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You can soon earn Avios on fuel with BPme Rewards – how will it work?

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It was announced during the IAG half-year financial results presentation on Friday that Avios is launching a UK partnership with BPme Rewards.

I’m not sure if the IAG Loyalty team knew this was going to be announced or not. It hardly moves the needle in terms of exciting the financial community so there was no need to include it, and it has taken the wind out of Avios’s sails in terms of being able to do a big unveiling.

Avios is partnering with BPme Rewards

Petrol loyalty in the UK is a mess

Before we look at BPme Rewards, it is worth remembering that the UK’s petrol retailers have never managed to find a successful loyalty formula:

  • BP withdrew from Nectar in 2019, launching BPme Rewards which did NOT allow transfers into any other points schemes (clearly that one didn’t work out)
  • Esso withdrew from Tesco Clubcard in 2019 but then moved across to Nectar (and, confusingly, it continues to award Clubcard points at Esso garages which have a Tesco store attached)
  • Shell closed Shell Drivers Club – which was an Avios partner – and launched Shell Go+ which is not points based
  • Texaco withdrew from its Virgin Atlantic partnership

Why does petrol loyalty not work in the UK?

It’s hard to know why petrol loyalty schemes have never worked:

  • Because it is a commodity product which people buy purely on price?
  • Because the price is displayed in huge numbers at the forecourt, which makes it harder to convince yourself to pay more elsewhere for loyalty benefits?
  • Because there is no ‘service’ element in buying petrol – you even pump it yourself – so what are you loyal to?
  • Because the rewards are so poor compared to what you spend? You can’t blame the garages for this, though, because the majority of the price of fuel is tax and profit margins are very low.
  • Because people buy purely on convenience to where they live / work / shop which trumps everything else?
  • Because most people are spending their own money, not their employers, and are more concerned about total value (product price + loyalty benefits) than just the benefits?

Whatever the answer, will Avios and BPme Rewards be able to succeed where all the concepts I listed above have failed?

Avios is partnering with BPme Rewards

How does BPme Rewards work?

The BPme Rewards website is here.

It’s worth noting that there is a 500 point bonus at the moment for registering. I obviously don’t know if this offer will go up or down or stay the same by the time the Avios partnership launches.

You cannot register on the website without first visiting a BP garage. You need to pick up a temporary card and then register online using the number on the card.

However, you CAN register instantly by downloading the BPme app to your smartphone. You receive the 500 points instantly.

To refer or not to refer?

You receive an extra 250 points if you are referred by a friend and add their referral code code during registration. Your friend will also receive 250 points. These points are not instant – you only receive them after your first BP transaction. My code is 000Q4QEC (three zeros and then letters). No-one can earn more than four referral bonuses per month.

However …..

As part of my research for this article, I signed up myself WITHOUT a referral and my wife WITH a referral.

I received the following new member offer worth 550 bonus points on my first four fills:

BPme new member bonus

My wife, who was referred, did not get this. It is possible that, if BP isn’t forced to pay out 500 points (split between the new and referring member) as a referral bonus, it offers the new member this 550 points offer instead. The cost to BP is virtually the same either way.

You are probably better off not using a referral link unless the referral comes from another family member.

How do you earn BPme Rewards points?

The programme is easy to understand, which is good. Unfortunately, it isn’t exceptionally generous.

The ‘earning’ page of the website is here but you need to dig into the FAQ to find the details. You earn:

  • 1 point for every litre of regular fuel purchased
  • 2 points for every litre of Ultimate fuel purchased
  • 1 point for every £1 spent in a BP forecourt shop

Some, but not all, fuel cards are exempt from points earning. You cannot earn in the shop if it is run by a major national brand eg Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons etc.

How do you spend BPme Rewards points?

200 BPme Rewards points are worth £1.

You can use your points to pay for fuel, car washes or BP store purchases, or redeem them for gift vouchers for retailers such as Amazon. You get the same 0.5p per point irrespective.

The ‘spend’ page of the BPme website is here.

Is this good value?

No, which is why BPme Rewards has failed to gain traction.

A typical litre of unleaded fuel in the UK costs 127p at a supermarket and 130p at a branded garage. Assuming 130p per litre at BP, you are getting a return of just (0.5p / 130p) 0.38% of your spending.

With the best will in the world, no-one gets excited about a 0.38% return on their spending.

In a BP forecourt store, you are getting a return of 0.5% on your groceries based on one point per £1.

Not only are the rewards poor but there is no gamification element. It has the same structural issue as Nectar. Your points are worth the same irrespective of how many you have, and irrespective of where you use them.

Avios is partnering with BPme Rewards

How will BPme Rewards points convert to Avios?

Good question.

1:1 is too generous – you would be ‘buying’ Avios for 0.5p each, compared to using your points for shopping vouchers. Such a transfer rate would require BP to take a financial hit to subsidise the Avios cost. It’s not impossible, however, if BP is keen to attract BA’s customer base which is likely to drive bigger cars and be less price sensitive than average.

2:1 is more obvious but this is possibly not generous enough. You would be ‘buying’ Avios for 1p each. It certainly isn’t terrible – Heathrow Rewards uses the same 1p conversion rate – but in the current climate I think BP customers may prefer 1p of cash to 1 Avios.

3:2 is probably the economic sweet spot but has the downside of being a bit clunky and harder for members to get their heads around.

