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. And 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 (January 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
There are two official British Airways American Express cards:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)