There is a big shift underway in petrol station loyalty at the moment. By Summer the whole landscape will have changed.
I will get to the news about Shell in a minute. Let’s recap on what is going on elsewhere:
Texaco Star Rewards withdrew as a Virgin Atlantic transfer partner – this has already happened
In June 2019, BP is withdrawing from Nectar. The company is apparently planning to launch a stand-alone loyalty 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.
How can I still earn frequent flyer miles from petrol purchases?
This is how I expected the situation to be from June for Avios collectors.
You would need to buy your fuel at a Tesco-branded filling station, where you would earn Clubcard points which can be converted to Avios. You could also fill up at a Shell garage, earn Shell Drivers Club points, and convert those to Avios.
However, it looks like it won’t work out like this.
It looks like Avios is losing Shell Drivers Club
Shell has been emailing people in the last couple of days to announce a new scheme called Shell Go+. Confusingly, Shell has already launched loyalty schemes called Shell Go+ in a number of countries, but the structure is entirely different each time. The Canadian version is a partnership with Air Miles.
Looking at the email sent to UK members of the to-be-closed Shell Drivers Club, it looks like bad news. It seems that it will no longer be a points-based scheme. If it isn’t a points-based scheme, there is nothing to convert to Avios.
Shell Go+ will offer benefits such as:
- 10% off hot drinks
- 10% off Jamie Oliver purchases from the Shell deli
- A fuel discount after 10 visits (a visit = £10 of fuel bought or £2 spent in the shop)
- £3 discount when you buy 300 litres of Shell V-Power fuel
If this is correct then the ‘where can you earn miles from petrol?’ position will have got a lot simpler to understand:
For British Airways Executive Club members
Shell – no, from whenever Shell Go+ launches
Esso – no from June, you’ll no longer be able to collect Clubcard points to convert to Avios
Tesco – yes, Tesco-branding filling stations will still allow you to earn Avios via Clubcard
For Virgin Flying Club members
Texaco – no, Texaco Star Rewards partnership ended in 2018
Esso – no from June, you’ll no longer be able to collect Clubcard points to convert to Virgin
Tesco – yes, Tesco-branding filling stations will still allow you to earn Flying Club miles via Clubcard
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2022)
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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
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 10,000 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.