November 28, 2007

Earn free gifts for filling petrol using Petro Card

Petrobonus, otherwise also known as petrocard, is the brain child of Bharat Petroleum has been the front runner in rewarding its users for filling petrol or diesel. Even the other government owned petrol companies like Indian Oil and Hindustan Petroleum have tried to venture into similar loyalty programs and none of them could get even halfway near to Petrobonus program. Perhaps the other two companies did not venture into aggressive marketing of their products like Bharat Petroleum (BP) did to acquire more customers.

Okay, coming back to the point about petro card by BP. I have been using it for quite some time and had even got redeemed the points I got from purchasing petrol, engine oils, and from their store, In & Out.

The main advantage of using petrocard would be that you need not carry cash every time you wanted to fill petrol from the Bharat Petroleum petrol pumps. The other advantage is that you can load your petro card using your credit card with cash and for amounts greater that Rs. 500/- using your credit card will not attract any surcharge that normally most credit cards levy for transactions lesser than Rs. 500/-, so here it is cancelled, as you are going to load up your petro card with amounts more than Rs. 500/- or more at least. This will be applicable for all those who use their credit card to fill up the petrol and will end up paying surcharges for the same.

I will now explain how petrocard works for you step by step. After getting the Petrobonus Petrocard, you need to load it with cash for a specified amount you wish, the minimum is Rs. 500/- that you can load into it. Yes, it actually works like a prepaid debit card but the difference is you can only buy petrol and some times groceries too from their In & Out outlets on selected petrol stations. After loading it with the desired amount you can walk in or should I say drive into any of the Bharat Petroleum petrol stations which accepts petro card (nowadays almost all petrol pumps accept them) and fill in the desired quantity of petrol and just give your petrocard to the attendant and he will fill in the desired details and will ask for you to enter the pin number to validate the transaction and once you enter it, the amount will be deducted from your card and he will return the card and the charge slip to you, that's all. The similar process will be made when you use your at In & Out outlets or use it to buy engine oils, etc from Bharat Petroleum outlets.

On using your petro card at BP petrol stations, you will accrue points depending on the transaction you did and you can later redeem those points for gifts of your choice that is applicable for points that you have earned. The points vary for the different products that you use like petrol, Speed petrol (which is the branded version of BP Petrol), diesel, lubricants, and In&Out Bazaar.

For every 100 Rupees spent the points you get:
  • Petrol - 15 points
  • Speed - 25 points
  • Diesel - 15 points
  • Lubricants - 250 points
  • In&Out - 100 points

The points are mentioned as Petromiles. Bharat Petroleum is encouraging us to use our petro cards more for lubricants and at their In&Out stores to gain more points. So, when you keep on using your petro card at BP Outlets, you will be earning points and will be accruing it and if you have any plan on getting a particular gifts listed in their website here. You can accumulate points till that point and as soon as you reach it, you can go to the nearest BP petrol station and redeem it for the gift of your choice. I am discussing more about the gifts that they are offering below. After you have redeemed your points for gifts, those points will be deducted from your account and you need to again start from where the points are left over.

Now, coming to the important part about knowing the gifts you will be getting on using your petro card. The gift range starts from PetroBonus cap to Canon printer. There are other rewards such as Canon digital camera, Canon fax machine, Onida washing machines, air conditioner, TV, and refrigerator, microwave ovens, Zenith PC voucher, watches, leather bags, cordless phones, gift vouchers, etc. There are even smaller and lesser valued gifts like caps, gloves, pens, In&Out Vouchers, leather wallet, alarm clock, windcheaters. There are two types of rewards, one is the quick rewards which you can get it from the petrol pump itself and of lesser value. The other one is the cherished rewards which are of higher valued gifts which will be sent to your residential address upon redeeming it.

If you opt for email statements instead of physical statement, they will reward you with 2500 points and similarly if you opt for online version of your points statement, they will offer you around 2500 points as a special reward.

Apart from this you can also earn reward points from their monthly quiz that they conduct every month, where you will be earning 250 points every month if you answer their three simple questions. This is applicable only for the first 250 users who answer it correctly. You can find the quiz in their website. But remember to finish up the quiz every month on the 1st of every month, else you will not be able to win the quiz, as the demand is very high every month as the first 250 persons will try to answer it on the first day itself. They will also come up with a know-the-customer survey which they will send to your email id, where you will be rewarded with rewards points for filling it out. They also conduct some special contests especially for the PetroBonus customers where you will be eligible to enter the contests just for filling petrol or using your petro card at their outlets.

Apart from these, Bharat Petroleum comes up with the offers every now and then where you will be getting double the rewards points like on your birth day week if you use your petro card you will earn double the rewards points. There are some special Sunday offer wherein on those Sundays if you use it you will get double rewards points. They also come up with some new offers like the one which they have come up recently with Fame Cinema, where you can use your petro card to accrue points if you purchase tickets at Fame Cinema. You can also redeem your petromiles for the tickets at Fame.

Some of the disadvantages of using petro card would be that you will be solely dependant on Bharat Petroleum petrol pumps or stations and you cannot use it at any other petrol stations. The other drawback is that the time taken by some of the petrol stations to transact using petro card is more than the cash transactions where you can give cash and leave whereas in petro card, some places they keep it inside the offices of the petrol station and will take time to use it and we will need to wait the entire time they do the transaction.

The customer service for the petro card is also quite decent I should say, as it is being done by a private agency appointed by Bharat Petroleum, and are really efficient in getting our queries and issues solved even through email or their toll free number. If you don't have petro card and want to apply for one you can visit your nearest BP Petrol Station and apply there itself. There is a joining fee of Rs. 250/- but I guess you can fill up petrol for free for Rs. 150/- from that, not sure, they had that offer some time back.

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