Loyalty programmes usually provide good incentives for loyal customers. FNB already has eBucks — but now it is introducing a Fuel Rewards programme, whereby customers who are transacting smartly and meeting various requirements will amass points and redeem them on fuel purchases.
At least half of FNB’s customer base will qualify. Obviously, there’s a strong incentive to have clients qualify — and pretty much all active card holders do qualify in principle.
The incentive for the programme is responsible banking — only those customers who pay their debts in full, on time, and bank with a high level of responsibility will benefit.
How do you earn points?
There are a few simple ways to earn points each month, which you can read about here: www.fnb.co.za/fuelrewards. For example, maintaining an active FNB Credit Card will mean you qualify for 250 points each month.
As you have to deposit a minimum amount into your account each month to qualify you would need to use your FNB bank account as a primary.
Bear in mind that your points accumulate over 12 months and are rolled over. Your total points for 12 months are calculated to see which reward level you fall into — say you have managed to accumulate 14 000 points over 12 months; this will qualify you for a 5% discount on fuel. If you amass a whopping 18 500 points, you’ll receive the maximum 15% discount.
You can track your points progress using inContact, FNB’s free messaging service that lets you know when your transactions are processed. You can keep track of your spending and your account balances, too.
Note that if you’re registered for eBucks you’ll receive your fuel rewards in eBucks (eB10 are equal to R1). If you’re not an eBucks client, you earn cash back when you purchase fuel with your FNB Cheque, Credit or linked PetroCard but then the reward is limited to 10%.
What is your reward likely to be?
Let’s assume you have an FNB Consumer or Wealth Credit Card which is in good standing. If you haven’t missed payments for, say, 30 months, you earn 150 points. In addition, if you have not gone over your credit limit for the same amount of time you earn 75 points. If you update your details online you earn 600 points per year. When you meet other criteria, like using internet banking and making use of cellphone banking transactions, you can earn 50 points. Let’s assume you also earn some points for fuel swipes (if you spend R2 000 on fuel, you can earn 350 points). That’s 1 274 points.
If you are able to amass 1 275 points in a month, that equals a total of 15 300 points for 12 months (assuming you earn the same each month). Your earn “tier” will be 3, which means your earn rate will be 5%. This means that, if you spend R2 000 a month on fuel, your reward will be R100 cash back.
Sticking with these criteria, if you spend R5 000, you’ll get R375 cash back, and if you spend R10 000, you’ll get R600 cash back.
Now let’s use a Silver Cheque Account as an example. Say you use it to bank on your cellphone and you have a credit card and an active savings account with a healthy balance. You update your details online, you’re a customer of five years’ standing and you spend about R2 000 a month on your card (including fuel, at about R350). Your qualifying monthly fuel spend will be R350 and your reward rate will be 5%. You’re registered for eBucks, so it’s calculated that the rewards earned for the past year are eB2 000. To move up to the next reward tier, you can take up and use an overdraft, or take up a home loan — this would put you in the 7,5%-back tier.
The programme will work retrospectively — so if you’re an existing FNB customer, your points for the previous 12 months will be calculated and you may be looking at some fuel discounts in time for the festive season. In a sense, FNB is rewarding existing clients with a new loyalty programme.
The fine print: what you need to know
- You can qualify for the full 15% if you are a eBucks member and those rewards are give as eBuck. If you opt for cash back the maximum you can get back is 10%.
- The amount of points you can earn is capped. For an FNB cheque card you will earn points up to R20 000 of card spend on a gold card and R10 000 on Sliver, Islamic and Encore accounts.
- On an FNB Credit Card the maximum monthly points you can earn are 300 on Silver and 350 on Gold.
- You will only receive cash back on fuel purchases up to 20% of your total card spend for the month. In other words, if your total monthly spend on your credit card is R10 000, the maximum fuel purchases which will qualify to be rewarded is R2 000 (20% of R10 000), so if you spend more than R2 000 on fuel, then anything over that amount will not qualify for the Fuel Reward. So in this example if you qualified for a 10% fuel cash back the most you will get is R200.
- Smart Money comment:
A loyalty programme that takes the strain off your fuel bill is good news, but the product is complicated. Trying to work out the points system gave us a headache! It will require serious effort and number crunching to ensure you get the maximum discount (like splitting your purchases optimally between your credit and cheque cards!)
But even if you just carry on managing your accounts properly and spending on your FNB card as per normal, you will get some free fuel so it is certainly worth signing up.
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