I have been debating on whether to get the RBC Esso Extra credit card for a while now, so I thought I’d share my analysis process at the same time as I came to my decision. There are several reasons I am hesitating to consider the Esso Extra program.
1) Esso is allows you to either collect Esso points or Aeroplan points when you fill up. I am currently collecting Aeroplan points at Esso stations instead of Esso Extra points because I value travelling. I am confident that I will be able to use my Aeroplan points to give me the most value.
As a compromise, I can continue to collect Aeroplan points while using RBC Esso Extra credit card as the method of payment. That way I am also earning Esso Extra points separately.
2) Then I am wondering if it will be worth it to collect Esso Extra points on the credit card because I have enough premium credit cards that give me a nice return for spending on gas. For example, the American Express Gold Rewards Card gives me 2 points per $1 spent on gas. I definitely value 2 American Express Membership Rewards points more than 2 Esso Reward points.
For the time being, I might hold off on the credit card.
3) Esso Extra points expire if there is no activity on the account at least once every 12 months. What I found most frustrating is that it was very difficult for me to find the wording. You will be able to find it under the Program Rules at section 3.18:
3.18 In the case of an inactive Member who does not acquire any Points for twelve (12) consecutive months, all accumulated Points may be forfeited, with or without notice, or otherwise dealt with, without compensation, at Imperial’s discretion.
Just like many others, having an expiry policy can be a possible deal breaker in joining a loyalty program. Having the RBC Esso Extra credit card would solve this problem.
Conclusion: I do not think that this is the right timing for me to join the Esso Extra program because I feel that I am getting more value elsewhere. That being said, I think that this program can be very valuable if you take advantage of all the different ways to earn points with this program. For exampe, you earn 3 points for every $1 spent on Supreme grade gas compared to only 1 point for every $1 spent on Regular grade gas. Therefore, if you fill up with Supreme grade gas and have the credit card, then your points can add up in a hurry. I also like the available rewards with the Esso Extra program. They provide a fair variety to choose from.
Therefore, this program can make sense for some people. Just remember to do the calculations first!
You can read about our earlier post on Esso Extra here.