This article shows you how to earn Avios points when you buy petrol.
There used to be three ways of earning Avios when buying petrol. You could earn at Shell, at Esso and at Tesco filling stations.
When Tesco Clubcard and Avios split, the ability to earn at Tesco garages and Tesco Express-branded Esso stations went away. Avios started to regroup …..
Today (this article was updated in January 2022, ignore the original publication date) there are three different ways of earning Avios from fuel purchases.
Earning Avios at Sainsbury’s garages
Following the tie-up between Nectar and Avios, you can indirectly earn Avios at petrol stations based at Sainsbury’s supermarket.
You earn 1 Nectar point for every £1 you spend on fuel or in a shop attached to a Sainsbury’s petrol station. This converts into 0.625 Avios per £1 you spend.
Earning Avios at BP garages
The earning rate for BPme Rewards points at BP garages is:
- 1 BPme point for every litre of regular fuel purchased
- 2 BPme points for every litre of Ultimate fuel purchased
- 1 BPme point for every £1 spent in a BP forecourt shop
If we convert these to Avios, you get:
- 0.625 Avios for every litre of regular fuel purchase
- 1.25 Avios for every litre of Ultimate fuel purchased
- 0.625 Avios for every £1 spent in a BP forecourt shop
Earning Avios at Esso garages
The earning rate for Nectar points at Esso garages is:
- 1 Nectar point per litre spent on Esso Synergy fuel
- 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on other items, including in the store
If we convert these to Avios, you get:
- 0.625 Avios per litre spent on fuel
- 1.25 Avios per £1 spent on other items, including in the store
Remember that you do not earn Nectar points at Esso garages which have a Tesco store attached. You can earn Tesco Clubcard points at these garages, which can be converted to Virgin Points if you wish.
Which is better?
It’s not difficult to analyse these two earning rates.
The deals are identical for fuel.
The only exception is if you pay for premium fuel, in which case BP is the better choice due to double points on Ultimate.
On the other hand, if you tend to buy something in the shop alongside your fuel, Esso is the better deal due to the higher rate on in-store earning – unless it is an Esso with a Tesco store, in which case you can’t earn Nectar points at all!
Coupons and bonuses may make the difference
Both Esso, via the Nectar app, and BP, via the BPme Rewards app, offer bonus points from time to time.
Given the relatively small number of Avios earned from filling your tank at standard rates, a bonus is likely to make the difference as to which is more rewarding.
Perhaps more realistically, the fairest thing to say is that buying petrol is unlikely to earn you a huge amount of Avios irrespective of whether you shop at Esso, Sainsbury’s or BP.
You will probably earn more Avios from the credit card you use to pay for your fuel than from the fuel itself.
It might be worth settling for an easy life and filling up at the garage most convenient for your home or office, irrespective of what you earn. You are also likely to find fuel cheaper at your local supermarket with a saving that would outweigh the Avios you would get from Esso or BP.
(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works. You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )
(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 2.0 million monthly page views. Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios? Click here to read our latest news stories, click here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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 good bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These are available 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.