News that Sainsbury’s is scrapping Nectar Double Up for 2021 was a bit disappointing to say the least.
At the same time as announcing the cancellation of Double Up, Sainsbury’s declared it would instead offer loyal shoppers regular savings with the new My Nectar Prices offers.
But what is My Nectar Prices, and is it better than Double Up?
As you probably know the Nectar Double Up was an annual promotion – run in a very tight window ahead of Christmas – which let you swap your points for vouchers worth double their value.
There were rules around Double Up that made it a little complicated – such as that you had to pick what departments you wanted to spend the points ahead of time and you had to spend the vouchers or lose the points altogether.
You were also limited on which Sainsbury’s departments you could actually use the points on. But for those who planned ahead and saved up their points all year, Nectar Double Up was a great chance to save money on things like toys, wine, beauty products and gifts.
I was curious about whether My Nectar Prices would actually add up to a decent saving for me. I shop regularly at Sainsbury’s, as it is our closest supermarket.
It certainly isn’t the cheapest however, with Aldi and Lidl offering far more competitive pricing on the whole.
Sainsbury’s does offer Aldi price match on several of its products, but I find an average shop there is more expensive than Tesco (but cheaper than a trip to Waitrose).
To help you get an idea for what My Nectar Prices is all about I gave it a try on my most recent shop in Sainsbury’s. Here’s everything you need to know about My Nectar Prices.
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What is My Nectar Prices?
My Nectar Prices tailors offers on Sainsbury’s products for Nectar card holders based on their shopping history.
You get personalised discounts on shopping items which you get as long as you shop in store using SmartShop. SmartShop is Sainsbury’s self scanning system – you can access it via an app or using a handheld device you can pick up in the store.
You will need a Nectar card to take advantage of My Nectar Prices.
The offers in My Nectar Prices get updated regularly.
When checking out your offers in your Nectar account online or via the app you’ll be shown the selling price in Beckton supermarket no more than a week before the offer came up, and the My Nectar Prices offer cost.
Because of this prices may fluctuate after your offer has popped up in your app, but Sainsbury’s says you will always pay the lowest price.
Nectar says you can save up to 30% off on handpicked products – which can add up to a saving of £200 a year through the scheme.
How do I use My Nectar Prices to shop in Sainsbury’s?
In order to use My Nectar Prices to your advantage you first need to check what offers are available to you.
You can check those on the Nectar app.
Then you will need to use SmartShop in order to claim those offers. You can do SmartShop with either a handheld device you can pick up at the store entrance, or with an app on your phone. I personally really like the SmartShop phone app – the scanner is speedy and it’s easy to use.
But what this means is you need to download two apps to use My Nectar Prices – bit of a faff in my opinion.
Anyway, here’s a breakdown of how to use My Nectar Prices:
- Download the Nectar and SmartShop apps to your phone.
- Connect your Nectar card account to the apps.
- Check on the Nectar app for your offers – it will be under a section marked “My Nectar Prices” on the home screen of the app.
- Do your shopping list and weekly meal plan, taking into account the offers available to you.
- Head to your local Sainsbury’s and use the SmartShop app to scan the QR code displayed in store (in my local branch it is next to the SmartShop handheld devices).
- Now you can start shopping! Scan barcodes with your SmartShop app (the barcode scanner is very quick).
- Pack as you shop and then checkout at a SmartShop till. The bonus of doing it this way is the queues are always shortest at the SmartShop checkout.
What kind of offers do you get with My Nectar Prices?
The offers you get with My Nectar Prices will vary depending on your shopping history.
Having checked out mine over the last three weeks they do tend to be on things I actually buy regularly, apart from a nail polish offer which really isn’t of any use to me.
Here’s a look at the offers available to me on the Nectar app just to give you an idea of the type of savings – please note your own offers may vary.
As you can see there’s a mixture of Sainsbury’s own and branded products here.
|Product||Normal price||My Nectar Prices offer|
|Sunny Raisin 14x14g||£2||£1.50|
|Sainsbury’s Jubilee Large Vine tomatoes, Taste the Difference 450g||£1.75||£1.31|
|Sainsbury’s British Oak Smoked Wiltshire cured ham, Taste the Difference 120g||£2.75||£2.20|
|Domestos Pink Toilet Bleach 750ml||£1||75p|
|Cravendale Purefilter Semi Skimmed Milk 2l||£1.90||£1.42|
|Hovis Soft Medium Sliced White Bread 800g||£1.10||82p|
|Sainsbury’s Ultra Absorbent Kitchen Towel 2 rolls||£2.50||£1.87|
|My Hair Matters Shampoo 400ml||£1.50||£1.12|
|Sainsbury’s Strawberries, Taste the Difference 400g||£2.75||£2.06|
|Sainsbury’s Cranberry Juice 1l||£1.25||£1|
Is My Nectar Prices worth it?
It’s always great to get a few extra pennies off your shopping and My Nectar Prices is worth using if you already shop at Sainsbury’s anyway. But I have a few issues with My Nectar Prices.
The items that are on the list are pretty limited in my opinion. I get 10 offers whenever I check the app, and one of them is for nail polish! I’ve bought nail polish once or twice in Sainsbury’s but I wouldn’t consider it a staple part of my weekly shop. So having an offer for it is pretty useless for me in terms of saving money, and really I can only think it’s there to get me to spend more on nail polish I don’t need.
Where the items on the list were things I was planning to buy anyway it was definitely worth taking advantage of My Nectar Prices.
However if you do not already shop at Sainsbury’s anyway, and if you do not actually need the items on the My Nectar Prices list, I would say this isn’t the most amazing supermarket loyalty scheme.
It’s great if the items on your My Nectar Prices list were all things you were going to buy anyway, but otherwise it could just encourage you to buy extra stuff you actually didn’t need that week.
Sainsbury’s claims you can save up to £200 a year through the scheme, but this is dependent on you using all of the offers available to you every week. Some weeks you may not need all of the items Sainsbury’s is offering.
If you’re going to use My Nectar Prices then I suggest you check your offers while doing your weekly grocery list and build your meal plan around the items, so that you don’t buy them as extra to what you’re already planning to buy.
Where can you spend Nectar points now that Double Up is cancelled?
So where does that leave your Nectar points? Of course you can still collect them, but the loss of Nectar Double Up means you can’t get more bang for your buck.
You can check your Nectar points value with my Nectar points calculator.
You can still spend your Nectar points in Sainsbury’s, Argos, online with eBay and at other participating retailers. But there’s not many opportunities to give their value a boost.
If you’re a regular visitor to Caffe Nero you may like to redeem your vouchers there, as 350 points will get you a drink of any size – make sure it’s worth more than £1.75 to get better value on the worth of your points.
You can find other Nectar partners and ways to spend on the Nectar site.
A bonus tip for users of the Nectar app – do check your offers which allow you to collect bonus points when picking up selected products. Sainsbury’s usually puts items you have bought before in there, giving you a chance to scoop extra points.