Petrol Prices in Malaysia: Best Petrol Loyalty Programmes?
Petrol prices have been the talk of the town since forever, especially with the different petrol kiosks around Malaysia. Since the new ceiling petrol price set every Wednesday, there leaves little room for a varied petrol cost. This, in turn, translates to less competitive pricing for the average consumers, with prices are mostly fixed.
So instead, petrol kiosks are dishing out more point promotions for their loyalty cards. While these point accumulation might not sound like a lot at first glance, it’s all about cruising in the long run.
With the right cards, you are on your way to earning some litres of fuel back. ShopBack takes a look at the five petrol brands (BHPetrol, Petron, Petronas, Shell and Caltex) and evaluates the pros and cons for your convenience.
The RON95 and RON97 debate – which is better?
RON95 and RON97 have been the standard motor fuel to go for in the straits of Malaysia. RON (Research Octane Number) is a standard measurement of how much compression the fuel could get before it ignites. Under most impressions, RON97 at a slightly higher pricing is commonly viewed as the more ‘cost-efficient’ fuel. After all, there must be a reason for it’s higher price, right?
Not exactly. Every motor vehicle is designed to suit different fuels for optimal performance. There is little reason to fork out more dollars for a tank of RON97 if the car is optimised for RON95 fuels. As a matter of fact, for most regular cars, premium fuel is not actually more bang for the bucks. The general rule of thumb is to go for the octane value as recommended by the car manufacturers, not the staff at the gas stations.
Different petrol companies and their fuel addictives – which is better?
Again, this all depends on your car and what kind of driver you are. Do you go on long distance trips up the highways often, or do you drive around in high-traffic zones on a daily basis?
Each petrol company differentiates themselves with the different types of additives they mix into their petrol. These alterations are claimed to give you that added boost, smoother acceleration and more depending on your personal preference.
Note: There is no concrete research as to which petrol provides the best fuel. For the regular layman, saving costs bow down to the loyalty cards and any price wars near their house.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at the available loyalty programs!
Petrol Kiosk Loyalty Programs
1. BHPetrol eCard
- RM1 = 1 ePoint, spending applicable to petrol, diesel and BHPetromart items applicable.
- 550 ePoints = RM5 of fuel
- 950 ePoints = RM10 of fuel
Launched in 2005, BHPetrol has since expanded its services to nearly 400 kiosks nationwide. Their eCard loyalty program allows drivers to earn points with every RM1 spent on fuel and BHPetromart items. This could come in handy as over 250 service stations come with a convenient store. ePoints are redeemable for fuel at RM5 of fuel for 550 ePoints – equivalent to roughly 2 litres and more of RON95. Besides fuel, a large variety of redeemable items could be found in their catalogue. This includes snacks, electronics like home appliances and more.
The eCard membership lasts for five years, while ePoints are valid for three years from the date its earned. Regardless, three years is a long time and more than enough to earn points for your desired items. If fuel is what you are vying for, then a few months should be adequate for regular drivers to clinch their first redemption.
Despite the attractive point-accumulation rates, their few service kiosk makes it not as attractive to the general population. For drivers who travel around the country often, especially to more rural areas, it is not as easy to find other BHPetrol kisoks.
Value for: those who live near a BHPetrol station and enjoy flexibility in items available in redemption.
2. Petron Miles Privilege Card
- 1 litre = 2 Petron Miles Point for Blaze 95, Diesel Max and Turbo Diesel
- 1 litre = 3 Petron Miles Point for Blaze 97/100
- 450 Petron Miles = RM5 of fuel
- 1600 Petron Miles = RM20 of fuel
- 3000 Petron Miles = RM45 of fuel
Petron, having rebranded from Esso, currently has 600 service stations nationwide. Petron Miles card goes per litre, but by giving double points for RON95 fuel puts it on a level playing field. However, the most value worth comes with the purchase of Blaze 97. Considering the 20 to 30 sen difference between RON95 and RON97 per litre on average, the 3 Petron Miles/litre makes it more worthwhile.
The Petron Miles membership is free, and points last for a lifetime too. Just make one Petron Blaze purchase within a 12-month time frame to prevent Petron Miles Points from expiring. These accumulated points could be used to redeem fuel and snacks at Petron service stations.
