When you top-up your tank, you can also top-up your Qantas or Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer account, with BP, 7-Eleven, Woolworths Caltex, and Shell Coles Express all offering frequent flyer points on petrol purchases, over and above any points you'd earn via your credit card.
The number of points you'll receive, and what you need to do to earn them, varies from one petrol chain to the next: here's how to get set up, and how the rewards compare.
Qantas vs Virgin: the take-away
This isn't a totally level playing field, as it depends on your own location for starters: there are more BP service stations than 7-Eleven outlets (around 1500 BP sites compared to 550-odd for 7-Eleven), and 7-Eleven doesn't operate service stations in all Australian states.
But assuming you've got an easy choice between where to fill your tank, and without taking in-store purchases into account:
- you earn 2 Qantas Points per litre on BP Ultimate (a 98-octane mix) and 1 Qantas Point per litre on all other fuels
- you earn 2 Velocity Points per litre on 7-Eleven's Extra 95 and Supreme +98 fuel, and 1 Velocity Points per litre on all other fuels
This gives Velocity a clear edge if you use 95-octane instead of 98-octane petrol.
Of course, there's also the per-litre cost of fuel at each competing outlet – there's little sense in earning some extra points if the petrol costs noticeably more in the first place, which brings the Qantas vs Virgin argument back to your local service station scene.
Earning Qantas Points at BP
The 'points at the pump' tie-up between Qantas and BP is quite straightforward, but there are steps you need to follow before any frequent flyer points will land in your account.
First, join BP Rewards and link your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership.
It's a one-off procedure: after which, you can simply scan the barcode on your Qantas Frequent Flyer card at the counter before you pay at BP, and earn points straight into your Qantas account.
Here's how many Qantas Points you can earn on petrol and in-store buys with BP:
- BP Ultimate unleaded: 2 Qantas Points per litre.
- All other fuels: 1 Qantas Point per litre. This includes regular unleaded, as well as Diesel and LPG.
- In-store purchases: 1 Qantas Point per dollar spent, excluding items like gift cards, mobile recharge and tobacco.
Top-up your tank with 35 litres and that's an easy 35 Qantas Points earned on most fuel types, or 70 Qantas Points if it's BP Ultimate unleaded, regardless of the fuel price.
As with other service stations – and indeed, anywhere else that accepts plastic – paying for that purchase using a points-earning credit card can boost your rewards even further, giving you points both from the credit card, and separately from the petrol station, on the one transaction.
Earning Velocity Points at 7-Eleven
The partnership between Velocity Frequent Flyer and 7-Eleven is the closest match to the Qantas/BP deal, and works in a similar way.
Motorists first need to download the My 7-Eleven app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play, register for a My 7-Eleven account, and then link that account to Velocity Frequent Flyer via the app's Settings tab.
Once that's done, you'll be able to call up a barcode within the app to scan at 7-Eleven when you make a purchase, to earn points at the following rates:
- Extra 95 and Supreme +98: 2 Velocity Points per litre.
- All other fuels: 1 Velocity Point per litre of Special Unleaded, Special Unleaded E10, Special Diesel and Autogas/LPG.
- In-store purchases: 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent, but with no points on tobacco, public transport and mobile phone recharge, and other ineligible items.
Compared to Qantas Frequent Flyer's deal with BP, the Velocity/7-Eleven partnership gives twice as many frequent flyer points per dollar spent in-store on eligible items.
Those purchasing 95 octane premium unleaded will also earn twice as many frequent flyer points per litre at 7-Eleven versus BP, as BP only applies the higher earning rate to 98 octane unleaded (BP Ultimate).
On a 35 litre tank of 7-Eleven's Mobil-branded fuel, this means a reward of either 70 Velocity Points on premium fuels or 35 Velocity Points on all other fuels: regardless of the price per litre, as with BP.
At the time of launch, Velocity Frequent Flyer members in Western Australia will be able to swipe or scan their Velocity membership card at 7-Eleven to earn points directly into their Velocity account, without having to use or set up the My 7-Eleven app.
Earning via the My 7-Eleven app will also be an option for WA residents.
The ability to earn Velocity Points by swiping or scanning a Velocity card may be extended to other states in time, but for now, most motorists will need to take the 'My 7-Eleven' route to earn rewards.
Earning Qantas Points at Woolworths Caltex
Beyond the simple 'points per litre' earn rates at BP and 7-Eleven, Qantas Frequent Flyer members can also earn points at participating Caltex and Caltex Woolworths outlets, based on the number of dollars spent.
This becomes possible after linking your Qantas Frequent Flyer details to Woolworths' Everyday Rewards program, choosing to earn Qantas Points rather than Everyday Rewards dollars, and scanning your Everyday Rewards card at the register (not your Qantas card, as with BP).
Even when choosing Qantas Points, you begin by earning Everyday Rewards points – then when you've piled up 2,000 of those Everyday Rewards points, they'll automatically be converted into 1,000 Qantas Points.
Here's how many Everyday Rewards points – and by extension, how many Qantas Points – you can earn at Caltex and Caltex Woolworths:
- All fuel types: 1 Everyday Rewards point (0.5 Qantas Points) per $1 spent.
- In-store purchases: 1 Everyday Rewards point (0.5 Qantas Points) per $1 spent, excluding mobile recharge, tobacco, gift cards etc.
As these earning rates are based on dollars spent rather than litres purchased, you'll earn more points when fuel prices are higher, and fewer points when prices are lower.
