In Asheville grocery wars, Ingles makes a play with gasoline sales

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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ingles_fuel_rewards2_2013Asheville’s homegrown grocery store chain, Ingles, has expanded its rewards program to allow holders of its Advantage card to redeem discounts on gasoline sales. The new fuel rewards program kicked off Sept. 1.

Ingles has used gasoline discounts to draw in customers for several years now. Until this month, Ingles customers could buy a gift card and use that to get discounted gasoline. The new system allows all holders of its Advantage card to get the discount. Every $100 a customer spends in an Ingles grocery store gets that customer 5 cents off per gallon bought at one of its gas stations.

Ingles’ gasoline station give it a distinct edge in the local grocery store wars as competition heats up. A new Harris Teeter store just opened on Merrimon Avenue. Trader Joe’s will open next door to Harris Teeter later this month. There’s a new Whole Foods coming to Tunnel Road. And there’s a new Publix coming to Hendersonville Road.

As usual, there are a ton of rules and regs. Click here for all of them. Below, find a few Qs and As:

How does the Fuel Reward program work?
The fuel program allows you to receive savings of up to $1 off per gallon on fuel purchases at Ingles. You may redeem up to 1,000 fuel points in a single fill-up at participating stores for up to $1 off per gallon. For each increment of 100 fuel points redeemed at Ingles, 10¢ off per gallon will be awarded. Program discount is good for one purchase of fuel, up to 20 gallons. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts.

For example:
Every 100 points gets you a 5¢ per gallon Reward for a single fill-up at participating Ingles Gas Express Stations. You can use your points in increments of 100.

• 100 points = 5¢ per gallon Reward
• 200 points = 10¢ per gallon Reward
• 500 points = 25¢ per gallon Reward
• And More

The Fuel Rewards discount cannot exceed the price of gasoline. Limit 20 gallons per transaction when redeeming your Fuel Reward points. Please note that depending on the type of fuel equipment, there may be a minimum price per gallon of $0.001 per gallon.

You may only fill up ONE vehicle per redemption, even if you are purchasing less than the 20 gallon limit.

This program is only available at participating Ingles stores.

How do I earn fuel points?

There are 2 easy ways to earn fuel points in Ingles NC stores every day:
1. Spending on Groceries (normal exclusions apply):

$1 in Groceries = 1 fuel point.

2. 1 Prescription = 25 fuel points.
• Applies to new, transferred, or refilled prescriptions.
• Excludes federally funded prescriptions and $3 generic prescription plan
• See Pharmacist for details.

Fuel Points are not earned on Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel, the purchase of Gift Cards, Money Orders, Postage Stamps, Lottery, Western Union, Advantage Card Discounts, Manufacturer Discounts and Coupons, and items prohibited by law.

How do I use my fuel points at an Ingles Gas Express?

Go to a participating Ingles Gas Express, simply scan your Ingles Advantage Card under the card scanner. You will be prompted if you would like your discount applied. The oldest points will be awarded first.

1. If paying inside, see cashier BEFORE scanning your Ingles Advantage Card.

2. Select YES to redeem your available discount.

3. The price per gallon will be reduced based on your available points.

4. Select your form of payment and fuel grade to begin fueling.

Since I scan my Advantage Card at Ingles stores in NC without a Gas Express, do I still earn Fuel Rewards?

Yes. Fuel Points can be earned at any Ingles Market in NC, and redeemed at any Ingles Gas Express in NC.

Can I choose to use part of my discount instead of my full discount at the fuel pump?

No, if you choose to redeem your fuel points, the pump will redeem all available points in 100 point increments up to the price of fuel.

How long do I have to use my fuel points?

Fuel points earned in a given month are available for use through the end of the following calendar month. Points do not combine across months. When filling up at Ingles participating NC stores you’ll always be offered the oldest discount available, based on each month’s fuel point totals available in your account. For example, if you have 200 unredeemed fuel points from December and 300 fuel points in January, the 10¢ per gallon discount from December will be redeemed on that fill-up. The 15¢ per gallon discount from January will be available through the end of February.

Do my Fuel Reward Points expire?

Yes, Rewards expire at the end of the following month in which they were earned. For example, Rewards earned in January can be used through February 28th. Points earn Rewards in increments of 100 (100 points = a 5¢ per gallon Reward). At the end of each month, any points balances that are less than 100 expire.

Are there limits to how many points can be earned?

No, you can earn an unlimited number of points during each month and your points can be used through the end of the following month. Each month is a separate earning period; previous and current month’s points do not combine. Fuel points are redeemed in 5 cent increments.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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  1. Larry Cook May 13, 2016

    I don’t buy groceries at Ingles on a regular basis. Just a single ole man that buys from here and there, but I do buy most of my gas there. Now I find that if I don’t buy groceries there just gas the card isn’t worth anything. Ok so I’ll trash the card and quit wasting time with it.

  2. Beka October 23, 2013

    Both Ingles on Tunnel haven’t raised their prices (yet?), actually the one in Oteen hasthe cheapest gas around. I figure I’m already shopping there, I may as well save a bit on gas, even if it is only .05/gal. Who knows, maybe once all the better groceries open Ingles will make their rewards more rewarding, like Bi-Lo. As far as the store’s prices, I think they’re terrible, but of course it’s still cheaper than at a fancier store (or Bi-Lo). Publix rules! Their generic brand tastes like name brand compared to that Laura Lynn garbage (you can really taste the discount!).

