Gas stations are a necessary evil for most of us. If you use a car, except if it’s an all-electric car, you will end up sooner or later at a gas station. Over the years many gas stations partnered with other travel loyalty programs to let customers earn points or miles. Over the past few years, we have seen the following partnerships.
- IHG and Shell: As higher as your status with IHG was, the bigger your savings were at the pump, but you didn’t earn any IHG points
- Plenti and ExxonMobil: Plenti was a rewards program initiated by American Express and they partnered with ExxonMobil. You would earn points, which you could use at other partner stores. For example Macy’s. This program ended in July 2018.
- United Airlines and BP: While filling up at the gas station, you were able to earn United MileagePlus miles for every gallon. Ended in September 2019.
Credit Cards often have a 2x or 3x bonus either for the travel category or specifically for gas stations. Depending on your card, you should take a look at this as well.
Besides credit card points, there is another way to maximize your earnings if you visit participating Marathon and ARCO gas stations.
Here is a tip on how to maximize your points earning potential by visiting Marathon Gas Stations. Marathon has multiple partners on which you can earn points while filling up your gas tank or shop at the gas station.
The current list of partners is as follows
- Southwest Rapid Rewards
- Wyndham Rewards
- Target eGiftCards
- My CentsOff® Fuel Savings Program
- Petco eGift Cards
- Domino’s eGift Cards
- Sustain Tree Planting Program
This is a pretty impressive list and you can choose on which partner you want to earn points or gift cards with. As I don’t fly Southwest, I opted in to earn Wyndham Rewards Points. These points can then be transferred again to other loyalty partners of the Wyndham program. A sweet spot here is the transfer option to Lufthansa’s miles and more program.
Once signed up for Marathon’s MakeItCount rewards program, you have to choose with which partner you want to earn. Depending on this, the amount of points and miles you earn differs. If you choose Wyndham Rewards, 10 MakeItCount Points = 1 Wyndham Reward Point.
Remember, when you select a partner, all the points will be transferred to that partner and you can’t collect points anymore for discounts in the store or cents off your fuel purchase.
The advantage here is that not only fuel purchase counts, you can also earn with instore purchases like snacks and drinks. Check their website or download the app for special offers where you earn even more points when buying certain products. Make sure you read the fine print for every offer. Sometimes you have to buy a certain size of a product and it won’t just work with any size of the same product. Some of the offers can also be used multiple times for extra earnings.
How to use it
The easiest way to earn these points is with your MakeItCount ID which is very easy to remember. It is 11+Your Phone Number. You can enter this number directly at the pump or at the terminal inside the store. Be warned some of the attendants working inside don’t even know about the rewards program and how to activate the option for you to be able to enter your ID.
Finding one of the Marathon gas stations can be a little bit hard, depending on your location. Most of the stations are located on the eastern side of the United States. The most western gas station is located in Tucson, Arizona.
Update: You can now use your MakeItCount account at participating ARCO gas stations as well.
Fun Fact: There is a Marathon Refinery in the Port of Los Angeles.
Use the station finder to see if a participating Marathon gas station is close to you. Be aware that not every Marathon Gas station is also participating in the MakeItCount rewards program. I had two stations, which I just googled and then had to find out, that they are not participating. Your best option to find one is the station finder or the mobile app.
Overall I found this to be a pretty good earning potential if you have a Marathon Gas Station nearby or on your way to work. New members of MakeItCount will receive a bonus of $0.40 off/gal for up to 20 gallons of fuel. After that, it will drop down to $0.05 off/gal. If you are one of the lucky ones with a Marathon gas station nearby, you should look into this. Also double-check the pump prizes with other gas stations nearby. Usually, the prices were very competitive with nearby stations but you have to decide for yourself if it’s worth paying more just to earn points. If you have to pay more, Marathon could be also the cheaper gas station.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.