CITGO Aligns With Metrosplash to Offer FueLinks Loyalty Program

Available at more than 4,000 CITGO retailers in 28 states

Published in CSP Daily News

HOUSTON -- CITGO Petroleum Corp. is offering the FuelLinks fuel reward program to more than 4,000 CITGO-branded fuel centers in 28 eastern states with plans to make it available to more. CITGO is the first major fuel supplier to accept FuelLinks rewards with the option to issue them on purchases through the convenience stores.

"When we were looking for a loyalty program, we went out and interviewed our retailers about what they wanted," said Jonathan Watson, Houston-based CITGO's general manager of business services. "They said they wanted two things: They wanted something simple, and [image-nocss] they wanted something that offered great value to the consumer. We found precisely those things in the FuelLinks program. We see it as a critical tool in generating loyalty for our CITGO brand and CITGO-branded retailers."

Developed and owned by MetroSplash Systems Group Inc, FuelLinks is a cross-marketing and consumer reward program that enables all types of local and online businesses to offer their customers fuel rewards based on their purchases.

"What FuelLinks does is bridge between merchants and fuel retailers," said MetroSplash president and CEO Steve Babick. "When a business joins the FuelLinks program, it becomes part of a growing coalition of merchants that reward their customers for coming back again and again to buy goods and services from them."

Membership in the FuelLinks program is free to consumers. They can earn cents-off-per-gallon rewards from participating grocery and convenience stores, which roll back the price per gallon at the pump, as well as cash-equivalent rewards from other businesses that can be applied to the total fuel purchase price. The more FuelLinks rewards they earn, the less they pay for fuel.

Members receive a magnetically striped plastic card, which is employed at the point of sale to redeem their rewards as well as add newly earned ones to their individual FuelLinks account. The card simplifies the reward issuance-redemption process for consumers as well as merchants.
While still in its early roll-out stage, the program has already issued more than $8 million in "free gas" to more than half a million members who have been earning rewards from local retailers as well as www.fuellinks.com. Through the website, consumer can also sign up for the program and find participating businesses in their community.

High fuel prices are a heated topic among consumers and merchants alike. For retailers who want to attract and retain customers as well as consumers whose budgets have been hit hard by high fuel prices, FuelLinks offers a solid, long-term solution.

Founded in 2003, Highland Village, Texas-based MetroSplash Systems Group provides a technology platform that enables businesses of all types to implement a supplier-integrated fuel-based consumer reward program (FuelLinks) or to monetize an existing affinity program toward the purchase of fuel. The company offers the financial settlement and Loyalty as a Service (LaaS) infrastructure to bridge between merchants (reward issuance) and fuel retailers (redemption).