I believe the best way to save gas money is use Fuel Rewards Network (FRN). FRN is a reward program for Shell gas station. It is free to join. Sign up and request a membership card. You will need the card to redeem rewards, but you don’t need it to earn the rewards. Start earning today! There are two reasons this program is so great. One is there are many ways to earn the rewards, and the other is you can redeem as much reward as a price of gas. (it’s possible to pay only $0.01/gal.) Here are all the ways to earn FRN reward.
- Linking your participating grocery store card and make a purchase (Participating grocery stores are not around the area I live. If they are in your neighborhood, you can get a steady flow of FRN reward on every day purchase)
- Shopping at Shell convenience store, get a car wash or auto service at Shell (Buying bonus items in Shell store give you extra reward)
- Purchasing Quaker State or Pennzoil motor oil (Find a special code under the caps)
- Linking your MasterCard and use at restaurants (Choose a credit card which offer the best reward on the purchase at restaurants. You will earn both FRN and credit card’s reward)
- Referring FRN to your friends (Send e-mails with a referral link to your friends. When your friends join FRN, you will earn 5¢/gal discount)
- Other limited time offers
- Shopping at FRN Online Mall
When I became a member and found the Online Mall in FRN, I got excited. The Online Mall is similar to credit cards’ such as ShopDiscover and Ultimate Rewards. I’m receiving lots of Cash Back from them on online purchases. I thought it was good opportunity to add another type of Online Mall for gas money. However, soon after I compared FRN Online Mall with ShopDiscover, I got disappointed. Because ShopDiscover’s reward would be better than FRN for all online retailers I usually shop. I might as well forget about FRN and keep using ShopDiscover.
I couldn’t give up though, because $0.01/gal is so appealing. I looked for another way, then I found “
2X Rewards at American Express Gift Cards“. In FRN Online Mall, every $50 purchase gives you 5¢/gal discount. For example, if you buy $500 AmEx gift card:
- The reward is 5¢ x $500/$50 x 2(Bonus)=$1/gal
- Since you can redeem the reward up to 20 gallons per transaction, the reward is worth $1×20=$20
- Amex charge $3.95 as purchase fee and $8.95 for shipping cost, total fee is $12.90
- $20-$12.90=$7.10 You even made a profit so far (plus, you may get cash back from credit card)
You now have $500 gift card which can be used anywhere it accepts American Express. You may buy groceries at a supermarket or wholesale items at Costco. But, let’s get more reward out of this gift card.
Buy Gift Card by Gift Card
Go back to FRN Online Mall and buy store’s gift cards with AmEx gift card and then make a purchase with store’s gift cards. As long as online store accepts AmEx, you can buy stores gift cards with AmEx gift card. It depends on stores that a purchase of gift cards or a purchase with store’s gift card is eligible for FRN reward. If both transactions are eligible for the reward, you will get another 5¢x$500/$50+5¢x$500/$50=$1/gal discount. (If the store gives bonus, $1/gal will be multiplied.) Great! you will have to spend $500 anyway, but you will get at least $2/gal discount.
This is a strategy for those who already have a plan to buy something online. You earn the reward on the purchase of AmEx gift card, and turn AmEx gift card into store’s gift cards, but you will have to make a final purchase at the stores with store’s gift cards. What I do (as an eBay and amazon seller) is buy items with store’s gift cards, and then sell items on eBay and amazon. I set the prices by adding only selling fee and shipping cost to the price I paid to the stores. I don’t make a profit from the sales, but the reward stays! For some items, I buy only on sale. For some items, use coupons, that helps me compete with other sellers. And not only FRN reward, but I also earn the reward of store’s loyalty programs, which will be also your profit!
Is there a way to only earn rewards without such a work as selling on eBay and amazon? See the details in the next article “Ultimate Strategy of Fuel Rewards Network 2/2”
Note you need to avoid using Discover cards to purchase AmEx gift cards. Discover treats the transactions as Cash Advance and charges a fee. As long as I know, Chase and Amex cards are safe to use for the purchase of Amex gift cards.