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Fuel Points
Old 12-10-2015, 11:09 AM   #1
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Fuel Points

I am about to crunch some numbers. Somebody else probably did this.
Might differ by location anyway.
My wife just asked me about fuel points and loyalty cards (maybe the wrong name. You know type in your phone number at grocery stores).
So we buy our gas at costco. In at least one case (I think it might be Fred Meyer) she tells me it makes sense to buy gas using their points as it become cheaper than costco.
Just wondering about other grocery stores. Do you find it makes sense to use them from multiple places? We haven't crunched all the numbers.
Obviously we factor in not driving to the gas station and only use it when we are there anyway. Obviously savings are small but there is the thrill of the chase!
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Neill View Post
I am about to crunch some numbers. Somebody else probably did this.
Might differ by location anyway.
My wife just asked me about fuel points and loyalty cards (maybe the wrong name. You know type in your phone number at grocery stores).
So we buy our gas at costco. In at least one case (I think it might be Fred Meyer) she tells me it makes sense to buy gas using their points as it become cheaper than costco.
Just wondering about other grocery stores. Do you find it makes sense to use them from multiple places? We haven't crunched all the numbers.
Obviously we factor in not driving to the gas station and only use it when we are there anyway. Obviously savings are small but there is the thrill of the chase!
I'm retired, and so far this year I have only spent a total of $545 on gasoline. I just buy it at the most convenient Exxon and get 2% back from credit card rewards. That 2% is less than $11, not much more than pocket change. For me there's a point at which the effort to chase down the lowest price just isn't worth what I would save, and I think I am at that point. We have a Costco but it isn't close and I am never near enough to get gas there. SAMs club is closer but I wouldn't save enough to pay for the membership. Can't think of any non-membership grocery stores here that have gas. Some convenience stores do.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:41 AM   #3
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Our closet grocery store does fuel points. The store is 0.5 miles from us and there is also a store on the 3 mile drive on the way home from my spouse's job. There is no way we would shop at Costco or Walmart or WholeFoods or … because they are miles away from us.

You can surmise that we do not drive much. The fuel points make the gas under $1 a gallon for us, so they save us about $25 a month.

There is no thrill in the chase. It just happens.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:01 PM   #4
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I rarely buy gas at Costco, just because it isn't convenient. The grocery store I prefer (Publix) does not offer fuel points, but the closer, and less desirable store, bi-lo, does. I wind up accumulating points because of quick trips to the store and use them. Though I definitely use a lot of gas, I don't focus on this as much as I could/should. I do use my reward cc for purchases, though.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:04 PM   #5
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I end up buying one tank of gas each month at about $0.60 a gallon less than the going rate, so it saves $7 a month, for buying groceries we'd have bought anyway, and purchasing gasoline at the gas station I would have bought gasoline at anyway.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:28 PM   #6
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We live really close to Costco. Have to drive by it when I take my son to school. My wife uses a bunch of local grocery stores because she likes some products only available in them. So costco gas is a no brainer. Every now and then though a trip to Fred Meyer can also be a refuel to eat up the points and we pay less than costco. We have been neglecting other points though. Don't even know the prices and rules etc.
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Old 12-10-2015, 01:06 PM   #7
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I end up buying one tank of gas each month at about $0.60 a gallon less than the going rate, so it saves $7 a month, for buying groceries we'd have bought anyway, and purchasing gasoline at the gas station I would have bought gasoline at anyway.

Same here, we don't go anywhere special to save $0.10 to $0.60 a gallon, it just happens. The local grocery chain shares the "rewards" program with a number of gas stations around town, so no big deal.

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Old 12-10-2015, 01:16 PM   #8
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We use Kroger fuel points. Every $100 you spend earns a 10-cent discount per gallon, up to 35 gallons. Oddly, we don't shop there much as we prefer the local neighborhood grocer. But here's the kicker at Kroger... they offer 2X fuel points on gift card purchases and 4X around the holiday season. Plus we have the AMEX Blue Cash card that gives 5% cashback on grocery purchases, including (you guessed it) gift card purchases at Kroger. The card also gives 5% on gas purchases at Kroger.

All my Amazon Christmas purchases are paid using gift cards from Kroger. Here's the math on a recent $400 purchase of Amazon gift cards:

$400 (Amazon gift cards purchased at Kroger; earned 4X or 1600 fuel points)
-$20 (5% cashback from AMEX for "grocery" purchase)
-$35 (used 1000 fuel points to purchase 35 gallons at $1.00/gal discount)
-$21 (used remaining 600 fuel points to purchase 35 gallons at $0.60/gal discount)
$324 (net cost of buying $400 of merchandise on Amazon... 19% discount)

Note I'm not including the additional 5% discount on the net gas purchases since I would have received that anyway, without the gift card purchases or fuel points. Most of the 19% discount comes from fuel points. It's still a good discount at 2X fuel points (12%), but really makes sense around the holidays when I tend to spend a lot on Amazon and Kroger boosts it to 4X. It also helps that we have a large SUV plus a 5-gal gas can that enables the full 35-gallon purchase. Otherwise you leave some money on the table. You also have to consume enough gas to utilize the fuel points before they expire at the end of the following month.

