Kroger’s Strengthening Game


Kroger is running a 4x fuel points promotion on third party gift cards and fixed value Visa and Mastercard gift cards through Tuesday, February 14th. These promotions used to be big manufactured spend opportunities; but accounts suspected of reselling are often shutdown which has led to reduced volume and extra caution with many buyers, and others have left the gift cards and fuel points game completely.

Market Effects

We’ve seen:

  • Roughly half of the major fuel-points brokers have left the market in the last six months
  • Increased volume in Q1 compared to prior years for the remaining fuel points brokers
  • Third party gift card spot rates that are also higher than normal for Q1

This one was probably easy to predict for an elastic(ish) product: if you lower the supply of fuel-points and demand doesn’t change, prices will go up.

Staying Under the Radar

For those still in the game, staying outside of the realm of detectability to the extent possible still seems to be the way to go. The best hygiene seems to be:

  • Buy at unpredictable times
  • Don’t intermix credit cards and fuel points accounts
  • Work with brokers that can guarantee fast liquidation
  • Keep overall account balances low
  • Don’t buy in completely round numbers
  • Work when Kroger’s anti-fraud systems aren’t working
  • Avoid self-checkout

Finally, it’s been theorized that Kroger’s registers have facial recognition in place. I personally don’t subscribe to that theory, but if you do wear a mask and a hat. Good luck, and happy Wednesday!

An illustrated demonstration of staying under Kroger’s radar.

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