If you shop at Albertsons you will want to read this!!!!

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gas pump

Thanks to Coupon Gossip for passing along this very thrifty tip!

Did you know that one way to redeem your Gas Rewards at Albertsons is to take your receipt to the Fuel Center cashier, and they will key in your Preferred Card number by hand and assist you in getting your fuel discount? Did you realize that if you lose or throw away your Albertsons receipt, ANYONE can cash in YOUR gas rewards?

Albertsons currently prints your entire rewards number as well as your current total Gas Rewards balance on each receipt that your preferred card was used. Your preferred card number is located under the store name, phone number and director’s name – right near the top of the receipt. Your gas reward balance is located at the bottom portion of the receipt.

During a recent visit, employees at the fuel center I frequent actually suggested that I shred my Albertsons receipts. I was stunned – this is a grocery receipt, not a credit card receipt! Come on people, REALLY?!?!? The front end manager inside the store seconded the suggestion. I have been having a hard time wrapping my thoughts around this concept, but at the same time, I have “lost” 80c in rewards. These are rewards that no one in my family used and they had not expired.

I made numerous phone calls to Albertsons Customer Care, in the spirit of investigative reporting. I finally received an email yesterday from Michael Power, Area Satisfaction Manager for SuperValu.

He stated in his email “I understand your concern about having the Preferred Card number printed on the receipt and its potential for use by someone else to redeem your earned Fuel Rewards. We are aware of this possibility as well and are in the process of removing it from the receipts. The timing of that procedure is coinciding with a register system upgrade which is taking place this fall. That is our timeline for the removal of the Preferred Card number as well as a number of other enhancements to make our customers experience better.

I appreciate your feedback and ensure you we are taking the precautions necessary to help avoid and losses of your earned Fuel Rewards.”

Part of the issue Albertsons is facing when they attempt to change/correct this, at least at the store level, is that there are many customers who have lost their Preferred Cards and rely on their phone number to make their grocery purchases, and a receipt to get their gas rewards. (If you are one of those people, perhaps you should request a new card – they are free and Customer Care can add your old points to your new card.) Taking off the preferred number, or reducing it to just a 4 digit number is just a basic programming change – it won’t require a lot of work to implement at the register. Albertsons may have to “prepare” their customers for procedural changes in advance of this fall system upgrade. I will keep you posted as I become aware of any changes.

Fred Meyer also lists your Rewards number on your receipt. I have not contacted them to ask if they are implementing any changes to their receipts, mostly because I’ve been having too much fun with the ecoupons and using Albertsons doublers to contact them. The money saving loss if someone uses your number at Fred Meyer is potentially much lower – their maximum discount at any given time is 10c, compared to the up-to $1.50 at Albertsons.