Other than spending on fuel, there are little ways to accumulate points. Right now, purchases from the affiliated merchant, Agoda, is the one other way to Petron Miles. Point accumulation becomes slower and limited in choices.
Value for: drivers who use the Blaze 97 fuel more often.
3. PETRONAS Mesra Card
- 1 litre = 1 Point
- RM1 = 1 Point when spent at Kedai Mesra
- 100 Points = RM1 of fuel
Hailed as the largest petroleum retail network in Malaysia, PETRONAS has over 1,000 stations nationwide. Over 700 of them comes with their very own, localised, Kedai Mesra. With many places to fuel up, it is no wonder that the Mesra Card is a favoured option. Moreover, it is free to join the loyalty program.
Considering the quick redemption rate of 100 points for an RM1 worth of fuel, drivers can make their first redemption in few weeks. The most alluring bit comes from their credit card combo. The Maybank PETRONAS Maybankard offers both Mesra points and a bonus of 8x TreatPoints. Meanwhile the CIMB PETRONAS Platinum offers up to 7% cashback when making payments at their service kiosks. More benefits, more savings!
The accumulated points are valid for three years from the day its earned but will be void if the card is not used for six months in a tow.
Value for: drivers who enjoy the convenience of easily finding a Petronas kiosk and the perks of the affiliated credit cards.
4. Shell BonusLink
- Fuels: 1 litre = 1 Point, 25% extra points when pumping Shell V-Power Racing
- Lubricants: RM1 = 1 Point
- Bonus: earn 25 Points when you pump 125-250 litres/month
- Bonus: earn 75 Points when you pump 251-500 litres/month
- Bonus: earn 150 Points when you pump >500 litres/month
- 100 Points = RM1 of fuel
The global energy and petrochemical company providing services in more than 70 territories, Shell is no stranger to car owners. Here in Malaysia, Shell has over 900 stations nation-wide since it’s humble start over a hundred years ago. Shell works with BonusLink for their consumer loyalty program, allow you to accumulate points at BonusLink’s participating merchant stores.
In addition, drivers who consume more than 125 litres of fuel a month could make good use of the bonus points. Redeem RM1 worth of fuel with every 100 points, with RM10 and RM30 Shell vouchers available at the same rate. BonusLink membership is free and points are valid for three years.
Sadly, Shell BonusLink does not allow you to earn points when you shop at Shell’s very own marts at the stations. Furthermore, the points required to redeem other items are quite a markup compared to others on this list, despite the ‘price knock down’ option where items are redeemable at fewer points. Unless you shop often at other BonusLink affiliated stores, this is not a nearly as attractive option.
Value for: drivers who shop often from BonusLink affiliated stores and focus on fuel-related redemption. Also for drivers who pump in lots of petrol on average to make good use of the bonus.
5. Caltex Journey Card with B Infinite
- 1 Litre = 1 BPoint
- 100BPoint = RM1
Like Shell’s BonusLink, the Caltex Journey Card allows you to earn BPoints at any B Infinite participating outlets. With over 80 B Infinite merchants across the straits, point accumulation is easy and flexible. These BPoints could be used to redeem fuel or items at Caltex convenient stores or B Infinite’s merchants. The best part is that these merchants are household names, like 7-11, 11 Street and Starbucks. Thanks to the new B Infinite app, it’s also simple to keep track of account details and BPoints.
BPoints work just like cash – with a minimum of 100 BPoints to start redeeming. Both petrol and mart items could be redeemed fully or partially with BPoints at the counter. For reward redemption such as Lazada vouchers and Zalora discounts, the points required are listed on their online catalogue. BPoints required for reward redemption is on the higher end of this list, and limited in choices.
Value for: drivers who shop often at participating merchants and enjoy cashless payment options instead of reward redemption.
With new fuel prices every week, the petrol price talk will not be ceasing anytime soon. At least with these loyalty programs, it might just ease off those few RM a chip at a time. Which of the following is in your wallets? Which would you give a try?
This is part of a 3 part series so we can all learn how to save money on petrol. Read Part 1 on the most obvious ways you didn’t know you could save petrol, and Part 3 on how to choose the right credit card for your petrol savings.
*Featured Image Credit: Nicolai Berntsen | Unsplash