CHICAGO — With trips to convenience stores down due to state and local coronavirus restrictions, fuel-focused loyalty programs have kept customers returning to the forecourt to fill up.
Retailers and suppliers alike have used special discounts and promotions, sometimes focusing on specific customers such as AARP members or first responders, to make refueling their vehicles that much more enticing.
Click through for six ways c-stores are keeping fuel sales going …
Thorntons made signing up for its loyalty program at the pump easier and touchless with text-to-enroll, and even added extra fuel benefits.
To enroll, customers text the word ‘Fuel’ followed by a valid email address to 73757. They will then receive a 15-cents-off-per-gallon offer to redeem on their next fillup at a Thorntons location.
- Louisville, Ky.-based Thorntons is No. 39 on CSP’s 2020 Top 202 list of c-store chains by number of retail outlets.
New Text-to-Enroll pump integration allows customers the option to begin enrolling at the pump. While fueling up at any Thorntons’ location, customers follow the Refreshing Rewards prompts on the pump screen and provide their mobile phone number.
ExxonMobil is providing AARP members with enhanced benefits in the form of fuel and convenience-store rewards points. As part of the Exxon Mobil Rewards+ loyalty program, AARP members will earn four cents in points per gallon on fuel and three cents in points per dollar spent on convenience-store and car wash purchases at more than 11,500 Exxon and Mobil stations across the United States.
Irving, Texas-based ExxonMobil has approximately 11,500 Exxon- and Mobil-branded gas stations and convenience stores in the United States.
AARP members also receive double the points on a fuel purchase for a single fill-up on AARP member days, every three months, in addition to other fuel-focused promotions.
This July, GasBuddy’s Pay with GasBuddy payments program has surpassed half a billion dollars in fuel transactions since the program started in August 2017. That is $500 million worth of gasoline purchased using Pay with GasBuddy, a milestone for the company.
Record unemployment rates have created a new appetite for savings. The recent boom in road trips, RV-rentals and van-life has brought increased need for fuel-savings options and flexibility, according to Boston-based GasBuddy.
RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. is offering its new RaceTrac Rewards VIP program to healthcare and other essential workers free for their first month. Through Aug. 31, all workers recognized by the Department of Homeland Security as essential who signs up during this period will receive their first month of the RaceTrac Rewards VIP program free from their signup date.
- Atlanta-based RaceTrac is No. 15 on CSP’s 2020 Top 202 ranking of convenience-store chains by number of retail outlets.
Launched in mid-June, RaceTrac Rewards VIP is a premium add-on to RaceTrac’s loyalty program. It is a monthly fuel subscription program through which members can save 10 cents per gallon on the first 40 gallons and 3 cents per gallon thereafter each month with each fuel purchase. The subscription fee is $2.49 per month.
Speedway’s First Responder Speedy Rewards gives back to local first responders with fuel perks and other bonuses.
Special features of the program include a unique first-responder card design, five-cents-off each gallon of fuel, and five free beverages—coffee or fountain drinks. In states where fuel discounting is not possible, first responders will receive 10 free beverages.
Marathon Petroleum is an integrated, downstream energy company based in Findlay, Ohio. Its Speedway subsidiary, based in Enon, Ohio, is the third-largest c-store chain in the United States with 3,900 c-stores. In a deal expected to close in first-quarter 2021, Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. has agreed to acquire Speedway.
ExxonMobil is offering extra rewards to drivers who fill up with 100 gallons or more per calendar month.
The program is designed for delivery drivers, ride-share drivers and others making deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic. These drivers can earn Frequent Filler bonus points at ExxonMobil stations if they are a member of the ExxonMobil Rewards+ loyalty program and they surpass 100 gallons per calendar month.
Frequent Filler members receive an extra point per gallon at the pump and two extra points per dollar spent in the c-store. The Frequent Filler bonus is also stackable with Premium Status for a total of 7 cents per gallon on Synergy Supreme+ premium gasoline and rewards offers from both tiers.