ConocoPhillips Kicks Off Spring Drive Season With 10-Cent Rebate

ExxonMobil gift card move wins marketer cheer; Speedpass promo returns

Carole Donoghue, Petroleum Editor

HOUSTON -- ConocoPhillips is getting an early start on the spring driving season by kicking off a promotion that pays a 10-cents-per-gallon rebate to new credit-card customers. Officials are hoping that the new campaign, which will run through May 31, will generate results at least as good as a push last year that netted a 76% increase in new accounts over the same period a year ago, sources say.

Under the new offer, consumers who apply for the company's personal credit card will receive the 10-cent rebate for the first 90 days their account is open. After that, they will collect a five-cents-per-gallon reward--capped at 110 gallons--after they have purchased a minimum of 45 gallons in one month.

In the past, Houston-based ConocoPhillips has had problems with getting all its stations to display the relevant point-of-purchase (POP) materials to support its promotions. To help all advertising is properly in place, the company has hired installers who will put up the materials at stations in urban areas, at no cost to marketers. In rural markets, retailers will have to do their own installation work once they receive their POP shipments from the company.

Marketers will also face penalties if they don't comply with the company's recently revised "Spirit of Performance" guidelines--they will lose six points from their image scores if new credit-card pumptoppers are not displayed at 50% or more of their pumps. Signage for the company's new "Kickback" loyalty program will count towards the 50% requirement.

Television and radio ads specifically promoting the personal card will appear in select markets as well, said a company official.

Separately, Exxon Mobil Corp. said it is trying to work a deal with its gift card issuer Citi to remove all processing fees from its branded gift cards. In the meantime, the company said it will extend the 2% discount marketers currently receive on gift card purchases. In effect, the move means that marketers will pay only 98% of the face value for point-of-sale (POS)-activated gift cards until further notice, Houston-based ExxonMobil told its jobbers last week.

"These incentives are intended to support ExxonMobil retailers' efforts to make this highly attractive product available to our customers, while providing an opportunity for our retailers to lower their merchant service fees at the same time," the company said.

Marketers are pleased with the decision."Yeah! Every little thing helps in today's marketplace," one retailer told CSP Daily News.

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil has officially announced that it is repeating a favorite promotion of a 15-cents-per-gallon rebate on gasoline purchased with a registered Speedpass account. CSP Daily News reported on the return of the promotion last month in an exclusive story (see Related Content below to read the story.)

Customers may register their Speedpass accounts at to earn discounts for a 60-day period when they use their Speedpass devices on fuel purchases at participating Exxon and Mobil stations. Customers will receive their savings, on up to 100 gallons of gasoline, in the form of rebates on the credit or check-card accounts linked to their Speedpass devices.

Customers must register their Speedpass accounts online by May 31, 2012, in order to take advantage of the savings.

"We want to show our customers that we appreciate their loyalty so we're rewarding them with an easy way to save on gas," said Chris Mahoney, U.S. branded wholesale manager for ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing Co.