Make us your home page

Rewards program saves U.S. drivers millions at gas stations

At a time when most Americans are paying more at the pump, Roger Tate of Wesley Chapel hasn't paid full price for gas in a year.

That's because he's enrolled in the Fuel Rewards Network, a free loyalty program that offers gas discounts at Shell stations on purchases made at hundreds of retailers and restaurants.

Discounts range from 5 cents per gallon for every $50 spent at a Winn-Dixie store to 10 cents per gallon for every $50 purchase at a participating restaurant. Members redeem rewards by sliding their card at the pump, which takes the discounts off the regular price of gasoline.

Tate, 52, estimates he has saved hundreds of dollars on gas since he joined the program. He eats at restaurants that offer rewards and books hotels and airline tickets through partner companies, which pay to join the network. For most fillups, he pays less than $2 per gallon.

"It gives you a good feeling that you're not paying regular price for gas," said Tate, a field representative for Excentus, the Dallas-based company that created the rewards program. "You're going to purchase things anyway. You might as well get rewarded for it."

Nationwide, the year-old program has saved consumers nearly $175 million, with a goal of reaching $1 billion. To spread the word, promoters are visiting grocery stores and Shell stations as part of the Great American Fuel Price Relief Tour. The tour began in the Tampa Bay area this month and concludes next week after stops at several area Winn-Dixie stores.

The tour comes at an ideal time. Gas prices are on the rise locally and nationwide and show few signs of subsiding in the coming weeks. A gallon of regular unleaded gas in the Tampa Bay area costs $3.51 on average, according to AAA. That's up from $3.44 a month ago and $3.38 a year ago.

AAA officials said they had not received inquiries about the Fuel Rewards Network but noted that people typically don't start reacting to gas prices until the cost reaches $4 or $4.25 per gallon.

"We're not at that breaking point yet where we're seeing changes in behavior," said AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady.

When they do start feeling the pinch, she said, a recent AAA survey found that people respond first by cutting back on shopping and dining out, followed by staying with friends instead of at a hotel, and shortening vacations.

Susan Thurston can be reached at or (813) 225-3110.

How you can swipe and save

To register for the Fuel Rewards Network program, pick up a card at a Shell gas station or go to Or attend a signup event at one of these local Winn-Dixie stores: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at 8740 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park; 1 to 3 p.m. Monday at 2525 E Hills­borough Ave., Tampa; 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday at 36348 State Road 54, Zephyrhills; and 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday at 8438 N Armenia Ave., Tampa.

Rewards program saves U.S. drivers millions at gas stations 07/25/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.


    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  2. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  4. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  5. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.