Anyway, there you have it. That's my Happy Holidays fuel point scam.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:45 PM   #9
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At times I use Kroger which gives a 3 cent a gallon discount.... I have only seen a points discount once...

However, I have a Sam's Club CC and they give 5% back on gas EXCEPT for when you buy at a major grocer...

I have lots of options around here.... so I use Gas Buddy to check out where the cheaper gas is being sold... not the cheapest, just within a range... I am surprised that I can see a 20 cent difference in regular within 5 miles of the house...
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Old 12-11-2015, 03:10 AM   #10
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At times I use Kroger which gives a 3 cent a gallon discount.... I have only seen a points discount once...
It is a standard offering.

https://www.kroger.com/topic/fuel-program
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:54 AM   #11
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I always use a .10 off coupon at our gas station in MN called Holiday Stores. They take competitors coupons, so .10 coupons are common.

On Tuesday's, they double it to .20. I use my Sam's card MasterCard to get a 5% rebate on the gasoline. At $2 a gallon, that's another .10 off per gallon.

A $2.00 a gallon, that's .30 off total. At $3.00 a gallon, it's .35 off.
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:58 AM   #12
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No fuel points here.

When visiting my Dad we see 10c off a gallon if the grocery bill is over $100, and we usually take it since it's one of the cheapest gas stations anyway.

At home we use 3% off at Costco, or 5% off (Penfed card) at a couple of other local gas stations if they are within ~4c of Costco .
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:59 AM   #13
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I buy most of our fuel at Sam's Club which averages about .15 cents per gallon cheaper than the local stations. We also get gas points from our local supermarket, Cub Foods. When the points exceed the savings from Sam's Club then I fill up at Holiday, their gas partner. All of these are less than a mile from our house so no chasing around is necessary.
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:18 AM   #14
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I try not to over-analyze this. Costco is about 12 miles from us and we go there once a week, If one of the cars needs gas, we take that one and fill up. Our local grocery (HyVee) gives discounts on gas, and last time we filled up that was a better deal than Costco. Right now we're averaging about $100/month on gas, so we're not dealing with huge numbers either way.
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:25 AM   #15
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Fuel Points

While I try to buy gas at Costco and it sees much of our grocery shopping, I often find myself there with over half a tank of fuel and a couple days later I'm needing to fuel where I'm stuck using a conventional gas station. So I don't lose sleep over it and since we drive relatively fuel-efficient cars the money left on the table is probably not all that much.

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I try not to over-analyze this. Costco is about 12 miles from us and we go there once a week, If one of the cars needs gas, we take that one and fill up. Our local grocery (HyVee) gives discounts on gas, and last time we filled up that was a better deal than Costco. Right now we're averaging about $100/month on gas, so we're not dealing with huge numbers either way.

Until about 4 years ago, I likewise lived in "one of those square states in the middle" with several HyVees in reasonable proximity of my home. I do miss those stores both for the gas discounts and for some of their grocery items which I haven't been able to find elsewhere. :-(

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We have been neglecting other points though. Don't even know the prices and rules etc.

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You also have to consume enough gas to utilize the fuel points before they expire at the end of the following month.

It's for reasons like this that I went away from airline miles credit cards (or revolving category rewards cards) in favor of a straight cash-back 2% card that dumps into our Fido account. Just because I have time in semi-retirement to keep track of such things doesn't mean I have to. But that said, I do think there's room for improvement where I can capture discounts easily and intuitively and use my existing rewards card more consistently.

"The enemy of a good plan..."
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:45 AM   #16
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One of the grocery stores we use out of convenience offers .10/ gal discount per $100 spent at Shell stations, which we prefer. They also have newspaper coupons for an extra .30 discount if you spend $60. Our daughter uses the most gas, so we let her use the discount. So we don't go out of our way at all and probably collect about $15/month in discounts (which is much more valuable to DD). Our main savings on gas is the 5% Penfed rebate.
Our least favorite grocery store offers .10 per $100
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:42 AM   #17
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Gas points

I shop at Von's here in Southern Calif. I get between 10 and 40 cents a gallon discount with their points. The problem is they are only good at Chevron, which has higher gas prices, so it may be a wash
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:48 AM   #18
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I use the fuel points when available but I don't spend enough at the one grocery store to accumulate the minimum points to be able to use them and they don't combine month to month.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:57 AM   #19
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Yes, it is a standing offer, but there has to be some catch that I do not see... Kroger is not our primary grocer... so we do not even shop there every month.... however, I do go there enough that I should get a discount sometime during a year.... I have not seen a discount this whole year....


Might be that I never gave them my info... but then why did I get a discount that one time?

No big deal to me.... I use the card for the 3 cent discount when they have the cheapest price when I have to use my lower cash back card...
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:43 PM   #20
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Yes, it is a standing offer, but there has to be some catch that I do not see...
I've been using it for a year. No catch.

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Might be that I never gave them my info... but then why did I get a discount that one time?
You can always get the basic discount just by swiping your Kroger card. If you want the better discounts, they'll be offered to you as you accumulate the discount through the grocery purchases tied to your Kroger card. Earn them, and then use them by the end of the next month. Nothing could be simpler.
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