Author Topic: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.  (Read 1251 times)

jpoihnnter

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$1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« on: May 15, 2018, 06:20:00 AM »
Long time reader, first time poster.  We've got a great hack we've developed that has saved us a ton of cash, and we thought it was time to share as it relates to gas.  Now, our primary vehicle is electric, so we use nowhere near the level of gas that most families do - but for longer trips, or transporting lots of kids, we use my wife's old SUV.  And gas is expensive, and going up.  Also, if you don't live near a Kroger store that sells gas, this might not be quite as good.

So, here's the trick.

- Sign up for an American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, and use it only for groceries.  It's a great card and provides 6% cash back on groceries (and there's a $200 bonus).  It's capped at $6000 a year in grocery spending on the 6% cash back, which should be fine for most mustachians.  Total cash back $560 in the first year.  There is a $95 dollar fee, but well worth it.  Even if you don't use this hack, it's a great card to have.  Not the reason for this post, but if you want one, PM me and I'll send you a referral link. 

- Sign up for Amazon Subscribe and Save.  We use this for all our recurring durable items - diapers, baby wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.  It's super easy, and if you get 5 items per month, you get 15% off an already low price and it shows up at your doorstep once a month.  There's no Costco or Sam's near us, but I've heard the prices are even better than those stores.  You'll be loading this with Amazon Cards in the next step.

- Here in the midwest, Kroger offers a great fuel points rewards program, in which you can get cash off per gallon every month, based on how many points you have.  1000 points = $1.00 off per gallon (up to 35 gallons at a time) when you fill up at a Kroger fuel station.  At $1.00 a point, we don't spend that much on groceries every month in order to max out the $1.00 per gallon every time (if you filled up twice a month, you would need 2000 points, etc.) so here's where the hack comes in.  Most vehicles do not have a 35 gallon tank, so you can use 5 gallon cans to max out the discount and fill your vehicle later, if you like.

 - Kroger offers 4x fuel points bonus on gift cards about once a month via on online coupon you load to your kroger app, and 2x fuel points on gift cards is standard - and they allow you to stack these bonuses.  Keep your eyes open when this happens each month, and buy an Amazon gift card using your Amex Blue Cash in whatever denomination you need for your normal monthly purchases via subscribe and save - for us it's $100.  It's super easy to load these to your Amazon account, and there are no fees associated.  A $100 gift card = 600 points.

- If we have a big purchase, we also do it via this same method - we just did this on a new water heater recently. Here's the breakdown, let's say the water heater was $1000 to make the math simple (it wasn't that expensive).
     - Buy 2 $500 Home Depot gift cards at Kroger using the Amex Blue Cash - $60.00 cash back.
     - Use the 4x gift card coupon and standard 2x gift card savings - 6000 Kroger Fuel Points (enough for 6 $1.00 off/gallon fill ups).
     - I'm a military veteran, so I get 10% off at Home Depot - $100 off purchase.

So, there it is.  I can't remember the last time that we didn't get $1.00 per gallon when we filled up, plus the cashback that comes monthly via the Amex Blue Cash.  I've heard other grocery store chains offer similar fuel points programs, but I can only vouch for Kroger.

As I stated above, I think the Amex Blue Cash Preferred is a great card for any mustachian family to have to use solely for groceries.  PM me and I'll send you a referral link if you're interested in one! 
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 06:36:01 AM by jpoihnnter »

orangepalm

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 08:16:22 AM »
I like the way you're stacking all these different promotions! I love finding such little hacks too. Though I can't help but wonder if, in the end, this is a lot of effort/money spent for very little reward.

For example, I find that most things on Amazon (S&S) are only worth it if they have a special deal, definitely not as a recurring monthly thing.

Buying 3rd party gift cards, such as Home Depot and Amazon, at face value (in exchange for 6x gas points) doesn't seem like a great deal either (you can always get discounts + cashback portal + credit card cash back on gift card exchanges, or stores like Staples, Dollar General often sell discounted 3rd party gift cards).

Then there's the Amex Blue Preferred card which gives you (capped) 6% cashback in exchange for a $95 AF. For me, it's just not worth it, remember, you have to compare the 6% cashback not to 0%, but to the 3% you can get from the "free" Amex blue or a 2% flat cashback card (Fidelity or Citi double Cash). Plus, at any given time, you could/should be working towards the minimum spend requirement of a fat sign-up bonus card anyway ;-). And if you do all grocery shopping at a "regular" supermarket (like I'm assuming Kroger's is, although I've never been to one), you've pretty much already "lost" the battle vs. shopping at a discount store (like Aldi).

