Drawing inspiration (aka, stole the idea) from Mommy Points, I’ve confirmed that it is possible to pay the equivalent of cash at the pump and still earn a boatload of points for doing so.
Here’s how it works:
- Go to a Staples store
- Buy a Shell gift card (they came in $25 and $50 denominations at my local store)
- Use said gift card at the pump
For step #2, you earn 5 points in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program if you use the Ink Bold card (since they give you 5 points for all purchases at office supply stores). Unlike AMEX or Visa gift cards, there is no fee to buy this card – $50 is what you pay, and what you get in card value.
For step #3, Shell stations will treat the gift card as cash. The best deal is to go to a station that gives cash-paying customers a lower rate than credit card-paying customers.
So, voila, for $100 worth of gas, you get the best (or among the best) per gallon rate at the pump, and earn 500 points. Easy peasy.