By Sara Bristoll
Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, it seems that some store is trying to sell you a rewards card; and gas stations are no exception. But is it worth it to sign up for the rewards programs? Which program will save you the most money? Our team at Arizona Federal set out to explore some programs and decide which would offer the most benefits to our members.
The Fry’s and Safeway fuel rewards programs work very similarly. You can earn 1 point for every $1 spent at their store during the month. They offer bonus points at times, or extra points for buying certain items (like gift cards). For every 100 points you earn, you can receive 10 cents off of each gallon on your next fill-up. The maximum amount you can redeem is $1 off of each gallon and 25 gallons per fill-up. Bonus: You can also use your Fry’s points at most Circle K and Shell stations, and your Safeway points can also be used at Chevron and Texaco stations.
Annual Savings: $83.20
Fuel stations like Shell and Chevron offer a similar rewards program as well. Members will receive 3 cents off each gallon when they fill up. Shell’s program is a simple membership that gives you the discount at the pump, while Chevron requires you to have (and use) their credit card to receive the discount. In return to signing up for the credit card, Chevron also offers a bonus of 10 cents off each gallon for spending more than $300 on non-fuel purchases in a month. The rewards for Chevron are issued as a statement credit instead of a discount.
Annual Savings: $12.48 for Shell and $54.08 for Chevron
Costco doesn’t offer a rewards program, but it is known for offering its members great prices on gas. They often have the lowest price per gallon in areas they serve. On average, they are 15 cents cheaper than the Phoenix average, but they can reach up to 30 cents less expensive per gallon in some areas and as low as 7 cents in others. You have to be a member to fill up there, and starting June 19, you’ll be able to use your Arizona Federal Visa® Platinum with ScoreCard Rewards to buy your fuel at Costco.
Annual Savings: $61.98
So, which program do you choose? If you plan on spending $200 per week on groceries all at the same store, and it’s not out of your way, you’ll get the biggest discount at Fry’s and Safeway. But that discount has to come off of the gas station’s current fuel price – so make sure you compare price per gallon. If gas station “B” is more than 20 cents less expensive than Fry’s, you’ll be paying less on your fill-up and can save your points for the next week.
*Savings calculated based off of the average family who drives one vehicle 200 miles per week, receives 25 mpg and spends $200 per week on groceries (at the store needed to earn fuel points). Costco savings based on $1.99 gas price in Phoenix on June 6, 2016. Fry’s and Safeway fuel points expire after a period of time, see store for details.