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How do I earn Avios points when buying petrol?

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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.

Is it better to earn Avios from BP or Esso when buying fuel?

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.

You can convert Nectar points into Avios via ba.com here.

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.

Is it better to earn Avios from BP or Esso when buying fuel?

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 storiesclick here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

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