Sunoco recently cancelled their partnership with CAA — you could swipe your CAA card at Sunoco stations and you’d save 1% of your gas purchase on your CAA membership the next year. Last year, this saved me about $30. Not huge, but nothing to sneeze at. Now Sunoco has their own reward program called “Performance Points”. I got 1000 points for joining, and I figured over the years, I’ll eventually build up enough points to get free stuff (I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my 180,000 Petro Canada points). I recently looked at a receipt I got from buying gas at Sunoco, and noticed the following:
Points before transaction: 1000
Points this transaction: 0
Points after transaction: 1000
I went to the web site to check on the rules to see why I got no points for that transaction, and found that they don’t give points on regular grade gas, only on the premium grades, as well as stuff you buy in the store (i.e. snacks and stuff). Since I don’t buy the premium grades, and almost never buy stuff at a gas station other than gas (I pay at the pump almost all the time anyway, so I never go in the store), this program is useless to me. I suspect this is true of a great many people. At least this way, it’s one less card in my wallet, and I will now actively avoid buying gas at Sunoco stations. Why wouldn’t I? I get Air Miles at Esso, Petro Points at Petro Canada, Bonus Bucks at Pioneer, and jack at Sunoco.
Another example of a company that is so desperate to make more money that they alienate their customers, and will probably end up making less.