Esso Extra Points: Are They Worth It?

Tuesday 22nd, July 2014 / 02:14 Written by
Esso Extra Points: Are They Worth It?
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The Skinny

Esso gas station has a loyalty program, called Esso Extra.

The value of a Esso Extra point is about 0.65¢ each.

When filling up regular gas, you can earn Esso Extra points (1 point / $ spent) or Aeroplan miles (1 mile / $3 spent). Esso Extra points are better to collect, unless you value Aeroplan miles at better than 1.95¢ each.

Esso Extra points can be used towards car washes, discounting gas, retail gift cards or transferring to RBC rewards.

The best uses are car washes or transfers to RBC Rewards for RBC Avion cardholders.

These are the redemption values:

Item Retail Value Number of Esso Extra Points Redemption Value
Luxury Wash* $15 599 2.45¢
Basic Car Wash* $9 499 1.81¢
RBC Rewards Transfer** $25 2,500 1.00¢
Price Privilege Card – 5 cent / 200L reload $10 1,400 0.71¢
Price Privilege Card – 5 cent / 200L initial card $10 1,500 0.67¢
$30 gas gift card $70 11,500 0.61¢
Basic Auto Club Membership $83 14,000 0.59¢
$25 Tim Hortons Gift Card $25 4,500 0.56¢

*Prices observed in Toronto and assume HST included in the Esso Extra rewards redemption

* Assumes RBC Rewards are connected to RBC Avion card and are valued at 1.66¢ each. The actual value is variable.

Overview

Esso is one of the largest gas retailers in Canada. In addition to earning bonuses on credit card rewards such as with the Scotiabank Cards (Gold Amex card review), you can also get loyalty points from their own loyalty program called Esso Extra.

The Esso Extra points are completely independent of the method of payment used. Therefore, if you earn points from your credit card, the Esso Extra points will be in addition to those points you earn.

The information can be found at the Esso Extra website.

get-more-gas-mileage-canada

Earning

When filling up gas, there are 2 options on which loyalty program to collect with: Aeroplan or Esso Extra. You can collect one or the other, but not both. Swiping your Aeroplan card will earn you 1 Aeroplan mile for every $3 spent on regular gas. Swiping your Esso Extra card instead will earn you 1 Esso Extra point for every $1 spent on regular gas. The rates are doubled for the medium grade of and tripled for the highest grade of gas.

Grade of Gas Esso Extra Aeroplan
Regular Gas 1 Point / $1 1 Point / $3
Medium Grade Gas 2Point / $1 1 Point / $2
Highest Grade 3 Point / $1 1 Point / $1

Valuing an Esso Extra Point

When looking at the redemption options, most of the time, an Esso Extra point gets you about 0.65¢ of value. This is based on the redemption for gas discounts. I believe it is reasonable that people filling up gas will value a gas discount as the natural usage of their points.
Gas redemptions are not necessarily the best value for your Esso Extra points. They are simply a reasonable proxy for placing a valuation of the Esso Extra points.

Redeeming Points

There are many ways to redeem Esso Extra points, including transferring to other programs, redeeming for car washes, gas discounts and retail gift cards.

Car Washes

The best use of Esso Extra points is going to be redeeming for car washes. Redeeming for car washes can give you value of 1.5¢ each or more.

Here are the car wash redemption options and my observed retail price.

Car Wash Type Esso Extra Points Retail Price* Value of Esso Extra Points
Full Wash 499 Points $9.03 1.80¢
Luxury Wash 599 Points $14.68 2.45¢

*Prices were observed in Toronto and include HST. This assumes HST will not be charged on Esso Extra redemptions. Each gas station will have its own price with different offers based on gas purchases etc.

RBC Rewards Transfer

I believe that one of the best usage of Esso Extra points will be a transfer to RBC Rewards, if you carry the RBC Avion card, which would give you approximate value of 1¢ each

Esso Extra rewards transfer to RBC Rewards at a rate of 2500 Esso Extra points = 1500 RBC Rewards.

Explanation

For people who carry the RBC Avion card, RBC Rewards should be worth about 2¢ each. Remember, if you carry the Avion card and pay the annual fee, you are actively deciding that you value 1 RBC Avion Reward per dollar spent, more than a the 2¢ / dollar spent you might get with a comparable card, such as the MBNA World Elite or the BMO World Elite cards. For easy math, let’s assume 1 RBC point = 1.66¢. IF that is the case, then 2500 Esso Extra Points = 1500 RBC Rewards = $25. This gives a value of 1 Esso Extra point = 1¢, which is a great value.

Points.com Transfer

Esso Extra is also an eligible loyalty program connected to Points.com. Given this, it is possible to trade Esso Extra points to other loyalty programs. The most reasonable exchange appears to be the Aeroplan to Esso Extra exchange, which I suggest people use in conjunction with the RBC Avion rewards transfer to turn Aeroplan miles into British Airways Avios or turn Aeroplan miles into American AAdvantage miles.

See my article on trading Aeroplan miles for American AAdvantage.

Gas Discounts

Gas discounts are another way to make use of your Esso Extra points. There are 2 redemption options when it comes to discounting gas:

  • Price Privileges Card – offer best discount
  • Gas gift cards

Price Privileges Cards

Price Privileges cards offer a ¢ / L discount on a fixed number of Litres filled. Esso Extra points can be used to buy base cards or reloads onto existing cards. The most favorable of these offers a 5¢/L discount on 200 L of gas (total $10), and costs 1,500 points the first time, and 1,400 points for subsequent reloads. This gives a redemption rate of 0.66¢ / Esso Extra points for the base card or 7.1¢ for the reload.

