Is an airline ticket worth a 30 cent fuel saving?

Jetstarfuel.jpgJetstar is currently running its 30 cent fuel discount offer, which provides a one-time voucher offering 30 cents a litre off if you book a flight before August 28. While this might represent a useful bonus if you booked a flight you were planning to take anyway, there's a danger that people will buy tickets they didn't otherwise plan to get, thus eliminating any real savings. A similar logic applies to the extra 2 cents off you can get in many servos if you purchase $2 of goods — if that's not stuff you needed to buy, I figure the saving is illusory. But what do Lifehacker readers think? Are fuel cost saving initiatives worth pursuing, or are you better off trying to cut the amount of car travel you undertake? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Comments

    Fuel discount dockets are a clever way to adjust consumer expectations about what the price of fuel should be. By bringing in discount fuel vouchers petrol companies were able to artifically increase the average base price of fuel by 4c/ltr.

    As you argue. If you are purchasing something you don't need to get the additional benefit i.e. you're standing at the check out and your total comes to $28 purchasing something to go over the $30 limit is stupid because the discount is erroded. More often than not purchasing fuel to fill a 60ltr tank would only net you a saving of $2.40.

    What's more disturbing is the marketing to try and spin additional 9c discounts. Do the math. You're most probably being ripped off...

    hmmmm, I got this jetstar email this morning and immediately worked it out. Even with my car taking diesel at $1.70 a litre (which is what I paid last week) this would not even save $10! What a take!

    The servo spends are the biggest con, who in their right mind would make shopping at an overpriced servo store a regular part of their savings plan?

    A bit of give and take - or keep your eyes open.

    I'm happy to take up these sorts of offers - provided that they're congruent with my broad intentions. If I was looking for an airline ticket - maybe I'd be interested. A look at the detail reveals that the maximum 'saving' is a whole $9.00 for the Jetstar offer. Hmmmm...

    By the same token, I'll happily take up Mr Woolworth's fuel vouchers - including the 'spend an extra $5.00 on crap at the servo and get an extra 4c/litre off'. Why? Simple. I drive an urban assault vehicle (Toyota Prado) that takes 150 litres when empty. That means a $6.00 discount with 4c/litre voucher - and an EXTRA $6.00 discount if I spend $5.00... No brainer?

    It gets better! Every now and then Mr Woolworth has this bright idea that people need to drink more alcohol. Right. So Mr W offers a 20c/litre fuel discount if I buy 6 or more bottles of his over-priced wine.

    Now, I'd be happier if the fellow (and it seems to always be a male) in Mr W's grog shop knew the difference between Riesling and Pine-o-cleen (Yep, different bottle shape) - but if I'm going to get a $30 discount on fuel for spending ~$35 on 6 bottles of quite agreeable Argentinian red I'm prepared to put up with a complete lack of product knowledge displayed by staff on crappy wages.

    Perhaps we should be looking into the database work that Mr W is undertaking. Verrrrry interesting...

    Woolworths now have a rewards card, it's free to join and you can pick one up at the checkout.

    It saves you having to spend $30 first at the supermarket to get your 4c/L fuel discount.

    Caltex/Woolworths petrol stations will scan the card when you pay for your fuel and will give you the 4c/L off your fuel purchase.

    - handy if you need petrol and close to one of their servos!

    In relation to the Woolworth rewards card ('Everydayrewards'), kc said "It saves you having to spend $30 first at the supermarket to get your 4c/L fuel discount."

    I don't think that this is quite right - you still need to spend your $30+ in the supermarket - it's just that the 'voucher' is 'stored' on the card and is 'used up' when you present the card when paying for petrol.

    It is certainly easier than keeping scraps of paper - but it also provides a treasure trove of consumer behaviour data (including creditcard usage) to Woolworths. If you paid cash and used vouchers, it is nearly impossible to create a profile of your behaviour. Link it all together with the 'Everydayrewards' card and Woolworths get instant longitudinal consumer behaviour data to delve into! Happy Privacy Week all!

    >> lostincanberra
    >> Posted August 26, 2008 3:10 PM

    you're correct about the discount coupon being loaded onto the card. had to check that because we were getting both for a while.

    regarding the issue about woolworths obtaining my consumer behaviour. unless you use cash for everything in life and keep that wad under your mattress, someone is going to know something about your spending behaviour. banks check ur accounts (in most cases, they know before you do about fraud on your credit cards). govt dept (eg ATO) track you to ensure you don't make dodgey claims. if you use electronic tolling, the RTA knows your travel patterns.

    it's just the world we live in thesedays. there's a certain level of trust you accept by using their services. don't use their services if you don't trust them

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