With record fuel prices, some rewards programmes are now downright meagre

Comparison of all 14 fuel rewards programmes …
With some rewards partners you can earn back 30% or more of your fuel spend. Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

As the prices of petrol and diesel soar to record levels of over R26 per litre (for most grades), motorists would do well to study the reward programmes they make use of to make sure they are earning the maximum possible reward. For some consumers, it may make sense to re-evaluate their choice of rewards programme altogether.

In some cases, one may be ‘earning’ 10 points per litre which is the equivalent of just 10c, an insubstantial amount. This is not even half a percent back at the current inland pump price for 95 octane fuel (R26.74). Put another way, at this level, you would have to purchase 267 litres of fuel at a cost of over R7 150 to earn back the cost of a single litre!

However, there are rewards partners where you are able to somewhat easily earn back 30% and upwards of your spend.

Read: How can I save when I have nothing left to save at the end the month?

Broadly speaking, there are three categories of entities offering fuel rewards programmes: national retailers, fuel companies themselves, and banks and other financial institutions.

Retailers

Three national retailers, as part of their rewards programmes, currently offer fuel benefits  via specific forecourt partners: Pick n Pay (Smart Shopper), Clicks (ClubCard) and Dis-Chem (Benefit programme).

All three offer the earn rate of 10c per litre, which at the current price equates to 0.4% ‘back’.

The only time these programmes really make much sense, especially at current prices, is when they are used in conjunction with another more lucrative one.

For example, one is able to earn eBucks and Clicks ClubCard rewards at Engen. Similarly, one can earn Discovery fuel rewards and Smart Shopper points at BP in the same transaction.

Clicks also regularly offers double points on fuel every Wednesday; its current promotion runs until the end of the month.

Fuel retailer Rewards programme Points/amount earned % of retail fuel price*
Astron Energy (Caltex) Standard Bank UCount

 

Debit card: 20c to R2 per litre

Credit card: 30c to R5 per litre

0.7% to 7.5%

1.1% to 18.7%

BP Nedbank Greenbacks 25c per litre 0.9%
BP PnP Smart Shopper/TymeBank 10 points per litre (10c) 0.4%
BP or Shell Discovery Bank Up to 20% Up to 20%
BP or Shell Discovery Insure Up to 50% Up to 50%
Engen Clicks ClubCard 1 point per litre (10c) 0.4%
Engen eBucks (FNB/RMB) 10c to R4 per litre (can be doubled up each quarter, if qualifying requirements are met) 0.4% to 15%

Double up: 0.75% to 29.9%

Engen eBucks (FNB/RMB) promotion – between July and September R2.10 to R6 per litre, if payment is made using virtual card (can be doubled up this quarter, if qualifying requirements are met) 7.9% to 22%

Double up: 8.2% to 37.4%

Sasol Absa Rewards Debit card: 0.5% to 4.5% per litre

Credit card: 1% to 30% per litre

0.5% to 4.5%

 

1% to 30%

Sasol Sasol Rewards 30 points per litre (redeemable at 1c per point until Aug 31) 1.1%
Shell Capitec Bank 20c per litre when swiping V+ Rewards card and paying with Capitec card (40c per litre on 10th of each month) 0.75% (1.5% on 10th)
Shell V+ Rewards 15c per litre 0.6%
Total Dis-Chem 10 Dis-Chem Benefit rewards per litre (10c) 0.4%
Total Diners Club 1 mile for every R30 N/A
Total Sanlam Money Saver credit card R1 per litre 3.7%

* At the July 2022 inland price of 95 octane petrol (R26.74 per litre).

** For most bank/insurance rewards programmes, monthly fuel caps apply. 

Fuel retailers

Two of the fuel retailers, Shell and Sasol, have launched their own rewards programmes.

Here, they are effectively using a portion of their wholesale margin (45.5c) and/or some of their marketing budget to reward customers.

When signing up, you have to share a fair amount of personal information and opt in to allow the programme operators to communicate with you.

