Flashback Friday: Save An Additional .20₵ At The Pump + Earn 5X Points

FlashbackFriThis week’s Flashback Friday post focuses on earning points and saving money on something most of us use on a daily basis: gas.

The post isn’t too old but due to some technical issues, many of you may have missed it. (When I went to publish the post, it was somehow backdated to one of the draft dates. I fixed it later on in the day.)

Here is the post:

  • Save An Addtional .20 At The Pump + Earn 5X Points

This post was first published on August 19, 2013.

I’m willing to bet that we all want to earn lots of points and do so really fast.

Over the last year or so the quickest way (besides sign up bonuses) to earn point has been manufactured spend with the purchase of gift cards. Some of our favorite flavors for this have been Vanilla. If you could find these tasty cards, earning easy points comes at a small price- $3.95 per $500 load on a card. If you used the appropriate card at the right stores, you might get a bonus of 5X points. When I started doing this, I was earning 6X points with my Hilton Amex card at drug stores. (This bonus option went away a few months ago.)
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Over the past few months some of us have noticed that it’s been getting harder to find Vanilla Reloads and/or find stores willing to accept credit cards for the purchase. In the New York City area it seems to be practically impossible. On a few recent trips around the country I had no problem buying Vanilla Reloads with a credit card in New Orleans, Milwaukee and Minnesota.

Besides Vanilla Reloads, there is another way to earn valuable points but it comes in a much slower way. For example- if I know that I will be shopping on Amazon, I buy gift cards for no fee at Staples. I use my Chase Ink card, earning 5X points on purchases that might otherwise not reward me with much more than the 1 point per $.
Another great way to earn points and save money is by purchasing gas station gift cards.
Cash price- $3.77
Use a gift card and drop the price another .10₵
I had initially went to Shell for gas, happy to be able to get the cash price by charging the gift cards . Then I was told some exciting news that I had not realized on any of my previous visits. At most Shells stations an attendant pumps the gas for you. In NYC this is rare since there is usually an extra fee per gallon for that kind of service (which I would never pay extra for).While pumping my gas the attendant told me that for paying with a gift card, I received an additional .10₵ off per gallon!

Buying Shell gift cards just became a bit more valuable. Now a Shell gift card saves me .20₵ per gallon plus I can earn some valuable bonus points.

A few weeks after being told about the additional savings for using gift cards I noticed this message while filling up.

You are saving 10cpg off the credit price by paying with Shell Gift Card.

I know that .20₵ off per gallon doesn’t sound like much but why not save some money for doing very little extra work. All you need to do is make sure to stop and pick up a Shell gift card before filling up. To save some time I’ll buy about a month’s worth of gas each time I stop at Staples so I don’t have to go every week.

Let’s just say that you fill up your car once per week. If you put in 15 gallons, you save $3.00 each time. If you filled up 50 weeks per year, you would save $150 plus earn quite a few extra points by using the right credit cards.

This has been working around the NYC area. I have not had a chance to try it away from home. If anyone has tried it elsewhere, please let us know if you also received the extra discount.

Update: This deal continues to work in the New York City area (I filled up right before we left for Germany) but I don’t know if it is working in other parts of the U.S.

If any of you try to pay for gas with a Shell giftcard, please let me know if you received the discount in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Save An Additional .20₵ At The Pump + Earn 5X Points

  1. How do you jump from 10cpg discount to 20cpg? I understand the 10 cents coming from the use of the gift card, but I’m lost where the extra 10 cents per gallon came from.

    1. In New York and I assume other places around the country, gas has two prices- cash and credit, which is 10cpg more. By purchasing the Shell gift cards you are still charging your gas but getting it at 20cpg cheaper than the charge price.

  2. No such thing in TX. Not in San Antonio anyway. I exclusively put gas on my car with Shell GCs purchased at Office Depot. Same price cash or credit. I know Miami has some stores that give you a cash discount, but it’s very random and usually limited to obscure, smaller mom and pop gas stations. Not the case with Shell, that I’m aware of.

  3. The 5 UR points on a dollar of gas using an Ink/Staples Shell gas card would be worth 8.5% or more. For a gallon of gas at $3.50, that is 17.5 UR points or 31.5+ cents, plus any discount from their fuel rewards program (for me, scan the rewards card, scan the Shell gas card, and pump). In my part of the Midwest they give 3 cents/gallon with the fuel rewards program. This is a no brainer and could provide two to four domestic one ways annually.

  4. FreeTravelGuys- You are definitely lucky getting gas for one price in TX. In NYC the only gas station that I know of that consistenly offers one gas price is Hess. The problem with Hess is that they are a bit pricier than cash prices elsewhere.

    Mike- The fuel rewards program sounds worth looking in to. Just curious- do you link a card and then pay with the fuel rewards card (like Mobil Speedpass) or scan it like a grocery card and then pay with any form of payment?

    1. The 3 cents/gallon discount comes from the Shell Fuel Rewards Network Card that uses fuelrewards.com. I scan the card at the pump and it reduces the pump price by 3 cents/gallon and then I use my Shell GC purchased from an office supply store with my Ink Bold at 5X. Our BPs have a similar option available with a BP GC from an office supply store and a fuel rewards program. This is in the Upper Midwest and is my best earning option currently. Tough to beat nearly 10% off on gas.

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