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I’ve been writing a lot in the last several days about some easy little things we can do to ramp our miles and points earning back up a bit. Yesterday I looked at grocery stores, and today I wanted to re-examine the possibility of earning bonus points at gas stations on more than just gas purchases since gas stations are a popular bonus points category on many rewards credit cards. I’m specifically even more interested in gas stations than normal right now since they are a 5x bonus points category on the Chase Freedom.
To give some context, a couple of years ago many gas stations had abundant gift card racks, even including $500 Visa gift cards and the infamous Vanilla Reloads that they would sell to you using credit cards (if you don’t know much about these, don’t stress since it is pretty much a thing of the past). However, times have changed, and I knew that things have tightened up significantly in the last couple years in terms of the gift card selections that most gas stations offered, so I wanted to do a little experiment to see what was still available at gas stations in my area (in addition to the obvious important things like gas, Pringles, and Icees).
What Gift Cards are Sold at Gas Stations:
To get a feel for the current gas station situation, I visited four different gas stations yesterday to see what gift cards they had, and what types they would sell me with a credit card.
Exxon Speedy Mart: No gift cards
Kroger Gas Station: No gift cards, but did remind me that the neighboring Kroger grocery store had a large gift card selection (which is true)
Vallero: Small selection of gift cards to retailers such as Amazon, Applebees, Dominos, etc. This gift card rack was much smaller than I had ever noticed it in the past, but what they had could still be purchased with a credit card.
Shell: Only Shell gift cards
Even though my experiment was certainly limited in scope, it confirmed what I thought – gift cards are still available at some gas stations, but in a much more limited way than they used to be. I was happy to be able to pick up a couple Amazon gift cards that I needed while earning an easy 5x points.
Given my results, I don’t really recommend driving all around town looking for gas stations that also sell gift cards, but it can be worth a peek inside when you fill up your car over the next few weeks. Remember the 3rd quarter bonus categories will end on September 30th!
Have you had any luck in recent months buying gift cards at gas stations?
Know before you go.
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