Fuel Rewards Network

American Express Gift Card Portal Rate Down

After the end of promotion for Father’s Day (there was a code to waive a purchase fee through June 16th 2014), a rate of online shopping portal for American Express Gift Card is down on most portals. The highest rate had been 4% cash back from Lucky Rewards, and the rate is now significantly lowered to 1%. Fuel Rewards Network had been 2x, which was equivalent to 4% cash back, and it is now 1x (equivalent to 2%).

2.5 percent cash back on the purchase of amex gcAs of June 20th, the best rate is 2.5% cash back from BeFrugal.com. Until better rates become available, I will keep using BeFrugal for the purchase of AmEx GCs. BeFrugal online portal is very reliable. I had been using for other retailers, and it seems I will use for AmEx GCs for a while. I even respect for their showing cash back terms of each retailers very clearly. None of other portals bother to describe terms and conditions as detailed as BeFrugal does.

To compare the rates of cash back or travel point, you can use these sites



How you use these sites is the same, type a name of retainers and click search and they show lists of available portals and rates. It is better to check on both sites. Because rates are constantly changing, and sometimes they can’t keep up with changes. They may show different rates, miss some portals, etc. In fact, as of today, I can’t find Befrugal on cashbackholic.com when I searched the rate for AmEx GC. On the other hand, you don’t see ShopDiscover on cashbackmonitor.com on the default search result.

I hope the rate will go back to 4% or better soon.

Comparison of Gas Rewards Programs 3/3

Stop & Shop Gas Rewards vs Fuel Rewards Network

stop and shop gas rewards vs fuel rewards network

Although both programs let you redeem the reward at Shell gas stations, the reward’s points can’t be combined or redeemed together. Let’s see what is the difference between these two programs.

  • Stop & Shop Gas Rewards (S&S) needs to earn at least 100 points to redeem 10¢/gal discount, while FRN needs none. Even when you don’t have any reward in FRN account, you can always get 3¢/gal
  • S&S can save up to $2.20 per gallon per transaction, while FRN has no limit. (Actually, you need to pay at least .019 to .109 cents per gallon)
  • S&S reward can be redeemed up to 35 gallons, while FRN can up to 20 gallons
  • S&S reward can earn at Stop & Shop only, while FRN can earn at participating supermarkets, restaurants, bars and clubs, on convenience store purchase or auto service at Shell gas station, and a shopping through Online Shopping Mall


pay 1 cent per gallon with frnBoth programs are great. I found it very easy to earn S&S reward. But there is only one problem with this program. That is “It has a limit, $2.20 per gallon Max per transaction.” Even if you have lots of points, you can’t redeem more than 2200 point. For FRN, you can lower the price to almost $0/gal.

Even if you use the most effective way to earn FRN rewards that fits your regular spending, it is probably not enough to make the price down to $0.01/gal. In the FRN website, you can see at least five FRN members paid $0.01/gal every day. If you want to become one of those, you’ll have to work at it. If you are interested in $0.01/gal, read blog “Ultimate Strategy of Fuel Rewards Network 1/2“.

Ultimate Strategy of Fuel Rewards Network 1/2

fuel rewards networkI 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.

2x reward with fuel rewards networkI 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

buy gift cards to get frn rewardsGo 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.

Comparison of Gas Rewards Programs 1/3

BP Driver Rewards vs Fuel Rewards Network

bp driver rewards vs fuel rewards network

Both of them are free to join. After signing up, membership cards are sent to you. Every time you pump at a gas station, insert the cards and you will get the following discount:

  • BP Driver Rewards – Save 5¢/gal, up to 20 gallons, every 20 gallons with 2 transactions at BP
  • Fuel Rewards Network – Save 3¢/gal, up to 20 gallons, every fill-up at Shell

Both cents-per-gallon discounts are eligible for up to 20 gallons with one fill-up. “one fill-up” means that even if you redeem the reward and purchase less than 20 gallons, the discount won’t carry over for the next fill-up. To earn BP’s 5¢/gal discount, you have to make 2 transactions that total at least 20 gallons. To maximize the reward, use a sign up bonus (10¢/gal discount) and purchase 20 gallons at the first pump. Then make another transaction, but this time pump as little as possible. This meets requirements for the reward, and you will be able to use for next purchase of 20 gallons. By keeping this cycle, you will receive almost 5¢ discount on average. However, this way works for vehicles that have big fuel tanks. If you have a small vehicle that has 10-gallon fuel tank, you will receive only 2.5¢ discount on average. Fuel Rewards Network (FRN) is no requirement to get a discount. All you need to do is insert the FRN card before pumping at Shell.

BP Driver Rewards expire at the end of the month of 90 days after the rewards are earned. You can always receive FRN 3¢ discount as long as you have the card and insert it before pumping. (an additional reward earned through a purchase at supermarkets, online portal, etc have expiration date.)

As a sign-up bonus, BP offers 10¢/gal for the first fill-up, up to 20 gallons, and FRN doesn’t have any. (but there are several bonuses from online portal, dine, supermarket, etc after earning the first reward through each of them)


Because BP Driver Rewards needs 2 transactions to earn the reward, if you have a SUV or truck which have larger than 20-gallon fuel tank, you can constantly receive (almost) 5¢/gal discount in the way described above. But, if it’s 12-gallon tank, you can earn 3¢/gal discount on average. So, if a capacity of fuel tank of your car is more than 12 gallons, BP Driver Rewards gives you better rewards on average. If it’s less than 12 gallons, use FRN and you will earn 3¢/gal discount every fill-up.

This is only a comparison of rewards you can earn through gas purchases. While BP Driver Rewards doesn’t have any other strategy to maximize the reward, FRN has various ways to earn more and more rewards. I will explain this later. Before that, I’d like to introduce two other reward programs in the next post, “Shop Your Way GAS REWARDS vs Stop & Shop Gas Rewards“.