Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Do you earn more Avios from BP or Esso when buying fuel?

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Three weeks ago we went back over the basics of the Avios and BPme Rewards partnership, showing how you can transfer your BPme Rewards points into Avios.

The transfer rate is attractive. If you have 200 BPme Rewards points, you can get 125 Avios or a £1 discount on your fuel. At 0.8p per Avios, you are ‘buying’ them at a good rate.

Is this better than earning Avios from Esso though?

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

Esso is not an Avios partner. You can, however, collect Nectar points when you buy fuel at Esso and these can be transferred into Avios.

Let’s have a look at the numbers.

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 purchased
  • 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 for every litre of fuel purchased
  • 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on other items, including in the store

If we convert these to Avios, you get:

  • 0.625 Avios for very litre of fuel purchased
  • 1.25 Avios per £1 spent on other items, including in the store

Remember that you do not earn Nectar points at the 200 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 standard grade fuel.

But if you buy premium 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.

But if you spend in the shop whilst buying fuel ….

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. In my personal experience, BPme Rewards is more aggressive with promotional offers.

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 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 (although the gap these days is smaller than it has been historically) – and you would earn Nectar points to convert to Avios at a Sainsbury’s petrol station, of course.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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 famous annual 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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

Comments (20)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Sundar says:

    Where membership/store is available, Costco maybe a cheaper alternative. Fuel cost is mostly lesser than any of the other garages, sometimes upto 10 p cheaper

    • David says:

      I always beat it even by 4-5p per litre by buying Morrisons gc’s with 5% workperks.

      • tw33ty says:

        Yeah Morrisons fuel with gift cards bought with a 10% discount is always going to be the way to go 👍

  • Cuchlainn says:

    Query :
    If you use Sainsbury’s SmartShop do you not get till spit vouchers ? I occasionally use my local Sainsbury’s store in NI if I have offers in my online SmartShop account but never get a till spit – the SmartShop payment area is always empty compared to the self-service basket area, so maybe that’s a clue……

    • Mzungu says:

      I get quite a few till spit vouchers using SmartShop, which I always use. The SmartShop checkout in my local store is always busy, so could it be that it’s a NI thing?
      Not had any the last couple of visits though, so maybe they’re cutting back…

  • Joe says:

    You can get a 5p per litre discount for 300 Nectar points at Esso if you ask, capped at 60 litres. If you can get the full 60 litres in (or close) then you are getting 1p (or nearly) of value per Nectar point which is pretty good (double the 0.5p you get almost everywhere else). Obviously it’s important to make sure the fuel is a decent price in the first place.

  • BobM says:

    I pretty much always get a double Nectar points on fuel coupon when I fill up at Sainsbury’s, so that equates to 1.25 Avios per £1 spent. Certainly competitive with this offer (and cheaper diesel!)

  • David Osman says:

    Can I earn Avios points with Booking.com
    David

    • Rob says:

      Via the Avios app, yes. But your stay won’t earn hotel points and you get no status benefits.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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