As for gas discounts, I always fill up at the local Shell station (around these parts they are the cheapest, on par with Costco's pricing), get an additional ~$0.06 discount using their Fuel Rewards program, and submit my receipt to GetUpside (an app) to get another $0.10 off per gallon.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is there are many different ways to maximize discounts that don't revolve around just gas points, especially if you're a mustachian who doesn't drive a lot to begin with!
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ketchup

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2018, 08:59:00 AM »
This actually sounds great.  I'm moving soon to an area with a Kroger so I'll have to take advantage of this.

Car Jack

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2018, 01:49:09 PM »
I've been using the stop and shop gas points linked with a shell fuel rewards card linked with a master card.  At times, visa gift cards are offered at double gas points.  Shell varies how much gets linked with master cards (currently 10 cents a gallon for every $100 spent and 5 cents a gallon added for every fill up).  Limit is 20 gallons per visit.  Stop and shop limits to $1.50 per gallon but master card and shell points stack on top of that.  The minimum at the pump is 1.9 cents a gallon for 38 cents for 20 gallons.

I do lots of 38 cent visits.

As good as this sounds, it used to be much better, with 35 gallon limits and some circle spending of cards to easily hit the lower limit.  I went literally 2 years spending no more than 1.9 cents a gallon.

Just like any manufactured spending-like activity, YMMV and there are things I won't tell you that are ways to get much more discount that haven't been widely exploited.....or would have been shut down.

Oh....my master card gives me 2.2% back, but that's mouse nuts by comparison.  :D

anonymouscow

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 05:19:52 PM »
I pretty much do the same thing, but either use the 3% blue cash American Express card or 5% chase / discover for grocery rewards.

You can also do a survey every 7 days for 50 fuel points.

I know they do other promotions like 2x fuel points on weekends.

lhamo

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 06:13:14 PM »
I think the Citibank Costco visa offers 4% cash back on gas purchased. I use the Kroger discount for my first fill up every month, and pay with the Costco visa. No annual fee.
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anonymouscow

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 09:15:23 AM »
Another good rewards card is BOA cash rewards, 2% grocery, 3% gas, but if you have $20k/$50K/$100K in BOA and Merrill Edge accounts there is a 25%/50%/75% bonus. In the top tier that's 3.5% grocery, 5.25% gas. The middle tier is still pretty good, 3% grocery and 4.5% gas. Another good thing is warehouse clubs are included in the grocery category (American express does not count them as grocery).

frugalnacho

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 09:53:37 AM »
Just an FYI kroger gas stations get categorized as neither a "gas station" nor as a "grocery store" for any cards (including amex, and the costco visa mentioned).  You will be getting the rewards for the "all other purchases" category for all major cards that I've checked (BoA, citi, amex, discover, chase).

MasterStache

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 12:38:04 PM »
Been utilizing this "hack" for a couple years now. Actually doing a bathroom reno for friends of ours and they let me purchase everything. I always buy gift cards at Kroger using the 6% back and racking up full points. It works best when we have to fill up two vehicles at the same time. $1 off turns into $20+ in gas savings + the 6% back with the Amex card and shopping through an online portal for more cash back. It adds up.

Earn 25K SPG Points after 3K spend: http://refer.amex.us/KYLEDiFKR?xl=cp10

Get $250 statement credit after 1K spend AMEX Blue Cash: http://refer.amex.us/KYLEDk5SI?xl=cp10

FrugalZony

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2018, 01:00:20 PM »
Ummm, been doing the Kroger points plus Amex Blue spiel for years :)
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MrSal

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2018, 01:12:01 PM »
I have been doing a similar hack for the past 4 years as well but more simple.

I just go in and buy a a few Visa Gift Cards at $500. You get 10 points per every 50$ spent at grocery store - any gift card included, even VISA cards. each point gives you 1 cent off of the gallon price. So $500 purchase gives you 100 points = 1.00 dollar off.

If I need to achieve a minimum spending on a CC or something I just buy 3 $500 cards, that cost me in total 1511.85 dollars (the fees for the Visa gift card) and get 300 points.

This gives me 3 dollars off of gas up to 25 gallons.

In essence, the true cost out of pocket of this is 11.85 dollars for 25 gallons or 47 cents per gallon.

In net terms, I should say I actually make a profit since on my credit card, I get miles that I value at around 2-3 cents per mile ... so ... about 30$ minimum benefit as well.

