There is a major shift underway in petrol station loyalty, with Tesco Clubcard seeing another major blow.
It will hit Virgin Flying Club particularly hard, as they will lose their last branded petrol partner. This follows the withdrawal of Texaco Star Rewards as a Virgin Atlantic transfer partner recently.
Avios collectors will also be hit. This is what is happening.
From June 2019, BP is withdrawing from Nectar. The company is apparently planning to launch a stand-alone loyalty scheme, potentially similar to Shell Drivers Club, although there are no details yet.
BP has announced that it will be rolling out more Marks & Spencer Simply Food outlets at its garages, so there are potentially some options to work with the – pretty pathetic – M&S Sparks scheme.
At the same time, Esso is withdrawing from Tesco Clubcard. At present, you can earn Clubcard points (which can be converted to Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles) when you buy petrol or in-store items at Esso garages. This Head for Points article explains the complex earning structure.
Esso will then join Nectar. This is a little surprising, since Nectar is now wholly owned by Sainsburys and the main Esso retail partner in the UK is …. Tesco.
Unless there are plans to replace all of the Tesco stores at Esso garages with Sainsburys outlets, you are going to be in the weird position of being able to earn Nectar points – but not Clubcard points – at Tesco stores in Esso garages!
How can I still earn miles from petrol purchases?
For now, everything continues as usual. From next June, your only options will be:
For Avios collectors – you will need to buy your fuel at a Tesco-branded filling station, where you will be able to earn Clubcard points which can be converted to Avios. You can also fill up at a Shell garage, earn Shell Drivers Club points, and convert those to Avios.
For Virgin Flying Club collectors – with the ending of the Texaco partnership, your only option will be to buy your fuel at a Tesco-branded filling station and earn Clubcard points, which can be converted to Virgin Flying Club.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.