We’re long past the days where the way to earn miles in an airline loyalty program was to fly with that airline. Unless you spend a ton of money on airfare, you’re going to earn more miles through other means such as credit card spending, shopping portals, dining programs and banking or investment promotions.
I try to keep up on all the different ways to earn miles. But then I’ll occasionally see one that I’ve never heard of before. That’s exactly what happened when I got an email from Fuel Rewards after filling my tank at the local Shell station.
I’d never seen a program where you earn miles when purchasing gas. However, earning 2 miles per gallon isn’t much with my Subaru’s 14-gallon tank. At most, I’d be earning 25 miles per fill-up. This isn’t going to be a way to earn enough miles for that flight in a Qsuite.
It could be useful at the margins if you need a few miles for an award ticket or if you need some account activity to keep from losing your miles. However, there is a cost to earning miles at the pump.
Fuel Rewards members save 3-5 cents per gallon at participating Shell stations. To earn miles, you need to change your account preferences to earn miles INSTEAD of saving at the pump. So you’re giving away 5 cents per gallon to earn 2 miles. So you’re essentially purchasing AAdvantage miles for 2.5 cents. To limit your earning potential, you only earn miles on the first 20 gallons per purchase, per vehicle.
Our postponed trip to Japan left me with way too many AAdvantage miles in my account, so I have no desire to buy more for 2.5 cents. I’ll keep saving my 5 cents per gallon and pocketing 50-70 cents each time I fill the tank.
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