Stacking Grocery Store Fuel Points Promo With Rewards Cards Bonuses!

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I love miles and points to save huge on travel, but I also enjoy saving money on everyday things that we need when we are home.  My favorite is when I can do both at the same time and earn miles and points while saving money on everyday things.  One of the ways I did that this week was by purchasing some gift cards at my local Kroger’s grocery store, paying with a reward credit card that earns a bonus at grocery stores, and timing the purchase with when the grocery store was awarding bonus fuel points on select gift card purchases.  This means I earned points toward travel and a discount on gas just for buying gift cards to restaurants we were going to visit anyway!

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Kroger offers this type of deal from time to time, and while the specifics of the deal vary, the overall approach remains the same.  Here are the details in case this is something that might work for your family.

Regular Rates for Earning Fuel Points:

  • Earn 1 fuel point for each dollar spent on groceries at Krogers
  • 2x fuel points for gift card purchases at Krogers.  For example, $25 in Gift Cards = 50 fuel points.  The terms do state that some types of gift cards aren’t included such as: Kroger and Kroger Family of Stores Gift Cards, Green Dot prepaid reloadable products, MoneyPaks, American Express Variable Load Gift Cards, Visa Variable Load Gift Cards, and MasterCard Variable Load Gift Cards.
  • Non-federally funded prescriptions each earn 50 fuel points.

Rates for Redeeming Fuel Points:

  • 100 fuel points = 10¢ off per gallon of fuel
  • Max of $1 off per gallon on fuel purchases at Kroger fuel stations (1,000 points) and 10¢ per gallon at participating Shell Stations (100 points).
  • Program discount is good for one purchase of fuel, up to 35 gallons.

Fuel Earning With 4x Gift Card Special:

With the current promo of earning 4x on restaurant gift cards, that means you are earning 100 fuel points for every $25 in gift cards you purchase.  If you max out the 35 gallons when you fill up, that means that you are saving $3.50 in gas for every $25 restaurant gift card you purchase.  That isn’t life altering, but it certainly isn’t bad.

Taking it Up a Notch with Rewards Credit Cards:

That is a decent deal all by itself (assuming you were going to eat at one of the available restaurants anyway), but it can easily be taken up a notch by using a rewards credit card that pays out a bonus at grocery stores.  Here are a few examples:

Blue Cash Preferred American Express: 6% back at US Supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases annually).  If you are interested in the Blue Cash card, be aware that the best sign-up offer I know of for this card ($250 back after spending $1,000 in 3 months) is available via the Card Match Tool from creditcards.com.

US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature: 2x at grocery stores (if that is the largest spending category that month among gas, grocery or airline purchases) and points are each worth up to 2¢ each toward airfare.

American Express(R) Premier Rewards Gold Card: 2x Membership Reward points at grocery stores.  The 2x can be even more valuable if you transfer to a hotel or airline partner during a transfer bonus.

There are plenty of other rewards cards out there that give cash back or bonus points at grocery stores, but for this exercise assume you have the Blue Cash Preferred that gives 6% back.  This means that for every $100 in restaurant gift cards you purchase, you will end up with $6.00 back (up to your annual max).  With the current 4x Kroger gift card promo, you will also end up with 400 fuel points which will translate to 40¢ per gallon off on gas.  If you are able to max out the 35 gallons then that results in a $14 in savings on gas per $100 in restaurant gift cards.  All in that is a 20% ($20 off a $100 purchase) savings in the form of rewards for money you were presumably going to spend anyway.  Note that the savings are negated if you eat out more as a result, lose the gift cards, etc.  We stocked up on a few $25 gift cards to some casual restaurants we would visit anyway like Panera Bread, Chipotle, Jason’s Deli, etc.

I enjoy stacking discounts for maximum rewards and would love to hear if some of you take advantage of this or other similar offers as well!

 

Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links.  As always, thanks for your support. 

