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Fuel rewards compared as Capitec and Nedbank launch theirs

Late-comers offer cashback, but there is better value from rivals.
There are advantages to using both a bank rewards programme as well as a retailer one, as you will earn rewards on both. Image: Shutterstock

Capitec and Nedbank have both launched fuel rewards, making them the last of the major banks to do so.

FNB was the first of the banks to introduce rewards based on fuel purchases as part of its eBucks rewards programme in 2010. Absa and Standard Bank followed with their Absa Rewards and uCount programmes, while Discovery Bank (and its predecessor the standalone credit card) also offers rewards for fuel.

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In 2016, Clicks began offering its Clubcard members points for filling up at Shell. The deal ended abruptly in November 2019, with the partnership shifting to Engen. Dis-Chem copied this in late 2017 by partnering with Total.

Nedbank

Nedbank has relaunched its Greenbacks rewards proposition; it now comprises three different packages linked to specific Nedbank products (including day-to-day money management as well as loan customers).

Only one, Card Swiper, earns customers money back at partner BP. Account holders have to activate Greenbacks, and opt in to Card Swiper. It is free to clients with Optimum, Savvy Plus Gold, Savvy Bundle and Nedbank Professional Banking accounts. Other customers will pay R24 per month.

Greenbacks Card Swiper customers will earn cashback of 25c per litre with the bank selling the fact that there are “no complex rules or loyalty tiers”.

Capitec

Capitec has partnered with Shell, which runs its own V+ Rewards programme following the ‘divorce’ from Clicks Clubcard.

This standalone rewards programme earns motorists instant cash rewards of 15c per litre as well as 0.5% on selected items in-store at Shell fuel stations (excluding airtime, tobacco and so on) when swiping their V+ cards.

Capitec has effectively piggybacked on to the Shell V+ programme for this ‘Live Better Benefit’ as customers need to register for V+ Rewards.

When they swipe their V+ cards and pay for purchases with their Capitec cards, they will earn 20c per litre back at Shell (loaded onto their V+ cards).

Comparisons

Cash back at this level for Capitec’s partnership (20c per litre) is comparable to the levels offered by other banks on their debit cards. However, Nedbank Greenbacks’ flat-rate of 25c per litre is among the lowest when compared to other earn rates on credit cards of rival banks.

eBucks’s maximum rewards levels appear low when compared to those available for credit card use on Standard Bank uCount and Absa Rewards.

However, from July 2019, FNB has offered the potential to ‘Double Up’ on fuel earn, should a customer meet three qualifying requirements. They need to have vehicle finance with Wesbank, have loaded their car on Nav >> Car in the FNB app and do 100% of fuel spend at Engen. Doing this will earn them double their cash back from the bank at the end of each quarter.

This makes the FNB programme significantly more attractive than those of the other banks.

Discovery customers are strongly incentivised to use both Discovery Insure and Discovery Bank as they will earn cash back on both products.

Rewards programmes are (obviously) designed to incentivise customers to change behaviour. In this case, people are encouraged to shift the majority (or all) of their fuel spend to a specific fuel retailer. There are volume advantages for the fuel companies, which they are willing to pay for in the form of part of their margin (as cashback).

Banks that provide merchant infrastructure to fuel retailers are also willing to give back some of their margin.

There are advantages to using both a bank rewards programme as well as a retailer one, as you will earn rewards on both.

For example, Discovery clients and Pick n Pay Smart Shopper customers can use both cards at BP. Similarly, FNB customers who swipe their Clicks Clubcard will earn partner rewards on their Clubcard as well as via eBucks.

Fuel station Rewards partner Points earned
BP Nedbank Greenbacks 25c per litre, once ‘Card Swiper’ is activated
BP Pick n Pay Smart Shopper 10 points per litre (10c)
BP or Shell Discovery Insure Up to 50% of fuel spend back per month
BP or Shell Discovery Bank Up to 20% back in Discovery Miles on fuel spend
Caltex Standard Bank uCount Cheque/debit card: 20c to 50c per litre, depending on tier

Credit Card: 35c to R5 per litre, depending on tier

Engen Clicks Clubcard 1 point per litre (10c)
Engen eBucks (FNB/RMB) 10c to R4 per litre, depending on reward level (can be doubled up every quarter, if qualifying requirements are met)
Sasol Absa Rewards Debit card: 0.5% to 4.5% back, depending on tier

Credit Card: 1% to 30% back, depending on tier

Shell Capitec 20c per litre when swiping V+ Rewards card and paying with Capitec card
Shell V+ Rewards 15c per litre
Total Dis-Chem 10 Dis-Chem Loyalty Benefit points per litre (10c)
Total Diners Club 1 mile for every R30 spent
Total Sanlam R1 per litre when Sanlam Money Saver (MasterCard credit card) is swiped

All the bank rewards programmes linked to fuel have limits.

