2021 was a dramatic year for the consumer fuel business. Aside from a period of panic-buying that saw round-the-block queues outside petrol stations across the UK, market forces have caused the price of both petrol and diesel to leap in recent months. In response, more and more drivers are shopping around and getting the best possible deal when filling up.
Aside from simply shooting for a lower price per litre, many petrol stations are offering customer reward schemes to incentivise money-conscious drivers to come back again and again. In this post, we’ve put together a list to find the best fuel loyalty card UK-wide today.
The best fuel loyalty card UK-wide
Nectar cards (by Sainsbury’s)
The Nectar card is one of the most popular loyalty schemes in the UK within any sector, allowing customers to earn points by shopping at Sainsbury’s stores, ordering their groceries online, or filling up at Sainsbury’s and Esso forecourts.
Following the model set by many other fuel providers, Nectar card members receive a point per 1 litre of fuel bought, and for every £1 spent in a Sainsbury’s store.
Filling the gap that BP left, J Sainsbury has also used its considerable existing market share as a springboard to integrate the fuel brand Esso into the Nectar loyalty scheme in 2019. This caught some backlash from climate change campaigners, (citing Esso’s parent company ExxonMobil’s less-than-stellar climate record) but expanding the number of forecourts where customers can gain points has more than made up for this through opportunities for customer acquisition and retention.
Just like with the petrol stations attached to Sainsbury’s stores, customers will gain one nectar point for every 1 litre of fuel bought at participating Esso garages and service stations. Nectar members will also enjoy two points for every £1 spent in an Esso forecourt shop, or at their car washes.
Though there are too many possible uses for Nectar points to list here, this partnership with Esso has stayed true to its roots with the same simple rewards as any other fuel loyalty scheme. Nectar card holders can use their points to refill at both Sainsbury’s and Esso garages, where 300 points will get them 5p off a litre of fuel.
In years gone by, customers were able to collect Nectar points when filling up at BP petrol stations. However, BP has now relinquished this partnership for their own loyalty scheme, BPme.
Customers can download the BPme app with just a few taps of the screen, or register for a physical card to scan at the forecourt. Registering with BPme gives customers one point per litre of fuel they buy at BP stations and 2 points for every litre from the Ultimate range. From time to time, BP will run periods where customers receive double or even triple points for filling up at one of their garages.
The incentives don’t stop there though. BPme members also earn points when they pop into the forecourt shop or get a car wash from BP garages, with one point per pound spent.
The program gives customers a decent array of options on how they spend their points. Once they’ve accrued 200 points, they can either claim £1 per 200 off their fuel or shop purchases or save them up to buy items from the BP rewards catalogue. Customers can also cash in these points for vouchers from selected retail partners, including Marks & Spencer and Amazon.
As an extra incentive, new BPme accounts start with 1000 points to get customers started.
The benefits offered by Texaco’s fuel loyalty card scheme are palpably similar to those offered by BP, though with a pretty glaring gap between the new-customer starter points!
Similar to BPme, Texaco’s Star Rewards scheme gives a point for every litre of petrol or diesel that the member purchases.
Once an account has accrued 500 points, the customer can choose from a selection of £5 vouchers for retailers such as Argos and Marks & Spencer from UK gift-card giant Love2Shop. These points can also be redeemed as a simple £5 Texaco voucher, or donated to the Children’s charity Action for Children, which Texaco will then double.
New members will receive a windfall of 150 points just for registering, which is likely to act as an effective customer acquisition ploy, but leaves a lot to be desired compared to competitor schemes like BPme!
Shell has a reputation in the consumer space as one of the more pricey petrol brands, so it comes as no surprise they offer one of the more mid-range fuel loyalty cards on our list.
ShellGo+ is available as a physical card or keyring fob, or as an app that allows customers to start earning rewards almost instantly.
The scheme gives loyal customers a fuel reward for every tenth visit (a visit counts as £10 spent on fuel or £2 in a forecourt shop).
Aside from the standard discounts on fuel, Shell Go+ rewards promises a 10% discount on a range of other Shell products, including hot drinks, Deli2Go and Jamie Oliver Deli items, as well as Shell Helix Motor Oil and Shell Super Shine car wash or Quick Wash.
When bought at full price, these products aren’t exactly known to be bargains. Like the Shell brand, this loyalty rewards scheme seems to be targeted at a more discerning driver, who doesn’t mind paying a little more for a premium product. This is especially clear by one particular part of the scheme, where members can earn a £3 reward every time they fill up with Shell V Power high-performance petrol.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this round-up of the UK’s best fuel loyalty cards at the start of 2022. If you’ve been inspired by these schemes, why not check out how Perx rewards can help you to attract and retain more customers through your own loyalty scheme?