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.
(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.)