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Consumers use prepaid rewards cards for gas discounts

September 15, 2011

According to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report, consumers are currently spending between 5 percent and 10 percent of their income on gas, CreditCards.com reports.

According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, consumers are currently spending between 5 percent and 10 percent of their income on gas, CreditCards.com reports.

Rising gas prices have opened up opportunities for supermarkets to work together with gas stations to provide discount programs, some of which involve paying for gas using retailer-issued prepaid rewards cards.

For example, The Sacramento Bee reported that Safeway’s gas rewards program allows customers to save 10 cents at the pump when they spend more than $50 on groceries. Recent changes let consumers earn rewards points by shopping with the supermarket’s Club Card. Accumulating 100 points will result in a 10 cent discount at affiliated gas stations.

This acts as an upgrade to typical credit card rewards programs, which necessitate users spending upward of $1,000 before earning rewards.

“Depending on the program, this can be anywhere from saving five cents a gallon to basically the cost of a gallon of gas, with some limitations,” Jim Perkins, Shell’s North American marketing alliance manager, told the news source. Shell has regional alliances with multiple grocers, including Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Ralphs and Save Mart.  

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