Mediaplanet: What sparked Petro-Canada to redesign their points program?

Deborah Gullaher: We looked at our program, listened to our members, and decided we could simplify our program to make it easier for our members to understand.

We’ve made it simpler. Now every dollar spent or litre purchased equals 10 points and 1,000 points redeemed equals one dollar off anything we sell, including fuel. However, it excludes tobacco, alcohol, and alcohol related gift cards.

In general, only a small portion of members in any loyalty program who have enough points to redeem for a reward actually do so. We wanted our loyalty program to provide extra value for our members and give our customers the ability to experience that value by redeeming for the rewards they want, when they want, where they want.

MP: Are there any new rewards or benefits to Petro-Points that members might not be aware of?

DG: Members earn points faster. Members purchasing regular fuel at Petro-Canada now earn double the points — 10 points per litre instead of 5 points per litre in the old program.

Members can redeem sooner. With the new program, 1,000 points equals $1 no matter what a member is redeeming for, so they can redeem their points for the rewards that matter to them.

Members no longer have to figure out the best value when they redeem.  All rewards are the same — $1 off equals 1,000 points across the entire program except for car wash redemption items, where the value is slightly better.

MP: What makes the Petro-Points program different?

DG: The Petro-Points program offers significant value to our customers. Our members are able to reach rewards faster in the Petro-Points program.

MP: Has the design of the program changed due to advancements in technology and the emergence of digital wallets?

DG: We redesigned the Petro-Points program based on our member’s feedback and general loyalty program dissatisfaction we were hearing about from the overall marketplace. The changes were based on what our members asked for: a simple, easy to understand program. Technology advancements, such as digital wallets and the internet of things, are all included in part of our future roadmap but they are not what inspired us to redesign our program.

MP: How does Petro-Points leverage partnerships to offer members a better customer experience?

DG: Through our partners, our members have the opportunity to earn points faster. We have partners where linking your memberships together — like with Hudson’s Bay Rewards — earns you 20 percent more points on purchases at Petro-Canada, and when you purchase at some of our partners you can earn more points too, like itravel2000.

We also have partners that allow members to earn more points through participation in other activities, like responding to surveys and being healthier through Carrot Rewards. Partners also allow members to redeem for other rewards that they love — like travel or apparel — and the value is the same as redemptions made at Petro-Canada: 10,000 points equals $10.