The BP Credit Card Rewards program can be a great way to save money on gas, but only if you don’t plan on running up any debt.
In this article, I’ll go over the BP credit card and BP Visa card features, fees, and interest rates. I’ll analyze what the best way to redeem your rewards is (based on your gas usage) and whether or not it’s worth it to get a BP credit card.
Feature image credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr.
What Is the BP Credit Card?
There are two different BP credit card rewards programs you can apply for: the regular BP credit card and the BP Visa card. Both credit cards get you money back towards purchasing gas at a BP-branded gas station.
The high-level difference between them is that after the first 90 days, you can only cents off per gallon with the BP credit card when you use it at a BP-branded station. By contrast, you can earn cents off per gallon with your BP Visa card with any purchase except at a non-BP-branded station (although you’ll get more rewards if you’re using it to get gas from a BP station).
The BP Visa is currently issued by Synchrony Bank. There used to be a Chase BP Visa, but BP switched over to Synchrony towards the end of 2015.
BP Credit Card Rewards and Features
After you’ve successfully applied for and received your BP Visa or BP credit card, you’ll be all set to start earning your rewards.
The basic structure of the rewards program is that for every $100 you spend using your BP credit card, you get 5-25 cents off per gallon on your next fill-up at a BP station (or whenever you choose to use your rewards).
The exact amount you get off per gallon depends on whether you have a BP Visa card or a regular BP credit card and how you spend your money. (You get more money off if you spend money at a BP gas station, for instance; more on that shortly.)
When it comes to what specific rewards you earn, both BP credit cards have two distinct sets of rewards: the rewards you can earn in the first 90 days of signing up for the card and the rewards you earn afterwards.
Introductory Rewards (The First 90 Days)
For both the BP Credit Card and BP Visa, you get 25 cents off per gallon for every $100 (equivalent to one cent off for every four dollars) you spend on any purchase except at non-BP-branded gas stations.
This introductory deal is especially valuable if you’ve just gotten a regular BP credit card because it’s the only time you’ll be able to earn rewards by spending money anywhere (except at non-BP-branded gas stations), not just when you’re getting gas at a BP station.
You also have to pay at least 10.9 cents per gallon with this deal, so if you earn enough rewards that gas would be cheaper than 10.9 cents per gallon, your rewards will roll over to your next use.
Let’s say that in your first 30 days, you spend $804 with your BP or BP Visa card, earning you $2.01 off per gallon. Assuming gas is more than $2.01 + 10.9 cents = $2.12 per gallon, here’s how much money you would save:
|Amount of gas pumped?||Rewards|
|12 gallons||$24.12 off total|
|18 gallons||$36.18 off total|
Rewards Earned After 90 Days
After the introductory period, the difference in rewards earned between the two cards becomes much more distinct. We’ve made a chart here so you can compare the two types of BP credit card rewards side by side.
|Amount spent and where/how spent?||BP Credit Card Rewards||BP Visa Card Rewards|
|$100 spent at a BP-branded station||10 cents off per gallon||25 cents off per gallon|
|$100 spent on “eligible groceries, dining, and travel” (including car rentals and flights)||Nothing||15 cents off per gallon|
|$100 spent on any other purchase, excluding payments at non-BP-branded gas stations||Nothing||5 cents off per gallon|
Other BP Card Features
Both BP credit cards have $0 Fraud Liability for unauthorized use and allow you ATM cash access (subject to credit approval) at 29.99% interest rate.
There’s also the neat feature of you being able to link up your rewards to five eligible Visa cards, including credit cards, debit cards, or prepaid cards, with your Driver Rewards Account (see “Visa Linking”). To do so, go to this site to create an online Driver Rewards Account (you can do this before or after you’ve gotten your credit card).
Once you have your Driver Rewards Account, you’ll then have the option to link your rewards account to up to five other Visa cards you already have (meaning that when you spend money on those Visa cards at BP stations, you’ll get BP rewards). The rewards you can earn through these linked Visa cards are the same as the rewards you’d earn with the regular BP credit card after 90 days.
