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By Samuel R. Avro on Nov 24, 2008 with no responses

Sounded Good at the Time: The $2.99 Gas Card


When counting your blessings for Thanksgiving this year, be sure to include the fact that you’re not among the handful of people who gave up thousands of dollars worth of rebates last June for a “$2.99 gas card” from Chrysler. Unless you are.

When Chrysler rolled out the “Let’s Refuel America!” card in June, it seemed like at least an OK idea. Back then, $2.99 per gallon represented an average discount of close to $1 per gallon, and nobody could say for sure how high gas would go. Nevertheless, only a tiny percentage of buyers opted for the cards, probably because they took the place of other rebates.

Gas prices kept rising, topping an average of $4 per gallon from mid-June to mid-July. The $2.99 gas deal was supposed to expire at the end of June, but so few people took it that Chrysler extended the deal through July, and sweetened it by offering customers both the gas card and rebates. For the small number of people who picked the card and also got a rebate in July, the deal wasn’t a total loss.

The card entitles buyers of most Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep models to buy gas at $2.99 per gallon, for up to three years from their purchase.

However, the cards have been worthless on average since mid-October, when gas prices fell below $2.99 again. According to AAA, the national average price for regular gas on Nov. 20 was $2.02.

That makes a $2.99 gas card worth about as much as a Pet Rock, or maybe a “WIN” button. Actually, collectors might want the rock or the button.

But hey, gas almost certainly will go up again some day. For the next couple of years, some Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep owners will be ready.