Petro Points Rewards: Are They Worth It?

Tuesday 29th, July 2014 / 03:21 Written by
Petro Points Rewards: Are They Worth It?
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The Skinny

Petro Canada has a loyalty program called Petro Points. If filling up at Petro Canada, always swipe the Petro Points card.

Regular members filling up regular gas can earn a return of 0.50% – 0.75%  on all gas spending.

  • CAA Members who link their Petro Points and CAA accounts earn 20% more
  • Buying more gas gets monthly bonus points
  • Buying higher grades of gas can earn a better return

All purchases at Petro Canada earn Petro Points

  • Regular gas earns 5 Petro Points / L
  • Plus gas earns 7 Petro Points / L
  • Ultra gas earns 10 Petro Points / L
  • Car washes and convenience store items earn 20 Petro Points / $

Petro Points can be used towards many items:

  • Car washes – best redemption value
  • Fuel Savings
    • Fuel savings Rewards Cards are better than gas gift cards
  • Retail gift cards
  • CAA Membership

These are the redemption values:

Best Returns Dollar Value Number of Petro Points Redemption Value (10 Petro Points)
Basic Car Wash (Glide) Single Purchase $12.37 7000 1.77¢
Luxury Car Wash (Glide for Car Lovers) Single Purchase $14.63 9000 1.63¢
CAA Membership $70.00 60000 1.17¢
Luxury Car Wash (Glide for Car Lovers) 15 wash online reload $9.67 9000 1.07¢
CAA Dollars $1.00 1000 1.00¢
Fuel Savings Card – Reload $10.00 11000 0.91¢
Fuel Savings Card $10.00 12000 0.83¢
$25 Best Buy Canada Discount (e-gift) $25.00 30000 0.83¢
Gas Gift Card $25.00 40000 0.63¢
Gas / Convenience Store Instant Discount $1.00 2000 0.50¢
$25 The Bay Gift Card $25.00 50000 0.50¢

Overview

Petro Canada is one of Canada’s major national gas bars. Petro Canada has an associated loyalty program called Petro Points. CIBC Offers a credit card which discounts purchases at Petro Canada.  This article and infographic below focuses on the Petro Points program only.

get-more-gas-mileage-canada

Earning

Every purchase at Petro Canada will earn Petro Points. The higher margin items earn more points. Gas earning is dependent on the grade of gas purchased.

Something to note is that most programs use a point value in the range near 1 point =  ½¢ – 1¢ . Petro Points use point values in the 10 points =  ½¢ – 1¢ range.

Monthly Bonuses

Each month, Petro Canada will reward you for buying a certain number of Litres from them.

  • 1000 Petro Points for buying 250 Litres in a month
  • 750 Petro Points for buying 150 – 249 Litres in a month

Earning Extra Petro Points through CAA

In Ontario, Petro Canada and CAA have joined forces and now CAA members who link their membership number to their Petro Points card will earn an extra 20% Petro Points on every purchase at Petro Canada. This is a very easy way to increase the return you get from Petro Canada, if you are already a CAA member.

Valuing Petro Points

Petro points have a value of 10 points = 0.9¢ of value. This is based on redeeming for gas discounts. Most people who are filling up gas will obviously value gas discounts as a natural use of points. Gas discounts  make a reasonable proxy for valuation of gas loyalty points. Redemptions such as car washes are going to get better value, however.

Redeeming Points

There are many ways to redeem Petro Points, including gas or car washes, retail purchases and transferring to other loyalty programs.

Car Washes

The best use of Petro Points is going to be for car washes. Redeeming for car washes can give you a value of 10 Petro Points = 1.4¢ or more.

There are a few different kinds of car washes at Petro Canada. The type of car wash you buy will depend on what is available at your local station. There are 2 types of car washes: “Super Works / Super Wash” and “Glide”. You can read more about them here.

