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Gas has been climbing for the past couple of weeks and it’s starting to get expensive. Fortunately, there’s a method that we’ve researched and tested at FFL that can save you 65% at any Kroger or Fred Meyer location. This trick works for both stores due to the fact that they merged back in 1998.
Take note that we are pricing gas at $3.00 dollars per gallon. If gas rises to $4.00 dollars per gallon, you’re only going to save a less amount, but still get a huge percentage off of your next fill-up.
Before you begin reading this article, make sure to follow all of the steps in order or else you will not receive the full amount of cash back available. The steps will make much more sense after you go through them all rather than skipping ahead. Let’s begin and start saving some money.
1. Get A Cash Back Credit Card
You’re going to want a cash back credit card that gives you the most amount of savings at grocery stores/supermarkets. After calling American Express about their Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card, I confirmed that we can get 3% cash back on all purchases made at Fred Meyer or Kroger. Here’s a quick summary of the card below:
- No annual fee
- $100 dollar bonus after spending $1,000 within three months
- 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000
- 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and department stores
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- 0% APR on purchases for 15 months
The Blue Cash Everyday Card is great because of the no annual fee and the $100 dollar bonus. However, if you spend a lot on groceries, it might be best to get the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. This card gets you 6% back on all supermarket purchases, but comes with a $75 dollar annual fee. Here’s a quick summary:
- $75 dollar annual fee
- $150 dollar bonus after spending $1,000 in 3 months
- 6% back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000
- 3% cash back at gas stations and department stores
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- 0% APR for the first 15 months
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is most likely the better option since you get 6% cash back at Fred Meyer and Kroger and a $150 sign-up bonus. Just take note of how much you spend at the grocery store when calculating in the $75 dollar annual fee.
For our purposes in this article, we’re going to assume that you applied for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card to get that 6% cash back at supermarkets and grocery stores.
2. Sign-Up For The Kroger’s/Fred Meyer’s Reward Program
When you sign-up for the Kroger Fuel Program, you can save up to $1 dollar per gallon at Kroger/Fred Meyer gas stations or $.10 cents per gallon at specific Shell locations. We, of course, are going to use the gas stations at Kroger locations to save $1 dollar per gallon. You can sign-up here.
Each time you spend $1 dollar at any Fred Meyer/Kroger location, you are granted 1 fuel point. However, each time you make a gift card purchase you are granted 2 points for every $1 dollar spent. For example, buy $25 dollars in gift cards and you’ll receive 50 fuel points.
These points can be redeemed for cash back at the pump depending on the amount of points you have:
- 100 fuel points = 10 cents off per gallon
- 200 fuel points = 20 cents off per gallon
- 1,000 fuel points = $1 dollar off per gallon
Our goal for our 65% off fuel will only work if we first save 1,000 fuel points to get the $1 dollar off per gallon (as you will see in the steps below why this is). However, it seems as if we have to spend a lot of money in order to get to 1,000 points. The next step will take care of this problem.
3. Buy Gift Cards At Fred Meyer
As mentioned above, you get 1x points for every $1 dollar spent at Fred Meyer/Kroger or 2x points for every $1 dollar spent on gift cards. We’re going to buy gift cards.
Keep in mind that there are exceptions to this rule. The following gift cards will not give you 2x your points:
- Kroger & Kroger Family Store Gift Cards
- Green Dot Cards
- American Express Load Gift Cards
- Visa Load Gift Cards
- MasterCard Load Gift Cards
Otherwise, all other gift cards are fair game. In order to get to 1,000 fuel points, we’ll need to spend a minimum of $500 dollars in gift cards (2 x 500 = 1,000).
You don’t have to purchase gift cards to get your fuel points and can buy groceries and other products until you get to 1,000 fuel points. However, this method will take a lot longer and you’ll need to spend $1,000 dollars to get to 1,000 points since you only get 1x the amount of points with any other purchase.
If you’re worried about purchasing gift cards, Kroger has a wide selection. For example, I frequently make purchases on Amazon. What I do is walk into my nearest Fred Meyer location and buy $500 dollars worth of Amazon Gift Cards.
If we use our American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card to make our purchase, we’re getting 6% cash back on purchases made at Fred Meyer. This means I will get $500 dollars worth of Amazon gift cards and only spend $470. I’m actually saving $30 bucks by doing this.
If you don’t want to carry around your rewards card all day, you can tell the cashier at checkout your phone number as it will be automatically linked. There is no limit to the amount of fuel points earned.
Now that you’ve made your gift card purchase, you have 1,000 fuel points on your Fred Meyer/Kroger Rewards Card. We can finally go to the pump and redeem our points for $1 dollar off per gallon.
You can also buy gift cards online at the Kroger Gift Card Mall.
4. Get A Credit Card That Gives You 5% Back On Fuel Purchases
We can save an additional 5% by using a cash back credit card when we purchase fuel. There are many cards that give this option, but the one we recommend is the Discover It Card. It gives you 5% cash back on all fuel purchases made from January to March. (If you don’t have this card, you can use the Blue Cash Preferred Card mentioned in step 1 and still get 3% back).
