In the rewards scheme world, there’s been a huge number of changes recently. BP have just launched their own brand rewards scheme, BPme rewards after being with Nectar for nearly 20 years.
Shell has also released an update to their Drivers Club called Go+, Gulf is releasing an own brand called Oomph! At the end of the month and Esso will start to use Nectar soon. So much change, but here’s our roundup of the three new own brand schemes and what we think of them, what makes them different, and what the three companies themselves said about it.
BP has got a physical card with four designs, one saying “High five”, “Nice one”, “Ker-ching!” and “Ta very much” which definitely feels like a move to a more modern brand, and like they’re really trying to shed the old feel of the brand.
The card itself is a lime green colour so it definitely stands out from the more muted colours of peoples wallets.
BP has also released an online web portal as well as updating the app, and from my quick scan through, the web is so much better than the app, it loads fast and looks really clean. The app has retained much of the old app with a small section for the rewards card, which is unnoticeable on the home screen. The online portal contains the rewards catalogue (we’ll come to that later) as well as all the account settings.
You can have up to 5 cards linked to your account, although I haven’t found the benefit of this yet, please let me know in the comments below what you think the benefit could be. While you can have up to five linked to one account, each card itself can only be registered to one account, so my theory of partner sharing didn’t work out. BP do say they want to introduce partner linked accounts and points sharing but this isn’t released yet.
The strangest thing I saw was the gifts catalogue. It contained everything from a grill pan to a Frozen (Disney film not actually an ice block) backpack. The gift catalogue seems quite random for a fuel company to be offering. On top of that, points are displayed showing a count towards a certain percentage of the cost of the item, rather than the total number of points needed. For example, the grill pan (with a unique coating imitating stone) costs you 2100 points or 840 points plus £6.99 (which is what is displayed). The rewards on offer seem a bit strange, as you can put them towards money off in store, or a gift voucher.
Points wise, you earn 1 point for every litre of regular fuel, 2 points for every litre of Ultimate fuel and 1 point for each pound spent in shop. Exclusions apply: BPme Reward points cannot be earned on tobacco and related products, phone cards, baby milk, postage stamps, utility cards, e top-up and lottery, which is fairly standard for most promotions.
You can also currently earn 250 points for registering your card on the website and 100 for linking your Nectar card if you’ve shopped at a BP before. This offer isn’t publicised so it may not appear or work for everyone. Without even shopping at BP I’ve already got 350 points which are worth £1.75. Not too bad so far!
Nicola Grady-Smith, BP Retail Operations Director UK said: “BPme Rewards is our exciting new personalized loyalty programme that allows customers to earn points on fuel and in-store purchases at BP’s UK forecourts, with double the points on BP Ultimate fuels. Customers can choose between spending their points for fuels, in store, or on a range of offers available online.”
Shell Go+ has been around since March but as they have an overlap with their previous Shell Drivers Club, they haven’t done a full push for it yet. You stop collecting points on your physical card from the 30th June but can currently collect points on the digital-only Go+ card.
If you’re not a smartphone user or have a very old smartphone, you’ll no longer be able to get Shell rewards, which is something to consider, especially if you’ve got lots of points on your current card. Perhaps speaking to a relative or friend if you struggle with tech to get them to set it up online so you don’t lose all your points.
In terms of the customer experience on the app and web, the harmony is exactly the same, it’s very simple to use and the digital card is fairly easy to find. There isn’t much in the app and the main things you need are on a slider on the main screen, making it easy to navigate.
The perks of being a Shell Go+ member includes an automatic 10% off things including Costa Express, Jamie Oliver Deli, car washes and more, without needing to “unlock” anything. You also get random little rewards every now and then, such as by three set items and get a 5ppl voucher for fuel. If you have Shell Energy, you also get Go+ rewards and points for that.
Another interesting thing about Go+ is that you don’t get points, you get visits (a £10 or more fuel spend or £2 spend in the shop.) After 10 visits you get a money off fuel voucher which they don’t specify how much it will be, but it will hopefully be a good number.
All in all, a very simple service that seems to have a lot more to come.
A spokeswoman for Shell said “Shell Go+ provides our loyal customers with a much more personalised offer than was previously available through Shell Drivers Club. Our members can now earn rewards across all the Shell products and services they use – not just when purchasing fuel. Each week, we attract around five million customers to our sites: with one in every three transactions at our service stations being a non-fuels purchase. The biggest change is that members are now rewarded for visits to Shell, not just on the amount of fuel they buy. And we’ve made it even easier to redeem rewards by making them instantly available via the app – members no longer have to wait for their vouchers to arrive in the post and then remember to bring them when they visit us.“
Oomph! From Gulf/Certas
Oomph! Is not fully released yet, only to fleet at the minute, but at the end of the month they’ll be releasing it to everyone. Gulf has more of a presence in the Midlands/North, so I’ve never visited one myself and therefore haven’t got as much knowledge of how it will work compared to the current Gulf experience.
Gulf seems to have launched the app, but I don’t want to comment on it until I’ve had the chance to try it out. It also seems to be quite basic, so I don’t know if a newer build is coming at some point.
Gerry Welsh, Retail Marketing Manager for Gulf said “We will shortly roll out our new Oomph loyalty platform to Gulf dealers at the end of the month.
Drivers can sign up to Oomph via an App, website or in store. Drivers collect points when they purchase fuel, lubricants and car washes and can enter high-value prize draws in our Monthly Prize Hauls and they can also vote for their local charity to win £1000. In addition to this, dealers can provide additional offers to their customers and this will include deals such as free coffees, money off in-store and money off fuels.”
Esso and Nectar
Nectar, having been part of BP for nearly 20 years, is now moving to Esso with a roll-out happening since 1st June. It seems to be running the same as it has previously but Esso is apparently introducing more features in 2020.
At the minute, at participating stores only, you earn one point for every £1 spent on fuel, and two points on every £1 spent in store. If your local Esso has a Tesco Express attached, you won’t be able to use Nectar, but you can see more here, including qualifying stores: https://www.nectar.com/esso
Bringing it all together, the next few months look to see some exciting developments for loyalty programs. It’s a great thing to sign up to and having an extra loyalty program never hurt anyone as the perks often do pay off.
If you’re an avid loyalty card user at the forecourts whether it’s Esso and Nectar or one of the ones listed above, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and some of you might be contacted for a three-month study we’re interested in doing!
What do you think of the new loyalty schemes? Are you excited to try any out? What are your thoughts on the offerings? Let us know below