Australian motorists will soon be able to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points at BP service stations due to a new partnership between Qantas and BP.
The loyalty tie-up displaces the former alliance between BP and Virgin Australia's Velocity Frequent Flyer scheme and will also see the petrol giant roll out its own BP Rewards loyalty program. Here's what we know so far about the scheme – we'll update this article as more information comes to hand.
When will the Qantas BP partnership launch?
The Qantas-BP partnership is tipped to launch in February or March 2020, having already received tentative approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (which expects to make a final determination in February 2020).
“We don’t think the planned arrangements will have any significant negative impact on competition," notes ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway. “We consider that these arrangements will provide public benefits, for example by giving consumers more opportunity to earn and use rewards program points."
For her part, Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth attests that "drivers spend thousands of dollars on fuel each year, our partnership with BP is an easy way for frequent flyers to earn points and get closer to their dream trip."
The 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.
Virgin Australia's five-year relationship with BP will end as of 31 January – it's not yet known if Virgin will strike a new partnership with another petrol outlet such as Shell, which like Virgin is a Flybuys affiliate.
What is BP Rewards?
BP Rewards is BP's new Australian loyalty program. It will be similar to the BPme Rewards program already running in the UK and USA, but has reportedly been “tailored for the Australian market.”
Customers will earn BP Points for every litre of fuel they buy and every additional dollar they spend at a BP service station, either by scanning a digital membership card in the BPme smartphone app or picking up a physical card in-store.
While the scheme’s Australian earning rates have yet to be revealed, the BPme Rewards rates in the UK offer an example: motorists earn one BP Point per litre of Regular fuel and two BP Points per litre of Ultimate fuel, plus one BP Reward Point for every additional £1 spent on goods at the outlet.
Those BP Points can later be applied as a cash discount at BP outlets: again, as a reference point, the 'exchange rate' in BP's UK program sees 200 BP Points redeemed as £1.
Earning Qantas Points at a BP petrol station
Qantas Frequent Flyer members will be able to choose between earning Qantas Points or BP Points when buying petrol, drinks or snacks at one of 1,400 BP service stations around Australia.
BP says this will be a 'direct earn' model, with the Qantas Points being lodged directly into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account instead of initially earning BP Points and then having to convert them to Qantas Points.
At the time of writing, Qantas hasn't revealed the earning rate for Qantas Points at BP service stations.
Qantas Business Rewards and BP Plus
The BP-Qantas loyalty play will also extend to the Qantas Business Rewards program: BP Plus fuel cards will “become the exclusive fuel card partner" of the Qantas Business Rewards program.
This means that eligible businesses holding a BP Plus account will be able to earn Qantas Points. Those points will be awarded to the holder of the BP Plus account, rather than individual drivers, so companies with a fleet of vehicles will be able to funnel all the Qantas Points into a single account where the points can then be used towards staff travel, such as booking reward tickets or applying for an upgrade.