Refuel with 35 litres – the same tank as in our BP and 7-Eleven examples – and when the price per litre is 139.9c ($1.399), the reward is 48 Everyday Rewards points – equal to 24 Qantas Points – based on a spend of $48.97.
That's not as rewarding as the alternatives, although if you have a 4c/L supermarket fuel savings voucher loaded onto your Everyday Rewards card (after a spend of $30 or more at Woolworths supermarkets), you can instead mix points earned with dollars saved.
On that same purchase, a fuel savings voucher reduces the price to $47.57: on which, you'd earn 47 Everyday Rewards points. That's on-par with 23.5 Qantas Points, combined with a cash saving of $1.40, which some may prefer to earning a few extra points at BP or 7-Eleven.
Earning Velocity Points at Shell Coles Express
Velocity's tie-up with Shell Coles Express and the chain's Flybuys rewards program is similar to the Qantas Points deal at Caltex Woolworths, via that chain's Everyday Rewards program.
At Shell Coles Express, you begin by earning Flybuys points, which can be converted into Velocity Points in batches of 2,000 Flybuys points = 1,000 Velocity Points: either by automatic transfer, or upon request.
Here's how many Flybuys points – and by extension, how many Velocity Points – you'll earn at Coles Express:
- All fuel types: 0.5 Flybuys points (0.25 Velocity Points) per $1 spent, but only whole Flybuys points are awarded (1 Flybuys point for every $2 spent).
- In-store purchases: 0.5 Flybuys points (0.25 Velocity Points) per $1 spent, with the usual exclusions for items like mobile recharge, tobacco, gift cards, and so on.
On the surface, that makes Coles Express the least-rewarding choice, with a 35L tank (priced at 139.9c/L) unlocking 24 Flybuys points, worth an insignificant 12 Velocity Points.
Even with a 4c/L petrol saving voucher (earned after spending $30 or more at a Coles supermarket), you're looking at 11.5 Velocity Points paired with a $1.40 saving.
How to maximise your Velocity Points at Coles Express
Despite the poor base earning rate, those fuel savings vouchers can be your ticket to a bounty of bonus points. Rather than taking the 4c/L discount, you can opt for 8 Flybuys bonus points (4 Velocity Points) per litre purchased instead. This is on top of the Flybuys points earned per dollar spent.
On that same 35L, $48.97 tank, you'd take home 24 Flybuys points as normal from the purchase price, plus a further 280 Flybuys points (that's 8 Flybuys points per litre), for a grand total of 304 Flybuys points, equal to 152 Velocity points.
Sweetening the pot even further, some road tolling providers such as Linkt in Queensland also provide 4c/L fuel savings vouchers to motorists. Those savings can't be converted into points as with the supermarket discounts, but they can be stacked for an even better deal.
Scanning your Flybuys card, a supermarket fuel savings voucher (for 8 Flybuys points per litre) and a separate 4c/L discount code on that same tank reduces the price paid to $47.57, while giving you 23 base Flybuys points, 280 Flybuys bonus points, and a $1.40 cash saving, all on the one transaction.
That gives you the best of everything, with a 35L tank netting you 303 Flybuys points – that's 151.5 Velocity Points – plus a $1.40 fuel saving on top.
Taking things even further, Shell Coles Express and Flybuys offer even more points to customers who both purchase 80L of fuel (excluding LPG) and spend $10 in-store at Shell Coles Express every calendar month.
Members who meet those conditions will receive four extra Flybuys points (2 Velocity Points) per litre of fuel purchased in eligible months – but as that's separate to earning points on one-off purchases as discussed here, we're not including those points in our calculations.
Earning frequent flyer points: BP vs 7-Eleven vs Caltex vs Coles Express
Given the ability to convert fuel savings into bonus points and the potential of combining those bonus points with an additional fuel savings offer, Shell Coles Express is the most rewarding option overall for those seeking points at the pump.
However, maximising your points and savings at Coles Express requires much more effort than at BP, 7-Eleven or Caltex – and if you don't make that effort by scanning 2-3 barcodes with every shop (your Flybuys card, a supermarket docket, and a separate savings offer, if you have one), the number of points you'll earn becomes the lowest of the four.
That's where the simplicity of earning Qantas Points at BP or Velocity Points at 7-Eleven will appeal to many, with a base frequent flyer earning rate 3-6x higher than through Flybuys at Coles Express (based on the petrol price used in our examples), requiring only a scan of your Qantas Frequent Flyer card or the My 7-Eleven barcode at the till.
While the number of Qantas Points earned at Caltex isn't as high as what's offered at BP, you can take advantage of supermarket fuel savings offers while still earning some points.
These remain electronically linked to your Everyday Rewards card, being all you need to scan to get both points and your discount.
Motorists regularly purchasing 95 octane fuel, however, may prefer the 7-Eleven/Velocity deal thanks to the higher earning rate on these purchases versus BP, and the smaller percentage saving a 4c/L discount would have on their total spend, given the higher base fuel price.
It's also worth pointing out that petrol prices may be a bigger driving factor at the pump than which brand offers the best reward points.
Paying more at one petrol station just to earn a few extra points, versus paying significantly less at another location where fuel prices are lower, won't provide the best bang for your buck.
Whatever approach works best for you, don't forget that you can earn even more frequent flyer points by paying for your petrol using a points-earning credit card – or a BP Plus fuel card at BP, which can be linked with the Qantas Business Rewards program for ABN holders.