- 5% Cash Back On Rotating Categories: Fuel, Restaurants, Movies, Amazon.com, Hope Improvement, Holiday Shopping, and More
- 1% Cash back on all other purchases
- Up to 25% cash back using their online shopping portal
- Double all cash back for your first year
- Free FICO credit score
- $100 dollar sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 within 3 months
As you can see, the Discover It Card offers a lot of great bonuses aside from the 5% back on fuel. It’s definitely worth getting.
5. Fill-Up Your Car… Or All Of Them
With the Fred Meyer Rewards Program, there’s a limit to how many gallons you can purchase to get $1 dollar off. Fuel savings are limited to only 35 gallons of fuel per transaction.
This may pose a problem to those of you who only have a car that fits 15 gallons of fuel or some other amount other than 35 gallons. We want to maximize our savings, so we want to make sure and use all 35 gallons available for that transaction.
One way to do this is to bring extra fuel tanks and fill them up along with your car. While this may stench up your car if you don’t have a pickup truck and can potentially be a little dangerous, it’s never stopped me from saving 35% on fuel. These no-spill gas tanks on Amazon are pretty good.
Another option is to coordinate with a friend or family member. You can have you and your wife each take a care to the pump and fill up both tanks at the same time on a single transaction.
It may be a little annoying to find a good time to do this (along with waiting for both of your tanks to be almost empty), but you’re saving a great deal on gas. For me personally, I can fill-up my car with 15 gallons, my family member’s car with 15 gallons, and then a fuel tank for the remaining 5 gallons.
When you go to make the fuel purchase, remember to use your Discover It Card to get 5% back on fuel purchases or the Blue Cash Preferred Card to get 3% off. Type in your Fred Meyer Reward ID when prompted at the pump (usually your phone number). If you have 1,000 fuel points in your account, you’ll be asked if you want to take $1 dollar off per gallon of fuel.
5. Calculate Your Savings
We’ve just purchased our 35 gallons of fuel with $1 dollar off per gallon. Gas prices in the Spokane area are hovering around $3.00 dollars right now, so we’re going to use that figure in our calculations. Remember that we also saved 6% on our gift card purchase to Amazon. Let’s see how much we saved:
- 6% off from buying $500 dollars in gift cards using the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. This saved us $30 dollars.
- We purchased 35 gallons of gas. Normally priced at $3.00/gallon, we only spent $2.00/gallon by using 1,000 fuel points.
- Purchasing 35 gallons of gas at $3.00/gallon would cost us $105 dollars. However, using the fuel points we can get the same amount for only $70 dollars.
- We save 5% off our $70 dollar purchase using the Discover It Card. This gives us back $4.50.
- $105 dollars – $70 dollars equals a savings of $35 dollars.
We saved $35 dollars on our gas purchase, $30 dollars from purchasing gift cards, and $4.50 from our fuel purchase using cash back for a total savings of $69.50 dollars.
We just saved over 65% on our fuel purchase at Fred Meyer’s and Kroger locations.
That’s a huge amount of savings for one purchase.
Is There A Way To Earn Fuel Points Faster?
If you really want to get fuel points quickly, you can sign-up for the 1-2-3 Rewards Visa Card. The benefit with this card is that you get 3x fuel points when you by Kroger products. Below is a quick outline of what benefits the card offers for those of you interested.
- No annual fee
- 1x fuel point for every $1 dollar spent at any location
- 2x fuel points for every $1 dollar spent at Fred Meyer/Kroger
- 3x fuel points for every $1 dollar spent on the Kroger family of quality brands
- Every 1,000 points gives you $5 dollars in free groceries
You can also calculate how much you need to spend in order to save up 1,000 in fuel points using the Kroger Credit Card Rewards Calculator.
What If I Just Want To Purchase The Fuel Points Without Buying Anything?
For those of you who wish to save a little time and hassle, there are a few eBay sellers who sell Kroger Rewards Cards with fuel points already loaded on them. As you can see from the image below, this guy is offering 4,000 in fuel points for $80 dollars.
This gives you a potential savings of $60 dollars in gas, or 43%. Still not a bad deal and it saves you a lot of time. Just remember that these cards do have an expiration date.
These steps may seem like a lot of work and a little bit of hassle… and that’s because they are. However, you’re saving a huge percentage on gas, and it’s only going to get even more expensive.
Take note that the 65% figure that we calculated was based on using gasoline at $3.00 per gallon. If gas were at $4.00 per gallon, it’s would be a little less at around 55%.
If you’re looking for some good, no-spill gas tanks to reach 35 gallons on a fuel purchase, I recommend getting these ones on Amazon. They hold 5 gallons and you’ll easily make your money back if you use the method above. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below. I’m usually very quick about responding. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!