Here are all the Price Privilege cards that Esso Extra points can be used on:

Card # Discount Number of Litres Dollar Value of Discount Number of Esso Extra Points Redemption Value
Reload #1 $0.05 200 $10.00 1400 0.71¢
Base Card #1 $0.05 200 $10.00 1500 0.67¢
Reload #2 $0.10 250 $25.00 4000 0.63¢
Base Card #2 $0.10 250 $25.00 4100 0.61¢
Reload #3 $0.25 200 $50.00 8200 0.61¢
Base Card #3 $0.25 200 $50.00 8300 0.60¢

Gas Gift Cards

Gas gift cards allow you to use the entire amount in a single fill up. For the privilege, you will pay a significant premium over a Price Privilege card.

Here are the prices for all the gas gift cards available for Esso Extra point redemption:

Gift Card Value Number of Esso Extra Points Redemption Value
$10 1,800 0.56¢
$20 3,500 0.57¢
$30 5,000 0.60¢
$40 6,800 0.59¢
$50 8,500 0.59¢
$60 10,000 0.60¢
$70 11,500 0.61¢
$80 13,500 0.59¢

The best redemption comes at the $70 gift card range, but all the gift cards are priced quite close to 0.6¢ in redemption value.

Convenience Store Rewards

The convenience store rewards are always a tough one to value. If you are going to be spending money in the convenience store and paying the convenience store prices for things, then you might get good value out of your Esso Extra points. However, if you are comparing the prices to what you could pay at the grocery store, then redeeming points for convenience store items represents very poor value.

Each item is priced differently in different stores. I would suggest that when redeeming to make sure you are getting at least 0.6¢ of value for your points, when compared to what you how much you value having that item at that time.

Retail

Esso Extra point can also be used for retail gift cards. $25 gift cards are priced at 4500 Esso Extra points, giving a relatively poor return of 0.56¢ each.

The following gift cards can be redeemed with Esso Extra points:

  • Tim Hortons
  • Shopper’s Drug Mart
  • Hudson’s Bay
  • Chapters
  • Choice Hotels
  • Bon Apetit / Swiss Chalet
  • HMV
  • Roots
  • iTunes
  • Home Depot
  • FutureShop
  • Golf Town
  • SportChek
  • Home Depot
  • The Gap

Redeeming for HBC rewards provides a similar value as purchasing the Hudson’s Bay gift card.

Personally I would shy away from the retail gift cards as a Esso Extra points redemption.

Movie Tickets

Cineplex Odeon movie night passes (2 movie tickets, 2 drinks and popcorn) can be bought with 4500 Esso Extra points. These are the same ones that can be bought from Costco for about $25. This provides the same return as the retail gift cards above.

I don’t think these are great value. If you are interested in discounting movie tickets, see my article on Hacks For Cheap Movie Tickets.

Auto Club Membership

Finally, Esso Extra points can be used to purchase the Imperial Oil Auto Membership. Since the amounts are so high, it would take a long time (several years for most people) to earn enough Esso Extra points to pay for a membership.

Here are the rates:

Membership Level Retail Cost Number of Esso Extra Points Redemption Value
Basic Primary Coverage $83 14,000 0.59¢
Basic Family Coverage $101 17,000 0.59¢
Deluxe Primary Coverage $107 18,000 0.59¢
Deluxe Family Coverage $131 21,000 0.62¢

Summary

Esso Extra points have their best value for car washes, where they return well above 1.5¢ of value each.

RBC Rewards, and gas discounts through the Price Privileges cards are also good value.

Gas gift cards, retail gift cards and the auto club memberships represent relatively poor return compared to other options.

The value of the convenience store rewards is highly variable, and can represent good value only if you place a high value on the convenience of being able to buy the items at the convenience store at inflated prices.

Item Retail Value Number of Esso Extra Points Redemption Value
Luxury Wash* $15 599 2.45¢
Basic Car Wash* $9 499 1.81¢
RBC Rewards Transfer** $25 2,500 1.00¢
Price Privilege Card – 5 cent / 200L reload $10 1,400 0.71¢
Price Privilege Card – 5 cent / 200L initial card $10 1,500 0.67¢
$30 gas gift card $70 11,500 0.61¢
Basic Auto Club Membership $83 14,000 0.59¢
$25 Tim Hortons Gift Card $25 4,500 0.56¢

*Prices observed in Toronto and assume HST included in the Esso Extra rewards redemption

* Assumes RBC Rewards are connected to RBC Avion card and are valued at 1.66¢ each. The actual value is variable.

Help Us Educate Canada and Share

8 comments on “Esso Extra Points: Are They Worth It?”

  1. Catherine Thompson says:

    E-mail me back and let me know how I can find out how many Esso Extra points I have.

    Thank you.

  2. omer says:

    excellent comparison, great research. thanks

  3. Garret says:

    Great work, thanks!

  4. Jos says:

    Esso customer service representative here. Our luxury car washes are actually 699 points, not 599 (that is our full wash, and the base wash is 499). That makes the cash value of the points being 2.15 cents per point when redeemed for a luxury wash.

  5. willard townsend says:

    cannot figure out how many points I have-live a fair distance away now–2 cards–601777 3526 1941 3827 and 5426 —thankyou in advance

  6. Anton says:

    Good comparison. Esso card would be great if it works..

    I ordered mine a month ago and it does not work. I used it twice and later noticed that I have zero points.
    I tried to reach customer support about this issue, but they did not help. So, I am really disappointed with Esso and do not know how to get my points.

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