How to Redeem Your Rewards
To redeem your rewards, swipe your card before you start your transaction at the pump. Whatever rewards you’ve earned will then be applied to your purchase up to 20 gallons (and with you paying a minimum of 10.9 cents per gallon). If you’ve earned too many rewards to use at a single fill-up without the price dipping below 10.9 cents per gallon, your rewards will rollover to your next fill-up.
Your rewards start accumulating as soon as you’ve earned at least one cent off per gallon and increase in one cent increments. That is, you can earn one cent off or two cents off, but not 1.5 cents off.
BP rewards expire 365 days after the month they’re earned. For example, if you earn rewards on September 7, 2017, they’ll be good until September 30, 2018.
Get Rewards at the Pump
One of the big differences between the BP credit card and other gas cards is that instead of being able to use your rewards every time you get gas, you can only use your rewards on one fill-up (a “single use”) before your rewards reset.
For instance, let’s say that you’ve earned 17 cents off per gallon. Whenever you choose to use your rewards, you’ll get 17 cents off of every gallon you pump during one use, whether that’s one gallon or up to 20 gallons…and that’s it. After that single use, that money off is gone.
In addition, when you apply your rewards for a single use, all the rewards you’ve earned get used; this means that if you’ve earned 17 cents off per gallon, you can’t choose to take one cent off per gallon to top up your tank one gallon and reserve 16 cents off per gallon for when you have to pump more gas. Your rewards will only roll over to your next purchase if taking more money off would mean you were paying less than 10.9 cents per gallon for gas.
Let’s say you’ve earned $3 off per gallon but you go to a station where gas is only 2.619 cents per gallon. You’ll have $2.50 off per gallon applied and pay 10.9 cents per gallon for this fill-up, with $0.50 off per gallon reserved for your next fill up (or, if you choose, applied to your Card Account as credit, as we’ll discuss in the next section).
Get Rewards as Statement Credit
One other wrinkle in the BP credit card rewards program is that instead of applying your rewards at the pump, you can choose to get your rewards as credit on your Card Account statement. If you do this, BP will multiply however much money you’ve earned off per gallon by 15 and apply it to your statement as credit.
Continuing the earlier example we used, if you’ve earned 17 cents off per gallon, you’d get $0.17 x 15 = $2.55 in statement credit, which you can then apply towards the balance of your credit card account.
Using your rewards towards a single use is more cost-effective if you’ll be filling up >15 gallons at a time, whereas applying your rewards towards your Card Account is better if you’re more likely to be pumping ≤15 gallons per single use (for instance, if your tank holds 15 gallons or less). Here’s a chart showing the differences for someone who’s earned 17 cents off per gallon:
|Amount of gas pumped?||Single-Use Rewards||Statement Credit Rewards|
|12 gallons||$2.04 off total||$2.55 credit|
|18 gallons||$3.06 off total||$2.55 credit|
The more money you earn off per gallon, the more this effect magnifies. Take a look at how much more money back you could get as statement credit vs. at the pump if you’ve earned $2.01 off per gallon and are pumping less than 15 gallons:
|Amount of gas pumped?||Single-Use Rewards||Statement Credit Rewards|
|12 gallons||$24.12 off total||$30.15 credit|
|18 gallons||$36.18 off total||$30.15 credit|
Fees and APR
Beginning 4/1/2017, there is no annual fee for new accounts, which is great. On the other hand, the Variable APR is currently a whopping 27.74%, and if you’re charged any interest at all, the minimum charge will be $2.00.
The fee for getting a cash advance using a BP credit card or BP Visa is $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is larger. For the BP Visa only, you’ll also be charged 3% of each transaction for any foreign transactions; this fee is not applicable for the regular BP credit card, presumably because you can’t use it for foreign transactions.
Finally, if you don’t pay your minimum on time, you will be subject to late fees. If you’ve paid your total minimum on time for the previous six consecutive billing cycles, you’ll be charged a $27 late fee; if you haven’t, you’ll be charged a $38 late fee.
For more details on the terms and conditions, go here.
