Looking for an easy way to get gas so cheap it's practically free? We found a way to save thousands of dollars on fuel over a year with Kroger Fuel Points. Kroger is the nation's largest grocery chain, with hundreds of stores mostly found in the Midwest and South. Don't live in those regions? You can also try this at Kroger's affiliated stores:
- Baker's Supermarkets
- City Market
- Harris Teeter
- Jay C
- King Soopers
- Pay Less Super Markets
- Fred Meyer
- Lucky's Market
- Food 4 Less
- Foods Co.
- Ruler Foods
- Kwik Stop
- Loaf 'N Jug
- Smith's Express
- Tom Thumb Convenience Stores
- Turkey Hill
(list courtesy of Wikipedia)
How to Get Cheap Gas By Buying Gift Cards
We've all seen the racks of gift cards for sale in grocery stores. They're usually for places you shop every day—Applebee's, Amazon, Staples, Macy's, Starbucks, and so on—but you may ignore them. Kroger has a rewards program that gives you "fuel points" for every dollar spent. Kroger typically awards one fuel point per dollar spent on groceries and two fuel points for gift card purchases. Sometimes Kroger even offers four fuel points for gift card purchases.
How to Redeem Kroger Fuel Points for Epic Savings
Kroger Fuel Points can be redeemed for discounted gas at Kroger gas stations as well as Shell stations in certain states.. One hundred fuel points shaves 10 cents off a gallon of gas and it scales up linearly so that one thousand points shaves $1 off a gallon, and so on.
Kroger limits fuel point redemption to a maximum of $1 in savings per gallon, but a few selected cities (such as Richmond, Virginia) have unlimited fuel point redemption. So if you refuel in Richmond and have 2,400 fuel points, you can redeem them for $2.40 off per gallon, which we captured in this video.
You can squeeze even more savings into this strategy by purchasing the gift cards with a credit card that reward you for spending on groceries. Check to see if one of your credit cards makes such an offer, and if not, consider applying for one that does.
Power Tip:Want even more savings? Fuel up all of your family cars back-to-back.
Our latest fill-up in action
How Buying Gift Cards Can Save You Money
They key to this money-saving scheme is to purchase gift cards to places you shop anyway. Do this strategically when you have a big purchase, such as a large home improvement project (Home Depot and Lowe's gift cards) or holiday gifts. Also, be on the watch for selected weekends when Kroger also offers 4X fuel points on Visa and MasterCard prepaid cards of up to $100 in value (make sure to digitally load the coupon). Note that there is usually an activation fee for Visa and MasterCard gift cards, so make sure the denomination is larger than the activation fee.
What if your home town doesn't have a Kroger? There are lot of other fuel reward programs out there. Check your local grocery store to see if it offers a similar program. You could also sign up for programs like Plenti, where you can earn Plenti points with partners such as Rite-Aid and Macy's and redeem those points for discounted gas at Exxon gas stations.
Amit Desai runs an awesome Facebook group called Credit Card 101.
[Some images via Shutterstock]