The new UK partnership between Avios and BPme Rewards launched today.
As you’d expect, there is a conversion bonus if you have a few points ready to move.
You will receive 25 Avios for every 40 BPme Rewards you convert, with a bonus of 50 Avios if you make your first conversion in the next 11 days.
You can learn more on ba.com here.
A quick reminder of why petrol loyalty in the UK is a mess
Before we look at BPme Rewards and Avios, 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?
How does BPme Rewards work?
It’s worth noting that there is a 500 point bonus at the moment for registering.
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 000QO36D (three zeros at the start, and a letter O as character 5). No-one can earn more than four referral bonuses per month.
As part of my research into BPMe Rewards, 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:
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 if you plan to buy petrol unless the referral comes from another family member.
If you don’t have a car and simply want to earn a few Avios quickly, your best bet is:
- Sign up via the app for 500 bonus points
- Use our referral code (or ask a friend so they benefit too) for 250 bonus points when you spend £1
- Register for the current in-app offer for 200 points on a shop purchase
This will get you 951 points for spending £1 in the shop at a BP garage, which will convert to 575 Avios plus the 50 Avios transfer bonus, for a total of 625 Avios.
- Everyone receives 500 BPme Rewards points instantly for signing up via the app
- You can either choose to get an extra 250 BPme Rewards points by using my referral code above (which is valid on fuel or shop purchases) or sit and wait and hopefully receive coupons worth 550 bonus points via email (which are only valid on fuel purchases)
- Look out for bonus point offers in the app before visiting a garage
Earning BPme Rewards
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.
Is this a generous return on my spending?
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.
As with Nectar, converting your BPme Rewards points to Avios is arguably the best way of maximising value from them.
BPme Rewards and Avios
How many Avios do I get for my BPme Rewards points?
The conversion rate is 25 Avios for every 40 BPme Rewards points you convert.
How does this compare to taking cash rewards?
The standard reward deal is 200 BPme Rewards = £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.
Which is the better deal – Avios or cash?
200 BPme Rewards will get you £1 or 125 Avios.
The means that you are ‘paying’ 0.8p per Avios compared to taking a fuel discount.
This is a good deal.
My conservative spreadsheet of the value I have got from the last 7+ million I spent gets me just under 1.2p per point. It is very rare that you can pick up Avios for less than 0.8p each.
This is also the same valuation that the Nectar / Avios partnership offers. This means that you won’t lose out if you end up converting points from BP to Avios and then moving them into Nectar to spend at Sainsburys or Argos:
- 200 BPme Rewards points = 125 Avios or £1 of shopping
- 125 Avios = 200 Nectar points
- 200 Nectar points = £1 of shopping
Can I set up auto-conversion?
You can arrange a monthly auto-conversion of your BPme Rewards points to Avios. They will be moved across in chunks of 40 BPme Rewards points.
Can I convert in the other direction, from Avios to BPme Rewards?
Is there a bonus for making my first transfer?
If you make any transfer (the minimum is 40 BPme Rewards points) into Avios by 27th September, you will receive 50 bonus Avios.
Can I sign up to BPme Rewards, get the instant 500 points for registering and move them to Avios without going near a garage?
You need to spend £1 at a BP garage, either on fuel or in the shop, to activate your BPme Rewards account to allow Avios transfers.
If you are not a BPme Rewards members, you might want to join now and lock in the 500 bonus points for registering. Use the app so that your membership goes live immediately.
If you can do one ‘fill’ to trigger the bonus before 27th September, you will be able to get the 50 bonus Avios for your first transfer too.
From my own tests this week, BPme Rewards points are added INSTANTLY. You would be able to move them to Avios as soon as your get home from the fuel station.
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:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
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:
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:
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.)