Late last year, we found out that you would no longer be able to earn Velocity Points on purchases at BP as of 31 January 2020.
BP is set to replace Velocity Frequent Flyer with Qantas Frequent Flyer, allowing Qantas members to earn Qantas Points at BP outlets when purchasing fuel and making in-store purchases.
In addition, the BP Plus fuel card is set to become the exclusive fuel card of the Qantas Business Rewards program, spelling the end for Qantas Business Rewards members being able to earn points when using a Caltex StarCard (partnership ends 31 January 2020).
Today, Qantas has provided specific details on the BP Plus-Qantas Business Rewards tie-up, but we will still have to wait a number of months for further details on the general BP-Qantas partnership, which appears delayed due to the partnership not yet securing regulatory approval from the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
BP Plus fuel card and Qantas Business Rewards
The BP Plus fuel card will become the exclusive fuel card of the Qantas Business Rewards program from 1 February 2020, which spells the end for Qantas Business Rewards members being able to earn points when using a Caltex StarCard (partnership ends 31 January 2020).
Qantas Business Rewards members will be eligible to earn Qantas Points as well as discounts on fuel when they fill up at 1,400 BP locations across Australia using their BP Plus fuel card.
The earn rates will be as follows:
- 1 Qantas Point per litre of BP Ultimate 98 Motor Fuel
- 1 Qantas Point per two litres of 91, 95, Diesel, Ultimate Diesel or LPG
- 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible in-store products
Qantas Frequent Flyer taking over BP partnership
Qantas Frequent Flyer also announced that further details on their upcoming new customer loyalty partnership with BP will be released in the coming months, with the Velocity-BP partnership ending on 31 January 2020.
The partnership will see Qantas Frequent Flyer members able to earn Qantas Points directly through a new BP Rewards program when purchasing fuel and eligible in-store products at any of BP’s fuel outlets across Australia.
You will be able to choose whether to earn either BP Rewards points or Qantas Points.
My take on the BP shift to Qantas
For those loyal to Qantas Frequent Flyer, this is welcome news and provides another option to earn Qantas Points at fuel outlets. It will sit alongside the Caltex-Woolworths Rewards partnership, which will continue as normal. (A reminder you can convert Woolworths Rewards points into Qantas Points.)
However, from the earn rates announced with the BP Plus-Qantas Business Rewards launch, this welcome news has been tempered somewhat. This is because the earn rates fall well short of the BP-Velocity partnership, which allowed Velocity Members to earn 2 Velocity Points per litre of fuel purchased or $1 of in-store purchases.
If these earn rates are replicated to the broader BP-Qantas Frequent Flyer partnership, this will translate into a significant devaluation in the points offering from BP.
In fact, with BP Ultimate 98 purchases, it would be half the earn of the BP-Velocity deal, and for all other fuels, it would be a quarter earn. Therefore, let’s hope that the earn rates for the broader deal will be more competitive, which is a possibility, given earn rates for business spend are traditionally lower than for personal spend.
Those dedicated to the Velocity Frequent Flyer program will now see their options to earn Velocity Points at fuel outlets reduced to just one, through the Coles Express-flybuys partnership. (flybuys points can be converted into Velocity Points).
Our comparison guide on fuel purchases
Below is a comparison guide of the three main points earning opportunities when purchasing fuel, being with BP, Caltex and Coles Express. This will be reduced to two for a short period until the BP-Qantas Frequent Flyer partnership is formally launched.
At the time of BP-Qantas Frequent Flyer launch, we will, of course, update our guide, but until then, make sure to read the guide if you haven’t already, as we show you where you can maximise your points earn in your desired points currency the next time you fill up your car.
As a quick exercise, we calculate the petrol station spend required per point to then redeem on a domestic Business Class flight on Qantas or Virgin Australia between Sydney and Melbourne.
Important notes before doing the numbers
- I have assumed that fuel is $1.40 per litre (obviously this fluctuates a lot over time) and that no discount vouchers are being used
- BP and Coles Express (using the 8 bonus points/L option) offers points per litre, while Caltex and Coles Express (using the 4c/L discount) offer them per dollar
- We aren’t including in-store purchases as part of the comparison
Velocity and BP (ending 31 January 2020)
Currently, BP hand over 2 Velocity Points for every litre of fuel we buy. Using our $1.40 per litre assumption, then we spend 70c for each Velocity Point we earn ($1.40 / 2).
Being that we need 15,500 Velocity Points to get our flight, that’s a relative ‘cost’ of $10,850 spent on fuel at BP.
Velocity and BP also run frequent points bonus promotions, which can help push your Velocity balance up further too.
Woolworths and Caltex
You’ll earn 1 Woolworths Reward point per dollar spent on fuel (and only fuel). These will convert to Qantas Points once your account has 2,000 Woolworths Points, giving you 1,000 Qantas Points.
You can earn Woolworths Rewards points at all Star Mart, Star Shop and The Foodary outlets.
Note: Woolworths Rewards does not operate in Tasmania.
flybuys and Coles Express (Shell)
Coles Express offers 1 flybuys point per $2 spent. flybuys can then be transferred to Velocity Frequent Flyer at a rate of 2,000 FlyBuys points = 870 Velocity points, so 1 flybuys point = 0.435 Velocity points. Under a 15% bonus promotion, this increases to 1 flybuys point = 0.5 Velocity points.
Flybuys members do have an option to forgo the 4c/L discount in exchange for 8 bonus flybuys points/L in addition to the 0.5 points/$1 already earned when they spend $30 or more on a Coles shop. This means that for each litre of fuel purchased, flybuys members will receive 8 points in addition to a further 0.7 flybuys points based on earn rate of 2 flybuys points/$ spent and a fuel price of $1.40/L.
A comparison by numbers
|Frequent flyer program-petrol station||Velocity-BP||Woolworths-Caltex||flybuys-Coles Express (4c discount)||flybuys-Coles Express (8 bonus points)|
|Earn rate||2 Velocity Points per litre||1 Woolworths Point per $1 (= 0.5 Qantas Points after conversion)||1 flybuys point per $2 (= 0.435 Velocity Points after conversion)||~8.7 flybuys point per litre|
|Points needed to redeem a Business Class flight between Sydney and Melbourne||15,500 Velocity Points||18,400 Qantas Points||35,632 flybuys points||35,632 flybuys points|
|Fuel spend required||$10,850 |
(15,500 points x 0.70c spent per point)
|$36,800 (18,400 Qantas Points x $2 spent per Qantas Point)||$71,264|
(35,632 points x $2 spent per point)
(35,632 points x 0.16c spent per point)
So, which one will earn you most value?
Using those numbers above, and this specific flight comparison, it is clear that the flybuys-Coles Express tie-up using the 8-point bonus points promotion gives you the best bang for your buck, about two times as valuable as the Velocity-BP and eight times the Woolworths-Caltex combinations.
Ironically, the flybuys-Coles Express using the 4c fuel discount option comes out worst, however, our calculations did not factor in the value of the 4c discount.
But don’t forget to consider…
… that there are other fuel outlets in operation, and while they may not offer frequent flyer points, they may well offer the best fuel price, so make sure to shop around.
It makes sense to chase those points where the value of points earned outweighs any fuel cost savings that you may receive from other fuel providers. Please refer to our Valuations guide to determine the value of a frequent flyer point.
All things being equal (including fuel prices), if you are working towards a flight redemption, you’re most likely to get there the quickest if you fill up at Coles Express and take advantage of the 8c bonus points option.
Getting fuel at BP and earning Velocity Points comes in second, earning Qantas Points through Woolworths Rewards at Caltex comes in third, and earning flybuys points in conjunction with the 4c fuel discount at Coles Express will take the longest.
As is often discussed in most of the articles on this site, there is a myriad of ways to earn points, and so long as you are doing more than a few of them, then rewards are not far away, and every little bit adds up.
Images courtesy respective fuel companies.