No more Avios or Virgin miles from Esso as petrol loyalty sees a big shake up

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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!

BP leaving Nectar

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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Nigel Williams says:

    OT as no bits.

    Currently running Amex Plat (Already upgraded from Gold) and BAPP. Have hit the spend target for the 241 vouncher and referred the OH for her own BAPP and supp card.

    Is the next logical step to cancel *my* BAPP to trigger the 6mth period (since I can use any Amex to pay the taxes on the 241) and self-refer for the Amex Gold Credit card?

    • Why not refer your OH for the gold cc from your plat, and get 18k MRs. Hope you did, the referral from your plat for the OH bapp! So,yes,you can cancel your bapp and start your new 6 mths wait. Keep a spreadsheet of start and cancel,dates tho, and always make sure one of you is spending towards a target. And on a 6 mths rotation. Are you planning to keep the plat or rotate it?

      Plus when you refer for new card, wait a couple of weeks to add the 1st supplementary. Get 5k for plat, 3k for bapp, 2k for gold.

      • Nigel Williams says:

        Thanks, she already has a gold charge, trying to convince her to run the Plat upgrade before cancelling. Planning on keeping the Plat with a supp and splitting the fee (pays back in lounge fees alone).

        Will kick off a spreadsheet (Dont suppose you have a template, save me re-inventing the wheel?), and am currently spending towards OH’s 241.

        • Try your hardest to make sure she does the upgrade – it’s probably the last chance she’ll have to get free Plat (assuming they don’t charge for plat until the anniversary of gold charge).

          If she signs up asap, she can refer you to Gold CC before end of the year, and get herself 18k MR, then the ’90k points for referrals per year limit’ resets on Jan 1st.

        • I’d encourage you to develop your own spreadsheet based on your own “appetite” for using Amex.

        • Shoestring says:

          mine’s in my head, more of a spreadsh!t to be honest

        • Shoestring
          I’m not alone in how I operate in this game 😄

        • Exactly. The whole thought process isn’t that hard. If you follow the basic rules:
          – max referrals from plat
          – extra supps on MR and avios cards
          I’m just a bit of a geek and want to model different scenarios and also know exactly how much I’m actually paying for those avios (0.04p at latest check).

        • Shoestring says:

          Genghis shouldn’t that be £0.004? (Or 0.4p.)

        • No. 0.04p. Spending £111 on card fees for a few hundred k avios. Doesn’t take into account what I could have earned using a cash back card but de minimis IMO

        • Shoestring says:

          Flying for free, that’s the dream 🙂

  2. Esso sites, whether independently owned or as part of a group (MFG, MRH, Eurogarges etc) pay for every point given out. Monthly bills can be pretty substantial. The new “deal” Tesco wanted to negotiate was unsustainable and with Tesco becoming more and more protective over the Clubcard usage, it was time to change.

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