I’m a man.
I also drive a truck — a big, black, Super Cab Ford F-150… and I love it. Because it’s a man’s truck.
Now, I’m not saying only true men can drive trucks, but my truck is an especially manly truck. (Unlike Ben Leybovich‘s Tesla, which cost more than most of my rental properties!)
And like many guys, especially those of the “real estate investor persuasion,” I’m exceptionally cheap.
I pinch pennies wherever I can. I work hard to negotiate the best deals on real estate, and I scour the web for coupons before buying anything online.
And now, I get almost free gas to fill up that beast of a truck.
That’s right, I can fill that truck with 20 gallons of gasoline and it costs me just…
Wait for it…
OK, maybe its not entirely free, but getting 20 gallons of premium gas for less than the cost of my extra hot peppermint hot chocolate (with no mocha drizzle) from Starbucks is a win in my book.
And this was not a one-time occurrence. In fact, I haven’t paid more than $3 total for gas in that truck in months — and I’ve even filled my car up several times as well.
No, the pumps weren’t broken.
No, I didn’t strong-arm the gas station attendant.
No, my dashing good looks, beard, and charm didn’t win me any favors.
I simply used this simple but little-known gas rewards program offered at everyone’s favorite home supply store.
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How I Get Almost Free Gas
Now, before I reveal the exact program I’m using to get almost free gas, understand this: This program works because I’m an active real estate investor.
It’s perfect for us!
In fact, this year I rehabbed 11 different properties (and am about to purchase #12 next week).
So, naturally, I buy a lot of materials from Home Depot.
Enter: the Fuel Rewards Program.
This little-known program, in partnership with Shell gas stations, is offered when you have a Home Depot’s Commercial Credit Account and use it to buy materials.
(Just FYI, those are not affiliate links. Neither BiggerPockets nor I make any money if you join this thing. It’s just a cool program — a tip from one investor to another!)
Simply buy your materials at The Home Depot using your registered Home Depot Commercial Credit Card(s), and you’ll automatically earn at least 10¢/gallon in Fuel Rewards savings for every $100 of qualifying purchases.
With gas running around $2.50 per gallon, it basically means I get to fill up my gas tank (up to 20 gallons at a time) every time we spend $2,500.00, which is almost weekly right now.
And if you are an active rehabber, chances are you spend a lot of cash at Home Depot as well.
So why not make it count?
More Details About the Program
So – how much does this Fuel Rewards Program cost?
Of course, if you get the Home Depot Commercial Card, you’ll need to pass the credit requirements, which involve having a decent credit score and business income, but you’ll likely be surprised to find yourself approved even if you don’t have a ton of business income.
Credit today is looser than a gossiping church lady’s lips.
Additionally, understand that Home Depot offers two different commercial credit products:
- The Revolving Charge Card operates like any normal credit card, with low monthly payments.
- The Commercial Account is an account you pay in full each month.
While I use the second option, the Commercial Account (because I’m not a huge fan of normal revolving credit cards — been there, done that), either option can work with the Fuel Rewards Program. Just make sure you are getting the commercial card, not the personal Home Depot Credit Card.
But it’s not just about (almost) free gas. The Home Depot Commercial Account has another amazing benefit.
It’s More Than Just Free Gas
For years, I bought materials using just a debit card connected to my bank account.
Sure, it worked. But it was confusing.
With multiple projects going on at the same time, it can be hard to keep track of what Home Depot receipt is for which project.
But when I put everything on my Home Depot Commercial Account, I get a monthly bill that has each purchased itemized by job name.
Now, I don’t have to try and guess which property this $91.84 faucet went with when my contractor forgets to write on the receipt. In fact, with the Home Depot Commercial Account, my team doesn’t even need to keep receipts because every receipt is emailed to me the moment the purchase is made.
So now I filter all my projects through the Home Depot Commercial Credit Card and simply write one check each month from the operating account that funds each individual project. The information fits nicely into my bookkeeping system (I’m currently using Buildium), helping keep my books in order as well.
Wrapping It Up
Last week, I took a five-hour drive to visit the Bavarian Christmas town of Leavenworth, Washington.
Sure, I could have taken my Prius — but the truck is just so much more comfortable.
(Besides, if I drove to a Bavarian Christmas town in my Prius, I might just lose my man card permanently.)
So I made the five-hour (each way) trip over the mountains in my truck and it cost me…
Yep, almost nothing.
So give it a try.
Of course, you won’t always be in the middle of a rehab project, but when you are, this program can save you big money on the gas you put in your vehicle — even if it’s not a manly truck like mine.
So what do you think?
Do me a favor and leave a comment below, and be sure to share this post on your social media if you found it helpful!