British Gas Rewards for Loyal Customers
The British Gas Rewards scheme that was launched in early 2017 offers British Gas customers a range of perks in return for simply being a customer. What exactly are the benefits of the Rewards programme and does it make up for the frequent increases in the price of energy from British Gas? Is it worth staying with British Gas for the freebies?
What are British Gas Rewards?
British Gas Rewards is a programme that gives British Gas customers different kinds of freebies and offers. The scheme is open to customers who receive gas and/or electricity from British Gas, as well as those who have a British Gas home services product, such as a HomeCare plan or plumbing and drains cover.
The Rewards programme replaced the old British Gas Nectar card scheme where customers of British Gas and Sainsbury’s Energy could earn points by linking their energy accounts to their Nectar cards. You could collect Nectar points for doing things like submitting regular meter readings, and then spend the points in Sainsbury’s supermarkets, amongst other places.
Sainsbury’s Energy, which was part of British Gas, no longer exists and its customers were automatically switched to British Gas tariffs. As British Gas customers they are eligible to join Rewards.
British Gas business energy customers are not eligible to join Rewards. You can only be a member of the scheme if you have your domestic energy with British Gas, or you have a British Gas home services product.
The Rewards you can earn - or win - change on a monthly basis. You’ll receive emails from British Gas with details of what the Rewards are. You can also check your online British Gas account. Here’s an idea of what’s available:
- Vouchers for restaurants, such as Pizza Express and Bella Italia
- Days out at Merlin attractions, such as Alton Towers, Warwick Castle and Chessington World of Adventures
- Free boiler service
- 10% Waitrose discount
- Promotional codes to get free Sky movies
- Discounts on Hive smart products for the home
- Entry into competitions to win holidays, or tickets for live events at London’s O2 arena
- Wilbur cuddly toys (the British Gas mascot; he’s a penguin, since you’re asking)
- Free energy, also known as ‘loyalty energy days’
What are loyalty energy days?
A loyalty energy day is a day where your energy costs you nothing! Based on the length of time you have been a British Gas customer at your current address, you can get free gas or electricity, or both, for a certain length of time - basically, it’s a payment holiday from your energy bills.
British Gas Rewards login
Existing British Gas customers can sign up to the Rewards scheme via the ‘My Account’ online platform. This is the place to find your customer account, where you can log in at any time to see what offers are available through the Rewards programme.
Signing up to British Gas Rewards is completely free and you don’t need to do anything in particular to earn access to the discounts, offers and free prize draws - there’s no collecting loyalty points or anything extra you need to do. Once you’re registered on British Gas Rewards you can sit back and wait for the email notifications about the free stuff you have earned.
British Gas Rewards reviews - what are customers saying?
While in theory it sounds like a good idea to offer your customers something in return for their loyalty, especially when British Gas prices seem to be continually on the rise, not everyone is happy with the scheme.
The fact that you have to have an online account with British Gas to be eligible for the Rewards programme is clearly unfair, since customers who do not have internet access or who simply choose not to sign up for an online account are automatically excluded. Here’s what one disgruntled British Gas customer had to say about the Rewards scheme:
“I don't pay my bills online, I pay the old fashioned way at the post office. I have never been with any other gas company so why can't I get the rewards?”
Rather than endearing itself to consumers, British Gas risks alienating lifelong customers by sticking rigidly to its online-only policy for the Rewards programme. When we asked British Gas what could be done for someone who has been a customer for a long time but who doesn’t have internet access, they told us the only option in that situation would be for the customer to ask a family member or friend to get them signed up online and to help them manage their account.
Since we don’t have access to the data telling us the demographics of British Gas customers we can’t say for sure, but we can speculate that they tend to be older people, less likely to switch energy companies and also less likely to use the internet regularly. Admittedly, far more older people are online than ten years ago, but there is still a sizeable number of UK households with no internet access so it’s understandable that some customers will be angry if they are treated differently simply because of a lack of internet access.
For those who are online and who do manage to sign up for an online British Gas account, what about the benefits on offer through the Rewards programme? For families who live close to one or other of the Merlin amusement parks or in towns that have branches of chain restaurants such as Pizza Express, signing up to the scheme can have its advantages.
However, the real question is whether the ‘free stuff’ is enough of an incentive either to retain customers who would otherwise switch away from British Gas, or to entice new customers to switch to British Gas. Some people view the scheme as a way for British Gas to distract customers from the fact that their prices remain exorbitantly high:
“It’s easier to offer a silly "hook" deal to new customers and then simply fleece the stagnant ones, classing your ex-customers as collateral damage.”
British Gas Rewards: Our Verdict
If energy providers really want to do something to reward loyal customers, while also achieving higher customer retention, they could consider other benefits than offering free cuddly toys or days out at a theme park. Compared to British Gas Rewards, the incentives available from other energy providers seem to be more attractive.
Some providers, such as Tonik Energy, Bulb and Ecotricity, operate referral schemes where if you recommend a friend, and they become a customer, you both receive credit directly into your energy accounts - usually around £50 per referral. Another customer incentive is to link your energy to your bank account, such as with Octopus Energy’s cashback partnership with Santander 123 bank accounts.
If you’re a diehard British Gas customer with an online account, then by all means, the Rewards programme might be worthwhile but we’re not convinced it’s sufficient to lure customers away from other energy providers with cheaper prices and more efficient customer service.
Contact British Gas directly to find out more about British Gas services and what they offer besides energy tariffs. If you want to read more about the potential benefits and pitfalls of being with this behemoth supplier then read our British Gas reviews- find out what people really think about their customer service and prices!