Velocity are again running a bonus points offer for new members, this time through participating BP service stations.
If you aren’t already a member – or know someone that isn’t but should be – this is an easy enough way to pick up 500 points for signing up.
There’s no info about this on the Velocity or BP websites, but from the flyer I found, this is how this offer works:
- Buy something eligible for points earn at BP – fuel, food, etc
- Pick up a temporary Velocity card before you pay
- Swipe the temporary card, then pay as normal
- Within 48 hours, join Velocity and register the temporary card at velocityfrequentflyer.com/bp using promo code BPJOIN500
The bonus points should be credited within 5 weeks, and the offer runs for purchases made on temporary cards until 31st December.
You can then use Velocity family transfers to pool points earned from new accounts.
Guide to earning Velocity points with the Velocity & BP partnership for fuel and in-store purchases
The standard Velocity earn rate is quite reasonable – you can earn 2 points per litre of fuel purchased (up to 150 litres), or 2 points per $ spent on in-store purchases, up to $100. Points aren’t earned on tobacco or, more unfortunately, gift cards which could have yielded some arbitrage opportunities.
Not all BP’s are participating in Velocity BP partnership – you can check out those nearest you here. Hopefully your closest BP is part of the program. For me, this will probably earn us around another 5000 Velocity points per year (if we only use BP’s to fill up).
Virgin and BP are hoping that the tie-up will change some consumer behaviour and make you think about where you’ll shop for fuel, and start to care less about the discount dockets available from Coles and Woolworths.
Key points of the partnership to know
- 2 Velocity points per litre earned on fuel (up to 150 litres) and/or,
- 2 Velocity points per $ spent on in-store purchases
- To earn points customers will need to swipe their Velocity membership cards at the cash register
- Points will hit your Velocity account within 72 hours of the BP purchase
- If you’re buying a lot of fuel, or a lot of in-store purchases (not sure why you would, but there are probably some reasons), try and split your transactions into multiple lots of 150 litres or $100 to maximise points
Remember that Velocity members will also earn points if they’re using a Velocity linked credit card, giving them the opportunity to get double the bang for their buck – triply good for David Jones American Express or American Express Platinum Edge cardholders who already receive a bonus on fuel purchases.
Why you should opt out of Auto Redemption of Velocity Points at BP
Velocity & BP have started prompting Velocity members at BP who are wanting to earn points on their fuel purchases whether they would like to redeem points for part-payment under a new feature of the BP and Velocity partnership.
This ‘feature’ provides a redemption value of 1,667 Velocity points for $10 of fuel, or a just under 0.6c per point redemption value. For anyone with a just large enough points balance to redeem for a flight, then this is terrible value – I aim to get at least 1.9c out of my Velocity points when I redeem them.
Thankfully you can turn this option off in your Velocity account.
Interestingly, the deactivation feature for BP is a sub-section of a new menu option called “Pay With Points In-Store” – does this indicate Velocity have other retail points earn and redemption partners coming in future? Who knows!
Turning the in-store redemption function off in your Velocity account
- Head to this page in your Velocity account, logging in as required
- This is where you can set your auto redemption amount, or as I want to do, turn it off. To do so click the deactivate link at the bottom
- From here you’ll be asked to confirm this is what you want to do
- And then you can breathe easy, knowing your points are safe from BP’s clutches 😉
Other things to know about redeeming Velocity Points at BP
I think the only reason this might make sense is if someone has a small points balance, say under a few thousand points, that needs cashing out because they know they won’t be earning any more Velocity points in future to redeem for Virgin Australia or partner flights. Otherwise you’ll almost certainly get better value out of a flight redemption.
Why? One way flight redemptions starting at 7,800 Velocity points plus around $10-$20 in taxes. Take an example of a Sydney-Melbourne flight selling for $100 all in (which is particularly cheap fare), you’d be getting around 1c per point in value by redeeming 7,800 points and paying $20 in taxes (just as an example). And this is a bit of a worst case scenario for a flight redemption – so 0.6c per point from BP is poor value.
- You can redeem for between $10 and $60 off of your BP bill by using Velocity points
- The rate applied is 1,667 points for $10 of fuel, or a little under 0.6c per point in value
- You set your preferred redemption amount (in dollars) in your Velocity account online
- A Velocity pin is required on your account, and you have to input this at the terminal
- If you pay with points, you will also earn points on your transaction.
Image from Newtown Graffiti on Flickr