Will BP let you choose between Qantas, Virgin Australia points?

By David Flynn , December 28 2016
Will BP let you choose between Qantas, Virgin Australia points?

Filling your tank at a BP service station next year may provide the option of earning Qantas or Virgin Australia frequent flyer points at the pump, following BP's $1.8 billion purchase of the Woolworths/Caltex chain.

The deal brings all 527 of the Woolworths-branded fuel outlets under the wing of BP, although it's subject to approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Foreign Investment Review Board.

BP already has a solid and successful partnership with Virgin Australia through which motorists earn two Velocity points per litre on fuel, plus a further two points per dollar spent at in-store shopping.

However, while Woolworths isn't a direct competitor to Virgin Australia or its Velocity scheme, the supermarket giant remains a Qantas partner and a full-blown competitor to the Flybuys scheme recently embraced by Velocity.

A BP spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that it was too early to speculate on the fate of the current Velocity partnership pending the necessary ACCC and FIRB approval for the Woolworths deal, which is expected to take up to 12 months to finalise.

The takeover of the Woolworths-Caltex service stations will see them rebranded as BP outlets and absorbed into the larger BP network, with BP becoming "a cornerstone partner in Woolworths' Everyday Rewards loyalty program" according to a statement issued by the petrol retailer.

Motorists will be able to earn Woolworths rewards points "on both fuel and in-store purchases at most BP sites in Australia" – with those Woolworths Points then being converted to Qantas Points at the standard rate of 2,000 Woolworths points for 870 Qantas Points.

This is a more convoluted way to get points at the pump, compared to the simpler direct earn model of Virgin Australia's Velocity program – but any choice is a good choice.

Another win is that the current Woolworths/Caltex outlets currently don't let you earn Woolworths Point at the service stations' Star Mart and Star Shop retail stores.

BP will also retain Woolies' 4c per litre fuel discount at the Woolworths fuel outlets "and expand this offer to additional BP sites."

The less points-savvy will also be able to redeem their Woolworths points as a discount on purchases at BP, in the same way as they can currently do at a Woolies checkout and similar to the points-for-petrol option offered by Velocity.

Top tip: How to switch off Virgin Australia's 'pay with points' at BP

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2014

Total posts 50

'...a cornerstone partner in Woolworths' Everyday Rewards loyalty program.'


That's a rather lofty claim considering that at present the agreement is for Woolies to continue providing fuel discounts, and likely points, for a period of 3 years. 

Mal
Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

I think BP would be foolish to discard Velocity out of hand but Woolworths may have made this a condition of the deal. In which case Velocity should be on the phone to Shell, after all Shell is a Flybuys partner too.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 514

One could be tempted to think that the ACCC would be all over such a demand like a rash, given the implied anti-competitive nature of such a 'request'.

28 Dec 2016

Total posts 1

I hope BP sticks with Velocity, this is a really good partnership and a very straight-forward way to earn points unlike the convoluted Woolworths-Qantas mechanism. But Woolworths probably wants it that way so that it doesn't need to buy too many Qantas Points, many shoppers will just stick with earning Woolworths Dollars and take the cash discount at the checkout.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 78

The overall points earned on fuel purchases are miniscule. Even if you spend $100 a week on fuel and only use BP stations you will earn just 10,000 points in a year. I spend significantly less than this and would be lucky to earn enough points to get a $25 voucher. It's barely worth the effort. Earning points on fuel and at supermarkets is a huge con. Stick to earning points on credit card spend, flights, and credit card bonus offers.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

26 Feb 2016

Total posts 101

Would the Everyday Gift Cards still work at these service stations?


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