1-2-3-Rewards Prepaid Debit Card (Kroger Prepaid Card)
The 1-2-3-Rewards Prepaid Debit Card from the supermarket chain Kroger touts itself as “no ordinary prepaid card—it’s a prepaid card that rewards you just for shopping.” And that is certainly true. The card allows you to earn free groceries as well as bonus fuel discounts and other savings at participating stores. However these benefits come with a downside: Lots of fees. Among other things, the Kroger card charges a monthly fee, ATM fees, and cash reload fees that can really add up.
Here’s how the rewards program works. You earn one point for every dollar you spend, two points for every dollar spent in one of the Kroger® Family of Stores, and three points for every dollar spent on any Kroger brand products. For every 1,000 points accumulated, a cardholder earns $5 in free groceries. In addition, use of the 1-2-3 Rewards card to purchase gas at select stations earns users a discount of $.05 per gallon.
While these benefits will appeal to some, we calculate that typical usage of the card will rack up fees of around $100 per year. That’s a lot to pay for supposedly free groceries.
Bottom line: Careful consideration of how you use this card is vital. Will the rewards be worth the fees you might have to pay? For many people, that won’t be the case.