Yesterday I ran an updated version of one of the more mind-boggling posts I have ever run on Head for Points which discusses how to maximise your Avios points when buying petrol.
This is fine for earning Avios, but what about earning Virgin Flying Club miles?
Virgin has its own partnership with Texaco. You can find details here.
Texaco’s loyalty scheme is called Star Rewards. You earn 1 Star Rewards point for every 1 litre of fuel you purchase, and these can be transferred to Virgin Flying Club at the rate of 1:1, in multiples of 1,000.
Is this a good deal? For comparison, 1,000 Star Rewards points will also get you a £10 Texaco, Argos or M&S voucher. You are therefore effectively paying 1p per Virgin mile, so you need to value them at more than this for it to be worthwhile.
Texaco Star Rewards is, frankly, knocked into a hat by the Tesco options.
Via Texaco, you are effectively getting 1 Virgin mile for every £1 spent on petrol (the average price of 1 litre of unleaded).
Stripping out the impact of how you pay, this is substantially poorer than the 2.5 Virgin Flying Club miles per £1 spent at a Tesco garage when you use a Tesco MasterCard as a Clubcard.
(If you want to know why you should use a Tesco MasterCard credit card as a Clubcard – but not as a payment card – then you need to look at my piece from yesterday.)
It is also poorer than most of the other ways of earning Clubcard points on petrol:
1.25 Virgin miles per £1 spent at a Tesco-branded filling station (ie 1 Clubcard point per £2 spent, based on swiping a normal Clubcard not asking for your Tesco MasterCard to be treated as a Clubcard)
1.25 Virgin miles per £1 spent at any participating Esso filling station which does NOT have a Tesco convenience store attached (technically 1 CC point for every 2 litres of fuel purchased, based on £1.00 per litre)
0.83 Virgin miles per £1 spent at an Esso filling station which has a Tesco convenience store attached (1 CC point per £3 spent). Full details of the Esso earning rates are here.
And all of this ignores the fact that Texaco points can only be converted in chunks of 1,000 litres of petrol, which is a lot of trips to the garage. Using your Texaco points for retail gift vouchers only requires 500 points.
(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)