What is Safeway FreshPass
Another layer to the points and miles hobby is stacking deals and saving money on several things and just not travel related. This can include leveraging grocery programs when grabbing food or gift cards to maximize your points earning. In fact, utilizing grocery and gas programs is super rewarding to many whether in the hobby or not. Safeway gives you two different ways to stack savings for a nice return on something you need to buy anyway. First, they had their Safeway for U program, which is often referred to as Just for U. Then they added on a paid option with the FreshPass program. Both of these can help you save money at the grocery store and the gas pump. So, what is Safeway FreshPass exactly, and how do we maximize it? Let's check it out!
Safeway For U Program
First off, let's dig into Safeway for U a bit and get the lay of the land. Keep in mind Safeway, and several of its affiliates, are owned by Albertsons so check your local affiliate program. With the Safeway For U program you earn rewards for purchases on groceries and most gift cards. Those rewards can then be redeemed for gas or grocery discounts. You earn 1 point for every $1 you spend on groceries and 2 points for every $1 spend on gift cards.
You can redeem 100 points, or 1 reward, for $0.10 off a gallon of gas. You can stack up to 10 of these for $1 off per gallon. Some states may not have that cap but that is how it is in Washington at least. You get the discount on up to 25 gallons of gas. That means if you maximize this with 25 gallons you get 2.5% back on your grocery purchases or 5% back on your gift card purchases in gas (without multipliers or promos attached).
If you want to redeem them for grocery discounts instead, they can be redeemed for a variety of items. You can either use them for cash discounts or for a particular free item like shown above. You can also redeem them for a flat dollar amount off. Like $15 off costs 12 rewards, or 1200 points. Doing it that way is a 1.25% return, so you may want to use it on specific items that offer a better redemption or maximize the gas option.
Watch Your Points Balance
One of the downsides to many of these store loyalty programs is their points expire pretty quickly. For Safeway, their points are good for the rest of the month you earn them in and the following month. For example, if 100 Points are earned at any point in January the points would expire 2 a.m. local time on March 1st. Unfortunately, unlike Kroger's you can not call and have your points extended a few times a year as a courtesy.
One thing Safeway has added is their FreshPass program is the ability to keep your points alive since they never expire. The FreshPass program not only alleviates that but gives you a plethora of other benefits.
Safeway FreshPass Cost
Currently the Safeway FreshPass program is priced at $99 a year or $12.99 monthly. Purchasing annually is the better option, but hopefully you get a targeted offer for $49.99 a year. I used my American express Gold card to pay for it as it is a grocery purchase. Remember to stack your sign up with a shopping portal like Rakuten to save even more money!
What is Safeway FreshPass: Benefits
The program provides a full list of benefits that can be valuable whether you shop online and delivery or in store.
- Unlimited free delivery on orders over $30 (discounted fee for Flash delivery where available)
- $5 Monthly credit for annual subscribers
- Save $20 off your first online order over $75
- 2X Reward points on our exclusive brands
- 5% off O Organics and Open Nature products
- 5% off Signature Pet Care™ products
- Rewards don’t expire
- Monthly Starbucks perk
- VIP customer service phone line
When you break down the numbers the $5 monthly credit will get you $60 a year back giving you a net cost of $39 off the annual plan. If you are a Starbucks fan, you can get a $2 Grande drink once per month. This will save you another $36 a year approximately. This essentially makes the program $0 cost for the year if you remember to maximize it each month.
For those that love grocery delivery, you will get $20 off your first online order of $75 as well as unlimited free deliveries on orders over $30. Finally, the other most valuable benefit to me is the points you earn do not expire. This makes the price worth it regardless of what other benefits you use other than those mentioned. I will often times, take advantage of gift card deals such as earn 8-10x rewards on gift cards. This allows me to save my rewards for as long as I need to.
Maximizing the Safeway FreshPass: ToP Thoughts
Stacking and earning on multiple facets beyond just travel can save you money. Taking advantage of programs like Safeway Fresh Pass can extend the life of your rewards for long term use. Are you using the Fresh Pass program? Come over to our Facebook group and share your thoughts.