Kroger Rewards World MasterCard: Specifically, Too Specific for Most People
As with all other business-specific credit cards, the Kroger Rewards World MasterCard offers some decent rewards for the affiliate business it’s attached to. The name provides some pretty telling information, too. Not only does this card offer a rewards plan, it has most of the essential MasterCard perks, including acceptance all over the world -- a reliable feature.
However, the name is also a clear indication of some of its limitations, as well. Obviously, the rewards program’s best points will be associated with Kroger stores and their affiliate companies. This fact can be a ‘plus’ for some people, but a considerable deterrent for others.
Let’s get into the details of the card and see if its right for you.
The good news is the Kroger Rewards World MasterCard has unlimited rewards, and every 1000 points earn $5 in free groceries. The not so good news is the rewards are pretty specific towards Kroger stores and brand products.
Use your Kroger Rewards World MasterCard anywhere and receive 1 point per dollar spent. This ‘reward’ is quite mediocre, considering most credit cards offer 2 points per dollar at the low end of their rewards amount. However, if you use your card at Kroger or a Kroger affiliate store, you will receive 2 points per dollar. And if you buy Kroger brand name products, you will receive 3 points per dollar.
These point values are still an underwhelming reward considering a similar credit card not linked to Kroger can earn 2 to 4 points on anything, anywhere. This fact certainly takes the wind out of the Kroger Rewards World MasterCard’s sails.
But the Kroger MasterCard has an added feature to its rewards program that attracts some people -- fuel points. You can earn $0.25 off per gallon for the first year as long as you redeem at least 100 fuel points earned in a single month through Kroger’s loyal shoppers’ program. You must redeem these points at a Kroger Store fuel center or a participating Shell gas station.
You earn one fuel point on each $1 spent at Kroger. You can earn 50 fuel points for each non-federally funded prescription filled at a Kroger Pharmacy, and 1 fuel point per $1 spent on federally funded medications. Buying gift cards at Kroger will also earn some fuel points. Most gift cards earn 2 fuel points per $1 spent. However, nearly all pre-paid and reloadable cards are excluded.
You can redeem up to 1000 fuel points ($1 off per gallon) on up to 35 gallons of gasoline. You have to be a pretty dedicated Kroger shopper to maximize on this plan, though. Fuel points expire the last day of each month after they are earned. For instance, May points would expire on June 30th. Some people might think this is a lot to track -- rewards points, fuel points, when they expire -- and this might be true for many people. However, all points can be tracked on the app or website, and fuel points can also be tracked on your receipts.
The last bit of information regarding the Kroger Rewards World MasterCard rewards program is a bit of a downer. Maintaining the quite limited scope so far, the points earned with this card cannot be redeemed for cash or statement credit. The rewards can only be used on Kroger purchases. Accumulated points are paid out four times per year in $5 store credit certificates. These are limiting rewards, to say the least.
Before we get too harsh, it’s worth mentioning that this card has no annual fee, and you don’t have to have excellent credit to get it. Some of the cards with the best rewards plans require a credit score of over 700. The Kroger Rewards World MasterCard requires a 670+ credit score, making this card available for more people.
Plus, the interest rate is reasonable comparatively. With a 11.99% - 23.99% APR, most people don’t have to worry about paying their balance in full every month, which is another nice aspect of this middle-of-the-road card.
Making purchases at the following stores will earn the top reward values:
Food 4 Less
Jay C Food Store
Smith’s Food & Drug
The only reason people should get this card is if they do all of their shopping -- including pharmacy -- at the associated stores and if they have access to a Kroger Fuel Center or participating Shell gas station. The bottom line is this card’s rewards are too low overall. Additionally, the limited redeeming factor makes the Kroger Rewards World MasterCard too specific for the average consumer.
However, with attention to detail, people who use a credit card for groceries can make the Kroger Rewards World MasterCard rewards system work for them. The moderate required credit score, no annual fee, and low APR are all redeeming qualities that can make a difference for some consumers.