Customer Reviews of the BP Credit Card
Users emphatically state that this card is not worth it because of the limited rewards, exorbitantly high interest rates, and unexpected changes in lines of credit. One user reports her credit line fluctuating to as low as $100, despite the user having never been late on payments and always paying more than the minimum.
Those who had the card in the past point to the switch in providers from Chase to Synchrony as being responsible for a huge drop in quality, including the change to only being able to apply rewards to a single use.
Overall, it seems that pretty much no one who has this card has been particularly happy with it, especially now that Synchrony Bank issues the BP Visa card.
Is the BP Credit Card Right for You?
Compared to a credit card that gives you cash back on all gas, neither the BP credit card nor the BP Visa is worth it.
In the best case scenario, you’re getting 25 cents off for every $100 you spend, which comes out to you saving a maximum of $5 (25 cents off of the max of 20 gallons) out of every $100, which is essentially 5% cash back (towards gas). Most of the time, though, your rate of return won’t be that high:
|Rewards per gallon||Max amount saved per $100|
|25 cents off||$5 (5% cash back)|
|15 cents off||$3 (3% cash back)|
|10 cents off||$2 (2% cash back)|
|5 cents off||$1 (1% cash back)|
There are a number of other cards that allow you to get 3-5% cash back without all the caveats of the BP credit cards (must be applied to a single use, only up to 20 gallons at a time or 15 if you do statement credit, etc.). These cards often allow you to apply your rewards to non-gas purchases, which is more flexible and generally more useful.
Even a card that has 1.5-2% cash back is likely to get you more money back overall and have lower interest rates than either of the BP cards. Plus, you wouldn’t be tethered to getting gas exclusively at BP stations.
Credit cards for specific gas stations tend to be of questionable use because they are so brand-specific. As a driver, I’m willing to go a little out of my way for cheaper gas, but at a certain point, the gas I’m using on my detour is going to cost more than whatever I’d save.
Because of this tradeoff, brand-specific gas cards are mainly useful if there are a lot of one brand of gas station near you or along routes you drive regularly.
If there are a lot of BP-branded gas stations near you, then a BP Visa card might be worth it, particularly if you are able to max out rewards on the introductory offer. There’s no annual fee for either BP credit card so if you pay off your balance and then end up letting your card lie unused for a while, it won’t cost you anything.
As far as the regular BP credit card goes, your best bet is to get the card, link your BP Driver Rewards Account (use your credit card info to do it here) to a Visa credit card you already have, and then cancel the BP credit card after 90 days.
You’ll be able to get the great introductory bonus for the BP credit card in the first 90 days and then can continue to get rewards after that (10 cents off per gallon at a BP station for every $100 you spend at a BP station) with your linked Visa card without having to worry about the interest rates and variable credit limits of the BP credit card.
However, if you think you might end up putting any debt on this card, do not get it. The cents you get off per gallon will not make up for the 27.74% interest rate on any unpaid balance.
A better option if you’re worried about running up debt but still want to get some kind of BP rewards is to sign up for a regular Driver Rewards Account and link it to a Visa credit card you already have. You’ll get the same rewards as you would for the regular BP credit card (10 cents off per gallon at a BP station for every $100 you spend at a BP station) but have the lower interest rates of a non-BP card.
BP Credit Card Application
If you want to get a BP credit card or BP Visa card, you can either fill out an online application here or pick up a paper application at a BP station.
You’ll need to provide the following information on the application:
- your first and last name
- your physical mailing address (not a PO box)
- time lived at your current address (in years)
- your primary phone number
- your email address
- your annual net income
- your date of birth
- your social security number (SSN) or individual tax identification number (ITIN)
- how you want your statements delivered (paper or electronically)
Unfortunately, there’s no information out there about what kind of credit score you need to successfully get the card, but everyone is welcome to apply for it.
The BP credit card might not be the right fit for your circumstances. Which one is? Find out with our guide to figuring out what the best credit card for you is.
Interested in getting the most out of your credit card, but not sure which one will offer the most cash back or points? We break down what credit cards have the best rewards programs here.
Need a credit card but are stuck with a not-so-great credit score? Then check out our list of unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit.