That Time We Earned $150+ in Free Gift Cards To Kroger and Best Buy


Even though this promotion from Kroger has ended, we still use them to purchase retail gift cards to earn their fuel points. This saves us $1 off each time we fuel up. We love Kroger.

Did you know you could use your Economic Stimulus tax rebate payment to get free groceries and gas?

Use Your Tax Rebate Check or Direct Deposit to Get Free Groceries

When I first heard of retailers offering 10% more in gift card value if you use your tax rebate, I assumed it was only for those people who actually needed to cash the physical check there in the store. Curious, I went to and found it to be true.

Use Your Tax Rebate Even If It Was Direct Deposited

I was wrong. All you must do to get the additional 10% is buy a gift card for $300, $600, or $1,200 prior to July 31st. The money to buy these cards can come from any source. So, even if you don’t get a tax rebate, you can do this. This from the Kroger website:

“May 2nd through July 31st buy $300, $600 or $1200 worth of Kroger Gift Cards, and get an extra 10% added to the value – FREE! Offer applies to in-store purchases only of new Kroger gift cards, and does not include re-loads on existing gift cards. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount or offer. Limit one offer per household, with Kroger Plus Card. Bonus amounts cannot be redeemed for alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceuticals or lottery tickets.”

Does the Kroger Card Expire?

This from

“Does the card expire: No, so long as value remains on the Card; however, if a Card has a zero balance for longer than 90 days, the Card will become inactive and value can no longer be loaded onto the Card.”

Will We Use Our Tax Rebate for This?

Because we use them for groceries AND gas, we easily spend more that $1,200 at Kroger every year. We might just take them up on this. Where else could $1,000 1,200 earn us $200 $120 in less than a year?

Even if I wasn’t getting a tax rebate, with as much as we spend at Kroger, why wouldn’t we take them up on this?

Should You Use Your Tax Rebate This Way?

Obviously this isn’t for everyone. I believe my situation is unique, enabling me to take full advantage of this offer.

If you’re in serious debt or in need of some emergency savings, I would advise focusing on those areas. If you’ve got a good handle on them and you are a frequent user of Kroger, then this might just be for you.

With that said, maybe a better title for this post would have been, “Use Kroger Gift Card 10% Bonus to Save on Groceries and Gas.” Of course, the bonus wouldn’t even be available if the tax rebates weren’t rolling out, so…

Results of the Tax Rebate Free Groceries Maneuver

Here’s a quick update on how that transaction went for us. Oh, and since we didn’t have our actual stimulus check yet, we just used money from savings (to be more precise, we used a rewards credit card and will immediately pay it all off with money from savings). I digress…here’s how it went down:

Kroger Gift Cards

Late last month, Mrs. PT and I went to Kroger and purchased 4 x $300 Kroger gift cards, for a total of $1,200 spent. Because of the current Kroger promotion, our 4 gift cards have $330 each on them, for a total of $1,320. Therefore, we quickly made $120.

The cards can be used at Kroger for groceries and gas. They never expire. So far this is working out great for us. We each carry one of the gift cards with us for gas and have two in our home safe for future use.  We’ve each used the cards for gas and groceries and no problems so far.

In a side note, the manager at Kroger told us we could do the gift card promotion once for every Kroger Plus Card account.  If you had more than one you could take advantage of this deal more than once.  Just a head’s up for those that might spend more than $1,320 annually at Kroger.  We may do this just before the July deadline.

American Express Spring Fling Promotion

While we were there in Kroger I also took advantage of another gift card deal: the AmEx Spring Fling gift card promotion. Which gives you $50 in Best Buy gift cards if you purchase 4 x $25 Amex gift cards in two separate transactions.

Therefore, I purchased 4 x $25 American Express Gift Cards in 2 separate transactions, paid the $3.95 fee to activate each $25 AmEx card, filled out the rebate forms (which are hanging by the gift cards), and mailed off the forms and receipts the next day.

This process was a little more time consuming (because of the mailing and waiting) and not near as profitable ($25 minus the two $3.95 fees).  All in all, I’m getting $50 in Best Buy gift cards less $15.80 in fees, for $34 in profit.

Bottom Line

Using both promotions we’ll have earned $154. Was it worth it? The Kroger promotion is definitely worth it for us because we get gas and groceries at this store all the time anyway. If you’re in our same position I say go for it.

I wouldn’t normally do the AmEx promotion, but I’m looking to make a nice purchase at Best Buy soon and will be able to combine this with other Best Buy cards for increased savings. As for the $25 AmEx cards themselves, I carry one in my wallet for little purchases here and there.

Although, my goal is to not use the AmEx cards to overspend on frivolous stuff I would never purchase unless I had the card. We also plan to use them on a vacation we’re taking next week.

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About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon. He created this website back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence. He uses Personal Capital to track his wealth. All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.


  1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this type of promotion go on past the standard “Economic Stimulus” period to try to milk $ out of a slim financial future forecast…