Chevron, Texaco and CITGO promote new Visa rewards offers

Chevron and CITGO are offering new customer rewards offers, according to CSP Daily News. (read: http://www.cspnet.com/news/services/articles/phillips-66-warns-new-credit-card-scam)

chevron credit cards

Chevron is revamping the reward structure for its Chevron and Texaco Visa credit cards in July in a move the company hopes will “promote more ‘top-of-wallet’ behavior among our cardholders.” The Chevron and Texaco Visa and Personal Credit Cards are issued by GE Capital Retail Bank, General Electric’s credit card division, and are not an obligation of Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

Consumers earn a 10-cents-per-gallon credit after they spent $300 to $999 on qualifying purchases at Texaco and Chevron station (excluding fuel purchases), and any other non-fuel merchant that accepts Visa such as drug and hardware stores, grocery, restaurants, hotels, department stores, online purchases, etc. Qualifying purchases of $1,000 or more earn a 20-cents-per-gallon kickback.

Banks have been aggressively promoting the use of credit cards over debit cards because the banks make as much as five times more money on credit card “swipe fees” paid by small merchants compared to fees charged to merchants for accepting debit cards.

Customers get the Chevron or Texaco fuel discounts only after they pass the $300 or $1,000 qualifying amount. Fuel credits are only good for six months and will be automatically applied to card statements. Rewards are capped at $300 in total fuel credits in any calendar year (3,000 or 1,500 gallons of fuel, depending on which program the consumer qualifies for). Qualified spending resets at the beginning of each monthly billing period, a scheme that will help motivate consumers and small business owners who drive a lot to ditch their debit cards in favor of the GE-issued credit cards.

The Chevron program mimics Shell, which requires customers to charge a minimum of $500 a month to the Shell MasterCard in order to qualify for discounts.

Chevron is advertising that their co-branded Visa cardholders should use the card to make automatic payments on other expenses, such as telephone and cable TV bills, wherever possible to help qualify for fuel credits on a monthly basis.

Citgo offers “free” gift cards

Citgo’s new program runs June 1 through September 20, and rewards customers with a $15 Citgo gift card after making eight $20 or more purchases at a CITGO station, either in-store or at the pump using a Visa card.

Customers must register their Visa card at www.CITGOGoodRewards.com and provide their mobile telephone number. Visa then tracks consumer purchases and sends text messages encouraging them to make additional purchases. Once the cardholder has earned a reward, he will receive a text message with a unique code and website link where they can redeem their gift card. Customers only have until November 22 to redeem the gift cards.

The Fine Print

Not all Visa cards are eligible for the Citgo promotion. Without limitation, Visa debit-card users must choose the “credit” option when paying with their debit card and purchases made using a personal identification number (PIN) do not qualify. Also, Visa Buxx, Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Visa cards, EBT Visa cards and other Visa-branded cards whose transactions are not processed through the Visa U.S.A. payment system are not eligible to participate. Customers who refuse to provide a mobile phone number or an email address won’t get discounts. Further, CITGO acknowledges that consumers could be charged for the text messages they receive.

The company told CSP that the “CITGO good rewards” program is “the highlight” of its advertising campaign this year, designed to increase traffic and sales at marketer stations. It will be promoted on cable TV and online advertising.

Citgo dings customers with new fees on Gift Cards

Effective July 1, CITGO will begin charging a 10-cent transaction fee on all first-time CITGO gift card activations. Mike Pooler, payment card operations manager, told CSP the fee will not apply to reloads of the card. “By encouraging consumers to reload their CITGO gift cards, your retailers can reduce their gift card transaction fees and help the environment by alleviating the amount of litter from gift cards being discarded after one-time use,” he said in the CSP article.