The higher level car washes (Super Works / Super Wash and Glide for Auto Lovers) can be bought in bulk through initial cards or online reloads. For analysis purposes, I have included those options in the valuation. For people who buy bulk car washes, the value of each car wash is less than for those who purchase car washes one at a time.

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

Car Wash Type Bulk Purchase Type Petro Points Required to Redeem for a Car Wash Retail Price* / Wash Petro Points Earned with Car Wash Purchase** Petro Points Spent + Not Earned Value of 10 Petro Points
The Works Single Car Wash 6000 $11.85 237 – 284 6237 – 6284 1.90¢ – 1.89¢
Super Works / Super Wash Single Car Wash 8000 $13.55 270 – 325 8270 – 8325 1.64¢ – 1.63¢
Super Works / Super Wash 5 Pack or 15 Pack Initial Purchase 8000 $12.00 240 – 288 8240 – 8288 1.46¢ – 1.45¢
Super Works / Super Wash 5 Pack Online Reload 8000 $9.00 180 – 216 8180 – 8216 1.10¢ – 1.10¢
Super Works / Super Wash 15 Pack Online Reload 8000 $8.67 173 – 208 8173 – 8208 1.06¢ – 1.06¢
Glide Plus Single Car Wash 7000 $12.37 247 – 296 7247 – 7296 1.71¢ – 1.70¢
Glide for Car Lovers Single Car Wash 9000 $14.63 292 – 351 9292 – 9351 1.57¢ – 1.56¢
Glide for Car Lovers 5 Pack or 15 Pack Initial Purchase 9000 $13.00 260 – 312 9260 – 9312 1.40¢ – 1.40¢
Glide for Car Lovers 5 Pack Online Reload 9000 $10.00 200 – 240 9200 – 9240 1.09¢ – 1.08¢
Glide for Car Lovers 15 Pack Online Reload 9000 $9.67 193 – 232 9193 – 9232 1.05¢ – 1.05¢
* Retail Price includes HST
** Regular Petro Points members earn 20 Petro Points / Dollar Spent on car washes, CAA Members earn 24 Petro Points / Dollar spent on car washes

Paying for car washes would normally earn more Petro Points. When redeeming Petro Points for car washes, those points are no longer earned. The above analysis incorporates those “unearned” points as a cost of redemption.

Fuel Savings

If you already have a clean car, you can use Petro Points for discounts on gas. There are 2 redemption options here:

  • Fuel Savings Rewards Cards – offer best discount
  • Gas Rewards
  • Gas Gift Cards

It is important to note that the amount that si discounted would normally earn more Petro Points, but due to the discount, those points are no longer earned. When doing an anlysis it is important to bear those “unearned” points as a cost of redemption. In the case of the gas discounts, the “unearned points” are relatively insignificant and have been excluded from the calculation for simplicity.

Fuel Savings Rewards Cards

Fuel Savings Rewards cards offer the best discount on gas by offering a fixed ¢/L discount on a maximum number of Litres filled. Petro Points can be used to buy base cards or to reload existing cards, with reloads offering a discount over initial cards. There are 2 denominations that can be bought using Petro Points. From the perspecitive of maximizing point value, both options are equally good, with reloads being favored over the purchase of new cards.

Here are the redemption values of the Fuel Savings Cards:

Card Type Discount / Litre Number of Litres Dollar Value of Discount Number of Petro Points Value of 10 Petro Points
5 ¢ / Litre Card $0.05 200 $10.00 12000 0.83¢
5 ¢ / Litre Reload $0.05 200 $10.00 11000 0.91¢
10 ¢ / Litre Card $0.10 200 $20.00 24000 0.83¢
10 ¢ / Litre Reload $0.10 200 $20.00 22000 0.91¢

Note that the Fuel Savings Reward card works exactly the same as the Preferred Price gift card. The Fuel Savings Reward is simply priced significantly cheaper.

