The bad news is that the price at the pump is about to get ugly.
You drove to work this morning; you know this first hand.
The good news, however, is that several companies recognize the burden these high prices place on consumers, and are either starting or extending gas reward programs. Here is the current rundown of these savings opportunities:
Kroger: Your Plus card in the loyalty program gets you 1 fuel point for every $1 you spend in the store. Gift cards, no contract wireless phone and airtime purchases earn double points. Shop Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through July 27, 2014, with this coupon, and double your points. The more points you accumulate, the more cents you save off each gallon when you fill up. The customer service desk is more than happy to set you up with your card and explain the program. Trust us on this one.
Walmart: The Great Gas Rollback program entitles Walmart MoneyCard and credit card holders to save 15 cents per gallon at Walmart and certain Murphy USA stations. Gift card users also save 10 cents per gallon. So, if you need 18 gallons of gas, buy a $75 gift card and pay $1.80 less for that tank. These savings add up if you’re filling up more than once a week like we do in our household
Costco and Sam’s Club: Prices at these pumps are almost always an average of 5 to 10 cents cheaper per gallon than other stations. Bear in mind, however, that you have to be a member in order to have access to these savings. If you are a Cheapster who tends to buy groceries in bulk for savings, the lower gas prices offer another perk to join as a member.
Ricker’s: New members to their rewards program save .20 cents per gallon every time you fill up for the first 30 days. Not to mention every time you buy 10 items from the Coffee Club (including cappuccinos and lattes), Donut Club, Fountain Club (including frozen drinks and tea), Gallon Milk Club and the Two Liter Club sections of the convenience store, you get the 11th FREE, and five fountain drinks rewards you with the sixth one FREE.
UPromise: The powers that be at Upromise have partnered with participating Exxon Mobil stations to help you save money on college down the road. So if you have to pay the current prices, at least there’s a silver lining.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, Upromise is a college savings service that makes it easier to pay for college by compensating you for spending you do with Upromise partners. If you haven’t signed up with Upromise yet, click here to check it out and learn more. Assuming you have a Upromise account, your next step for saving on both education and gas is to request a Speedpass device. It’s FREE to sign up for one, and then you can return to the website after your Speedpass arrives in the mail. From there, activate your device at the website.
Once you’re signed up, the savings begin. You simply wave the device (either at the pump or inside the store), and you’ll start receiving 1 cent per gallon cash back for college in your Upromise account when you buy at least 20 gallons in a calendar month. Those incremental savings may not look like much on paper, but they add up quickly if you go through much gas.
AAA Hoosier Motor Club: Right now, AAA is offering a $10 gas card to everyone who requests an insurance quote, even if you decide not to purchase auto insurance from AAA. The quotes take about five minutes. Also, you do not have to be a AAA member in order to seek auto insurance from them. Their members have more discounts on their premiums, but you are not disqualified if you aren’t carrying around their little ID card in your wallet.
GAS REWARDS CREDIT CARDS
We’re not advising folks run out and apply for credit cards. We’re not telling you it’s evil either. Only you know your situation, and if a credit card is the answer, here are the top gas reward credit cards:
- Chase Freedom Visa Card: Receive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent at gas stations from January to March, and again from July to September. There’s no annual fee and rewards never expire.
- American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card: Receive 3% cash back on gas and department store purchases, along with 6% rewards on groceries. There is a $75 annual fee, but you get a $150bonus when you spend $1,000 within your first three months, so in essence, if you use this card, they waive that fee.
- PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature: 5% cash back on gas purchases at any station. It costs $15 to join PenFed Credit Union to be eligible for the card.
- Discover Open Road Card: Receive 2% cash back automatically at gas stations and restaurants year round. Best of all, Discover charges no fees for this program.
- TrueEarnings Card from American Express and Costco: Grab an American Express card and Costco membership card in one piece of plastic. You’ll earn 3% cash back for the first $4,000 in annual gas purchases and 1% thereafter. There’s also no annual fee for Costco members.
- Marathon credit card: Offers a 50-cent rebate for each gallon of Marathon gas you buy during months when you charge at least $1,000 on this card, .30 cents off per gallon for spending between $500 and $999.99, and .10 cents off for spending less than $500. This card is FREE to own, if you qualify.
- Chevron and Texaco Visa Card: They’ll take .30 cents off per gallon on Chevron and Texaco gas you buy the first 60 days after you open the account. After that,the discount is .20 cents off in months when you spend $1,000 or more on the card in general. Ironically, those overall purchases don’t include … gas. But at least there’s no fee for the card.