Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.
Given that this is InsideFlyer rather than InsideNectar, the primary interest in the new BA/Nectar partnership for many readers is naturally on transferring Nectar Points across to Avios. There are good reasons though to consider doing the exact opposite, transferring your Avios stash across to Nectar.
As a quick recap: 250 Avios transfers to 400 Nectar Points. Nectar Points are worth (a minimum) of 0.5p each when redeemed at retailers like Sainsbury’s, Argos and eBay.Therefore, you have the option of getting 0.8p of value per Avios (via Nectar) when buying just about anything.
I recently estimated that Avios today are worth between 0.8-1p each, so if I value Avios slightly higher than the equivalent amount of Nectar Points, why would I suggest transferring in the other direction? There are a few reasons:
You may not have noticed, but there’s a global pandemic going on – and international travel isn’t going to be back on the agenda for most people for some time. Being able to get real value from your points today is much more tangible than the possibility of a flight sometime in the vague future. Given the range of retailers you can redeem Nectar Points at, they are almost as good as cold hard cash.
It is also, sadly, the case that many peoples’ circumstances have changed as a result of COVID-19. Whether the impact on your life has primarily related to your finances, health, or caring responsibilities, etc, your priorities might well be different now.
Historically, Nectar has run regular ‘double up’ promotions. which would in theory boost the value of transferring Avios from 0.8p to 1.6p. The restrictions on what you can buy tend to reduce the ‘real’ value quite a bit, but it’s still potentially an attractive option. Perhaps an even better one though is to take advantage of Nectar offers for things like cinema and restaurant vouchers, which can generate excellent value.
For example, back in 2019 I transferred 55,000 Amex Points (equivalent to 55,000 Avios) to Nectar, in order to get £550 worth of rail vouchers. If the Avios/Nectar partnership had existed at the time and I transferred the same amount of Amex Points first to Avios and then over to Nectar, I would have ended up with £880 worth of rail vouchers instead!
Whether those types of promotions will crop up as frequently as they used to remains to be seen, but I’m optimistic.
Irrespective of the current situation with COVID-19, one of the things we try to do here at InsideFlyer is to encourage people to think more flexibly about points and miles. It’s easy to become fixated on one or two programmes, when there might actually be much better options in terms of overall value for your travel plans.
With a few exceptions, Avios aren’t usually the best option for long haul flying, regardless of which cabin you want to fly in. You could use the cash saved from transferring Avios to Nectar, to buy other miles that actually suit your travel requirements better (eg. the recent Alaska Miles sale). Or, simply use the money to pay cash fares – which will very likely be excellent for a couple of years.
Sometimes using Avios for flights can be fantastic and save you a lot of money. Being able to supplement your Avios stockpile with Nectar Points is undoubtedly a useful option. Increasingly though, I’m beginning to think that the biggest value from the new partnership might actually flow in the other direction…
Are you more tempted to transfer Avios to Nectar, or Nectar Points to Avios?