Kroger Gas Discount Details (Sort of)

Okay, this is kind of annoying. Last week I reported that Kroger is overhauling their gas discount program. According to the note on my receipt, details would be forthcoming in the May 6th circular. So when I checked the circular, they had a vague blurb that closed by saying to check the store for details. Round and round it goes… Anyway, here’s the deal…

Save 15¢ per gallon any grade on gas when you buy $100 worth of groceries at any Kroger and use your 1-2-3 Rewards MasterCard at the pump. 15¢ per gallon maximum savings. Not valid with any other fuel offer. Limit 25 gallons. Details at store.

It’s unclear to me from this whether or not you have to charge your groceries, or just your gas. Given that they use the little keychain affinity cards to track your purchases, they should be able to give you credit whether or not you use their MasterCard. But for some reason I suspect that they’ll require the grocery purchases to be made on your Kroger 1-2-3 MasterCard as well (the ambiguous wording in their blurb notwithstanding).

So how does this stack up against the old discount plan? Well, they were previously giving a $0.03/gallon discount just for scanning their affinity card at the pump, and a $0.10/gallon discount for every $100 in groceries that you purchased (regardless of your form of payment). The $0.03/gallon discount is now a thing of the past and, although the new $0.15/gallon discount seems more generous, you can’t use it in conjunction with third party reward credits cards.

While the Kroger 1-2-3 MasterCard does give cash back (5% on Kroger brand groceries, 2% on other purchases at Kroger Stores and/or Fuel Centers, and 1% on all other purchases) it’s not as generous as Citi reward cards (and the like) which typically provide 5% off on all gas, grocery, and drug store purchases. With gas closing in on $3/gallon, that 3% reward differential works out to $0.09/gallon. And if you’re forced into using the Kroger 1-2-3 MasterCard to make your food purchases, the new deal gets even worse as compared to the old one. That being said, you’ll most likely come out a bit ahead using the Kroger 1-2-3 MasterCard (assuming you buy enough groceries to get the $0.15/gallon discount) as compared to a standard reward card sans the discount.

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12 Responses to “Kroger Gas Discount Details (Sort of)”

  1. Anonymous

    I would like to know about the date that your fuel points expire. Such as in November I had 63 +/- points that expired 12/31/2009. Then in December, it started all over again. What happened to my December points?
    Thank you.

  2. Anonymous

    how do i get the fuel i have to put money on the card you talk about.and where do i get the gas at.there is no kroger gas station where i live on timberman ave in hamilton ohio 45013.

  3. Nickel

    Carl: It wasn’t an “artful dance.” Like I said in comment #8 (just before yours), I have no idea. Given that they don’t own a refinery, I would assume that they buy it from whoever brings it to market at the best price point.

  4. Bette: I have no idea, but I would assume that it varies. Since they don’t refine their own gas, they probably buy from wherever they can get it cheapest.

  5. Anonymous

    To stop the stores – vendors or anyone else from doing this, pay by using your bank’s bill pay system, that way you will have a record of when they received the money and they cannot deny they did not receive the money. This way they do not argue with you, they argue with your the bank. Have used this a few times and the vendor started posting the money on time.

  6. Anonymous

    I went for the savings of 15 cents a gallon. I’ve had the card since sometime in January ’07. We got our first statement and I noticed their requirement states you must send the payment 7 days before it is due. Since it was the first we beat that by a day just ot make sure. Our next statement included $26 interest and a $35 penalty because they said they never got the check….Hmmm..their envelope…their address in the window…they can screw me once but that’s it. I’m cancelling it as soon as all the uses have come through. I think others have sued credit card companies over this same kind of practice and Kroger is no different – they make money by NOT posting your check. Criminal, I think.

  7. Anonymous

    You’re not factoring in the fact that gas prices are never exact matches and can rarely be compared at no cost. ie. you typically have to drive around to various stations to figure out which is lowest and driving around costs money and you’re not going to save more than 5 cents a gallon by comparison shopping. Kroger could be 2-5 cents higher (by design or accident) than other stations on your route and still get regular business while at the same time wiping out all of your estimated cost savings. I wasn’t a fan of this when it was $.10/gal off and it sounds like it just got worse…

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