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Should you consider a Sainsbury’s credit card if you don’t shop there?

Should you consider a Sainsbury’s credit card if you don’t shop there?
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Sainsbury’s Bank has a strong portfolio of credit cards that often appear in the best buy tables in the balance transfer and 0% interest on purchases categories. However, part of a Sainsbury’s credit card’s appeal is the potential rewards you can gain from the Nectar points scheme.

All Sainsbury’s Bank credit cards currently offer new customers the potential of 7,500 bonus Nectar points. Cardholders can collect 750 bonus Nectar points every time they spend £35 or more on Sainsbury’s shopping, up to ten times in the first two months, equating to 7,500 bonus Nectar points. The cards then offer ongoing rewards, with borrowers able to earn 2 Nectar points for every £1 spent on Sainsbury’s shopping and fuel, or 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.

That, of course, begs the question: If you don’t already shop at Sainsbury’s, is it worth it?

But before we answer that, let’s take a closer look at the Nectar points scheme and how the Sainsbury credit cards could help you along piling up points.

Are the Nectar points worth it?

It’s all well and good reading how many Nectar points you can earn, but what does that actually equate to in value? To break it down, when redeemed in store, 500 points mean £2.50 off your shop, so the headline bonus of 7,500 points equates to £37.50. In order to qualify to receive that initial bonus, you need to spend a minimum of £350 at Sainsbury’s in the first two months.

Then consider the ongoing points: 2 points for every £1 spent means that shoppers who spend £100 in store earn themselves 200 points. For spend elsewhere, you are looking at only earning 20 points for £100 spent.

Most of the rewards in this programme are tied to Sainsbury’s shopping. If you don’t regularly shop there, then you are looking at missing out on the initial bonus offer and won’t benefit much from the ongoing reward scheme. For spend elsewhere, 1 Nectar point for every £5 is relatively low.

Another factor to consider is how you can redeem your rewards. As mentioned, you could use the points in store at Sainsbury’s for money off your shopping, or you could redeem your points at other brands that are part of the Nectar scheme, including Argos, eBay, Vue and Pizza Express. Either way, you are limited to a certain number of brands that are included in the Nectar card scheme.

If I’m not a Sainsbury’s shopper, is it still a good card?

If you put the Nectar rewards programme to one side, then Sainsbury’s does offer competitive deals. You would need to look at the individual offers, but they are often some of the longest interest-free periods on the market.

Then ask yourself how important a reward scheme is in your decision-making process for selecting a card. Are you after the introductory interest-free period on offer or are you after the reward scheme? If you’re not a regular Sainsbury’s shopper or prepared to become one, then you are not really going to benefit from any reward scheme the store currently has.

Should I go for it if I’m not a Sainsbury’s shopper?

Personally, I would say yes. If you are after a card with a long introductory 0% interest period on purchases and Sainsbury’s is offering one of the longest terms, then why should the fact that you won’t earn much in the way of Nectar points stop you? A reward scheme can be a nice bonus, but in this case, it’s not the reason you’re after the card in the first place. A good deal is still a good deal; the Nectar reward points are just an added bonus if you are already a Sainsbury’s shopper.

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