This post was submitted by Ariel, remember that if you submit a guest post that we use you’ll earn $50. Thanks to Arielle for submitting this guest post, we hope she continues to send great content in. This post does contain an affiliate link to Amazon. If you make purchases through there we will receive a small commission].
So while free airline miles are awesome, I bet most of the miles you travel are actually in a car. So free gas is as good as dollars in the bank. I’m a former couponer who has since moved my focus from stockpiles of cereal to making travel possible for my family of four. So I’ve done my share of gas deals in the past, and they usually involve an absurd amount of arithmetic to work out. Not to mention finding space in your basement for a 5 year supply of toilet bowl cleaner. But the gas deal going on at Giants (click here for store locations) and Stop and Shops (click here for store locations) right now is so easy, a couple of trips will net you free gas for a couple of months for next to nothing.
Right now they are giving 3 gas points for every dollar spent on Visa and MasterCard gift cards through 5/12/14. Here is what the ad in the Giant circular looks like (click to enlarge).
At about half of the locations in my area they had a good supply of $500 dollar cards and would gladly accept credit cards for purchase. A couple stores were out of Visa cards but had stacks and stacks of variable MasterCards. I had never bought one before because I had heard of difficulty people on forums had had with unloading them. But I picked up a few so as not to waste the trip, and had no problems loading them to Bluebird at the Walmart kiosk and using them for bill pay on Evolve money.
In your pursuit of gift cards make sure not to do what I did and buy cards to far away from your home store. Points only work within a small geographical area. But if you hit any sort of hiccup, don’t hesitate to ask customer service to correct the mistake. They are generally very helpful and can manually add any gas points that you didn’t receive.
Every $1250 in gift card purchases netted me a free 30 gallons of gas. That’s $110 of free gas in my neck of the woods for a little over 2 activation fees. Best part is you can accumulate as many points as you need to fill up until they expire. At my stores, that gives me till the end of June. Not to mention the miles and points you will rack up on the credit card end. This a great time to break out any cards that give you category bonuses for groceries, like Amex Blue Cash Preferred which gives you 6% cash back on all grocery store purchases. Here is my receipt:
I bought 3 gift cards on this trip, totaling $1500. $1500×3 netted me 4500 gas points. Every 100 gas points is equal to $.10 of a maximum of 30 gallons of gas. Some areas are limited to redeeming 2200 points in one fill up. But in Pennsylvania you can redeem the full price of the gasoline. Gas is currently $3.70 a gallon. This receipt shows my total as 13551 or $13.50 off a gallon of gas. That means after I fill up the first time I will still have 9851 gas points. Thats over 2 more fill ups completely free.
When you get to either your local Giant Gas station or participation Shell station, you just scan your card. It will ask you if you want to redeem the price of premium gas. Don’t worry, if you select regular you will use less points.
The best way to get your full value from this promotion is to invest in a couple of gas cans so you can redeem the full 30 gallons at each fill up. Gas deals limit you to one vehicle per redemption, but 30 gallons is nearly double even our SUV’s tank. But gas cans are allowed as shown by this memo. But if you don’t want to go to the trouble, this is still a manufactured spending goldmine. I finally invested in a couple from Lowes.com. I purchased them on my Chase Freedom card through the Ultimate Rewards portal and got 10x on my purchase by combining the category bonus of 5x with the portals 5x on Lowes.com purchases [Editor’s note: you might be able to find them cheaper on Amazon.com].
Uh, oh. Looks like I should get another gas can for next time.
And of course these Visa gift cards are the same that are oh so easy to load right back onto your Bluebird account at Walmart, or to purchase money orders with. Just another tip. Giant accepts PIN enabled gift cards for Money Orders just like Walmart. And generally are a bit friendly and cheerier lot. So the only limits to this opportunity is your credit line and ability to use up the free gas. Check with your local store for details. Mine gives you till the end of the following month, whereas others have a set promotional period. For more of the ins and outs of your local stores Gas Rewards policies, check the stores website. Also coupon sites like www.forthemommas.com and www.krazycouponlady.com are will help you keep abreast of similar deals as they pop up. In my experience the next round of gas deals can be expected during Dads and Grads season, but keep a look out for Back to School, and of course Christmas. You can also read through this flyertalk thread for more information.
Big thanks again to Arielle, we will be sending her her $50 right now. If you have any questions ask in the comments and if we are lucky enough she’ll be answering them!