After its public relations debacle in the Gulf Coast, you would think that BP would take extraordinary measures to improve its image, especially in its credit card offerings which is one of the primary ways a company connects with the buying public. Yet, BP, which at one time had one of the better credit card offerings, actually took three steps back in March of 2012 when it substituted its highly acclaimed BP Visa for its new Chase/BP Visa with Pump Rewards Visa. If you were at all familiar with the old BP Visa card, you will be stunned by the downgrade.
A Quick Refresher of the old BP Visa
• A 5 percent rebate on all BP gas purchases.
• A 2 percent rebate on all travel and dining related purchases.
• A 1 percent rebate on all other purchases.
• No cap on purchases or rebates earned.
• No annual fee
On its face, it doesn’t get much better than that. The average two-car family of four that travels and dines a bit throughout the year could earn several hundred dollars in rebates.
A Review of the new BP Visa with Pump Rewards
The change over wasn’t subtle. The new BP Visa Pump Rewards card at www.ChooseBP.com is different in every way, and if you are not one to want to spend time deciphering a complicated rewards program, it isn’t pretty.
The quick facts:
• 15 cents per gallon rebate for $100 purchased at a BP station
• 5 cents per gallon rebate for $100 spent on all other purchases.
So far, so good, but the devil is in the details. In order to determine just how valuable the rewards might be for your situation, you will need to become familiar with the limitations on rebate redemptions. For instance:
Rebates can only be redeemed at a single fill-up. What that means is if your fill-up is short on volume, you won’t be able to maximize your rebate. So, if you drive a high mileage small car that requires only 12 gallons per fill-up, your maximum rebate is limited by the small number of gallons.
After the fill-up you must apply a new rebate to your next fill-up.
Rebates can only be applied to the first 20 gallons per fill-up. Not only are you limited to one fill-up with each rebate, their capped out at 20 gallons. That may be enough for most cars; however, large trucks and SUV will lose out.
The entire rebate balance must be used at each fill-up. When you fill your gas tank you are given the option of using your rebate, or not. If you decide to use your rebate, you must use the entire balance. There is no carryover, except if your balance exceeds the fuel purchase.
If you are able to understand the rebate redemption rules, you could manage to wring out some decent savings if you drive a big car or truck, but, one has to wonder if it is worth all of the trouble when there are alternative cash back cards that generate at least an equivalent amount of savings. The old BP Visa rewards program was top tier. This one is just OK.