Sunday, September 16, 2007

Basma Card

I am sure that all of you have seen the Basma Card campaign all over Bank Muscat, Oman Oil, Nawras, and Lulu hypermarket outlets. It is a very lame reward card scheme we have in this country, if you check their leaflets, their website, or any of their information packages anywhere, you never actually get to know what you can do with the points you collect using Basma. I've got my card when I applied for a credit card from Bank Muscat, which automatically credits me a Basma point for every Rial I pay using the credit card. I've been using my credit card for a while now and I was really curious to know what the hell I can do with these points I am collecting, I called up their helpline and was told that each Basma point I acquire is worth 1 Baisa at any of the partner shops.

This means that when I spend a 1000 Rials on my credit card.... I get 1 freaking rial to spend at Lulu. There are different point rates for different partners, but the majority of them are just as ridiculous as this one, if you buy jewelry worth 1000 Rials from Damas.... you get to spend 2 Rials at Lulu. There are a couple of better deals at Basma, but the majority of them are just as lame as these, even at Lulu itself, when you spend 1000 Rials at lulu, you get 5 rials in return, I remember that Al Jadeeda stores ages ago had a voucher scheme which was WAY more rewarding as this, Basma Card is such a waste of time, the physical effort to get it out of your wallet, swipp it, and the put in your PIN code is certainly not worth the 5 baisa's I get per rial at Lulu.

What do you guys think, am I the only ungrateful fool who does not appreciate the fact that getting 5 baisa's per rial is better than not getting anything at all?


muscati said...

I rarely ever shop at Lulu, but I use my Basma card whenever I fill my car up at Oman Oil stations. That and shopping on my credit card. It's an annoying card because even the points you get from credit card shopping have to be physically transferred to the card by taking it to Lulu or Oman Oil and asking them to do a Refresh on your card to transfer the points to it. What sucks even more is that Lulu don't give you your points at the register. Instead you have to go to the customer service counter and give them the receipt along with your card and ask them to add your points.

I know some people who are really creative with it though and are getting full advantage. For example they only pay for their shopping at Lulu with their BankMuscat credit card. That way they get 5 points per rial from Lulu and another 5 points from the bank.

In the two years since I've had this card I have paid for vacations, laptops, birthday and anniversary gifts, jewelry, cameras, thousands of dollars of online shopping on, and filled my car at least once a week in Oman Oil stations, and yet all I got back on Basma is about 80 rials worth of points.

Blue Chi said...

I really think that this card reward scheme is a total waste of time, the way it is advertised is misleading to the nature/amount of reward you actually get.

Sythe said...

I just wrote a nice long comment talking about store cards and then the website timed out!!! I think the internet is crawling today.. someone at Omantel better pay their bandwidth bill!!!!

Store cards and reward cards are a scam - the companies that run them are only doing it for one thing - to collect information about you. Everytime you swipe that card, they know how much you spend, where you shop and how frequently you shop there. They then take that information and sell it on, or, more often than not share it with their 'partner' companies, who can be made a partner very easily by selling them one share of their company, and thus they are then a partner. So the point is - dont sign up to those reward schemes unless they are actually worth it, which this Basma scam is most certainly not!

muscati said...

Blue-Chi, I don't think that it's been misadvertised. I think it's not being advertised enough, and the partners aren't doing enough to encourage people to use the card and gain from it. Other than the banners in all Oman Oil filling stations, none of the partners in the program is doing enough to advertise this product. Compare this with something like the Nectar Card program in the UK, which is hugely popular even though it gives you much less for your points than Basma. Whenever I reached the cashier at a Sainsbury's in the UK, the first thing they asked when I paid was "Do you have a Nectar card?". I've never once been asked if I have a Basma card in any of the partners' stores.

I went to the Basma site to see all the partners and found some whom I didn't know about even though I've had this card since day one. They never advertised it to me. They never sent me a letter in the mail or even an email telling me of the addition of new Basma partners where I can get points.

Here's the summary of what I found:

BankMuscat - 5 points for each RO. 1 you spend your credit card.

Oman Oil - 10 points for each rial you fill your car 20 points for each rial if you pay for your fill up from your Basma E-purse, 20 points for each rial when you buy from the Quick Shop, 100 points for each rial when you do an oil change at Lube Plus or a car wash

Nawras - 20 points for each rial (but there's no mention how you get these points, is it only if you go pay your bills at a Nawras counter?)

