Usually we think of the cost of gas fill-ups as an unavoidable cost. Just like taxes, diapers, or insurance, there is nothing you can do about the rising cost of gas. Or so I thought until I started looking into the world of grocery store and gas station loyalty reward programs. I personally must have saved thousands of dollars over the past few years taking advantage of various programs. Over the next few weeks, my colleague Shabbir Hakim and I are going to walk you through the wonderful world of grocery and gas station loyalty programs. You’ll see how you can get gas for significantly cheaper or even nearly free on a regular basis. Or how you can cut your grocery bill in half by utilizing some easy techniques. And these techniques do not include super couponing which is a bit too tedious for my taste.
Kroger and their family of stores regularly provide 4x fuel points on gift cards. Usually when this promotion happens, it’s applied to all gift cards not including Kroger or variable load Visa, Mastercard and American Express. So how can you take advantage of this? Let’s say you had an upcoming home repair coming up. You know it would cost you about $100. Instead of going to Home Depot and making your purchase, hop on over to Kroger and buy a $100 Home Depot gift card, ideally during a 4x promotion. This would give you 400 Kroger Fuel Points. ($100 x 4). Every 100 points gives you 10 cents off a gallon of gas on up to 35 gallons of gas. So you are already up to 40 cents off per gallon in our example.
Kroger carries gift cards from many different merchants. From Best Buy to Amazon to Disney to, well, you name it! You can also purchase online via https://giftcards.kroger.com/. Prepay for items you will buy anyway using these gift cards. A popular way to take advantage of these deals is to buy Amazon gift cards. Many of us regularly make purchases from Amazon. Instead of paying directly on Amazon, buy your Amazon gift card from Kroger and load it on your Amazon account. It may take a few more extra minutes, but you are earning free gas and points through your efforts.
Best Credit Cards To Use
In many of our articles, we plan to add a list of credit cards that you can use to maximize your purchase. For example, below is a list of credit cards you can use that give decent bonuses when used at grocery stores:
Best Credit Cards for Grocery Spend
|Recommended Card||Grocery Benefit||Sign up Bonus||Annual Fee|
|American Express Gold Card||4x Membership Reward Points on up to $25,000 in grocery store purchases||40,000 MR points||$250|
|American Express Blue Business Plus||2x Membership Reward Points on up to $50,000 spend in any category||10,000 MR Points||No annual fee|
|American Express EveryDay||2x Membership Reward Points at grocery stores up $6,000 in spend and 20% bonus if you make 20+ transactions a month||15,000 MR Points||No annual fee|
|Chase Freedom||5x quarterly bonus categories. This quarter's bonus includes 5x Ultimate Rewards points at grocery stores||15,000 UR Points||No annual fee|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||3x Ultimate Rewards points on the first $20,000 of spend in any category. 1.5x thereafter.||3x UR points is only on the first $20k in spend during the first year||No annual fee|
Just make sure to activate your Chase Freedom card offer if you plan to use that. You should see a message like the one below once its activated.
Loading The 4x Coupon
Before you’re able to get 4x the points, the coupon must be loaded either via app or online.
The 4x fuel points banner is visible indicating start of the promotion
The coupon must then be loaded by logging in and going to digital coupons tab and adding the actual coupon to your Kroger account.
Where to use the fuel points
Fuel points can be used up to 1,000 points (100 = $0.10 off) to get $1 off per gallon on up to 35 gallons in most states. Some exceptions such as Tennessee and Virginia do not have any limits so you can basically erase the entire cost of your fill up if you have enough points.
The points can be used at any Fuel Center in the Kroger family brands which are:
Take advantage of 4x fuel points whenever you can. Buy gift cards for actual gifts or for places where you’d shop anyway. In the process you earn supermarket bonus on credit cards and save money on fuel! Let’s take a minute to calculate your savings when pairing the right credit card to earning fuel points at Kroger.
- You need to spend $1000 soon for home repair. You are planning on buying your supplies from Home Depot.
- You already have the Amex Gold card which earns 4x at grocery stores
- Kroger is in the midst of its 4x fuel points on gift cards promotion.
What You Earn and What you Save
- 4000 MR points from using your Gold card valued at about 2 cents per point so an estimated total of $80 provided you know how to redeem your points at the best value.
- 4ooo fuel points which gives you a discount $1 of per gallon on up to 35 gallons for every 1000 points. So 4000 points has a maximum value of $140 in savings.
Clearly, taking the extra step of buying gift cards during the 4x promotions can pay huge dividends. Not only can you save a ton of money but you’ll earn valuable points towards your next family vacation. American Express points are especially valuable. See how I took my family of 8 to Hawaii all on Membership Reward points.