Points at the Pump

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There are a number of credit cards that offer extra points or extra cash back when used in gas stations.  If you don’t have one of these cards, though, you can still save money and earn extra points when buying gas.  The trick is to find the best deal you can on gas gift cards, and then use those cards to buy gas. Here’s how:

Easy option:

If you have a credit card that offers extra points or cash back for grocery or drug store purchases, then simply go to your local grocery or drug store and check out their selection of gift cards.  You should be able to find gift cards for gas stations (and other stores for that matter) that you visit regularly.  By buying gift cards in this way, you’ll earn far more extra points or cash back from your credit card than you would have if you used your credit card just for regular grocery or drug store purchases.

Expert Option:

Find an online store in which you can buy their gift cards and earn extra points or cash back by going through an online shopping portal.  Use the portal to buy that store’s gift cards.  Then, go to the store to “upgrade” the store gift cards to gas gift cards.  This approach requires quite a few pieces to fall in place, so don’t try it unless you know that everything fits!  One place I’ve done this successfully is as follows:  1) Through the Ultimate Rewards shopping mall, I bought Sears gift cards for 10 points per dollar; 2) At my local Kmart I used the Sears gift cards to buy BP gift cards (I call that an “upgrade”); and 3) At BP, I used the BP gift cards to buy gas.  I know, it seems crazy to do so much to get a few extra points, but if you enjoy playing this points and miles game as I do, it might be worth it for you to try it.  Note that, unfortunately, Sears is down to 4 points per dollar through the Ultimate Rewards Mall right now, but if you search on evreward.com you might find other shopping portals with better rates of return for Sears’ purchases.

Other Benefits:

A contributor to a MilePoint thread I set up pointed out this little gem:  If your gas station charges more for credit card transactions than for cash, using gas station gift cards will get you the cash price!  This means that not only will you earn extra points through one of the options above, but you will save money as well!


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