Lulu Hypermarket - 5 points for each rial you spend.

Mumtaz Mahal - 90 points for each rial you spend (did you get your Basma card when you went to eat there for your Omani Cuisine review?)

Golden Oryx - 140 points for each rial (I've been there 2 or 3 times this year and never knew I could get Basma Points).

Capital Stores 10 points for each rial you spend.

Woodlands - 50 points per rial.

Zahara Travels - 10 points per rial when you buy a ticket and 30 points per rial when you buy a holiday package.

Damas - 2 points per rial.

Patchi and Bateel - 110 points per rial.

Avis Oman - 40 points per rial.

Glamour - 140 points per rial.

Other than Lulu, BankMuscat, Oman Oil and Nawras, I wasn't aware of any of these other companies being part of Basma.

Anonymous said...

Although I don’t own a Basma card yet in my humble opinion, I’d say it’s worth it. You got your card for free by applying for a credit card from Bank Muscat and you’re getting free points whenever you purchase anything from Lulu center, OmanOil and all the other partners whom Muscati have mentioned.
What’s wrong in getting a free service? Worth of money? You have an option to buy Basma card for two rials with no points or you may purchase a card with 20 rials worth of points and pay exactly the same price for it. No one complains about buying a Hayyak or Musbaq card for 5 rials and getting 5 rials worth of credit now, do they? I totally agree that the service hasn’t been advertised enough, all you get are posters and boarders whenever you run by OmanOil, let alone the card itself which has a few number partners on the back of it. I recall marking OmanMobile as one of the partnets on the back yet the website doesn’t mention anything regarding it. Now if you find it undeserving to actually swipe the card for points then don’t go for it. It’s your own free well.

muscati said...

Oman Mobile was one of the original launch partners in the Basma card program but then withdrew because they thought it was too expensive for them to be in it and they didn't think the benefits were good enough. Nawras then jumped to take their place.

I agree that getting points for free is better than no points at all. All it costs you is take it out of your wallet and ask for your points. My only qualms with the Basma card is that they launched the card with a brief marketing campaign and then didn't give it any support at all. Oman Oil is the only partner which is continually marketing the card, but they are advertising it as a prepaid fuel card. Basma could have become a phenomenal product which everyone would want to have. Instead it's yet another orphan in the ocean of products launched in Oman which got lost for lack of support and marketing.

TI3GIB said...

I have one that I got from Oman Oil. I didn't know it was a reward program, I just thought it was a gas refill card.

The only purpose it will probably serve is the 20 rials emergency gas I leave in my wallet.

Twister said...

There is a similar promotion here in Australia at the Coles group...u get 2 points for every 5 dollars spent...and to redeem, you can claim 20 dollars for 2500 points....

Meticulousness said...

Oh, the anonymous dude is actually me. Wasn't using my laptop!

I would personally consider getting myself a card but the only conflict here is having OmanOil as the exclusive partner upon all petrol stations around.

Anonymous said...

Hello Everybody,

I too agree with all the facts said by different users. Since you all are aware of Basma cards, I would like to ask you all a question.

Q: If a company is launching a Smart Chip based Electronic Purse where you can store electronic currencies and pay for the purchases you make wherever you wish to do. Like the purhcases starting from your daily/weekly purchases from Lulu,Carrefoure,KM Trading, Khaleejana, Al-Jadheeda stores and so on. And again you can use the same card for making monthly EMI payment to the Financing companies, pay for insurance companies, pay for the Electricity & Water Bills at any of the outlets where the card is accepted.
1) Multi payments using a single card.
2) Weekly/Monthly/Yearly raffle draws and prizes starting from Weekly prizes of R.O 20 credit to Yearly Bumper prize of Toyota or Lexus cars and acsh prixes of R.O 20,000 and R.O 50,000.
3) Free online services like advertisment of you old car for sale, advertising of your House for letting it out for rent etc.
And the services go on....

If such a card is going to launch in Oman, what will be you approach towards this programme.

1) How much you think you can pay for this card for an initial purchase which can be used for 2 or more years ?
2) Will you buy this card ?

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Neelesh said...

I used to purchase through my so called bank muscat card but I never got any basma point against that, the only place where I am getting point is LulU but the hessels for being in que & then getting the card swaped is very hactic.
Its not worth while for keeping your wallet with basma for nothing

Unknown said...