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Update: BP Driver Rewards and BP United Miles are ending on 9/30. If you have any rewards you’ll want to use them by that date. You won’t earn rewards or miles after 9/30.
Originally posted on 3/7/18:
Which option is better for you will depend on several factors:
Fuel rewards earns $.01 off per gallon for every $10 that you spend. Those rewards expire 365 days after the end of the month in which they were earned and can be redeemed for a purchase of up to 20 gallons of gas.
-In other words if your household spends $200 on gas per month then after a year you’ll spend $2,400 and earn $2.40 off per gallon in fuel rewards. If gas costs $2.40 per gallon you’ll get 20 gallons, or $48 of free gas when you redeem your rewards. That’s an effective 2% rebate if you use the full 20 gallons.
-If you only redeem the rewards on a 15 gallon purchase you’ll only get $36 of free gas, or a 1.5% rebate.
-If you only redeem the rewards on a 10 gallon purchase you’ll only get $24 of free gas, or a 1% rebate.
Alternatively, you can select United miles and you’ll earn 200 miles for free at signup after linking a credit card and making your first purchase. The value of United miles can be half a cent or it can be 5 cents, it all depends on the what you to with your United miles. For this exercise let’s say you’ll redeem them at a value of 1.8 cents each.
You’ll earn 1 mile per gallon of gas purchase, or 2 miles per gallon if you use a credit card that you link to the program, or 3 miles per gallon if you buy premium grade gas and use a credit card that you link to the program.
Note that you can only earn miles for purchases up to 20 gallons.
If your household spends $200 on gas per month that cost $2.40/gallon then after a year you’ll spend $2,400 on 1,000 gallons of gas.
- If you make those purchases on a gift card or unlinked card you’ll earn 1,000 miles, which we’ll say is worth about $18 at 1.8 cents per mile. That’s a 0.75% rebate.
- If you make those purchases on linked card you’ll earn 2,000 miles, which we’ll say is worth about $36 at 1.8 cents per mile. That’s a 1.5% rebate.
- If you make those purchases on linked card and buy premium gas, you’ll earn 3,000 miles, which we’ll say is worth about $54 at 1.8 cents per mile. That’s a 2.25% rebate.
So which option is better?
It’s complicated. The value per United mile will vary between people depending on how well they use their miles. But if you go with my 1.8 cent per mile value assumption:
- If you maximize your fuel rewards by redeeming them on a full 20 gallon purchase and you never let any rewards expire, then fuel rewards is probably the way to go.
- If you want to use BP gift cards, which are often posted on sale on this site, then you’ll also probably want to go with fuel rewards.
- If you will pay with a linked credit card and buy premium gas then miles are probably the way to go.
- If you will pay with a linked credit card and buy regular or mid-tier gas then it’s probably a toss-up. If you may not redeem your fuel rewards for a full 20 gallon purchase then miles will be the way to go.
Either way, it’s worth signing up for United miles for the 200 miles signup bonus and then switching over to fuel rewards should you prefer to earn discount gas.
Of course these rewards are on top of credit card rewards that you’ll earn.
The Chase Freedom card is offering 5 points per dollar on gas this quarter. That 9% back at a value of 1.8 cents per point. Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
The Chase Ink Cash card offers 2 points per dollar on gas. That 3.6% back at a value of 1.8 cents per point. Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 3% cash back on gas. Click Here to get more details on this card and compare to other cards!
You can also also redeem 60 United miles to save 50 cents off gas. That’s a horrendous value for your miles, so please don’t do that.
Which rewards earning option will you select?