There were times, that I had like 4000 gas points in my account ... which meant 15 gas refills in a row if I wanted to.


It came to a point to if I needed gas, I would just walk into the grocery store, buy the gift cards, and 1 minute later I was at the gas station filling up the car with the points I had gotten just a couple minutes earlier :D

I don;'t drive as many miles now, but I was driving before 14,000 miles per year, and I was spending per year in gas about $120/year (with gas at 3 dollars/gallon) ... Not to mention I would still have a bunch of miles on my CC accumulated.

Also, got a lot of VIP perks from grocery store because they consider me a VIP customer - for spending so much - probably my spending at the grocery store in a year was above 100k or more! Just in gift cards
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 01:15:42 PM by MrSal »

anonymouscow

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2018, 03:45:03 PM »
Just an FYI kroger gas stations get categorized as neither a "gas station" nor as a "grocery store" for any cards (including amex, and the costco visa mentioned).  You will be getting the rewards for the "all other purchases" category for all major cards that I've checked (BoA, citi, amex, discover, chase).

The three cards I use, BOA, Chase, Discover all categorize Kroger gas as a gas station.

BikeFanatic

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2018, 04:59:33 PM »
Quote
Also, got a lot of VIP perks from grocery store because they consider me a VIP customer - for spending so much - probably my spending at the grocery store in a year was above 100k or more! Just in gift cards
I see,  this is a version of Manufactured Spending? I have no idea how you liquidate 100K in gift cards, buy groceries I guess. Do youu get double points  when you pay for groceries with the gift cards?

frugalnacho

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 07:40:01 AM »
Just an FYI kroger gas stations get categorized as neither a "gas station" nor as a "grocery store" for any cards (including amex, and the costco visa mentioned).  You will be getting the rewards for the "all other purchases" category for all major cards that I've checked (BoA, citi, amex, discover, chase).

The three cards I use, BOA, Chase, Discover all categorize Kroger gas as a gas station.

It might be region dependent.  I would definitely check though and not just assume that it's getting counted as gas because none of my krogers get counted.

Car Jack

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2018, 12:30:19 PM »
Quote
Also, got a lot of VIP perks from grocery store because they consider me a VIP customer - for spending so much - probably my spending at the grocery store in a year was above 100k or more! Just in gift cards
I see,  this is a version of Manufactured Spending? I have no idea how you liquidate 100K in gift cards, buy groceries I guess. Do youu get double points  when you pay for groceries with the gift cards?

WM MOs are the traditional method.

MasterStache

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2018, 06:03:34 PM »
Quote
Also, got a lot of VIP perks from grocery store because they consider me a VIP customer - for spending so much - probably my spending at the grocery store in a year was above 100k or more! Just in gift cards
I see,  this is a version of Manufactured Spending? I have no idea how you liquidate 100K in gift cards, buy groceries I guess. Do youu get double points  when you pay for groceries with the gift cards?

WM MOs are the traditional method.

My wife was spared the dreaded AMEX Serve shut downs. I wasn't so lucky. I've been loading the crap out of Serve for a while now. Figure it's going to get the ax eventually. Will try to MOs soon.
Earn 25K SPG Points after 3K spend: http://refer.amex.us/KYLEDiFKR?xl=cp10

Get $250 statement credit after 1K spend AMEX Blue Cash: http://refer.amex.us/KYLEDk5SI?xl=cp10

MrSal

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2018, 04:09:39 PM »
Quote
Also, got a lot of VIP perks from grocery store because they consider me a VIP customer - for spending so much - probably my spending at the grocery store in a year was above 100k or more! Just in gift cards
I see,  this is a version of Manufactured Spending? I have no idea how you liquidate 100K in gift cards, buy groceries I guess. Do youu get double points  when you pay for groceries with the gift cards?

MOs usually. However, whenever I don't do Manufacture Spending and in order to dimish risk by not having so much money floating (chance of losing the gift cards or something else), I would just buy a single gift card worth 500 dollars with the credit card, and then I would use the $500 gift card to buy another $500 gift card and keep doing the same over and over. It would take me 3 separate transactions in this case to get 1 full 25 gallons of free gas. I didn't mind since the store is just across the street and sometimes i would just pop in and do it once to rack the points and then i would go some other time to keep them accumulating.

koshtra

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Re: $1.00 off per gallon on gas plus cashback - everytime.
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2018, 04:31:32 PM »
The Krogers here (under the brand of Fred Meyer) also offers additional fuel points for filling out online surveys (this offer is on their receipts), which take five minutes. I usually get about 50 cents per gallon off.