Gas Gift Cards & Gas Rewards

Gas gift cards can also be purchased with Petro Points. I think that these are going to be poor value when compared to Fuel Savings Rewards cards. While the Fuel Savings Cards spread the discount over many Litres, the gift cards and gas rewards allow the discount to be taken in a single transaction. That benefit to the customer comes with a cost though.

Gas Rewards work just like gift cards and can be used to offset a fixed amount off a gas purchase. Fuel Savings cards and Gas Gift cards must be ordered in advance, while Gas Rewards give the discount instantaneously.

Since Petro Canada gift cards and Gas Rewards can both be redeemed in store, the only real advantage to the Gas Rewards is the small denominations.

Gas Reward Dollar Value of Discount Number of Petro Points Value of 10 Petro Points
$1 Gas Reward $1.00 2000 0.50¢
$5 Gas Rewards $5.00 10000 0.50¢
$10 Gas Rewards $10.00 20000 0.50¢
$20 Gas Rewards $20.00 40000 0.50¢
$25 Petro Canada Gift Card $25.00 40000 0.63¢
$50 Petro Canada Gift Card $50.00 80000 0.63¢
$100 Petro Canada Gift Card $100.00 160000 0.63¢

Convenience Store Rewards

Convenience Store Rewards offer a poor redemption value. When redeeming for convenience store items, the value works out to be the same as the Gas Rewards discussed above.

2000 Petro Points = $1 Convenience Store Discount

Retail

Petro Points can also be used for retail store gift cards. There is a wide selection of stores and all of them have the same value, regardless of store or denomination.

10,000 Petro Points = $5 gift card

The list of stores is long and denominations vary. Best Buy is the only store that gives a better discount than that.

Best Buy

Best Buy Canada has a special discount using Petro Points. Purchasing e-gift cards can be a significant savings over purchasing a regular gift card, if you are interested in buying things from Best Buy (Canada).

Store Dollar Value of Discount Number of Petro Points Value of 10 Petro Points
Best Buy Canada (e-gift) $10.00 12000 0.83¢
All Retail Stores $10.00 20000 0.50¢
All Retail Stores $15.00 30000 0.50¢
All Retail Stores $20.00 40000 0.50¢
Best Buy Canada (e-gift) $25.00 30000 0.83¢
All Retail Stores $25.00 50000 0.50¢
All Retail Stores $40.00 80000 0.50¢
Best Buy Canada (e-gift) $50.00 60000 0.83¢
All Retail Stores $50.00 100000 0.50¢
Best Buy Canada (e-gift) $100.00 120000 0.83¢
All Retail Stores $100.00 200000 0.50¢
Best Buy Canada (e-gift) $250.00 300000 0.83¢
Best Buy Canada (e-gift) $500.00 600000 0.83¢

CAA Membership / CAA Dollars

CAA Membership and CAA Dollars can also be purchased with Petro Points. This is a great use of Petro Points if you can accrue that many. The problem is that it would take the average person several years to buy a membership.

An annual membership normally costs $70 (in Southern Ontario), and can be purchased for 60,000 Petro Points.

Petro Points can also be used to redeem for CAA Dollars, which can be used on anything that CAA sells, assuming you have a membership. My favorite redemption is Cineplex Movie Theater passes as I discuss here. Petro Points have a very valuable redemption rate at CAA.

1000 Petro Points = $1 CAA Dollars

Asia Miles Transfers

Petro Points can also be transferred to Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles program. For people looking to build up a balance of Asia Miles, this can help. The rate of exchange is:

10,000 Petro Points = 1000 Asia Miles

Asia miles can be used for flights on OneWorld partner airlines. Most Canadians looking to redeem points for flights on OneWorld airlines would likely do much better earning British Airways Avios or American Airlines AAdvantage points instead.

Summary

Petro Points have their best value for car washes and fuel savings cards. Car washes return between 1c and 2c for 10 Petro Points.

