Maximizing fuel rewards

Introduction

This post is meant for people who have fuel rewards that go up to 35 gallons or similar.  I have a Kroger affiliate here in Seattle that fuel points can be redeemed up to 35 gallons either at a Kroger gas station or a Shell gas station.  Back when I was buying Ebay gift cards at Kroger, I had no problems collecting massive amounts of fuel rewards.  However, both of my cars only hold ~16 gallons, and so I wasn’t maximizing my fuel rewards (leaving ~$20 of savings in the pump.)  Now that I’m no longer buying Ebay gift cards, it’s hard for me to generate fuel rewards.  Thus, I need to maximize my lowly fuel rewards now.

 

Enter the 5 gallon gas tanks and accessories

Credits goes out to a couple of readers (they know how they are) who gave me the tip on buying 5 gallon gas tanks.  Since my car holds 15 gallons, I would need 4 x 5 gallon gas tanks to hit the 35 gallon cap.  I was ready to use up my Sears SYYR rewards on these bad boys, but found some on Craigslist for $5 each.  You should also consider buying these caps too, else your garage may smell of gas.  And lastly, I highly recommend this siphon hose.   If you have a newer car that needs something to open the gas tank, you may also need a funnel.

The reason why you want the cap and hose is so you don’t have to do the old “hold up the gas tank and pour into funnel method.”  A five gallon tank weighs 40 pounds.  I’m not young and spry anymore, so I can’t hold those up w/o spilling on myself.  Especially if I need to hold up 3 of them and aim them into a funnel.

For the siphon method, all you need to do is place the 5 gallon gas tank higher than your car’s gas tank and gravity takes care of everything.  You can achieve this by putting the gas tank on top of your car or use a ladder (like yours truly.)  It takes about 2 minutes for the gas to siphon almost all of the 5 gallons.  It’s hard to get every last drop out so you’ll be leaving about an inch of gas left in the 5 gallon tank.  See picture below for reference:

gastanks

 

Conclusion

I realize some of you may be going, “Dang, Vinh’s REALLY CHEAP to be doing all this.”  Yes, you are right.  This method essentially saves me $20 each time I go to a gas station+ the time saved from going to the gas station + I’m collecting tons of Wifemiles since she no longer has to go get gas.  So you can think what you want.  You do you.

A couple of disclaimers – 1. Try not to spill gas in your car and 2. Storing gas in your garage/home could be very DANGEROUS!

  • Dan

    Good job on the wifemiles. Have you use Plenti? Not sure if you have Exxon/Mobil up there. You can transfer 1 Amex MR = 1.5 Plenti so 10,000 MR = $150 worth of gas. If you value MR more than 1.5 cent then it’s not a good redemption 🙂

    • Miles per Day

      I tend to transfer MR to airline, but that’s also a good idea.

  • Paul

    Didn’t know shake siphons exist. Went straight out and bought one as I was due to refill my car today and every time I do, I question whether it is worth the hassle to save the $1 per gallon, as I walk away smelling like gas. Just tried it out and can’t believe I’ve been doing it the hard way for the last 2 or 3 years! Now the only hitch is that my go to store for liquidating the gc’s that I buy, stopped carrying $200 vgc’s and the math and hassle factor are less appealing at $100. I don’t do gc arbitrage or reselling and the non-variable vgc’s or mcgc’s don’t seem to earn points at my affiliate (the same one as yours, except in Oregon). Even when they had a 4x bonus specifically for the non-variable vgc’s last month, I had to call in to get the points applied, so not worth the hassle. My local shell does usually have some of the best prices around already, at least, and one of their $50 gc’s gets me a 5th of the way to that $1 off.

    • Miles per Day

      The shake siphon was the main reason I went down this route. I did not like the idea of pouring 40 pound jugs of gas into my car through a funnel.

  • HEATHER ADAMS

    I don’t know if you can consider it a full $35 savings. The price of gas is never quite as cheap at my Kroger. Any update on your bricked phone? Considering some ebay phones with the 8% bucks, but you made me nervous.

    • Miles per Day

      You’re right. Shell gas is usually at least $.30 more expensive than others.

      I’m gonna eBay my bricked phone and let someone else deal with it. I highly recommend you DON’T buy on eBay, but you might luck out and get a legitimate seller, but is it worth the risk.

  • Mark Ostermann

    I do have a feeling kroger and all others will selling gift cards cash only in the near future so the whole gig may be up on fuel points unless you feed a family of 8 with kroger groceries.

  • Mark Ostermann

    These are also good things to have when the Zombie Apocalypse occurs! Sorry I am ready for TWD to be back haha!!!

    • Miles per Day

      Haha same here. Did you ever get into the spinoff? I finished S1 but haven’t watched S2 yet.

      • Mark Ostermann

        I have been just to fill the void. The first season was awful imo but the second season has shown some improvement but still way behind. Mr Robot is another awesome show if you have not seen it!

        • Miles per Day

          Heard about it. I feel like I watched the 1st episode, but it coulda been the zombie girl show instead. Is Mr. Robot on Netflix or Hulu?

          • Mark Ostermann

            Not sure on Hulu but only DVD on netflix. If Hulu carries USA then it should be on there.

  • DZ

    I used to use siphon method. Much better is to buy a little immersion pump from Amazon. I recall these were $10-20 and run off of a couple of D cell batteries. https://www.amazon.com/Sierra-Tools-Battery-Operated-Liquid-Transfer/dp/B000HEBR3I/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1474480812&sr=1-2&keywords=fuel+gas+transfer+pump

    • Miles per Day

      Why did you stop the siphon method? All I have to do is shake the tube a few times and I’m good.

      • DZ

        It was a little more challenging to prop up the gas can above the level of the fuel port (Chevy Suburban). And I was using one of the primer bulb siphons which were not very reliable (maybe the shake primer works better). With the cheap pump, I could prop the gas can on a folding stool and let it pump up to the filler port.

  • Michael

    35 gallons, oof. I here I thought the 20 gallons max my Shell limits me to was a lot.

  • Ken

    Just know that women have an incredibly long memory when it comes to doing things they don’t like. My wife still drags up stupid stuff from 10+ years ago but forgets about how awesome I was last week.

    • Miles per Day

      Hahaha I’ll keep that in mind then Ken.

  • Paul

    Okay, Ill ask. How much are wifemiles worth?

    • Miles per Day

      More than any airline and hotel points. And it appreciates instead of devalue over time too!

      • Paul

        Good answer.