(MoneyHippo.com) – With gas prices soaring, leaving less money in your budget for other essentials, you might be looking for ways to save some cash at the pump. Fuel rewards programs are widely available to all consumers, but is the effort to use them worth it? The answer is: It can be, but you have to utilize the programs fully to reap their maximum benefits.
Fortunately, most fuel rewards programs are free. Fuel suppliers like BP, Exxon, CircleK, Shell, and Kroger sponsor some of the best ones. To participate, all you have to do is go into the store and ask for the card. After filling out a form and activating the card, you earn fuel points on everything you buy through participating franchises.
For instance, when you grocery shop at Kroger and use your new card, you’ll save when you fill up at a Kroger gas station and use your card. The points earned will convert into cents off on every gallon of gas you buy. As long as you make purchases to fill up the card, you’ll save on gas.
Inversely, if you get a BP card but never shop at a BP station, the card won’t do you any good. Similarly, if you rack up fuel points but let them expire before you use them, that won’t help in your quest to save money at the pump.
Finally, don’t confuse credit cards that give you fuel points with rewards cards. While gas credit cards may also save you money when filling up your car, they’re still charge cards. You’ll pay interest on any unpaid balances, and it’ll affect your credit score when you apply or if you don’t pay on time. Rewards cards don’t hold balances, affect your credit, or involve a bank loaning you money.
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