End of April I wrote about the new partnership between United Airlines and BP. With this partnership, you can earn miles for fuel purchases and redeem miles for a rebate on gasoline. Redeeming miles for fuel is probably the worst way of using your miles, but hey if you are in desperate need of some fuel, go ahead.
By signing up for the BP Driver Rewards Program and linking a credit or debit card you can earn 200 bonus miles for the first purchase with your linked card. In addition to that, you get 2 miles per gallon for regular fuel or 3 miles for premium fuels if you use your linked form of payment. Don’t forget to change your account to collect United miles rather than cents off per gallon.
This is a pretty good deal, as you get finally rewarded for different fuel grades. Remember Plenti? You only earned Plenti points by the number of gallons, no matter if it was regular fuel or premium fuel.
I signed up for the rewards program and set up my account to earn United miles and added a credit card. During the first couple of tries, everything went south. I was unable to earn any points at all.
First, I never actually packed the physical Driver Rewards Card in my wallet, as I am working on slimming down. So I tried to enter my BP Driver Rewards Number manually at the gas station. Little did I know that the number I have to enter is actually my phone number and not my real Driver Rewards account number. I found that out after calling BP Driver Rewards customer service. Oh boy, even finding their phone number was an adventure.
BP Driver Rewards Hotline: 1 877-852-3052
So I had my first two purchases added manually to my account by the agent on the phone. After that, I tried again and still, nothing worked. I called them again to explain my situation and I guess they fixed my account.
Now that my account is working and I can finally use my linked credit card to accumulate my miles, I am going to give you a little step-by-step guide.
How to use your linked payment card:
- Find a BP gas station. You might laugh now, but that is not as easy as it sounds. They are mainly located along the east coast and east of the Mississippi. Don’t use Google Maps to search for “BP”. Many of these gas stations are Arco gas stations. Use BP’s station finder website. Once you found a BP station you would like to use, check their Amenities section on the website for “BP Driver Rewards”.
- Pull up to the pump and check the screen. You will see all kinds of options like Debit, Credit, BP Reward,… Don’t touch any of them.
- Swipe your linked payment card
- The next screen will ask you if it is a Debit card. Depending on your linked card press “Yes” or “No”
- If prompted, enter your ZIP code
- In case you have more than 1200 miles in your United account, the system will ask you if you want to redeem your miles for cents off per gallon. I highly recommend, do not use this option
- That’s it. Now lift the nozzle and select your fuel grade
- Fill up your car and continue as usual.
Follow these steps. If you select in the main screen credit card and swipe your linked credit card, the system won’t recognize your linked card and you won’t earn any miles. It took me a long time to figure that out and not even the phone agents seem to know about that. The screens could slightly differ, depending on what kind of system they use at the pump.
This is the easiest way to use your linked card. It’s also very convenient as you don’t have to swipe an additional card to get your miles. Besides the United Miles, you will also earn points and miles for purchases with your linked payment card. If you link a credit card, make sure to use a credit card that gets extra points/miles for fuel purchases (travel expenses). Not every card earns bonuses in that category, so check your card(s).
Collecting miles by filling up your car, probably won’t give you a free flight anytime soon, but it adds to all the other ways you can earn United miles and it stops your point from expiring if you have no other activity on your United account.
What’s your story? Have you signed up for an account yet and encountered similar issues? Let us know in the comments.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.