Capitec and Nedbank have both launched fuel rewards, making them the last of the major banks to do so.
FNB was the first of the banks to introduce rewards based on fuel purchases as part of its eBucks rewards programme in 2010. Absa and Standard Bank followed with their Absa Rewards and uCount programmes, while Discovery Bank (and its predecessor the standalone credit card) also offers rewards for fuel.
In 2016, Clicks began offering its Clubcard members points for filling up at Shell. The deal ended abruptly in November 2019, with the partnership shifting to Engen. Dis-Chem copied this in late 2017 by partnering with Total.
Nedbank has relaunched its Greenbacks rewards proposition; it now comprises three different packages linked to specific Nedbank products (including day-to-day money management as well as loan customers).
Only one, Card Swiper, earns customers money back at partner BP. Account holders have to activate Greenbacks, and opt in to Card Swiper. It is free to clients with Optimum, Savvy Plus Gold, Savvy Bundle and Nedbank Professional Banking accounts. Other customers will pay R24 per month.
Greenbacks Card Swiper customers will earn cashback of 25c per litre with the bank selling the fact that there are “no complex rules or loyalty tiers”.
Capitec has partnered with Shell, which runs its own V+ Rewards programme following the ‘divorce’ from Clicks Clubcard.
This standalone rewards programme earns motorists instant cash rewards of 15c per litre as well as 0.5% on selected items in-store at Shell fuel stations (excluding airtime, tobacco and so on) when swiping their V+ cards.
When they swipe their V+ cards and pay for purchases with their Capitec cards, they will earn 20c per litre back at Shell (loaded onto their V+ cards).
Cash back at this level for Capitec’s partnership (20c per litre) is comparable to the levels offered by other banks on their debit cards. However, Nedbank Greenbacks’ flat-rate of 25c per litre is among the lowest when compared to other earn rates on credit cards of rival banks.
eBucks’s maximum rewards levels appear low when compared to those available for credit card use on Standard Bank uCount and Absa Rewards.
However, from July 2019, FNB has offered the potential to “Double Up” on fuel earn, should a customer meet three qualifying requirements. They need to have vehicle finance with Wesbank, have loaded their car on Nav >> Car in the FNB app and do 100% of fuel spend at Engen. Doing this will earn them double their cash back from the bank at the end of each quarter.
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Discovery customers are strongly incentivised to use both Discovery Insure and Discovery Bank as they will earn cash back on both products.
Rewards programmes are (obviously) designed to incentivise customers to change behaviour. In this case, people are encouraged to shift the majority (or all) of their fuel spend to a specific fuel retailer. There are volume advantages for the fuel companies, which they are willing to pay for in the form of part of their margin (as cashback).
Banks that provide merchant infrastructure to fuel retailers are also willing to give back some of their margin.
There are advantages to using both a bank rewards programme as well as a retailer one, as you will earn rewards on both.
For example, Discovery clients and Pick n Pay Smart Shopper customers can use both cards at BP. Similarly, FNB customers who swipe their Clicks Clubcard will earn partner rewards on their Clubcard as well as via eBucks.
All the bank rewards programmes linked to fuel have limits.
On eBucks (FNB), these range from R1500 to R3000 of spend, depending on your account type. Absa Rewards customers only earn on the first R3000 spent at Sasol in a month. Some retailer programmes have limits on the cashback that can be earned, including Pick n Pay Smart Shopper which is capped at the first 500 litres per month.
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This article first appeared on Moneyweb