What can you do now?

If you are not a BPme Rewards members, you might want to join now and lock in the 500 bonus points for registering. If there is a more generous offer when the Avios partnership launches, you can always abandon your account and open a new one.

If you are already a BPme Rewards member, do not redeem any points for now. Wait and see what the Avios conversion rate turns out to be. It is very likely that there will be some sort of launch bonus, so even if the deal is a bit ‘meh’ in the long term it may well be attractive for the first few weeks.

We’ll keep you in the loop with the Avios and BPme Rewards partnership as it develops.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

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

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(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.)

Comments (120)

  • CarpalTravel says:

    Mine took nearly a week to come through. If you look at the Amex app though the voucher may now appear under the “redeemed”

  • Lady London says:

    Surely this is worth something after Shell gutted their scheme? I haven’t set foot on a Shell forecourt since.

    • Tariq says:

      Same. I refuel the pool car at work and have a choice of BP and Morrisons. Haven’t used Morrisons since they abandoned their points scheme, and BP is sometimes cheaper too.

  • Godfrey Wardle says:

    My two nearest PFSs are Esso branded and the most competitive on price. It made sense to use them whilst I could convert Clubcard points to Avios and Tesco was (and remains) our nearest and preferred supermarket. BP stations are far and few between in my neck of the woods and never competitively priced, so for me it makes more sense to stick with Esso and I can at least convert Nectar to Avios. I’m not going to drive to the other side of Slough and pay 5p/litre more.

  • Red Flyer says:

    Anyone live in a flat and had an EV charging point installed? I’m looking to make an EV my next company car in Jan 2022 but need to be able to get a charger installed in my designated space in the underground parking or communal parking outside. Any recommendations for companies offering this?

    • Char Char says:

      Pod Point worth looking at

    • Rich says:

      You don’t need to go through an ‘official’ installer. Any electrician can install one, as long as s/he follows the regs. A lot will depend on where the power is coming from (your own meter?)

      The Speakev forum is a good source of advice & recommendations.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Highly likely you’ll need to talk to your service company (if you have one). Highly likely it’ll be a commercial solution and not as cheap as your own metered supply.

      Download Zap-Map you’ll be able to see if there are other walkable options (but likely prices will be 3x your standard tariff and 10x the cheapest overnight EV specialist tariffs)

    • Andrew says:

      No, but one of my colleagues plugs into the cleaner’s socket of his apartment block and runs a cable out for is overnight charge. Has been doing it for 2 years now.

  • Bagoly says:

    400 to 250 looks the most obvious ratio to me 🙂

  • Aaron C says:

    Heh some of you are saying what stable owners said when cars were invented. “Stick with these horses. There won’t be petrol stations all over the country like there are stables.” “These new cars aren’t tested. Stick with these horses until we know they’re as good. You can change your horses at any inn remember.”

    • Paul Pogba says:

      There are still more stables by my place inside the m25 than petrol stations. The parish council has filled the livestock drinking troughs with flowers though.

    • Peter K says:

      But how many decades did it take for cars to significantly overtake usage of horses and shanks’ pony?
      We’re talking about a change over 10yrs from now.

      (Interesting side point, electric cars were more popular than petrol in parts of the US in early days but didn’t keep that traction.)

      Certainly the use of fossil fuels as we are now is unsustainable, but there wasn’t an electric car that met my needs that also made any sort of financial sense for me. Trust me, I put a lot of time into investigating. EVs may work for many, but not for all currently.

      • Rich says:

        Extraordinarily quickly. Between 1910 and 1920, cars pretty much wiped out horses in New York City. From 10% of journeys to 90% in 10 years.

        The pace of change is rapid – I bet there will be a car that meets your needs well within 10 years.

        • Peter K says:

          Except electric cars were being used (eg. as taxis) in NYC in the 1890’s, so not over 10 years. And NYC is only one city of course, whereas I meant generally it took a long time for cars to supplant other forms of transport.

          I’m sure an EV suitable for me will be on the market soonish, but just not at the moment. I won’t be the only one in that situation sadly.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Right now they really work for people with company cars (1% BIK) and 100% tax write downs etc or early adopters willing to pay more for early access.

        In 2030 it’s highly likely the financials will start to work for more and more people (I personally think 2035 is a pipe dream for all new U.K. car sales to be EV only)

        2030-35 you’ll still be able to buy a Hybrid (last I heard that didn’t make clear if it was only true hybrid PHEV/HEV or a not very hybrid MHEV system)

      • Ming the Merciless says:

        The German army used over 6m horses in World War Two vs about 13m Soldiers, so roughly a 2:1 ratio. This suggests that horses remained a popular alternative to the motor vehicle well after its introduction.

    • Dave1985 says:

      🤣

  • FatherOfFour says:

    I have a card already which I rarely pull out. I’m more likely to spend in the shop, than on fuel, so it will just be a few bonus points every now and again.

    The only fuel I buy from BP is an emergency fill to get me to the supermarket fuel!

  • the_real_a says:

    I redeemed some avios->nectar->ebay for some Hydra fuel additive to boost my standard grade fuel (bought from BP with the AMEX £10 offer) to premium grade. Highly recommend this approach. Substantial savings per litre and a significant improvement over pump premium grade. My older diesel now idles much slower, no smoke and passed the MOT emissions without cataclean this year!

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