NEW: Earn and Spend United Miles for Gas

United has launched a partnership with BP to earn and redeem miles for gas. Their BP Driver Rewards partnership is the first airline loyalty program in the US like this, though not the world. Virgin Australia launched a similar program in November 2014.

And Shell stations offer bigger discounts to IHG Rewards Club members and Chase Sapphire cardholders.

Signup Bonus

You can earn 200 miles for your first gas purchase with a linked credit or debit card. This is available to all BP Driver Rewards members — including existing members — who choose United MileagePlus as their preferred reward type in their account.

Earn Miles for Gas Purchases

On an ongoing basis you’ll earn:

  • 1 mile per dollar spent
  • 2 miles per dollar if you’re buying with a linked credit or debit card
  • 3 miles per dollar if you’re buying premium gas with a linked credit or debit card

You can earn on up to 20 gallons of gas per transaction by entering your Driver Rewards number or swiping a linked payment card at the pump. It’s not stackable with other offers for earning or to discount gas (cents off per gallon). In other words this is instead of the 1 cent per gallon discount you get through the existing program, it’s also more valuable than that.

This is not a game changer price price equal this will send me to a BP station rather than the station across the street. Definitely be sure to link your regular points-earning gas card to your BP account.

Spend United Miles for Gas

Please don’t do this except with truly orphaned miles, you’re only getting 0.83 cents per mile. However you can spend 60 miles per gallon for 50 cents per gallon off using a linked credit or debit card.

You can do this for a maximum of 20 gallons ($10 off) per purchase. And you need at least 1200 miles in your United MileagePlus account at the time of purchase. So you can’t zero an account this way.

Back in the day frequent flyers and road warriors used to drive past half a dozen gas stations and ten extra miles to the Shell that accepted Diners Club even though the “low fuel” light had been on all day.

I’m not sure this is going to do quite the same thing for BP, but both earning and burning points are a decent way to keep miles from expiring, buy gas at BP once every 18 months. And at the margin it makes BP competitive with Shell (although neither gas is usually cheapest).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I actually but premium gas from BP regularly, so this sounds like a nice kicker.

    I don’t see any suggestion that the linked payment method had to be a United branded card. Can you confirm that this can be linked to a Freedom card to stack 5x when had is a bonus category, or a Sapphire Reserve to stack 3x the rest of the time?

  2. @LarryInNYC: I’m confused by “…Sapphire Reserve to stack 3x the rest of the time”. I’m pretty sure gas stations don’t get 3x. Have you had gas stations get 3x with the CSR?

  3. @Rob: Maybe not. Only had the card a week, and I’ve been using Freedom in that time. But if not the Reserve, then something else — Amex Everyday, etc.

  4. Sapphire Reserve doesn’t give 3X on gas, though some Citi cards consider gas a travel expense.

  5. While one can debate if Aeroplan is an “airline loyalty program” or not, Esso in Canada has offered Aeroplan points on purchases for years (so I suspect it predates the Virgin Australia program)

  6. No BP stations where I live, not that it’ll make that much difference since I find very little use for United miles.

    I just burned through the rest of my Plenti points at Exxon stations…those years of just having my ATT account linked with Plenti got me ~$45 in free gas. Otherwise I stick with Costco gas plus another 4% off using my Costco Citi card.

  7. I’ll use it occasionally to keep my United miles from expiring, but definitely not something I’d do on a regular basis. BP is usually about 30c a gallon more than the local Costco, and I’ve seen the same gas trucks going to both.

  8. Oh-so-thank-U, Gary! My 12 cents a gallon earned discount just converted to 127 UA miles, which I value @ $2.54. Because my tank holds only ~13 gallons, the most money I could have saved is $1.50 (12.5 gal. x 12c.)

  9. Do I have to simply swipe and pay with my linked card to earn the United miles or is there some other hoops or steps AT THE PUMP?

  10. Gary, it is NOT stackable with the discount rewards program which can be pretty darn good around holidays with bonuses they do for 8 gallon fills. This is important to mention. Will they have similar miles bonuses? Who knows.

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