tesco earns 1 point for every £4 spent.

 

Amex 185

Option 4:  The Sainsbury’s Nectar Mastercard

Key link:  Sainsbury’s Nectar credit card home page

Sainsbury’s Bank issues a Nectar Mastercard credit card.

The card has no annual fee.  The representative APR is 20.9% variable.

The earnings rate on this card is poor and I do not recommend it for the long term.  You receive just one Nectar point per £5 charged to your credit card – a return of just 0.1p per £1 spent.  You will actually receive even less than this, since each transaction is rounded down to the nearest £5.  A £4.99 transactions does not earn any points, for example.  The earning rate for transactions in Sainsbury’s is substantially better at 2 points per £1 spent, equivalent to a 1% return. 

The sign-up offer varies, but as at 1st May 2020 it was offering 750 bonus points each time you spend £35 or more on Sainsbury’s shopping with your credit card, up to ten times in your first two months.  The maximum bonus is therefore 7,500 Nectar points, worth £37.50.

Further details and the application form for the Sainsbury’s Bank Nectar Mastercard can be found here.