Qantas and BP are expected to launch their 'points for petrol' partnership next month, following today's formal approval of the tie-up by Australia's consumer watchdog.
The alliance has been given the green light for five years, running through to March 2025, with ACCC chief Stephen Ridgeway positing that "the proposed arrangements are likely to result in public benefits, such as providing consumers with more opportunities to accrue and redeem rewards program points."
“Qantas has the biggest loyalty reward scheme in Australia in terms of member numbers, and BP is a major petrol retailer," Ridgeway allowed.
"However, we don’t believe this will have a significant negative impact on competition, because there are many other retailers in Australia, in petrol and other markets, who could launch or participate in different loyalty programs."
Executive Traveller understands that BP has circled March 17 as a tentative launch date, which will coincide with the debut of the service station giant's own BP Rewards program.
Scanning your physical BP Rewards card or the BPme smartphone app when paying for petrol and other purchases will collect BP Points which can then be redeemed as a cash discount on future BP purchases, in a method similar to the Woolworths Rewards scheme.
A choice of points at the pump
Motorists will be able to choose between earning BP Points and Qantas Points when they top up the tank or buy drinks and snacks at one of 1,400 BP service stations around Australia.
BP has said this will be a 'direct earn' model, with Qantas Points being lodged directly into a Qantas Frequent Flyer account instead of initially earning BP Points and later having to convert them to Qantas Points.
The Qantas-BP alliance is also expected to fuel (no pun intended) interest in the Qantas Points Club, which will be geared towards Qantas Frequent Flyer members who earn their points via shopping rather than flying.
"Drivers spend thousands of dollars on fuel each year", says Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth, "and our partnership with BP is an easy way for frequent flyers to earn points and get closer to their dream trip."
Qantas Business Rewards customers are already able to pocket between 0.5 and 1 Qantas Point per litre of fuel purchased with a BP Plus fuel card, although the earning rates for the broader QFF/BP partnership have yet to be revealed.