United Airlines has launched a partnership with BP to earn miles on your gas purchases. You can redeem miles as well, but more on that later. And, for a limited time you can earn 200 miles as a sign-up bonus after your first fill-up with this new program.
The program is called BP Driver Rewards. There’s a website where you can sign up, it’s quick and easy. You can earn miles from United in one of 3 ways:
- Earn 1 mile for each gallon of gas purchased.
- Earn 2 miles per gallon when you pay with a linked credit or debit card.
- Earn 3 miles per gallon when you purchase premium fuel with a linked credit or debit card.
The average fill-up is about 15 gallons of gas. Earning 15-45 miles when you buy a tank of gas isn’t life-changing. But, this is a meaningful partnership. Here’s why:
- For folks who don’t travel often, this is a great way to extend the life of their airline miles. My kids have frequent flier accounts with plenty of airlines. However, I usually use redeem miles from my account for their tickets. That activity doesn’t reset the expiration clock on their account. Filling up the tank and earning a few miles will preserve the life of the miles you already have.
- Folks who don’t travel often also need to take advantage of small opportunities. If the average American uses 500 gallons of gas per year, that’s 500-1500 miles per year for gas purchases. Definitely not enough to earn a free ticket every year. But, if you had 10 “set it and forget it” type programs like this, you would have a free one-way ticket every year for something you already do.
You have to choose between cents off gas or earning miles in the BP Driver Rewards program, you can’t do both. After reading the T&C, I do think you’re fine using a credit card that earns you cash back on gas purchases along with earning miles. For example, I carry the Costco Visa Card and earn 4% back on gas purchases. The T&C don’t seem to forbid combining these discounts.
To be clear, a United Airlines mile is only worth about 2 cents. So, if your normal gas station is 10 cents cheaper per gallon than the local BP, this isn’t a good deal for you. I generally try to fill up at Costco, the most affordable station in my area.
UPDATE: It appears residents of California aren’t eligible.
One More Thing You Shouldn’t Do
This new partnership allows you to redeem 60 miles for a 50 cent discount per gallon on gas. As View From The Wing notes, that’s a pretty poor value. I’d much rather see you buying gas from BP once a year to keep your miles alive than burn down a balance you don’t plan on using this way.
The Final Two Pennies
There are plenty of discounts on gasoline right now via various rewards programs. In our area, shopping at a specific grocery store can save me money on gas. However, there really aren’t any partnerships where I can earn miles for my gas purchases. I love additional opportunities for folks to earn small amounts of miles They really do add up over time.
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