These programmes allow the fuel retailers to start building profiles of their customers which, until now, they have known very little about. Depending on the retailer-led programme, they will likely be requesting data about the base of customers using their loyalty cards in exchange for them covering the cashback amount (10c per litre).

Banks and financial services providers

Two of the banks’ offerings are ‘modest’ in comparison to their rivals.

Capitec offers 20c per litre to customers who fill up at Shell and who swipe their Shell V+ Rewards card and pay with their Capitec card. On the 10th day of each month (what it calls ‘Live better day’), this is doubled to 40c, equating to 1.5% per litre. Nedbank’s Greenbacks offers cash back of 25c per litre at BP.

Rivals Standard Bank (with UCount), Absa (with Absa Rewards), and FNB (with eBucks) offer far greater incentives to use certain petrol stations.

These three banks are able to use a portion of the interchange fee charged at the point-of-sale to ‘pay’ for the rewards.

These three programmes are all based on tiers and those customers on higher levels (based on their behaviour and the products they hold) will earn higher percentages.

Rates on debit cards range from 20c to R2 per litre in the case of Standard Bank at Astron Energy/Caltex (equating to 0.7% to 7.5%) to 0.5% to 4.5% per litre with Absa Rewards at Sasol. On credit cards, the two programmes offer rewards of 30c to R5 per litre (1.1% to 18.7%) and 1% to 30%, respectively.

The value in Absa’s programme has improved significantly in recent years.

FNB’s eBucks does not have a distinction between debit and credit card, and offers between 10c and R4 per litre for purchases at Engen. This is the equivalent of 0.4% to 15% cash back. These amounts can be doubled up each quarter, if three qualifying requirements are met: have active vehicle finance with WesBank, ensure the vehicle is loaded on the FNB app, and have all fuel spend at Engen. This takes the maximum earn amount (at eBucks reward level five) to R8 a litre.

Last month, FNB announced it would boost fuel rewards by R2 per litre for the next three months. This means qualifying customers could earn as much as R10 per litre back.

Read:

Discovery offers two fuel rewards programmes (at BP and Shell): one via Discovery Insure (where policyholders can get up to 50% of their fuel spend back each month) and another via Discovery Bank where the potential is 20%, dependent on the card held and Vitality Money status.

For customers who already hold multiple products with Discovery, it may therefore make sense to use Discovery Bank. A Discovery Bank Black Card account holder on Gold Vitality Money status will get 11% back on their fuel spend. These are paid in Discovery Miles.

Read: Discovery gives Vitality members two big reasons to open an account

Ultimately, the steep increase in petrol prices has largely been due to the rise in product prices (driven by the price of oil and the exchange rate).

Aside from banks, which will give back some/most of the interchange fee (or use actuarial models to incentivise behaviour, as in the case of Discovery), there is precious little to play with – only the wholesale margin of 45.5 cents per litre.

COMMENTS   4

Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in and an Insider Gold subscriber to comment.

SUBSCRIBE NOW SIGN IN

Somebody smarter than me still has to explain to me one day how it makes sense that a medical aid or insurer gives you up to 50% on fuel purchases. It makes as much sense as 40% discount on airline tickets, ie none.

Who pays? The airline? The fuel company? The million people that sign up for the club and don’t use it?

I’ve seen loyalty programs turn into disloyalty practice over time, like Voyager Miles.

I Only have st8. Please allow me to promote myself. I Only have grade 10. With only 2 sentences I Increased my education by 25%. Am I clever or what? I do not really know where proverbs and sayings fit into language but it always seems to hit the nail on the head. I love it. Reading this article make me think. And I think BS baffles brains. Please respond with the proverb taking control of your brain right now.

End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR
BTC / USD

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Moneyweb newsletters

Instrument Details  

You do not have any portfolios, please create one here.
You do not have an alert portfolio, please create one here.
INSIDER SUBSCRIPTION APP VIDEOS RADIO / LISTEN LIVE SHOP OFFERS WEBINARS NEWSLETTERS TRENDING

Follow us:

Search Articles:
Click a Company: