When you fuel up your car, you could earn Qantas Points with BP directly or with Caltex (through Woolworths Everyday Rewards). Alternatively, you could choose to boost your Velocity Points balance at Coles Express via Flybuys or now, directly with 7-Eleven stores nationwide.
Which option gives you the most value? We take a look below., crunching the numbers on which one could get you to your flight reward sooner.
This is based on the petrol spend required per point to redeem for a Sydney-Melbourne Domestic Business Class flight on Qantas (18,400 pts) or Virgin Australia (15,500 pts).
There are some important assumptions and notes to consider:
- We have assumed that you are purchasing 91 Unleaded fuel at 129.9c per litre (obviously this fluctuates over time)
- BP offers Qantas Points per litre, depending on the petrol type
- Caltex and Coles Express (using the 4c/L discount) offers points per dollar spent, regardless of petrol type
- Coles Express (using the 8 bonus points/L option) offers Flybuys points for both the amount spent and the amount fuelled
- 7-Eleven offers Velocity Points per litre of fuel, depending on the petrol type.
Qantas and BP
|Estimated spend for a Business Class flight: around A$13,790 [Ultimate 98] to A$23,900 [other fuels]|
The following Qantas Points can be earned when purchasing fuel at BP fuel stations nationwide:
- 2 Qantas Point per litre of BP Ultimate 98 Motor Fuel
- 1 Qantas Point per litre of 91, 95, Diesel, Ultimate Diesel or LPG
- 1 Qantas Point per A$1 spent on eligible in-store products
With regular fuel purchases, you’ll spend 1 dollar per Qantas Point earned while at BP fuel stations. Given that you need 18,400 Qantas Points to get that Qantas Business Class flight, that equates to a relative ‘cost’ of $23,900 spent on most fuels at BP, assuming a bowser cost of 129.9 cents per litre.
But if you exclusively fuelled up on BP Ultimate 98 instead, say at an average price of 149.9 cents per litre, then you’d only need to pump 9,200L at a rough cost of $13,790 before unlocking that Qantas Business Class flight.
This is because Ultimate 98 fuel is never usually double the price of other fuel types, but you do earn double the Qantas Points. Thus, it’s more efficient to buy Ultimate 98 if you wish to reach your flight reward faster.
Woolworths Rewards and Ampol (Caltex)
|Estimated spend for a Business Class flight: around A$38,000|
Whilst you’ll earn 1 Everyday Rewards point per A$1 spent on fuel (and only fuel) at participating outlets, you can only convert those points to Qantas Points once your account has 2,000 Everyday Rewards points. Once transferred, you’ll normally get 1,000 Qantas Points in your account.
To get the requisite 18,400 Qantas Points for a Business Class flight, you’d need to first accumulate 36,800 Woolworths Everyday Rewards points. Through fuel alone, and at an assumed price of 129.9 cents per litre of U91 fuel, you would need to purchase 28,329 litres at a total cost of $36,800 to earn the required 36,800 Woolworths Everyday Rewards points – quite a hefty ask.
Woolworths Everyday Rewards recently expanded to Tasmania, so existing Frequent Shopper Club members on the Apple Isle should look at swapping their points over to the new program.
Members of Woolworths Everyday Rewards may be able to collect vouchers to redeem a 4 cents/L discount on fuel purchases, after spending $30 or more at Woolworths supermarkets.
Flybuys and Coles Express
|Estimated spend for a Business Class flight: around A$3,776|
Coles Express offers 1 Flybuys point per $2 spent on fuel. Those points can then be transferred to Velocity Frequent Flyer at a rate of 1,000 Flybuys points to 500 Velocity points – essentially the same as Qantas/Woolworths Rewards.
In addition to the standard earn rate, members also can earn discount vouchers when spending more than $30 at Coles supermarkets, which have two uses:
- A standard 4c/L discount on fuel, or
- 8 bonus Flybuys points per litre of fuel
The ability to boast your earn rate by 8 points per litre is an interesting one indeed. We’d recommend picking this option instead of the 4c/L discount for the reasons detailed below. You can adjust your Flybuys reward settings here.
As you need 15,500 Velocity Points for the shortest Business Class flights, that’s equivalent to 31,000 Flybuys points. If you take up the standard 4c/L discount option, you would need to purchase 24,622 litres at a total cost of $31,000 to earn the required 31,000 Flybuys points – again, quite a hefty ask.
But if you take up the 8 bonus Flybuys points per litre option, and assuming you fuel up 40L at a time at an average cost of $129.9 cents per litre ($51.96 per visit), it would take you 90 visits to earn enough points for Business Class, at a rough cost of just $3,776.
This is potentially one of the most rewarding fuel partnerships at the moment.
Velocity and 7-Eleven
|Estimated spend for a Business Class flight: around A$10,850 [premium fuels] to A$20,150 [other fuels]|
The following Velocity Points can be earned when purchasing fuel at 7-Eleven fuel stations nationwide:
- 2 Velocity Point per litre of premium fuels including Unleaded 95 and 98
- 1 Velocity Point per litre of regular fuels including diesel, LPG and Unleaded 91
- 2 Velocity Point per A$1 spent on eligible in-store products
With regular fuel purchases, you’ll earn 1 Velocity Point for every litre purchased at 7-Eleven. Given that you need 15,500 Velocity Points to get that Virgin Australia Business Class flight, that equates to a relative ‘cost’ of $20,150 spent on most fuels at BP, assuming a bowser cost of 129.9 cents per litre.
But if you exclusively fuelled up on Premium Unleaded 95 instead, say at an average price of 139.9 cents per litre, then you’d only need to pump 7,750L at a rough cost of $10,850 before unlocking that Business Class flight.
The Velocity/7-Eleven partnership is potentially more fruitful than the Qantas/BP tie-up because double points are earned on the cheaper Premium Unleaded 95 fuel with 7-Eleven, but not with BP. Also, with 7-Eleven’s popular price fuel-lock, you can secure a lower price during the week and use it when you fuel up.
Which partnership earns you the most points?
|Frequent flyer program/fuel chain||Earn rate||Points needed to redeem a Business Class flight between Sydney and Melbourne||Fuel spend required|
|Qantas/BP||Regular fuel||1 Qantas Point per litre||18,400 Qantas Points||Assuming 129.9c/L for U91
$23,902 for 18,400L of fuel
|BP Ultimate 98||2 Qantas Points per litre||Assuming 149.9c/L for U98
$13,791 for 9,200L of fuel
|Woolworths Rewards/Ampol (Caltex)||All fuel types||1 Everyday Rewards point per A$1||18,400 Qantas Points|
(2 Everyday Rewards points = 1 Qantas Point)
|Assuming 129.9c/L for U91
$36,800 for 28,329L of fuel
|Flybuys/Coles Express||Using 4c/dollar discount||1 Flybuys point per A$2||15,500 Velocity Points|
(2 Flybuys points = 1 Velocity Point)
|Assuming 125.9c/L after discount
$31,000 for 24,622L of fuel
|Using 8 points/dollar bonus||8 Flybuys points per litre + 1 Flybuys point per A$2||Assuming 129.9c/L for U91 and 40L of fuel per transaction
$3,776 for 3,600L of fuel over 90 transactions
|Velocity/7-Eleven||Regular fuel||1 Velocity Point per litre||15,500 Velocity Points||Assuming 129.9c/L for U91
$20,135 for 15,500L of fuel
|Premium fuel||2 Velocity Points per litre||Assuming 139.9c/L for U95
$10,843 for 7,750L of fuel
From this example, it’s clear that the Flybuys-Coles Express tie-up gives you the best bang for your buck when using your voucher for 8 bonus points per litre fuelled. That will supercharge you to a Virgin Australia flight via Velocity Frequent Flyer much quicker than any other partnership.
The next best option is getting Premium Unleaded 95 fuel from 7-Eleven which awards 2 Velocity Points per dollar. Coming up in 3rd place is fuelling up with BP Ultimate 98, which awards 2 Qantas Points per dollar.
All things being equal (including fuel prices), if you are working towards a flight redemption, you’re likely to get there quicker if you fill up at Coles Express and take advantage of the 8c bonus points option, which will ultimately allow you to transfer your Flybuys points to Velocity Points.
For those wishing to earn Qantas Points, however, you should direct your spending towards the BP-Qantas partnership, particularly if you purchase BP Ultimate 98 fuel. But the new Velocity/7-Eleven partnership is very competitive too.
Remember that the examples in this guide are based on fixed petrol rates – in real life, this will fluctuate so your earnings may increase or decrease proportionally to fuel prices. It also doesn’t take into account paying your fuel with a rewards-earning credit card, which could see you sitting at the front of the plane much sooner.
Images courtesy of respective fuel companies. Updates by Brandon Loo.
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