Now’s the time to stock up on gift cards for summer birthdays, Father’s Day and yourself. Through June 22, Kroger is offering quadruple fuel points on gift card purchases when you use your Kroger Plus card.
Your total points earned will be four times the card’s value. So, a $25 gift card earns you 100 fuel points, and those 100 points entitle you to 10 cents off each gallon of gas you purchase in a single fill-up at a Kroger fuel center. A $100 gift card would net you a 40-cent fuel discount.
There are some important exclusions to keep in mind. You’ll find details in this previous post, along with the reason I stock up on gift cards for myself during these types of promotions.
Available cards at my local Kroger store include Target, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble, Subway, Best Buy, Petsmart and many more. Check out the full list online.
Readers who shop at Kroger no doubt know the value of having a “Kroger Plus” card. It entitles you to discounts on food and merchandise throughout Kroger grocery stores, and it also allows you to earn points you can use for discounts at Kroger fuel centers. Especially valuable are the double fuel points every day on gift cards — read my previous post for details on how to get the most out of this offering.
With all these advantages, you can imagine how bummed I was to get to the checkout line recently and realize I did not have my Kroger Plus card with me. If you forget your Kroger Plus card, you have two options:
1. Use the credit card keypad to enter the telephone number associated with your card — this will allow your card to be applied to your purchase
2. Pay the nondiscounted price for the items and return later with your card and your receipt
I chose the second option because I could not seem to recall which of the many phone numbers I’ve had was linked to my card. I presented my card and receipt at the customer service desk the following day and explained the situation. The clerk promptly refunded the $34.82 I would have saved with my card. I asked if this meant the fuel points linked to the purchase were now on my card, too, but the clerk said that required a separate procedure. He offered to call the Kroger Plus customer service center and take care of this for me, but you can also do this yourself if you are in a rush or the clerk is too busy to help. Be sure to point out any gift card purchases that were part of your transaction so the points are calculated properly.
In the midst of your Christmas shopping this week, there are very good deals to be had on non-gift items. Twelve-packs of Coca-Cola products have reached the lowest price I’ve seen in a long time. You can get four packs for $11 this week at Kroger ($2.75 each) or three packs for $9 at Target ($3 each). At Kroger, you must use your Kroger Plus card to get the savings. If you buy more than four packs, the price goes up to $3.25 each. At Target, there’s a limit of six 12-packs per customer.
My buy price for Coca-Cola 12-packs used to be $2.50, but I haven’t seen them reach that mark in a long time. To learn more about how tracking buy prices can save you money, check out my previous post on this subject.
Another great deal available this week is on lipstick. CVS has tubes of Revlon ColorBurst or ColorStay Ultimate for $6.49, but you get $4 in Extrabucks on each one, making the final cost just $2.49. This is an excellent price when you consider that other brand-name makeup sold at superstores costs $6 a tube or more. I have used this lipstick and found it to be a good-quality product. There is a limit of six lipsticks per customer.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Extrabucks program, find out how it can help you get items at very low prices or even for free.
I recently moved into a state where Kroger is one of the primary grocery stores. I quickly took advantage of the store’s Kroger Plus Card, a shopper loyalty program which entitles you to discounts on select grocery items each week. Basically, you need the card to get the store’s sale prices, so the considerable savings it entitles me to is worth the hassle of carrying it. Plus, it also allows you to accumulate points you can redeem for fuel discounts at the store’s on-site gas station. You must give your card to the cashier on each shopping trip in order for the discounts to be applied to your bill.
After shopping one week, I got home and looked over my receipt, then realized I forgot to give my Kroger Plus Card to the cashier. My receipt noted that I could have saved more than $22, meaning I’d overpaid by that much because I failed to use the card. The next week, I took the receipt and my card to the customer service desk at the store and explained what happened. I am delighted to report the store gave me back (in cash) all the money I would have saved if I had used the card the previous week. I consider this to be an excellent example of a store showing that it cares about customers.
Kroger proved itself again the following week during a sale in which you got $5 off your bill by purchasing any 10 items highlighted in the week’s promotion. I thought I had all 10 items and assumed the $5 savings (50 cents per item) came off my bill. When I got home, however, the receipt showed I’d only purchased nine of the items, so I had been charged the full price for each one. It turned out I grabbed an item that appeared to be part of the promotion but had been put in the wrong place on the store’s shelves. The next time I went to Kroger, I explained the mishap, and the customer service staff allowed me to exchange that item for the one that was part of the promotion, then gave me the $5 I’d intended to save on my previous bill.
In both examples, Kroger could easily have refused to refund my money, pointing out that I didn’t meet the stated conditions to earn the savings on each trip. Instead, it honored the spirit of its promotions and respected its customer.
- It never hurts to ask for a refund if you fail to meet the conditions of a store’s loyalty program or promotion due to a mistake you made. The worst the clerk can say is “no.”
- Hand your loyalty card to the clerk at the start of your transaction so you don’t get distracted and forget to use it.
- Check your receipt before leaving the store to ensure you got all the savings to which you were entitled.
- If you notice an error on your receipt related to a weekly sale, return to the store before the sale ends so you can point out signage errors or incorrect pricing while the clerk can easily verify your claims. When the sale is over, it may be hard for the clerk to tell how much you should have been charged for the item in question.