Shell just launched a 50% better loyalty deal on fuel after Clicks ClubCard went with Engen

Business Insider SA

News analysis

Shell V+
  • Shell and Clicks ClubCard ended a fuel-rewards relationship. A short while later Clicks entered the exact same deal with Engen.
  • Now Shell is going solo with its own rewards scheme, called V+, which just happens to be worth exactly 50% more than the Clicks points it used to give out.
  • Shell's new scheme also has other benefits over the old ClubCard deal, with only one catch so far.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider SA front page.

Shell is going it solo with a rewards scheme on fuel of its own after – by its telling – kicking Clicks ClubCard to the curb.

And the new deal is considerably better.

Joint customers of Clicks and Shell could, until the end of November, swipe their Clicks ClubCards when buying fuel at Shell to earn points. Those points equated to 10c per litre of fuel, which could be spent with Clicks after a vesting period.

In November the companies announced a breakup, with little notice. Less than two weeks later Clicks was in bed with Engen – offering the exact same terms to their shared customers. The only real difference seemed to be that ClubCard holders could now use the larger Engen network, as both Clicks and Engen pointed out.

It seemed that Clicks had found a better partner, and moved on.

But this week Shell launched its own new rewards scheme, and said the breakup had come from its side, because it wanted to give back more.

See also: Engen is now the 'exclusive ClubCard fuel partner' after Clicks and Shell's abrupt divorce

"We have made the decision to complete our contract with Clicks and move to a rewards programme that will see Shell's consumers receive [15 cents per litre] back in rewards as opposed to [10 cents per litre] through the Clicks programme," Shell said in a frequently-asked-questions document around its new scheme.

Shell's scheme is indeed worth 50% more to customers than the Clicks points they could earn were – and it has other advantages too.

The Shell scheme requires a "V+" card to be collected at a service station, then registered online. After that every litre of fuel comes with a 15c credit to that card if it is presented during the purchase, as opposed to the 10c in Clicks points that were available before. 

As a sweetener to their new deal, Engen and Clicks are offering double points, worth 20c per litre, for December and January. In what appears to be anything but coincidence, Shell V+ also offers double rewards for December and January, of 30c per litre. But while the Engen double deal is for two specific types of fuel only, the Shell offer covers all the petrol and diesel it sells.

On top of that, Shell is running a competition worth R1 million for those who register on V+ during December.

There are two other, less obvious, advantages to the new Shell scheme.

First: from 1 February the V+ loyalty card will also be good at its forecourt Shell Select stores, with 1% of the value of every transaction (as long as it isn't for fuel or oil) loaded onto the card.

Second: the money will be available immediately – with just one catch.

Clicks ClubCard points vest only six times a year, so that points earned now will only convert to value, or money that can be spent at Clicks, on 24 January 2020.

The V+ value will be available to be spent at Shell service stations without any waiting period, except during a launch period up to 20 January 2020. All payouts are on hold until then, which just happens to be four days before the ClubCard vesting date.

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