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

Dec 12, 2021

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

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 of Jalol Abdurahimov filling his vehicle with gasoline at a Shell filling station in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S., on Monday, March 14, 2011. (Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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