Fuel savings are best done through Fuel Savings Rewards cards. Avoid gas gift cards if this is what you are after.

CAA Membership and CAA Dollars are good uses as well.

Retail gift cards and convenience store discounts tend to be poor redemptions.

Best Returns Dollar Value Number of Petro Points Redemption Value (10 Petro Points)
Basic Car Wash (Glide) Single Purchase $12.37 7000 1.77¢
Luxury Car Wash (Glide for Car Lovers) Single Purchase $14.63 9000 1.63¢
CAA Membership $70.00 60000 1.17¢
Luxury Car Wash (Glide for Car Lovers) 15 wash online reload $9.67 9000 1.07¢
CAA Dollars $1.00 1000 1.00¢
Fuel Savings Card – Reload $10.00 11000 0.91¢
Fuel Savings Card $10.00 12000 0.83¢
$25 Best Buy Canada Discount (e-gift) $25.00 30000 0.83¢
Gas Gift Card $25.00 40000 0.63¢
Gas / Convenience Store Instant Discount $1.00 2000 0.50¢
$25 The Bay Gift Card $25.00 50000 0.50¢

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11 comments on “Petro Points Rewards: Are They Worth It?”

  1. SG says:

    I don’t think enough emphasis was placed on the fact that you get 2 cents off the cost per litre when you link to CIBC Mastercard AND nothing was mentioned regarding redemption for itravel2000.com. I’ve used this multiple times and in my opinion has a great redemption value, 10,000 points = $10, towards flights, vacations, hotels! Better than the aeroplan points you get at esso or the airmiles you get at shell. You’ll be travelling much faster with the petro points!

    • thepointster says:

      Thanks for the tip.

      We will be doing a separate writeup on the CIBC Credit card and weaving it all together on how to discount your gas purchases. This overview is focused only on the earning and redeeming of the Petro Points program.

      Thanks for the tip on the iTravel2000 redemption. It is essentially the same as the CAA Dollars redemption, but it is good to know there are options.

  2. anon says:

    This is a great write-up, thanks for the time and efforts!

  3. Maureen says:

    I have mysteriously lost about 2,000 points of my points balance and in an attempt to inquire, I have had great difficulty in reaching a person at Petro Points. They don’t recognize my email for some reason and upon calling the 1 866 number, all you get is a voice mail option which does not cover points balance history and in fact, doesn’t allow for any queries at all.

    Customer Service is very very poorl

  4. alexandra.d.shaw says:

    i understood that i could fill my Gas Rewards Card for 9,000 points until January 14th.
    now i cannot find the place to reload my car for the 25% off special.

    did i misunderstand the poster at my Petro Station in Blackburn Hamlet or did you change the date?

    thank you for a reply…i am confused about this.
    alex

    • thepointster says:

      HI Alex,

      I am not sure I know what you are referring to wiht the 9000 points.

      • mjn says:

        Also, you should go over the fuel savings plus card. The card is free to get initially. It has to be linked to the Petro-Points card then every time a lottery (alcohol as well in Quebec) purchase is made and the points card swiped, for every dollar spent one litre is added to the card at 5 cents off. Example: $10 lottery ticket, 10 litres at 5 cents off.

    • mjn says:

      The 25% off sale is on until January 4, 2016. To reload an existing 5 cent fuel savings reward card would cost 8,250 points. If you have an online account go to manage my cards then reload fuel savings cards. Next, select the amount of litres you’d like to reload.

  5. Hyacinthe says:

    Limited time offer! Treat yourself to a hot beverage or travel mug refill for only 800 Petro-Points™ in-store at any participating Petro-Canada location.

    According to advertising on coffee cups, the regular price for a coffee is 1000 points. This should be added to your calculations.

  6. Chris says:

    When you link your 5 cent reward card to your lottery purchases it makes a difference if you buy lottery regularly. Also at certain times of the year you can reload your gas reward cards at a discounted rate. So these thinks also have to be considered.

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