On eBucks (FNB), these range from R1 500 to R3 000 of spend, depending on your account type. Absa Rewards customers only earn on the first R3 000 spent at Sasol in a month. Some retailer programmes have limits on the cashback that can be earned, including Pick n Pay Smart Shopper which is capped at the first 500 litres per month.

COMMENTS   16

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How many years did it take them to catch up to FNB’s ebuks?

Yes years!

Can anyone explain why we still have regulated fuel prices : if competition between oil companies through this bewildering array of tied-partner discounts is acceptable, surely it would be in the public interest for them to compete directly on price ?

Incidentally the Discovery benefits are contingent on driver behaviour scores so are not comparable.

“Bank incentive schemes”? And I must carry an additional card in my already over-crowded wallet?

No thanks!

Any bank that already has me as their client, and now requires me to do an additional sign up to one of their internal incentive schemes, has lost the plot!

They already have all my details. I shouldn’t have to lift a finger at all to join their scheme. I’m already there!

For example I’m with Capitec. Every time I use a Shell garage, the Capitec processing system KNOWS I’ve done this transaction at a Shell garage, and could automatically account for this transaction to all parties. There is NO necessity for me to get some “new” plastic card from Shell, in order to facilitate the EXISTING system to understand that I used my Capitec card at a Shell garage.

My point is that I want to experience SIMPLICITY, and a “frictionless transaction” banking experience – WITHOUT having the FORCED cognitive overload of having to stress – at EVERY transaction event – whether I have “optimised” my benefits.

All this annoyance for a few extra Rands?

In my case, I’m DISINCENTIVED by this cognitive stress, and just ignore these schemes. I actually deliberately left FNB and the headaches of navigating it’s eBucks shenanigans for the attractive simplicity of Capitec.

I can’t be the only banking client that finds the invasive intrusion of these “incentive schemes” to be annoying.

Most banks charge a R25/month rewards fee. Filling up a medium sized car twice a month barely covers that.

And if you’re paying a fee for the privilege, do you actually get the benefits ? How many people check ?

My experience with Discovery is that a significant proportion of transactions ‘captured’ don’t get processed in the reward calculation. Queries take months to resolve.

I see Absa is promoting using your credit card to make fuel purchases even though these transactions are not interest-free:

It’s smarter to use your credit card for purchases than using cash, and here’s why:
• You get up to 57 interest-free days on purchases, excluding cash withdrawals, casino transactions,
Absa Online transfers, fuel purchases and budget plan purchases. This applies if all outstanding balances
on the credit card account were fully paid by the due dates.

Tip: Use your credit card for fuel purchases, as no transaction fees are charged.

don’t these credit cards charge you interest from day 1 when you purchase fuel because they view it as a cash withdrawal?

Use cash – most petrol stations have on-site ATM’s – fill up where your bank has its machines. Also using cash avoids being inundated with marketing or promotional bs by the banks

I don’t think so. Many years ago it used to be illegal to sell fuel on credit so there were separate fuel cards like Petrocard, which were debit cards. In recent years it’s like any other purchase.

Gosh no, It’s been so long since buying petrol on your credit card is just like any other card transaction, I cannot even remember any more when it was different!

I wonder if all these reward schemes are fair and legal.
Coz, they are now boxing you in to only use specified products by providing you with a very small incentive thus undermining the free market model and the consumer’s ability to choose freely.

ah, Some thing to ponder about ….

Damn, it hardly affects me. I fill up my vehicle’s 35-liter fuel tank every two months. Working from home…and car runs virtually “on air” 😉

Problem with most loyalty programs, that has a fixed monthly fee, it only benefits the big monthly spenders amongst society. You have to say spend R5,000 pm on N/Greenbacks before the savings break-even the membership cost.

Why then is it worth your bank’s sales call centre to call customers & entice them into taking up rewards programs? The banks are surely NOT losing out.

At some point the reward schemes need to be accounted for. 25c is more than 10% of the retailer regulated gross margin.

Same with Vitality. Who “pays” when Vitality member flies for half price?

Have look if you ever shop. The Vitality members often have two baskets. The basket with the sugar free parsley and zero fat beet root smoothies gets paid with Discovery Vitality card. The one with three bottles Coke and the Sweetie Pies gets paid with the other bank card.

hulle vang jou op n ander plek

….. They need to have vehicle finance with Wesbank…..
So if I do not have any debt on my car (bought it cash or it’s paid of), they discriminate against me.
And here I thought people are encouraged not to do debt because of the problems debt brings.
Oh well, maybe I should not think…….

Effectively Capitec only reward with 5c per litre because without a fuel card you can still get 15c per litre. The Capitec 20c should be in addition to the V+ reward.

End of comments.

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