Kroger 4X Fuel Points on Visa/MC Gift Cards: Deal Breakdown & Math. Does It Make Sense & Do You Save?

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Kroger 4X Fuel Points Breakdown

Kroger 4X Fuel Points Breakdown

Right now Kroger (Smith’s, Ralph’s and other brands) has an online coupon offering 4X fuel points on the purchase of Visa and Mastercard gift cards. This deal comes around somewhat often. Sometimes all gift cards give 4X points automatically and sometimes you need a coupon. Let’s take a look at the current deal and whether or not it makes sense to participate.

The Deal

  • Get 4x FUEL Points when you buy a $25, $50 or $100 MASTERCARD® or VISA® gift card.

Need to Know

  • $100 in purchases normally gives $.10 off per gallon of gas. With 4X, you get $.40 off per gallon.
  • You can use only $1 off per gallon at a time and there is a limit of 35 gallons per fill-up.
  • Variable load cards are excluded and do not earn fuel points.
  • Fuel points expire at the end of the month after you earn them and cannot be combined between months.
  • Coupon must be loaded to your loyalty card on the Kroger website.
  • Expires 8/27/2016.

The Math

Photo by Nicholas Eckhart.
Photo by Nicholas Eckhart.

Normally I like to purchase 5X $100 cards since that nets close to a nice even $2 off per gallon. Let’s look at the math two different ways. Most of you should have a 2% cashback card. We’ll use that as a base. I also assume that a lot of you have a card that earns 5% or more in the grocery category. We’ll take a stab at that better math as well.

2% cashback card

  • $100 Visa/MC have a $5.95 fee. Total fees for 5 cards = $29.75
  • $2 off per gallon earned up to 35 gallons = Up to $70
  • Cashback earned with a 2% card = $10.60

If we subtract out the cashback earned, we pay $19.15 for the potential to save $70 on fuel. If you can maximize the savings and pump 30-35 gallons on each visit, this may be worth it.

5% cashback card

  • $100 Visa/MC have a $5.95 fee. Total fees for 5 cards = $29.75
  • $2 off per gallon earned up to 35 gallons = Up to $70
  • Cashback earned with a 5% card = $26.49

In this case you are only paying $3.26 in order to save up to $70 on fuel. That means you don’t have to worry so much about maximizing and if you can, then you really make out. Of course, the real elephant in the room is liquidating.

Liquidating the Cards

These cards can easily be liquidated to Bluebird/Serve or can be used to purchase money orders. In the old days when everyone had Bluebird/Serve, this would be an easy deal to recommend. I could guarantee my time commitment would be low enough that I would earn more than $100 per hour of savings. 5 cards took 20 minutes at most to liquidate and I was saving $50-$65 in fuel. That is a winner.

Now, it is much harder for most, although I do still have one card that can be loaded at Walmart the old way. Of course, without a kiosk it is a little trickier loading these smaller denomination cards in any great quantity with a cashier so there is a pain factor involved. In other words, this deal isn’t as good as it used to be, but it is good for the right people.

For more info see: How To Liquidate Prepaid Visa & Mastercard Gift Cards

Conclusion

There are some areas of the country where grocery chains have fuel promotions that are much more lucrative than this, but for a lot of us this is as good as it gets. In my case I probably will be buying a few cards since I live a block away from a Smith’s gas station, can liquidate the cards without too much of a time commitment and often pump over 30 gallons when redeeming fuel points. With that said, I do miss the “good ole’ days” when variable load cards earned points. Oh how nice the math was then.


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11 COMMENTS

    • Actually a swipe and entering the PIN is fairly easy. Of course I do say this as well,

      “Now, it is much harder for most, although I do still have one card that can be loaded at Walmart the old way. Of course, without a kiosk it is a little trickier loading these smaller denomination cards in any great quantity with a cashier so there is a pain factor involved. In other words, this deal isn’t as good as it used to be, but it is good for the right people.”

      I stand by my words.

  1. The terms say limit of one coupon per transaction per day. I am wondering if that means only one $100 gift card purchased each day will earn 4x points or can multiple $100 gift cards purchased in a single transaction earn 4x points. Has anybody made any purchases yet and earned 4x points on multiple gift cards?

  2. I’m looking over the terms of the points online, and it states you can redeem up to 1,000 per fill-up. I’m a novice at using these points – is that a correct rule?

  3. Yes, 1000 points is a $1/gallon at the pump. Also, I’ve bought at least 4 $100 Visa gift cards at once and received 4X points.

  4. I had a strange experience with points earned with purchase of $100 gift cards. I purchased 2 $100 visa gift cards on 8/20/16 at Kroger and earned 848 points (4x) which is what I expected. Today (8/25/16) I purchased 2 $100 mastercard gift cards (they were out of visa) at a different Kroger and earned 1,272 points (6x). I’m not complaining, but I can’t figure it out.

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