272/365 This post contains affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission for your referral. Thank you for supporting my blog!
Through July 9, 2019, you can clip two coupons to your Fry’s/Kroger card to save on gift cards. This strategy, when paired with a credit card that earns rewards at grocery stores, can help you save on Disney or other branded vacation gift cards.
With these cards, you don’t save at the register, but at the gas pump. During a 4x savings event, you can earn fuel rewards that you then redeem at Fry’s or Shell stations. I like to redeem them at Fry’s since their prices are lower, but there is a Shell station in our neighborhood that is very conveniently located. While you could technically get up to 35 gallons per fill-up, most cars don’t hold that much, so you could try to fill up two cars, but I can only concentrate on running one car out of gas at a time! Don’t forget that your fuel rewards will expire the month after you earn them, so make sure you keep track. It may even be to your advantage to wait until July buy your gift cards to make sure your fuel points don’t expire until the end of August.
Calculate Your Savings
For us, the math works out like this. For each $250 we spend on gift cards, we get $1 off per gallon on our next gas fill-up. Since our largest car’s tank holds about 17 gallons, we can save at least $17 over $250, or 6.8%. Now, I don’t stop there, of course. We also have credit cards that earn rewards at the grocery store. Our grocery go-to is our American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. It gets a whopping 6% cash back on up to $6000 in groceries. Now our percentage is up to 12.8% savings on a 17 gallon tank. You could do even better if you have a larger car.
This quarter, we are using our Chase Freedom cards at the grocery store, since it is a 5x category right now. 5x may not seem as good as 6%, but Chase Ultimate Rewards are valued at more than just a penny a point when you add a premium card like Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Business Preferred. Check out this post for a comprehensive travel rewards strategy using Chase Ultimate Rewards. We just got back from a stay at the Grand Hyatt Manchester in San Diego. It would have been over $1000 for our three-night stay, but we paid 45,000 points instead. That’s at least 2.3 cents per point! This sale goes until July, though, so the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card will be back in the grocery store slot in my wallet come the first.
Using Prepaid Gift Cards
The above calculations are for retail gift cards without a fee, like restaurants or Disney. If you decide to clip the other coupon and get the Visa or MasterCard prepaid cards, the activation fees will eat into your profit. Also, the ones I’ve purchased at Kroger are not as versatile as the MetaBank ones you’ll find at other stores. For example, one way I use prepaid cards is to purchase money orders at Walmart instead of writing checks to earn 5x rewards on all of my spending. Only the Visa cards issued through MetaBank are PIN-enabled and work at the Walmart register as a debit card. Kroger-branded prepaid cards, as well as MasterCards, have problems when purchasing a Walmart money order for some reason. However, I can still use them at other stores that don’t have a rewards category, but I will probably pass on these since they do have an activation fee.
Find Your Kroger Store
Be sure to clip the coupon to your account and use your number or card at the register to get the rewards properly credited. If you’re not sure which stores are owned by Kroger in your area, take a look below. You can find this clickable image here if you scroll to the bottom of the page. Happy shopping and fueling!