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Safeway Modifies Its Gas Rewards Program

Changes to Safeway's Gas Rewards Program.

On a weekly visit to my local Safeway Gas Station at 9645 Belair Road this week, I was shocked to learn that the Gas Rewards Program had been downgraded. Upon speaking to the gas station attendant, she explained that the program rewards had been downgraded effective: August 1, 2012.

Original Gas Reward: 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent

New Gas Reward: 10 cents off per gallon for every $400 spent

Original Everyday Gas Reward: 3 cents off per gallon anytime

New Everyday Gas Reward: none

New Gas Reward added: 3 cents off per gallon for the first $100 spent only

Fortunately, my family splits our food shopping between Safeway and Giant. We gain perks from both stores for gas rewards. Upon calling Giant Food at White Marsh Mall this week, I was informed that "Giant's gas rewards program remains the same and has no plans to downgrade its rewards system in the forseeable future".

Giant Food Store Rewards: 10 cents per gallon for every $100 spent. A bonus 20 & 30 cents additional rewards advertised weekly.

This downgrade by Safeway is predicted to become a standard in the marketplace in the upcoming months. A recent brief on CNN's Daily Business Report stated that many big retailers and food chains are planning to reduce the benefits offered by reward programs due to the rise in gas, fees and transportation costs. So, recent changes by Safeway's gas rewards program may a be an early sign of the norms to come.

(On Safeway's Reward's Website: http://www.safeway.com/ShopStores/RewardPoints-FAQ no updates about the changes have been made yet as of the date of this opinion blog.)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Geographer August 27, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Wegman's is a great store; however, I don't think we will ever see one in Perry Hall or White Marsh. About two years ago, I actually researched their business and marketing structure for development and location (hoping one would come to our area). They define themselves, not as a "standard food store"; but as a "specialty food marketplace". They prove this by carrying; rare items, select products, unique produce, fresh prepared food services, and by having low prices. They are not viewed themselves as a community store (like Giant, Safeway, Mars), but as a destination location. A place where people will drive far just to shop for those things listed above. Its more like a full experience at Wegmans, not just another day in a food store. Wegmans never locates themselves deep into neighborhoods. Wegmans stays along major highways or very large volume roadways so all customers (not just community consumers) can easily access the store. Also they always place their stores dozens of miles apart as to not interfere with their other locations profit potentials. Its actually brilliant marketing! Whole Foods and Trader Joes also work with this same style of marketing. I don't know about anybody else, but every time I go up to the Abingdon area I stop in Wegmans because its there. I never find myself driving in Lutherville and say "dam I better stop in Mars".
PerryHallParent August 28, 2012 at 09:25 AM
I do find myself chuckling at your Lutherville comment; good one! Your assessment of the Wegman's business model is so spot on. I moved into the area last year and found Safeway to be confusing, expensive and not very welcoming. I did not return. While I am put off by many produce items that have gone bad early from Weis, I was thrilled to attend the opening of the new Giant. I am never disappointed by their produce and now no longer have to drive over to the mall area, which I detest. Good move Giant!
Tim August 28, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Ronald: This makes total sense, and a realization I came to a few months ago. The day they built in Abingdon was the day any hope of our area getting a Wegman's died. Thanks for this infromed contribution. What I don't understand, is what Whole Foods excuse is. Where are they? In the city limits, in Fells right? People aren't driving down there to go to that.
beth b September 03, 2012 at 03:22 AM
This information is not correct; you must've misunderstood what the attendant said. The 3 cents reward is gone but the 10 cents off of every $100 is correct, and the more points you accumulate by shopping at the store, the more you get off of your gas. 20 cents off when you spend $200 and 30 cents off of $300; up to a maximum of $1.
Sharon Egan January 05, 2013 at 11:35 PM
We had no local Safeway gas station here in Reston and how great to find that now all Exxon and Mobil stations are ours to use. Plus it has never stopped being 10 cents per $100. Very convenient for me.

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