Sainsbury’s Credit Cards
Sainsbury’s lays claim to being the first supermarket bank in the UK. Launched in February 1997, Sainsbury’s Bank led the way for others such as Tesco Personal Finance. But it wasn’t until January 2014 that Sainsbury’s took over full ownership of the bank.
Since its conception, the bank has been a regular on the top of the best buy tables. Spurred on by its competition with Tesco, Sainsbury’s Bank has been known to offer some of the longest introductory offers around. And it’s not just the interest-free deals that its known for. Its credit cards also include access to the popular Nectar point reward scheme.
What does Sainsbury’s Bank do well?
If you are on the hunt for a competitive interest-free introductory offer, then the likelihood is you will have come across a Sainsbury’s Bank credit card. Whether it’s purchases or balance transfers, Sainsbury’s has some of the longest interest-free deals available.
However, it is its balance transfer credit card portfolio which is particularly impressive. Here Sainsbury’s not only offers some of the longest interest-free periods around, but it also has different fee options. These offers range from a standard balance transfer fee — which offers the longest 0% balance transfer deal on offer from the bank — to the low balance transfer fee card and the no fee balance transfer card. While the introductory periods on the latter two cards may be slightly less, they are still a decent period of time and give borrowers the option to save money on that upfront balance transfer cost.
Another positive of Sainsbury’s Bank credit card is that almost all of them offer something in the way of 0% on purchases. Not surprisingly, the balance transfer cards have shorter 0% purchases periods, but having both interest-free offers on one card can be useful. And with the purchase and dual offer cards, the deals at Sainsbury’s Bank are once again some of the best on the market.
And of course there is Sainsbury’s unique selling point of the Nectar point reward scheme. This enables cardholders to earn points on all their shopping — although it’s notable that the rewards are much richer when you’re shopping at the supermarket itself. Points can then be used in the form of vouchers for things such as days out, meals out or at retailers attached to the scheme.
Where Sainsbury’s stands out from its competitors is its generous welcome awards tied to the Nectar reward schemes. Most of the cards in its portfolio offer some sort of welcome bonus for new customers, subject to qualifying spend requirements.
Where does Sainsbury’s Bank fall down?
Sainsbury’s Bank doesn’t really cater for those with a less than perfect credit score. Almost of all its cards require you to have a good or excellent credit score. Similarly, its rewards are skewed towards attracting new customers, so if you are an existing Sainsbury’s credit card customer looking to find a new deal, you are unlikely to benefit from what the bank is offering.
While you will be hard pushed to find more competitive interest-free balance transfer and purchase deals, Sainsbury’s Bank does not venture into money transfer offers. In fact, its money transfer rate and money transfer fee are on the higher side, so this feature may be something to avoid using with your Sainsbury’s credit card.
While the Nectar point reward scheme is popular, it does have its drawbacks. How you accrue points is very much weighted towards spend at the supermarket, with your point yield being significantly lower for spending elsewhere. Similarly, you may have to wait 60 days from your credit card statement date for the points to be credited to your Nectar account. Then, when you are able to use your points, you can only do so with specific partners and retailers.
Also it is best to look beyond the headline offer, especially if your credit score isn’t on the high end. Sainsbury’s will often lead with an introductory offer, but it will become clear in the text that you could be offered a shorter interest-free period depending on your individual circumstances. There is no guarantee that you will end up with the best buy headline deal that you initially see.
What will you find in Sainsbury’s Bank card portfolio?
If you are after a competitive interest-free deal, or a low or no fee balance transfer offer, then Sainsbury’s Bank credit cards will have you covered. The supermarket bank offers a trio of balance transfer cards which cover all bases, plus 0% on purchases and dual offer cards which have some of the longest interest-free offers on the market. Whatever your borrowing needs, the likelihood is that you will find something to suit you amongst what Sainsbury’s Bank has to offer.
If you are looking for large rewards, it would pay to be a Sainsbury’s shopper. The welcome award and the whole rewards scheme is very much skewed towards those who already frequent the supermarket. If you are not a Sainsbury’s shopper then you may not feel the full benefit of what the card has to offer.
How to apply
You can apply online, or you can call Sainsbury’s Bank and provide the code that is specific to the card you are interested in to the operator. These can be found on the bank’s website.
If you already have a Nectar card you will be asked to provide your Nectar card number during the application process.
You will also need to provide a mobile number and email address, as well as your personal details, residential address and details of your annual income.