GasBuddy and Shop Your Way Rewards (the loyalty program of Sears and KMart) have each made the AutoSlash blog previously; GasBuddy as one of our favorite apps to locate cheap gas stations while in our vehicles -- both privately-owned and rental -- and Shop Your Way for their partnership with Uber; we earn points for merchandise at Sears and Kmart for every Uber transaction (even Uber Eats and when burning off credits from our American Express Platinum cards). We don't understand the logic but readily accept the benefit. Now there's a partnership between GasBuddy and ShopYourWay Rewards where users earn points for Sears and KMart merchandise for using the Pay with GasBuddy service. Remarkably, this new offer makes Pay with GasBuddy much more compelling than it was at the time of our previous post.
The Mechanics of Pay with GasBuddy
A driver participating in the Pay with GasBuddy program has to link a checking account directly to the service. Eligible transactions are pulled directly from the checking account, which ostensibly is cheaper for the gas station than processing a credit card transaction. As a result, a consumer electing to participate in the program was given a discount (5 cents per gallon of fuel purchased).
In our most recent blog post about Pay with GasBuddy, Chris debated whether the 5 cents per gallon savings offered for using the service was worth giving up rebates from credit cards -- by forgoing the service and instead paying directly with a credit card offering bonuses for fuel purchases, one can often reach a 5 percent effective rebate (much more than 5 cents per gallon given current fuel prices).
How does Sears/Kmart come into play?
That's a good question. Sears/Kmart -- using their Shop Your Way Rewards program -- decided to create another inexplicable partnership on their trek toward insolvency! A Pay with GasBuddy user now has a choice: accept the original 5 cent-per-gallon discount at the pump or opt for a 15 cent-per-gallon credit at Sears and Kmart through that user's Shop Your Way Rewards account. Those selecting the Shop Your Way credits also have a two-month (rather than one-time) bonus offer.
On the road and not eligible for discounts from your preferred local/regional retailers? New enrollees for the Pay with GasBuddy program can choose either the:
- Cash Option of 10 cents off per gallon on the first fill-up and 5 cents off per gallon on subsequent fill-ups, or
- Shop Your Way Option of 30 cents off per gallon in Sears/Kmart credit on fill-ups for the first 60 days, then 15 cents off per gallon in Sears/Kmart credit on subsequent fill-ups.
There are limits and restrictions -- one can only spend $75 per day and $300 per week using the Pay with GasBuddy program (sorry, truckers and RV owners) and one forgoes credit card points. Yet for an individual who shops at one of the remaining physical Sears/Kmart stores (or their online presence), a traveler can turn required purchases of fuel into a benefit that can be used at home while simultaneously using GasBuddy to find the cheapest fuel available en route.
Pay with GasBuddy is one of the few programs that reward consumers for using direct-debit transactions from a checking account, which does appeal to many consumers (including those without credit cards). We don't know how long the offer will be available (given the decline of Sears Holding Company) but we're happy to be takers for now; there's always a discounted tool at Sears looking for a new home! Curious about signing up? Sears Holdings provides a step-by-step guide in their press release.