Attention K-Mart Shoppers: BP Offering Pump Rewards

But there's a catch: Deal favors larger vehicles

CHICAGO -- BP has signed another rewards deal, this time with mass-merchandiser K-Mart, CSP Daily News has learned. The promotion offers K-Mart shoppers a 10-cents-per-gallon discount at BP if they spend more than $50 on grocery and pharmacy items at K-Mart stores in 22 states.

The rewards offer starts Nov. 11, but there's a catch: While customers can purchase up to 20 gallons per transaction at the discounted price, they "forfeit their reduced price on the remaining gallons" if they don't buy the full 20 gallons at the time of purchase, BP told marketers.

The average capacity of a family mid-sized passenger car is 17 gallons, while a compact will take 10 to 13 gallons, according to Ford and Chrysler, so the customer loses some of his discounted gallons unless he drives a larger vehicle.

"It's the same with most of the oil company rewards programs, you lose what you don't use on the first purchase," said one BP marketer. "I think this K-Mart thing is a pretty good deal for us. It's a national retail chain and a well-recognized name and I'm glad to see that BP has finally got its rewards program going, because they had been struggling for a while to find partners."

K-Mart will print cents-per-gallon rewards codes on receipts at the register. Customers will see the pump price roll back once they swipe their BP rewards card at the pump or enter their cents-per-gallon discount code, BP told marketers.

The discount promotion is not free for marketers. While BP will reimburse retailers for each K-Mart discounted sale, it will charge them a 10cts fee per transaction, the company said.

BP's new promotion comes three days after ExxonMobil announced a similar cents-off agreement with Safeway stores (see Related Content below for exclusive CSP Daily News coverage).

Sunoco dealers, however, are not totally thrilled on hearing about BP's agreement with K-Mart. Earlier this year, Sunoco had alerted retailers to the fact that it was about to sign a rewards agreement with K-Mart and told them to be ready to spring into action, but nothing more was heard of the big K-Mart plan, some dealers say.

"It just seemed to vanish into thin air after that," said one retailer. "I guess BP must have snagged it from under Sunoco's nose."

Philadelphia-based Sunoco did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

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