More petrol – is Virgin / Texaco better than earning Flying Club miles via Tesco petrol?

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 TexacoYou 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.

Texaco Star Rewards

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.)

Bits: bad news as Lloyds tries to buy MBNA, bad news as Regus culls Gold cards
PhD Avios: Which is the best way to collect Avios when buying petrol?
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  1. Genghis says:

    Every little helps. Oh wait… What’s the strap line for Morrisons?

  2. Tilly71 says:

    If I had a Tesco or Esso fuel station less than 20 miles away I would be using them everytime for points, as I don’t it’s more economical for me to use my local Shell for avios and Texaco for VA miles, I’ve checked on petrol prices.Com and found both to be competitive for my local area.

  3. Penguindonkey says:

    I find that with at least some shell stations I still get double points on fuel with my Amex Gold card + Avios with the Shell card. One reason why I haven’t switched to platinum.

    I have no idea why this is

  4. You also get another 1p/litre back in More points.

  5. I can remember when Air Miles first started in 1988. I had been driving 120 miles per day to work which stopped as soon as I could earn Air Miles. I did get a lot of glasses though!
    The Barclaycard gifts catalogue was a handsome hard back book and I believe included balloon rides.
    I also had one of the first Barclaycards and used those strange cheque-like vouchers for ATM machines.

    • Charlie says:

      What do you mean a lot of glasses?

      Anyway in a shoe box somewhere I have a Virgin Freeway brochure which I collected from a trip to New York in 1990, I think Freeway preceded Flying Club. Anyway this too had balloon rides on it as a redemption option.

  6. This does not take into account the quality of the fuel you are receiving, which can impact the lifespan of your cars engine. Supermarkets can sell fuel cheaper as they buy it without “additives” (think Vitamins for your engine) that keep it clean and working efficiently. I’m not talking about the premium V-Power and equivalents that you can buy at branded stations, even their basic diesel and petrol is better for your engine than supermarket fuel.

    That is why my wife’s company car is always filled up at a supermarket station but my personal car is always at a Shell/Texaco/Esso, regardless of points earning.

    My father in-law and wife both work in fuel distribution (at completely different companies) which is where I get this information from.