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Gephardt Busts Inflation: How you can save money on gas fill-ups by buying gift cards



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

WEST JORDAN — A dollar is a dollar, right? However, gift cards may be worth a lot more than what they say on the front. And if you play your gift cards right, you might end up slashing the cost of gas on your next fill-up.

KSL-TV producer Sloan Schrage was contemplating a purchase at a store when an opportunity to save money on gas presented itself.

"Walking past the gift card aisle in Smith's, I saw there was an eBay gift card," he said.

Schrage knows that when you buy stuff at Smith's, dollars spent add up to points. And those points get you discounted gas. Save up 100 points, that's 10 cents off a gallon at a Smith's gas pump. Two hundred points get you 30 cents off, 400 points is a 40-cent discount, all the way up 1,000 points or $1 off for each gallon. And sometimes, the grocery store chain runs specials where certain items earn more points.

"I looked up and noticed there was four times point (promotion) if I bought a gift card," Schrage said.

Yeah, so $150 in eBay gift cards equals 150 points, multiply by four and that's "600 points, you know, that's 60 cents off," Schrage calculated. "I thought, well that's a great way to save a few bucks on gas."

We already know you buy gift cards. Time and again, they are at the top of the lists for what people give and receive for birthdays, holidays, teacher appreciation days. But buy them for yourself, and you have yourself an inflation buster.

Your next date night, maybe a restaurant gift card? Your summer vacation, maybe an airline gift card? Heck, they even have gift cards for gas stations.

Smith's holds 4x points promotions periodically through the year. But the chain does offer 2x points for gift purchases every day.

It's not the only retailer with a loyalty program that earns benefits for shoppers. Harmons Grocery has one where you earn free stuff, including fuel points. At Fresh Market, you can earn cash discounts. Wherever you shop, buying gift cards for purchases you are planning to make is certainly worth considering.

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Matt Gephardt
Matt Gephardt has worked in television news for more than 20 years, and as a reporter since 2010. He is now a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. You can find Matt on Twitter at @KSLmatt or email him at matt@ksl.com.

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