Comparing Ralphs rewards program with Vons is easy when it comes to their fuel programs because they’re so similar. Comparing other aspects of the two rewards programs — like grocery savings and coupons — gets a little more tricky. But let’s dig in and do it anyway!
One thing to keep in mind is Ralphs is part of the Kroger family and Vons is part of the Albertsons family. So if you’re traveling and see a Kroger or Fred Meyer but not a Ralphs, use your Ralphs account to earn and redeem points. Same goes for Vons — if you can’t find a Vons but there’s an Albertsons or Safeway, earn and redeem Vons points there.
Before we get going, download the KCL app so you can learn how to shop smarter every day and shrink that grocery bill.
1. Get 10 more gallons of discounted fuel at Ralphs Fuel Center than at Vons.
Ralphs and Vons are twinning on their fuel programs — they share loads of similarities. Here’s the big exception: You can get up to 35 gallons at a discount at Ralphs Fuel Centers, but you can only get up to 25 gallons at a discount at Vons Fuel Centers.
Here’s how it works for both stores: You’ll earn one fuel point for every $1 you spend buying groceries. When you reach 100 points (after you’ve spent $100), you can get $0.10 off per gallon of fuel, up to 35 gallons (25 for Vons).
Save up your points and get more off per gallon if you like. Also, savings cap at 1,000 points (or, $1 off per gallon of gas). Like this:
- 100 points = $0.10 off per gallon
- 200 points = $0.20 off per gallon
- 300 points = $0.30 off per gallon
- etc. up to 1,000 points = $1.00 per gallon
Your fuel rewards expire at the end of the month after you earn them — up to a total of 60 days. This means points you earned in July will be good until August 31. Points you earn in August will expire September 30, and so on.
You’ll lose any points leftover when they expire. Use ’em or lose ’em!
PRO TIP: For members of Albertsons’ FreshPass subscription service, though, the rewards never expire.
2. Need to fuel up at a partner gas station? Vons’ discount actually beats Ralphs’.
You can redeem your Ralphs points at Shell stations and you can redeem your Vons points at Chevron or Texaco. But you’ll save up to $5 per fuel up (or single fuel purchase) using your Vons rewards at Chevron or Texaco, compared to saving $3.50 per fuel up using your Ralphs rewards at Shell.
The rules for redeeming fuel points are different when you redeem at a partner gas station versus redeeming them on-site at a Ralphs or Vons Fuel Station. You need 200 Vons fuel rewards points to start redeeming at Chevron/Texaco (compared to only needing 100 Ralphs points to redeem at Shell). But we’re just talking about maximum savings you can get at outside gas stations, assuming you have enough points. I’ll break this down:
You can only redeem Ralphs points in 100-point increments per fuel up at Shell, Ralphs’ partner gas station. This means you can’t save up your points for a bigger fuel discount (like 200 points for $0.20 off or 1,000 points for $1.00 off). You can get up to 35 gallons of discounted fuel per purchase.
35 gallons x $0.10 savings per gallon = $3.50 total savings possible per fuel up
Like Ralphs, you can’t save up your Vons fuel points for a $1-off per gallon redemption at Chevron or Texaco. But, you can get up to $0.20 off per gallon (200-point redemption), still subject to the 25 gallon max per fuel purchase.
25 gallons x $0.20 savings per gallon = $5 total savings possible per fuel up
3. Vons doesn’t offer as many opportunities to earn bonus points as Ralphs.
If you’re going for the big prize — 1,000 points in one calendar month in order to get $1 off per gallon of fuel, you need all the help you can get.
Vons offers 2x points anytime you buy gift cards. And that’s the only way you can earn extra points through Vons. Period.
But Ralphs offers these additional ways to earn points:
- Get 4x points on qualifying gift card purchases: Buy gift cards to restaurants like Burger King, Panera or Red Robin (anything except Ralphs store gift cards) during 4x gift card promotions that run about every 4-6 weeks.
- Get 50 bonus points when you take the Ralphs receipt survey: Do this every time you shop in order to snatch up an easy extra 50 points per receipt.
- Earn 50 bonus points for every prescription you fill at Ralphs: This works on all qualifying pharmacy orders except for Medicare and Medicaid prescriptions.
4. But Vons does offer grocery freebies!
Vons offers something Ralphs doesn’t — the option to get free groceries with your rewards points instead of discounts at the fuel pump.
Vons Grocery Rewards are freebies that cost up to 700 points per freebie. Remember, one “reward” equals 100 points (one point per $1 you spend, so a total of $100 spent). All points expire at the end of the following month, just like fuel rewards — unless, again, you’re a FreshPass member.
Here are examples of how many Grocery Rewards you need in order to get these freebies:
- Spend $100 (Earn 1 Reward): One dozen eggs
- Spend $200 (Earn 2 Rewards): 8-ounce organic salad mix
- Spend $300 (Earn 3 Rewards): $4 off any $4 purchase coupon
- Spend $400 (Earn 4 Rewards): $7 off any meat purchase of $7 coupon
- Spend $500 (Earn 5 Rewards): $7 off any $7 purchase coupon
- Spend $700 (Earn 7 Rewards): $10 off any $10 purchase coupon
5. Find personalized coupons at both Ralphs and Vons.
Once you join each loyalty program and download the Ralphs app and/or the Vons app, you’ll get access to coupons that get better and more specific to you the more you shop. This is called personalization.
Get personalized manufacturer coupons when you tap “deals” at the bottom of the Vons app home screen, and then tap the “For You” on the upper menu (in-between “categories” and “expiring soon”. You’ll also find store coupon offers with a “U” next to them, llike: “$1 off any produce purchase.”
Look for manufacturer coupons in the Ralphs app under “Savings.” Plus, plan to receive a mailer every month or so with coupons for items you buy most frequently, and coupons for extra savings like: “Save $14 when you spend $140” (10% off.)
Conclusion: Love fuel rewards? Ralphs is your jam. Obsessed with grocery freebies? Go with Vons.
You’ll save more money on gas overall at Ralphs because you can get 35 gallons of discounted fuel instead of 25, assuming you’re always gassing up at Ralphs gas stations, not outside stations. Vons makes it so you’re leaving 10 gallons of potential discounted fuel on the table, compared to Ralphs.
And while Ralphs offers coupons for groceries when you sign up for the loyalty program, it can’t shake a fist at Vons’ Grocery Reward freebies. After all, how can you beat $7 off a $7 meat purchase? That’s basically a free pound of grass-fed beef.
So, the question is: Would you rather save on fuel or get free groceries? That’s the best loyalty program for you.
Thanks for reading. What’s your take on Ralphs versus Vons? Let us know in the comments below.