Petrol costs are a major issue for Britain's families. So it's no surprise that most of the big supermarket groups are looking to tempt shoppers with the promise of cheaper fuel or money-off vouchers.
Now though, Morrisons is set to unveil its fuel saver loyalty scheme with discounts on fuel of typically 6 per cent. Unlike other fuel schemes this is not dependent on shopping at Morrisons and then redeeming a voucher. Instead it operates across 34 major UK retailers. Consumers who buy a gift card at any of these retailers – including names such as Currys, Homebase, Next, Debenhams and House of Fraser, as well as the internet giants iTunes and Facebook, can, for every £10 spent, claim a penny off each litre of fuel bought at one of Morrisons 476 UK stores.
“We know the cost of filling the car is a real worry for our families. If they use gift cards from the Fuel Saver scheme for purchases they can make very large savings,” says Richard Hodgson, Morrisons' commercial director.
It's with big-ticket purchases that the scheme offers the biggest discounts. For example, buying a £500 gift card at Homebase lets you claim up to 50p a litre off fuel. This, Morrisons says, represents a saving of £30 on filling up a 60-litre tank.
Morrisons says the average return through the scheme is higher than for a standard cashback credit card or a petrol station loyalty scheme.
But not everyone is convinced. “The returns on cash back and reward points may be lower, but you are free to spend the rewards anywhere, not just on petrol,” says Andrew Hagger, a personal finance expert.
“The scheme will tempt those who are ultra-organised and prepared to plan ahead to save money at every opportunity, but I'm not sure this will seem that attractive to the majority of people. In the past, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury's have offered 5p or 6p off a litre of fuel if you spend £50 or £60 on your supermarket shopping – that's fine because you're buying something you would buy anyway and are rewarded instantly,” Mr Hagger adds.