Friday’s article on saving money with the gift cards exchange was a huge hit. This website had almost 4 times as many viewers Friday as it has ever had in a single day before, so it seems like a good idea to follow up on those thoughts a little bit. One reader left a very wise comment on my facebook page.
That is an excellent point. I have done the math on the Dillons fuel points deal and it will almost certainly save you more money than buying discounted gift cards somewhere else. I didn’t include that in my original article for a couple of reasons. First of all, Dillons and its parent company Kroger are regional stores and I wanted to include information everybody in the country could use. Second of all, my articles tend to be way too long as it is and I am trying to find ways to shorten them. But, if you life in an area where your local grocery store gives you 4 fuel points for every dollar you spend on gift cards, you should probably take advantage of that.
Here are a couple of tips to get the most out of your fuel points:
1. Use your fuel points on your biggest car. It only takes 8 gallons to fill up my Prius, so I never use points for my car. I save my gas points up for when my wife fills up her SUV.
2. Kroger lets you buy up to 35 gallons when you redeem your points, so try to get all 35 gallons. There are a couple of ways to do this:
- You can wait until your tank is as empty as possible before filling up.
- Fill up two cars at once. Don’t replace the nozzle after filling up the first car or the transaction is over.
- Fill up gas cans after you fill up your car. I have a friend who takes a bunch of five gallon gas cans with him when he fills up. After he fills up his car, he fills up those gas cans until he gets his 35 gallons worth. He then stores the gas cans in his garage and fills up his cars with them later.
3. To make the discount you get on gift cards from grocery stores just a little bit sweeter, use a credit card that gives you extra cash back at grocery stores.
- American Express offers the Blue Cash Every day card with 3% cash back on purchases at grocery stores with a limit of $6,000 per year.
- American Express also offers the Blue Cash Preferred card with 6% cash back on purchases at grocery stores with a limit of $6,000 per year. This card does have a $75 annual fee.
- Bank of America and Penfed both have credit cards with 2% cash back on purchases at grocery stores with no limit. Penfed is a credit union targeted towards the military, but anyone can become a member by making a $20 donation.
- The extra fuel points also works when buying gift cards from grocery stores owned by Kroger. There are so many credit cards with extra cash back at gas stations I’m not going to bother to list them here. I will have an article with everything you need to know about cash back credit cards in the next few weeks.
If you have any other ideas for saving money using a gift card exchange I’d love to here from you.