Homebase has announced that it will no longer be part of the Nectar rewards scheme from the end of this year.
The DIY giant is one of Nectar's major retail partners, but its new owners have said they want to focus on price cuts instead. As a result, you'll no longer be able to spend Nectar points at Homebase or earn points on your purchases there.
How Nectar works
Nectar is a hugely popular loyalty scheme, with millions of users across the UK. Unlike Clubcard, which is tied closely with Tesco, Nectar has far more 'senior partner' retailers.
The primary way many people earn their Nectar points is by shopping at Sainsbury's. You get one point for every £1 in-store or online and on Sainsbury’s fuel.
Unfortunately, the rate of return from Nectar is only half as good as Clubcard as each point is only worth 0.5p. So while spending £200 a month at Sainsbury's would see you net the same 2,400 points as with the Clubcard example above, that would only be worth £12 in vouchers to spend at Sainsbury's or with various other Nectar partners.
Like Tesco’s Clubcard scheme you can boost the value of your points with selected partners. You can exchange 1,000 points (£5) for a £10 Merlin attractions voucher for theme parks like Alton Towers and Thorpe Park.
You can also significantly boost your Nectar points collection with the right credit card.
For example, the Nectar Credit Card from American Express will give you an amazing 20,000 points as a welcome bonus when you spend £2,000 on it in the first three months.
On top of that you collect up to four Nectar points for every £1 spent at Nectar partners and two points for virtually every pound spent elsewhere.
You get four points for every £1 spent at Sainsbury's, so that £200 a month translates into 9,600 Nectar points after a year. If you manage to spend enough on the card in the first three months to get the 20,000 bonus Nectar points, that equates to around £148 in vouchers to spend after 12 months.
In other words, Nectar itself is not that generous a loyalty scheme, unless you make use of the right financial product or exchange vouchers for days out to turbo-boost your points collection.
And from the end of December you won't be able to spend your points on DIY either.