Nectar points from Sainsbury's shopping can be turned into Avios
Sainsbury's shoppers will be able to swap their groceries for getaways under a new tie-up announced between the supermarket's Nectar scheme and British Airways.
From 25 January, Nectar customers can swap points for Avios air miles, with 400 Nectar points converted into 250 Avios ones.
The supermarket scheme is also running a one-off welcome bonus where customers earn 500 extra Avios after converting 1,600 Nectar points, giving them 1,500 air miles.
The announcement of the new tie-up comes days after British Airways ended its partnership with Tesco Clubcard, with shoppers at Britain's biggest supermarket no longer able to swap their Clubcard points for Avios points.
However, the new scheme is not quite as generous. Tesco shoppers were able to convert £2.50 worth of Clubcard vouchers into 600 Avios points at a rate of 2.4 Avios per Clubcard point.
But the Nectar conversion rate of 400 points into 250 Avios works out at around 0.625 Avios per Nectar point, despite them being earned through supermarket shopping at the same rate.
However, 'Sainsbury's is more generous than Tesco with bonus point offers', Rob Burgess, editor of frequent flyer website Head for Points points out.
Nectar customers earn one point for every £1 spent with Sainsbury's and one point for every litre of fuel bought at Esso and Sainsbury's petrol stations.
But the conversion rate is still slightly more generous than alternative uses for Nectar points. As well as British Airways, Nectar customers can put their points towards vouchers with Argos, Caffe Nero eBay, Eurostar and Sainsbury's itself.
Most of the time shoppers get £2.50 worth of vouchers for 500 points, meaning the 0.625 Avios per point rate is 25 per cent more generous than the rate Nectar customers would get if they swapped their points for Argos, eBay or Sainsbury's vouchers.
Avios customers can also convert their air miles into Nectar points, at a rate of 0.8p per Avios, according to Burgess.
'This is an extremely positive change for Avios collectors', he said. '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.
'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.'
Burgess concluded: '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.'