Walmart announced a new initiative which the company says is designed to give consumers a break. The retail giant has decided to bring back its "Great Gas Rollback" program.
Citing the recent spike in gas prices, Walmart announced the return of the program, which will run from Aug. 31 to Dec. 24.
In its news announcement, the Bentonville-based company said consumers can save on gas in three different ways.
The company said consumers can save 10-cents per gallon if they purchase gas with a Walmart gift card. A 15-cent per gallon savings will be given to consumers that use a Walmart MoneyCard® or Walmart credit card to purchase gas. Gas can be bought at Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations located at Walmart Supercenters; this offer is only valid in participating states.
States where consumers can get discounts are Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Walmart noted that Alabama and Florida's programs slightly differ due to local regulations.
Sounds great, right? And it can be. However, there are some considerations to keep in mind before you jump at the deal. Last year Credit Card Ratings pointed out the pros and cons of Walmart's discounted gas program.
The pros are perhaps obvious as who wouldn't enjoy a gas discount? However, consumers should also be aware of the various fees associated with using Walmart's MoneyCard®. Additionally, there is a minimum balance of $1,000 per month to maintain if you want to avoid a reloading fee ($3.00). Before signing up for the card, be sure to read its cardholder agreement carefully as it appears the same terms still apply in 2012, which include a list of fees, which may negate any money saved on gas.
If you use the Walmart credit card, be sure you plan to pay the balance each month, avoid late fees and check the card's current APR (last year's APR was 22.9 percent). If this might be a problem, keep in mind using Walmart gift cards have no fees associated with use, and these still save 10-cents a gallon.
“Our customers are sending their kids back to school and planning for Labor Day travels, and the holidays are just around the corner. As gas prices get higher, these tasks get tougher,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart U.S., in Walmart's Aug. 29 statement announcing the program.
“We’re here to help. Last year, we saved our customers nearly $60 million with the gas rollback program. This year, we’re excited to provide an even bigger discount on fuel that will help them save more money when they need it the most," Naughton said.
Do you already shop Walmart, or would you shop Walmart for discounted gas?
Infographic provided by Walmart in its news release