The prospect of a vicious petrol price-war has moved closer after both Asda and Tesco increased points for petrol purchases on their loyalty cards.
The moves threaten to break the eight-month truce on petrol prices between major supermarkets and forecourt operators after the price war which badly dented their profits last year. The war cost supermarkets an estimated 100m, and the forecourt operators up to 500m, according to City analysts.
Tesco began offering double loyalty points for petrol purchases on its Clubcard at the beginning of last week. City analysts said this was “a very aggressive move”, and could spark a full-scale price war.
At the same time, Asda introduced extra points for petrol purchases on its Fill & Save petrol loyalty card. These were more than doubled from 30 points for 10 worth of petrol to 70 points.
This offer applies in 28 stores at present, but could be extended throughout the chain’s 125 petrol forecourts. In 68 stores, extra Catalina (voucher) points are being awarded for petrol purchases.
The moves come at a time when crude oil prices are rising.