Gas Reward Programs: How Much Have you Saved?

As a stay-at-home mom I’m certainly driving less than I used to, but I still manage to put a hefty number of miles on the car each week. Between play dates and trips to the physical therapist I typically need to fill the tank in my Toyota once every two weeks. When I was commuting to Virginia I often filled up at least twice a week, so I’m happy to see fewer gas station charges on my credit card and less overall wear and tear on my car.

Until this past week I never thought much about gas reward programs. I typically fill up at the Shell gas station down the street from my house. I pass it on the way to the beltway, which is where I travel nine out of ten times. I enter my Giant card before I swipe my credit card and typically save ten to twenty cents a gallon.

I’m not sure how much money this saves me in the big scheme of things. The Shell gas station tends to be slightly higher than some of the neighboring stations, so I bet I save roughly 5 cents a gallon by choosing Shell over the other stations.

To be honest I don’t pay too much attention to the gas station prices. To me the gas station is like the dry cleaners. One might be more expensive than another, but I don’t want to drive all over town in search of the store that will save me a couple of cents. I’d prefer to hit the station that is most convenient. That means stopping at one that is on my route and on the same side of the street. I also want the gas to pump quickly. There are a few cheaper gas stations in our area but they take FOREVER to dispense gas. No thank you. It drives me crazy to stand around waiting for gasoline to trickle out.

As crazy as it sounds I also fill up at a station that has fewer cars pumping gas. I can’t stand idling in line waiting for others to dispense their gasoline. It’s a pet peeve of mine. I tend to get stuck behind the drivers who have to step inside to pay cash and who get back in their cars and dilly dally for five minutes before driving away. The cheaper the gasoline the longer the line. I don’t mind spending a few cents more per gallon to get in and out of the station without waiting.

Since I typically save only ten or twenty cents per gallon I was shocked this week when I pulled up to the pump, typed in my Giant rewards number and saw a price of $2.799 pop up. That’s nearly $1.00 off the price of each gallon.

Why the big savings? Did we spend more this month on groceries? Nope. This month we received coupons that provided 30 cents off every time we spent $50 on groceries. Over the month I used at least two of these. Combined with our typical grocery purchases we saved 90 cents at the pump. Not too shabby.

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