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Comments

  1. You leave off one important caveat about this deal. What if the Kroger fuel station or Shell gas station doesn’t have the cheapest gas or if it is further away? You really aren’t saving as much if you go out of your way to go to a more expensive gas station. I’d rather just go to my local Costco gas station where I consistently save 50 cents a gallon or more over the next cheapest station.

    You should really include this information in your posting. Don’t worry you could still include a few affiliate links. Costco gas stations only accept AMEX cards so you could include all your AMEX affiliate links.

  2. I was doing this a lot over the summer when Safeway ran their 4xs promotion. Their fuel rewards are capped at 25gal/$25, so for us that meant filling up both cars. When we did this turned out to be a money maker (and better than free manufactured spend) as the gift cards I chose could be sold to Cardpool for less than a $25 loss. I like 4xs 🙂

  3. Using Citi Easy deals (One should have a Citi card which earn Citi Easy deal points like Citi Simplicity or Citi Diamond Preferred), I buy Staples and Landsend(use at Kmart) gift cards at 10% discount. Both staples and Kmart allow to buy gift cards using a gift card. I buy Amazon gift card, Shell or BP gift card and other stores gift card using these. Citi Easy Deals website allows using any Citi card, so I use my AA card and also earn AA miles.

  4. Seth, I guess it goes without saying that it doesn’t help as much if their gas is expensive in your area, but honestly if you are getting 30, 50, 90 cents off I bet the gas is now the cheapest in the area. I have found Kroger stations to often have very low gas prices for the area, but that may be different in some parts of the country. Shell stations I have found to be hit or miss with competitively priced gas, but this deal doesn’t work as well at Shell anyway since you are capped at 10 cent discount.
    Michelle S, nice!

  5. It goes without saying, but it should be stated as many readers just see the savings and don’t think about it. Its not just whether you might not save money, its about how much money you will save. Is it worth it to pick up a bunch of restaurant gift cards which you might sit on for a few months to save pennies?

  6. Do you know if fuel points for the variable $ visas and master cards is officially over at all Kroger and Kroger affiliate stores? I know many people have not been able to get the 1 fuel point/$ that came from this, but I’ve been doing it here in colorado for years. A couple of weeks ago, it just stopped. I tried all four stores in my town, and then I tried 3 in 3 different Utah cities and no luck. So, are there stores out there that are still giving fuel points for those cards, or is this a dead deal? I’m going to be devastated if it’s the end. My truck takes 34 gallons of diesel. So, if I spent about $12.00 in gc’s, I got a dollar off for my 34 gallons. I basically saved $22 bucks every fill up and rolled in the points and miles for no cost!

  7. Seth, always important to do the math for your own situation to see if it makes sense. That will be true for every single deal from now until forever. Always a worthy exercise.
    Toni, I have heard from several that it has stopped working in that way. I can’t say for sure if that is true everywhere, but yours is not the only report.

  8. Kroger runs the 4X fuel points quite frequently around holidays. I buy regularly from Amazon. I pick up a $250 Amazon gift card and immediately apply it to my account. I don’t even have to keep up with the gift card. That gives me 1000 fuel points worth $35 off gas and 500 Amex reward points (2X points at grocery stores)carrying a value of $5-$10 depending on how I use them. Getting $40-$45 in value from purchasing a gift card I will use is a no brainer.

  9. I do this with Vons/Chevron, which has the same earning structure though you can go up to 20 cents per gallon off at Chevron.

    I use Blue Cash Preferred, as you do, to buy Chevron Gift cards so that I’m not only earning fuel rewards but also effectively getting a 6% discount (via cash back) on that reduced-price gas.

    So right now, the Chevron near me has gas at 3.6999 per gallon, meaning I would effectively pay .94(3.4999) or 3.29 per gallon. Even if I only have enough fuel points for ten cents off per gallon, .94(3.5999) is 3.38. 30-40 cents off per gallon is significant.

    I’m impressed that Seth can save 50 cents per gallon at Costco because here in Los Angeles Costco is at most 10-20 cents cheaper than reasonably priced gas stations in a given area. And they always have a ridiculous line.

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