Will FuelCents Help Slash Your Petrol Bill?

A new fuel discount scheme promises to save you 20c per litre on petrol each and every week. Will it entice shoppers away from supermarket discount schemes, and if so, how?

Petrol picture from Shutterstock

The core idea behind Fuel Cents isn’t dissimilar to the fuel discount deals that the big supermarkets offer, save for the fact that they’re not tied to a single store or even theoretically a specific petrol outlet brand. Instead, retailers offer fuel cents discounts based on a predetermined sale amount. Each Fuel Cent costs the retailer 60c to provide, so it’s reasonable to expect that you won’t see too many Fuel Cent offerings below the “spend $5 to get” kind of deal.

It ties into a mobile site that gets you to scan FuelCents receipts in order to build up a redemption bank of fuel cents vouchers to then use at the petrol pump. The key consumer hook here is that you should be able to combine any number of Fuel Cents vouchers to redeem against petrol purchases, whereas the existing supermarket deals tend to be a one-off kind of deal. There is a cap of 80 litres per transaction, but that should be enough for all but the thirstiest tanks.

Fuel Cents announced its offering after a trial on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland which saw over 300 stores participate offering 650 different products, with most offering a simple 4c/L discount. They reported shoppers redeeming more than 100 fuel cents (or, in other words, $1) per litre in single transactions, which suggests it’s an idea with some currency. Fuel Cents will start user registration from the September 1, along with a shopping showcase platform, Shping.me, designed to entice retailers into the Fuel Cents program.

We’re likely to see petrol prices increase as the year goes on, and there’s definitely a variety of opinion when it comes to the genuine utility of reward schemes tied to petrol.

What do you think? Would you do more local shopping if petrol vouchers were dangling in front of your eyes and avoid the supermarkets, or is this just another in a long line of localised petrol discount schemes?

Lifehacker’s weekly Loaded column looks at better ways to manage (and stop worrying about) your money.


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