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New way to earn AAdvantage miles at the pump (and potentially save some money)

Dec. 12, 2021
4 min read
Fueling a vehicle
New way to earn AAdvantage miles at the pump (and potentially save some money)
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Editor's Note

This post was updated with additional details from American Airlines and from Shell.

As someone who hadn't driven regularly for more than 20 years prior to the pandemic, I was shocked when I moved to Montana and started driving again how much money I was spending on gasoline. Gas prices are still pretty high with a nationwide average of $3.33 according to AAA.

I'm always intrigued when I hear of hacks around gas, so I was excited to see an email from American Airlines about a new program they've launched with Shell and Fuel Rewards.

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Everyone who signs up gets 100 AAdvantage miles and then 2 AAdvantage miles for every gallon of gas at Shell gas stations (limited to 20 gallons per fill-up).

Related: The top 5 ways to save on gasoline

It's a pretty straightforward signup process. You simply go to the signup page, put in your AAdvantage number and create a Fuel Rewards account.

American Airlines AAdvantage new Fuel Miles program email. (Screenshot courtesy AA)
The signup process for Fuel Rewards (Screenshot courtesy American Airlines and Fuel Rewards)
Signup process for Fuel Rewards (Screenshot courtesy American Airlines and Fuel Rewards)

You'll then need to request a Fuel Rewards card which should arrive in the mail in 5-7 days, and you will then have a linked account (use your ALT ID) to use at Shell gas stations.

Related: These are the best credit cards for gas purchases

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The only problem is you may be better off signing up directly with Fuel Rewards to save as much as five cents per gallon of gas. Gary Leff over at View From the Wing was first to report you get either gas savings or AAdvantage miles.. not both. I reached out to American Airlines, and they confirmed you can't earn both.

Shell also confirmed to TPG that you have to pick, "... if you opt-in for the AAdvantage® rewards as part of the Fuel Rewards program, then you forgo saving five cents/gal (Gold Status). You can switch to opt-in to five cents/gal (Gold Status), but then you forgo saving miles."

We reached out to American Airlines and they confirmed gas purchases will earn Loyalty Points when the modified AAdvantage program rolls out next year. Same deal, though, you have to pick either gas savings or AAdvantage Loyalty Points.

There are other ways, though, to save money on gas with the program too. If you sign up for the AAdvantage program, download the app or sign up online you earn automatic Gold status for six months.

You can earn bigger discounts after linking your credit cards and using those cards to shop at some restaurants, stores and at some events.

Related: How I saved $1,000 in a year on gas

That sounds like a no-brainer for me. The only other limitation I can see is that there's not a lot of participating stations in some geographical areas (like the northern United States). Also, note that Shell gas is often priced higher than other stations.

Don't forget to use a credit card that gives bonus points or discounts at gas stations for even more savings. TPG likes the Citi Premier® Card, which awards 3x ThankYou points at gas stations or the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express which also gives 3% back at U.S. gas stations. Both cards are on our list of best credit cards for gas.

Read more: If you’re tired of high gas prices, here’s how to rent an electric (or hybrid) car

Featured image by Bloomberg via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more