The top five credit cards for earning points on petrol

The top five credit cards for earning points on petrol

Filling your car's petrol tank is an easy way to top-up on frequent flyer points as well – and with the right credit card and strategy, you could be earning as many as three frequent flyer points per dollar spent at the bowser.

Those points come on top of any you'd earn directly from the petrol station: so you can still scoop up Qantas Points via Woolworths Rewards, Velocity points directly at BP or Velocity or Etihad points at Coles Express via the Flybuys program, meaning you can 'double dip' to supercharge your points haul!

Whatever your preference, take a peek at the top five credit cards for earning points on petrol purchases – and by using the right card in the right place, you'll be well on your way to your next free flight or upgrade to business class, courtesy of your growing points balance.

1. David Jones American Express Card

An unexpected hero for earning points at the pump is the entry-level David Jones American Express Card, which clocks in at only $99/year and offers up to 2.25 frequent flyer points per dollar spent on fuel.

You'll earn the most frequent flyer points in number by opting to earn Qantas Points (that's 2.25 Qantas Points per dollar spent) – but if you most commonly fly with other airlines instead, there's also a way to earn up to 1.875 frequent flyer points per dollar spent in programs like Virgin Australia Velocity and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

It's done by earning three David Jones Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on fuel, but rather than converting those points directly into airline frequent flyer points (giving you 1.5 frequent flyer points per $1 spent), convert them into Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints instead, at the same 2:1 rate as would apply to regular frequent flyer transfers.

That gives you 1.5 Starpoints per dollar spent, which you'll convert once more to the frequent flyer program of your choice at a 1:1 rate from SPG – and when transferring those points in chunks of 20,000, you'll net a 25% bonus as well, which elevates those 1.5 Starpoints into 1.875 Velocity points, 1.875 KrisFlyer miles and so on.

2. David Jones American Express Platinum Card

Next in line, the David Jones American Express Platinum Card which provides the same frequent flyer earning rate on fuel as the 'non-Platinum' version (up to 2.25 frequent flyer points per dollar spent), but which attracts a higher annual fee of $295.

The pricier fee instead buys you extra points on purchases at David Jones – giving you up to three frequent flyer points per dollar spent at DJs compared to 1.5/$1 on the standard card – along with an array of benefits for both travellers and David Jones regulars.

Included among the roster are two visits each year to the AMEX Lounge at Sydney Airport, free priority delivery on David Jones online shopping, clothing alterations at no cost on most garments purchased at David Jones and extended warranty cover on selected appliance purchases, which could make the Platinum card's higher annual fee 'worth it' over the course of a year.

3. American Express Platinum Edge credit card

Keeping things simple is the American Express Platinum Edge credit card, offering a straightforward uncapped earning rate of two frequent flyer points per dollar spent on petrol with a host of airline programs including Virgin Australia Velocity, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and more.

As with the David Jones cards, that earning rate applies at all AMEX-accepting Ampol, BP, Caltex Woolworths, Gull, Metro, Peak, Safeway Petrol, Shell, United and Woolworths Petrol stores – along with fuel-selling 7-Eleven locations – and comes at a $195 annual fee, which is more than offset by the inclusion of a yearly $200 Travel Credit.

But unlike the DJs cards, the Platinum Edge card is also eligible for AMEX Local Champion, through which, you can earn an extra frequent flyer point per dollar spent in the places you visit the most: potentially topping up your frequent flyer account with three points per dollar spent when you fill your tank.

Read: How to earn bonus frequent flyer points with AMEX Local Champion

4. American Express Explorer credit card

Next in line, the American Express Explorer credit card with a solid everyday earning rate of 1.5 frequent flyer points per dollar spent on most transactions, including at petrol stations, in key programs like Velocity, KrisFlyer, Asia Miles, Skywards, Etihad Guest and more.

If you convert those credit card points across to Velocity during one of the program's recurring 15% bonus offers, the card's everyday earn rate essentially becomes 1.725 Velocity points per dollar spent if you're not in a rush to get those points across to Velocity.

This card is also eligible for Local Champion, giving you the equivalent of 2.25 frequent flyer points per dollar spent when you hold the title – or about 2.59 Velocity points per dollar spent when you transfer your total points haul to Velocity during one of those promotions – and while there's a $395 annual fee, a yearly $400 Travel Credit more than offsets it.

5. Qantas American Express Ultimate Card, AMEX Velocity Platinum Card

Also with a standard earn rate of 1.5 frequent flyer points per dollar spent are the Qantas American Express Ultimate and American Express Velocity Platinum cards, which award points directly in the frequent flyer scheme attached to each card.

The downside of this compared to the Explorer card is that you can't take advantage of transfer bonus offers (such as Velocity's 15% deal) and can't directly earn points in offshore frequent flyer schemes like KrisFlyer, but if you always travel with Qantas or Virgin Australia and prefer to keep all of your points in the one basket, these cards are a no-brainer.

You'll pay $450/year for the Qantas Ultimate Card – negated by the inclusion of a yearly $450 Qantas Travel Credit – or $375/year for the Velocity Platinum AMEX, which buys you a return Virgin Australia domestic flight each year, two yearly Virgin lounge passes, two visits to the AMEX Sydney Airport lounge annually, and more.

Once more, these cards also support AMEX Local Champion, taking your haul to 2.5 frequent flyer points per dollar spent at the petrol stations – or other retailers – that you frequent the most.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin (ChrisCh)

[email protected] / @ChamberlinChris

Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

2 Comments

  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    8 Dec, 2017 01:04 pm

    I understand that BP is in a lawsuit with Velocity at the moment because of Velocity wanting to exit from the partnership early in February/March 2018...
    No member give thanks

  • Jonathan Noonan

    Jon N

    8 Dec, 2017 01:20 pm

    Re AMEX Local Champion - I am unable to select my local 7-Eleven/BP/Woolworths/etc petrol station in the app. Do you have to make a few purchases first before this becomes an option?
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    8 Dec, 2017 01:27 pm

    Hi Jon, this is covered in our Local Champion guide which we've linked to in the article above.
    Member who gave thanks

    Jon N

  • Jim Horscroft

    jhor

    8 Dec, 2017 01:31 pm

    It's my experience that some businesses are simply unavailable in Local Champion. It's a bit fickle.

    My local Coles Express is there, it will say 1 transaction to go until I've made about six or seven more transactions. Then I'll be Local Champion, often until my next trip out of town, when a week of no transactions will see me drop off again until I make 1 transaction that turns into many...
    No member give thanks

Guest

19 Dec, 2017 09:30 am

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