Major British Airways update: Airline partners with Nectar Card to convert points to Avios

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“Everyday spending can quickly become a flight, upgrade or hotel stay giving members of Nectar and the Executive Club something to look forward to after a difficult last year.”

Adam Daniels, CEO of Avios, said: “Like Nectar, we pride ourselves on working with a wide range of partners for the benefit of our members, so working together was a natural step.

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“Nectar will join hundreds of partners who all offer a whole host of exciting and varied ways to collect and spend Avios.”

Rob Burgess, Editor of the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website, www.headforpoints.com 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 Café 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. 

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With a straightforward conversion rate of 0.8p of Nectar points per 1 Avios point, this new arrangement knocks most other Avios redemptions out of the park.  In fact, we are concerned that 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.

Head for Points has had a look at some conversion and redemption opportunities.  For example, you can convert 219 Avios into 350 Nectar points which will get you any hot or iced drink, pf any size, at Café Nero.  With a Caramel Latte coming in at £3.30, you’ll be getting a whopping 1.51p return per Avios!

There are some odd arbitrage opportunities too.  For example, the Nectar American Express credit card earns 2 Nectar points per £1, which now convert into 1.25 Avios.  This is better than the free British Airways American Express credit card, which only earns 1 Avios point per £1.

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The weak spot, ironically, 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.”  

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A recent British Airways data breach means customers could get £2,000 each.

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