A conversation I overheard yesterday at a local coffee shop:
– No-one: …
– Absolutely no-one: …
– Kroger: Hey I’ve got a fresh idea, how about 4x fuel points gift cards this weekend?
– Third party gift sellers: [facepalm]
In a move that could only surprise someone with advanced dementia, Kroger is indeed having another 4x fuel points sale on third party gift cards between Friday and Sunday. In case you’re keeping track, we’ve had fewer than a dozen days since June without a 4x fuel points sale, and as a result the gift card resale market is depressed, like Tony Soprano season 2 depressed.
A Rocky Year
Fuel points either partially or completely offset the loss taken from selling bulk gift cards and are therefore a huge part of the bulk gift card market toolkit. In prior years Kroger fuel points were the easiest grocery point to deal with by far. But this year, Kroger has started to throw wrenches into the works:
- In April, Kroger broke many bulk fuel points redemptions
- Later in the same month, they changed the way the terminals redeem points
- Since June, they’ve been flooding the market with fuel points via 4x promotions
- In early July, Kroger shut down most or all fuel points accounts created with a specific email provider
- In the last several days, they’ve been silently blocking redemptions on some accounts
It looks as though Kroger isn’t happy with its fuel points program and is actively taking steps to change how it works. In the meantime, bulk buyers and bulk sellers are being cautious and volume has plummeted, presumably until the dust as settled and we have a better idea about what’s working and what’s not.
What Seems Safe?
So far I haven’t heard any reports of accounts with fewer than 20,000 fuel points being targeted, so 20,000 may be a soft capacity on accounts for the near-term future. It also seems likely that account age is part of Kroger’s silent blocking algorithm, so your long-term personal account is probably safe.
Here’s the bright-side I guess: Buying an Amazon gift card at Kroger will definitely earn you a few fuel points for your own use, and that discount beats fake discount Amazon gift cards sold directly by Amazon.
Misunderstanding how Kroger fuel points work.
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