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Automotive Finances & Money Frugality

10% off Shell gas by shopping at Giant: Good Deal?

When Stacie and I walked into our local Giant supermarket recently, we noticed their new partnership with Shell (Gas) where you earn points towards “money off at the pump”.

Here’s the skinny, straight from the Giant website:

How it works

For every dollar you spend at Giant, you earn a point on your card. Earn 100 points, save 10¢/gallon on gas. The more you shop, the more you save – you can redeem up to $2.20/gallon in a single fill up.

Points Savings
100 10¢/gallon
200 20¢/gallon
300 30¢/gallon

Points are valid for 30 days.

How to redeem your points

  1. Follow the prompts at the pump to start
  2. Insert your Giant Card (or, enter your phone number or 12-digit key tag number)
  3. Select payment and fuel grade
  4. Watch the price drop instantly!

My Thoughts

Stacie and I were all excited because we like to shop at Giant (although not exclusively) and we like Shell gas. But we were definitely disappointed by the item I marked in red above: Points are valid for 30 days.

I thought the program would be similar to Giant Eagle Fuelperks in my home state of Pennsylvania where the points don’t expire for 3 months AND you can earn more than just 30 cents off a gallon. You see, it’s just two of us, and we don’t like the pressure of having to spend at least $100 at a single store within 30 days just to get a few bucks off for gas.

Overall, I think this deal is better for families who buy a lot of groceries and $100 isn’t hard to reach in a month. But I don’t recommend the program if it means you’re buying unnecessary items just to reach a certain goal. In the end, you should calculate how much you’re really saving on gas versus saving by shopping elsewhere. And remember, it doesn’t matter if gas prices are going up, you’re still only saving 10, 20 or 30 cents per gallon.

Therefore, the maximum savings you can earn:

10 cents on 35 gallons: $3.50
20 cents on 35 gallons: $7.00
30 cents on 35 gallons: $10.50

And how many of you have a 35 gallon gas tank?

  • You might think “Oh, I’ll just go buy a barrel to store the gas!”. Well, gas containers aren’t cheap either.
  • You might think “Oh, we have multiple cars, so I’ll just fill them all up at once!”. Well, try coordinating a gas fill without putting back the nozzle and ending the transaction. Is it really worth all the hassle?

Alternate Ways to Save Money on Gas

Personally, I use my Pentagon Federal CU Credit Card to earn 5% back at the pump, and I don’t need to push myself to buy up $100 worth of groceries in a month to do it. Now, if I DO earn the gas discount, I’ll also use my PenFed card to earn extra discount.

In reality, the 5% discount is more like 3.5% because of fuel taxes (differ by state). I have a 22 gallon tank on my truck, and I use 87 octane. Usually my fillups happen at 20 gallons. If I use $3/gallon as a round number, here are my savings:

20 x ($3.00(0.035)) = $2.10 on a tank with just the PenFed card.

20 x ($3.00(0.035)+0.10) = $4.10 on a tank with the PenFed card and Giant savings.

So, think about using your rewards card in combination with the store promotion (if you’re willing/able to buy that much in groceries from one store in a month) to maximize your savings at the pump. In my case, I’m not going out of my way to try to save an extra $2, because we tend to shop at 3-4 different stores and save much more on sale items.

Your thoughts?

About the author

Clever Dude

10 Comments

  • I use the 10 cent savings at my local Kroger, if I don’t have that much saved up then I refuse to buy gas there knowing that I should get the extra off. I also use it with my PenFed card. I figure if I hit $100 great, if not I will find another. I shop almost exclusivly at that store for my groceries and even shopping for one I can get that much most the time for whatever period they are good for.

    I know for mine alchohol purchases do not count for rewards.

  • It seems like based off the video and your explanation that this card is really intended for families that actually spend more then $100 a month at grocery stores. To me the biggest problem with this reward is that you’re forced to use it within 30 days. I would see this as a deal breaker, because it reduces your flexibility.

    The other problem that it causes is that you’ll constantly have to worry about it. Things like:
    “Oh should I buy this here, so that we can break the $100 threshold”
    “Maybe I should fill up my tank even though it’s half full since my points expire tomorrow”
    “Where’s the nearest shell….”

    I would probably end up doing what you’re doing, which is to use a CC that gives me a high% cashback.

    Great article!

  • I think this works great for families who can spend $300 at grocery stores in a month. But for those of us who are single, I can’t image spending $300 at one store in just a month. Doesn’t seem worth it. Although I do have a gas guzzler and need all the help I can get! Know of any other good (national) cards that have gas perks?

  • I love Giant Eagle. My children attend a private school and part of the tuition savings program is that the school sells gift cards for a wide variety of stores. I purchase the Giant Eagle gift cards to buy groceries, gasoline, and dry cleaning and Giant Eagle contributes 4% directly to my children’s tuition account. I combine the gift card contributions with the gas perks and Giant Eagle beats the other grocery stores every time. I have stopped going to Kroger as often because, unlike Giant Eagle, Kroger does not allow for more than 10 cents off per gallon per fill-up.

  • Just my 2 cents (no pun intended)…

    who doesn’t spend at least $100 a month in groceries??!!? I spend at least that amount in a week…so per month, we’re hitting around $500. And it’s just my husband and I. Sounds to me you eat out everyday…

  • This is a great promotion.

    You must eat out a lot because we spend $100 – $150 per week easily on shopping.

    You can save more than 30 cents/gal. I got 90 cents/gal off last night and the gas cost me $2.05/gal!

  • Nobody spends this much money himself. But if we all use the same phone number, or discount car code, we could total up our points and get up to $1.00 per gallon. Just think. i get 100 point a month, my friend does 100 point. you do, somebody else does. Let say we all use my cell number. we all get 400 points, means 40cents off a gallon

  • My friends work this system as singles or as married couples without children. If they’re close to “leveling up” to the next reward amount but not quite there, they’ll tack on a gift card to a store they know they’ll go to, or sometimes even a Giant gift card. It helps them hit the next dollar limit, and the money isn’t lost at all. Gift cards are good for at least a year if not more.

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