Safeway, Albertsons, Vons and American Express Gold, The Perfect Combination.
It seems that in today’s miles and points world there are always new opportunities that appear on the daily. Just as one deal closes, another opens up. We try and do our best to keep on the pulse of it all, but this new combination has me really excited. Safeway (and Albertsons, and Vons) have the Just for U rewards program. In the past, all of your grocery purchases would earn you 10 cents off per gallon of gas up to $1 per gallon on a fillup. They’ve changed the program around, and now with an awesome points earning card like the new card from American Express, it’s a huge win.
Just for U Rewards
The Just for U Rewards program from Safeway, Albertsons, and Vons has been around for a while and I think that most people are familiar with the “gas rewards” portion of the program. For every $100 on groceries that you spend, you’ll earn 1 reward. That reward gets you 10 cents off of a gallon of gas. Stack 10 of those rewards and you get $1 off a gallon of gas. Not a bad deal.
Gift cards have always earned, at a minimum, 2x rewards. That means for $500 in gift card spend you’ll get your $1 off a gallon.
As someone who doesn’t own a car, the gas rewards have never been exciting for me. The only car I ever had was a 12 gallon tank, so we only filled up at a max 9 gallons. $9 in savings is nice, but it never made me run out of the house.
Just for U Rewards, Version 2.0
Not too long ago, the Just for U Rewards was revamped and is now looking awesome for people like me that don’t have cars or don’t fuel up big SUV’s. You can redeem your rewards for free groceries and straight up cash off your order. Just add the rewards through the Safeway app and it’ll come off automatically from your bill as you spend.
4 rewards before would get you 40 cents off a gallon of gas. For our little 12 gallon car, that’s around $3.60 in savings. Now you can redeem them for $5 off your order or even $7 off of the meat department!
Why the American Express Gold reigns supreme
Amex hit it out of the ballpark with their announcement last week. While there are other cards that earn big cash back at grocery stores, such as the Blue Cash Everyday card (read more here) I think that the American Express Gold (read more here) really wins out.
The card gets you 4x points on all US grocery store purchases, which is HUGE. The Blue Cash Everyday gets you 3x (for the first $6,000) the Gold raises that limit up to $25,000 each calendar year.
Manage to spend $25,000 a year at grocery stores (that’s just over $2,000 a month) and you’re earning 100,000 points a year just from shopping at grocery stores.
If you spend that $2,000 a month at Safeway, Vons, and Albertsons on gift cards and earn 2x rewards, you’re going to earn 40 rewards each month to spend at Safeway. Not using gas and instead redeeming for grocery rewards will net you upwards of $80-100 extra each month on your actual food shopping.
But, I don’t buy gift cards (and not $2,000 worth)
I challenge you to take a deep look at everything that you’re buying in a month. There’s not a lot of limitations with gift cards at Safeway. In the past three months alone we’ve purchased Home Depot, Lowe’s, Shell Gas, iTunes, Uber, Netflix, Hulu, Visa Gift Cards, and more, all earning fuel points. This was all before the Amex Gold came out, so imagine now what rewards we can get!
If you haven’t signed up yet for the Amex Gold, the Rose Gold version of the card is good until early January (that’s the card we opted for). You’ll still be able to hit some of your $25,000 spend for calendar year 2018 and then start again in 2019.