Kroger 4x Fuel Rewards Promotion
Kroger and its subsidiaries run a 4x fuel rewards promotion on gift cards several times each year. I participate in these promotions each and every time since they help me save additional money on fuel and still earn a little back in rewards.
The latest of these promotions is running for one day only on Saturday January 17, 2015.
Kroger Fuel Rewards
The way fuel rewards work is that you normally receive 1 point for every dollar spent at their store. 100 points equals $.10 off per gallon of gas. You can earn and use as many fuel rewards as you want however there are a few rules.
- Rewards expire at the end of the following calendar month in which they were earned.
- You can only use up to 1,000 points to receive $1 off per gallon on each transaction.
- The discount is limited to 35 gallons of gas for each purchase.
While variable load gift cards are excluded, fixed value Visa/MC gift cards are not. This opens up a situation where you can buy cards which can be easily liquidated and earn a profit, especially if you are using a card which pays 5% back at grocery stores.
Chase Freedom cards are paying 5% back on up to $1,500 in purchases at grocery stores. This promotion stacks beautifully with the Kroger fuel rewards deal. Let me show you how the math works on the purchase of 5 x $100 Visa cards. ($100 is the highest fixed value card they sell.)
- Cost: $105.95 * 5 = $529.75
- Fuel Rewards Earned = 529.75 * 4 = 2,119
- Ultimate Rewards points earned = 2649
At this point your cost is $29.75 and you have earned $2.10 off per gallon (with max $1 increments.) To keep the math simple, lets calculate your savings based on two gasoline trips where you use a $1 fuel reward each.
Since you paid $30 for the cards and have two $1 discounts, the break even point is 30 gallons of gas. You can purchase up to 70 gallons total (35 on each trip), so the potential profit is ~$40 plus the 2649 Ultimate Rewards points.
Deal In The Real World
Some people bring fuel canisters to maximize their 35 gallons, however I don’t care to do this. In my case my wife and I both go fill up our cars in the same transaction. We normally get from 27-32 gallons depending on how empty each car is. Just for safety, say we only get 25 gallons on each of our trips, then here is our profit.
- Money saved on fuel: $50 ($25 each trip)
- Ultimate Rewards Value @ 1.8 cents: $47.68
- Minus cost: $29.75
- Total Profit: $67.93
In our case, the Smith’s (our local Kroger brand) gas station is the cheapest around and it is very close as well. If you have to drive out of your way or if your local Kroger gas station is more expensive, you should definitely figure that into your calculations. You should also calculate for your time to liquidate the gift cards purchased.
eBay gift cards have recently made there way back into a variety of stores including Kroger. Doctor of Credit wrote about how it is possible to purchase eBay gift cards with eBay gift cards.
By using this fuel discount you could purchase eBay gift cards in-store, earn fuel rewards and then possibly use those cards to purchase eBay gift cards online and earn eBay Bucks and portal cashback. There are limits so this isn’t scalable, but it may be worth it for some people. Details here.
The Kroger 4x Fuel Rewards promotion is great, but combined with Freedom’s 1st Quarter promotion it really is a no-brainer. If you were going to purchase 3 x $500 variable gift cards for $5.95 each just to maximize the bonus, this is a way to erase the cost of your MS and earn a profit!
HT: alternative_kid on Slickdeals