Fuel points have become a big part of the manufactured spend landscape because they’re really valuable and as fuel prices go up, the market for them goes up too. Kinda like the ocean went up (in flames) this weekend. Oh, too soon?

Now, a software bug at Kroger means that since Wednesday, gift card purchases are earning 6x instead of the expected 4x promotional rate and as a result, the fuel points chatter in various MS groups has blown through the roof. Kroger appears to be trying to fix it — multiple times for multiple hours on Friday and Saturday only 2x, or sometimes 0x, was awarded at the register. So far though no permanent change has emerged.

There’s a further rub too, on Friday reports started coming in that say Kroger is shutting down accounts that generated huge fuel point balances, and it seems to be triggered by calling them which puts eyes on your account.

Side note: a hack that some take advantage of but I never felt comfortable with is that you can call Kroger, let the automated system know you’re missing fuel points, and as long as you tell it that 2,000 fuel points or fewer are missing, it would auto add them to your account… until last Thursday that is. Now reportedly the system transfers you to an agent after you tell it about missing points, and likely that puts eyes on your account.

Where am I going with all of this rambling? Now is a good time to earn fuel points, but keep your balances reasonable and keep eyes off of your account when you game the system. That last bit is good advice in general.

The boat in the upper left is the Kroger IT Department trying to put out the fuel points fire