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27/04/2014

Get free petrol from your bank

News24.com - Looking for a free tank of petrol? Go ask your bank manager.

Banks give away fuel worth millions of rand to clients every month by way of their different loyalty programmes. A quick survey of the large retail banks show that motorists have to date received more than R300m worth of free petrol.

FNB says that the bank has given away nearly R202m in free fuel since 2010 when it expanded their loyalty programme to include fuel purchases. Motorists can earn eBucks (FNB’s loyalty currency worth 10c each) when they pay for petrol and diesel using a FNB card.

Clients can earn up eBucks up to 15% of the value of fuel purchases at any filling station. These eBucks can be spent on products at a wide variety of retailers, on internet purchases or on stuff at the forecourt shops at most Engen filling stations.

How many eBucks a motorist will receive when buying fuel will depend on his level in the loyalty programme – basically the more of the bank’s products you use and the more you use your card for payment, the higher the level and thus more rewarding.

FNB says that the rewards earned by customers equates to more than 336 000 tanks of free fuel since the launch of the programme.

Standard Bank partnered with Caltex in its rewards programme to offer motorists some relief from ever-increasing fuel prices. Their marketing implies that motorists can pay R1 per litre less for their petrol and diesel with the slogan “Get R1 back in reward points per litre of fuel at Caltex”.

Their rewards programme is similar to that of FNB with different tiers of rewards depending on how much a client uses their Standard Bank debit or credit card for payments. Clients earn UCount rewards on their card purchases, which includes all fuel purchases.

“When Standard Bank’s UCount Rewards programme launched in June 2013, the fuel rewards were part of the offering to customers. To date, through the redemption of fuel rewards, UCount Rewards members have saved over R77m on fuel,” says the bank.

“Every time you use your card you will collect rewards points which you can redeem for a variety of items, including fuel from Caltex forecourts.” Clients receive the R1 per litre discount in the highest tier of Standard Bank’s reward programme. The 25c per litre at the lowest tier is also nothing to sneeze at; it buys a cool drink and a packet of crisps every time the nozzle goes into the tank.

Absa adjusted their rewards programme to include fuel purchases just more than 3 months ago. Absa partnered with Sasol and the bank offers a 5% cash-back on fuel purchases from Sasol service stations. In the first 180 days, customers have shared in excess of R20m in cash rewards.

“The fuel price continues to rise, which has a major impact on South African consumers given they spend a high proportion of their salaries on fuel,” says Arrie Rautenbach, head of Absa Retail Banking. “Any relief we can offer customers on what they spend at the pumps is additional money they have to spend on other necessities.”

Absa Rewards members get a guaranteed 5% cash back for all Absa card purchases (be it debit, cheque, credit or garage cards) made at Sasol service stations throughout South Africa, irrespective of whether this spend is at the fuel pumps or at the Sasol convenience stores. It is, however, limited to a maximum of R3 000 per month, indicating that it is to help consumers rather than large trucking companies.

It seems to make sense for Sasol too. Rautenbach says that since the announcement of the partnership, Absa Rewards members have more than doubled their spending at the more than 367 Sasol service stations nationwide.

Nedbank usually lags the other commercial banks in developing and launching new products and clients cannot earn loyalty points on their fuel purchases. However, clients can load their Greenbacks loyalty points which they earn at other participating retailers onto their pre-paid cards and use that to purchase fuel.



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