CONSUMER

KSL Does the Math to Compare Fuel Rewards Programs

Aug 30, 2018, 10:15 PM | Updated: May 21, 2023, 4:02 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Gas prices in Utah right now hover just over $3 a gallon and a fuel rewards card could help you shave a lot of money off your Labor Day road trip. There are pros and cons to the different options, so KSL did the math to see how the savings stack up.

We based our test on a fuel price of $3.19 a gallon, and a 14 gallon tank.

Gas Company Cards

First up, credit and charge cards.

Gasing up on Chevron Texaco’s Visa earns you three cents a gallon. That’s 42 cents saved on 14 gallons. You can bump up the savings to ten cents a gallon if you’re willing to spend at least $300 on non-fuel purchases in their convenience stores.

Even better, Exxon Mobile’s gas card gets you six cents off every gallon for a savings of 84 cents.

According to our math, the best might be the Sinclair card. Depending on the station, the discount ranges from 5 cents to 10 cents a gallon. Keep in mind, not all Sinclair stations participate in the discount, but if they do, the savings on a 14 gallon tank will be between 70 cents and $1.40.

“One of the things I think is really important for the consumer to consider is their shopping style,” said Teresa Hunsaker, an educator from Utah State University Extension’s Family and Consumer Science division.

Hunsaker warned that credit cards issued by gas companies will typically have significantly higher interest rates than standard bank-issued cards. It’s important to look into those details before signing up.

“If people rack up balances and not get them paid off, then it takes away from the value of any savings you have received,” she said.

Gas Station Loyalty Cards

Next, we compared gas station loyalty cards.

For her fuel savings, Melissa Christensen gases up with her Nitro card from Maverik.

“You save six cents a gallon,” said Christensen. “And, they do price match for the area.”

Christensen prefers the Nitro card because it’s not a credit card. Instead, the loyalty card is linked to her debit account.

Using our same calculations based on $3.19 a gallon for a 14 gallon tank, the Nitro card saves users six cents a gallon, or a total of 84 cents..

Shell’s Fuel Rewards Network is similar – it is also linked to a debit card. It will save you five cents a gallon, or 70 cents total on the fill-up. You can bump up your savings by buying meals from Shell’s participating restaurants or goods from partnering stores.

But there’s a hidden benefit to Maverik’s Nitro card: it will instantly match a competitor’s pump price if that price is lower than the Nitro’s six-cent discount.

Shell doesn’t price match.

Grocery Store Loyalty Cards

That doesn’t matter to Rachel Madsen. She has an entirely different strategy.

“I like to go to Smith’s, I use my fuel rewards,” said Madson, a busy mother-of-three.

Madsen’s fuel rewards card earns her one point for every dollar she spends at Smith’s. If she earns a hundred points in a month, she’ll get ten cents off a gallon; with 200 points, the discount climbs to 20 cents off a gallon. The discount maxes out at 1,000 points, or $1 off a gallon. It’s good for up to 35 gallons.

Harmons’ Foodie Club card offers up very similar savings, but maxes out at 30 gallons.

Bottom Line on Savings

Both grocery loyalty programs offer excellent gas savings potential if you frequently shop at either Smith’s or Harmons.

Otherwise, the Maverik Nitro’s six cents off a gallon and a possible 10 cents off a gallon at Sinclair are your best bet.

Warehouse Clubs

Many Utahns swear by another option to save on gasoline: warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club.

Both sell gas that’s around 12 to 16 cents cheaper a gallon than the next cheapest competitor. But unless you use your club memberships frequently, the annual cost may not add up. You’re paying for the privilege to shop there.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this story was first published, the information about Sinclair has been corrected. Sinclair no longer offers a Visa card with a four percent cash back incentive. It now offers a private label charge card which carries an instant discount ranging from five cents to ten cents a gallon, depending on the station. Some Sinclair stations do not participate in the discount. This changes the payout from $1.79 on a 14-gallon tank as reported earlier, to either 70 cents or $1.40, depending on the discount.

KSL 5 TV Live

Consumer

FILE - Left to right, clockwise: Twitter former executives Vijaya Gadde, Parag Agrawal, Ned Segal, ...

Brian Fung and Clare Duffy, CNN

Former Twitter execs sue Elon Musk over severance payments

A group of former Twitter executives sued Elon Musk on Monday in a bid to recover more than $128 million in severance that they allege Musk has not paid since he acquired the company, now called X, more than a year ago.

34 minutes ago

FILE - Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. ...

Tammy Webber, Associated Press

Trillions of gallons leak from aging drinking water systems, further stressing shrinking US cities

Trillions of gallons are lost from aging drinking water systems across the U.S. after decades of deferred maintenance and disinvestment. Some communities struggle to provide safe and reliable service, especially in older industrial and rural areas

5 hours ago

3 boxes of pills...

Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer

First over-the-counter birth control pill in US begins shipping to stores

The first over-the-counter birth control pill will be available in U.S. stores later this month. Manufacturer Perrigo said Monday that it has begun shipping the medication, called Opill, to major retailers and pharmacies.

5 hours ago

Matt Gephardt being shown the double payments that Terry Hutchings has been getting....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps homeowner being charged two bills for one security system

Billing for a previous home initially stopped when she sold it, but when she got a new security system from the same provider for her new place a year later it started billing for both.

4 days ago

The Utah State Hospital sign in Provo, Utah....

Daniel Woodruff

A developer has big plans for the Utah State Hospital property

The latest effort to move the Utah State Hospital for a new development plan has failed this legislative session.

4 days ago

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced February 29 that Heritage Store Hydrogen Peroxide ...

John Towfighi, CNN

Mouthwash recalled nationwide over poisoning risk

One brand of hydrogen peroxide mouthwash is being recalled nationwide for posing a potential poisoning risk for children.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

KSL Does the Math to Compare Fuel Rewards Programs