On Wednesday, Safeway (NYSE:SWY) announced a "new" (to them) program, offering discounts on purchases of gas at ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) -branded gas stations for its own frequent shoppers in the Mid-Atlantic region.

It works like this: When a Safeway shopper buys groceries, certain gift cards, or pharmacy items with a Safeway Club Card, he or she earns loyalty points based on the value of the purchase:

  • One point per dollar spent on groceries;
  • One point per dollar spent on "eligible" pharmacy items;
  • Two points per dollar spent on "qualifying" gift cards

Rack up 100 points, and you earn a $0.10-per-gallon discount when you fill up at an Exxon or Mobil station later on. Restrictions do apply. For example, you cannot use more than 1000 points ($1 per gallon) in a single gas purchase. You cannot buy more than 25 gallons in a single transaction, either, or try to fill up more than one car at the pump.

Nearly point-for-point, the plan imitates a similar discount-gas program initiated by Kroger (NYSE:KR) some years ago. Privately held Marsh supermarkets also has a loyalty program rewarding shoppers with discounts on gas. Likewise  supermarket chains Bi-Lo, Giant, Winn-Dixie, and Roundy's (NYSE:RNDY) all offer similar rewards.

 
 

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