  3. dd September 27, 2013

    This gas promotion is a royal mess. Here’s how it works: If I let my car run down to fumes and bank 100 points by spending over $100.00 at Ingles in the same month, I get one chance only to use this so-called benefit which will save me a grand total of 60 cents on that full tank of gas! They need to kill this concept and instead they should give Advantage Card members a modest discount for a card swipe at the pump and call it a day.

    1. smytty September 28, 2013

      The math of it really is a bit ridiculous. If I spend $300 and max out the points, I save $.15 x 20 gallons = $3. Woo hoo.

      I think it’s more of a psychological thing. “Oh, this is great, I spend lots of money on gas and this will help me save!”

  4. Craig Moore September 17, 2013

    When compared to the BiLo gas perks program, Ingles looks like they are actually trying to “tick” off their customers..5 cents/$100 purchase vs. 5 cents/$50 purchase, no carry over past next month, (my favorite) anything under $100 increments in any month doesn’t carry over at all…

  5. FDR September 12, 2013

    For Buddha sake people, take what you can get. Driving around looking for the best deal on groceries or gasoline cost you the difference in the amount of gasoline you burn. Get them both at the same place and it’s a win/win.

  6. mike September 12, 2013

    So, is it “For each increment of 100 fuel points redeemed at Ingles, 10¢ off per gallon will be awarded” or “Every 100 points gets you a 5¢ per gallon Reward”?

    1. Skip September 12, 2013

      5 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent on groceries.

    2. Nate September 12, 2013

      It’s definitely five cents per 100 points, not ten. And it’s also an object lesson on why you should cut-and-paste from the *original* source rather than from some random message board for coupon junkies . . . .

  7. smytty September 12, 2013

    I hope their gasoline is better than their produce.

  8. White Lightnin' September 11, 2013

    Ingles and Bi-Lo have been doing that in Brevard for more than a year. It’s not really new. -=WL=-

  9. FinePrint September 11, 2013

    > “Points do not combine across months.”

    Sounds like a convoluted waste of time.

    1. Big Al September 13, 2013

      Everybody buys gas at least once a month.

  10. Jeff September 11, 2013

    So in exchange for my loyalty, Ingles will let me spend $100 on groceries and then save a whopping $0.65 on 13 gallons of gas!?! Wow, I’ll never buy food or gas anywhere else again!

  11. Sarah September 11, 2013

    I save .10/gal by just stopping in Woodland Hills instead of Ingles in Mars Hill. October 1 they are dropping the “pay with an ingles gift card and get a discount at the pump”

  12. Dave September 11, 2013

    Ingles is a mess, a relic of the past pushing cheeseballs and little debbie snacks at every corner. Their trashy staff has a lesson or two to learn about respect.

    1. Big Al September 13, 2013

      I have shopped at Ingles for five years and have NEVER experienced any discourtesy or disrespect.

      While I welcome the competition from newer stores, this hateful bashing is pretty embarrassing from the citizens of a supposedly progressive town that claims tolerance as a virtue.

  13. Dmitri Raveninoff September 11, 2013

    I posted this to Twitter, but your readers might be interested as well.

    So, I was wondering why all of the hype for the new Harris Teeter, so one night I did some comparison shopping between them & Ingles.

    I compared 8 products I buy on a regular basis, 7 of which I buy 2-3xs a week for business. I compared each store’s generic brands.

    Products included paper towels, trash bags, & dog food. Every single product from Ingles was at least $1 less. That’s $1600+ a yr.

    1. Mark September 14, 2013

      Yep. I checked out Harris Teeter and the prices on products I buy between Ingles and Sam’s Club were enormously more expensive.

      While I’m inclined to shop at the new Publix coming to my hood, if their prices are comparable to Harris Teeter—I will have to continue to shop at Ingles.

      The gas promotion just adds more beauty. Figuring I spend $100 a week at Ingles means I can get another $5 off of my gas budget per month = $60 in gas savings a year. (basically a FREE tank of gas)

      Although–for my money, nothing beats Earth Fare meat. Still gotta get the healthy stuff ya know?

  14. brian burns September 11, 2013

    Probably why they are putting in a gas station at the Ingles on North Merrimon Ave.

  15. FDR September 11, 2013

    I saved ten cents a gallon today. :¬)

  16. Skip September 11, 2013

    This convoluted marketing gimmick won’t stop anyone from shopping at the new stores. They could have easily made this more attractive. They’ll just raise their fuel prices to cover it anyway.

    1. weavervilleman September 12, 2013

      its almost be a 1/2 month and they havent even raised it any. This is a smart approach for ingles.

      1. Skip September 12, 2013

        Canton is up $.10. It’s a gimmick bud. Spend $1000 on groceries and you’ll save a max of $10 on gas. That’s 1% on your grocery bill. If you already shop at Ingles, and buy your gas at Ingles, it’s found money I guess. Just not worthy of the hype. Publix will absolutely take Ingles to school on customer service. Won’t even be close.

    2. Mark September 14, 2013

      No, but a price war will. Ingles is exponentially cheaper on nearly all products then all the new stores. They could push a price war instead of this gas promotion and mitigate the damage.

      1. Shannon September 16, 2013

        Ingles may be cheaper than stores like Whole Foods (whole paycheck), but doesnt even compare to other major chains like Safeway or Kroger. And Trader Joes is fairly cheap.


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