CHAMPAIGN — The Schnucks grocery chain is discontinuing its popular fuel-rewards program but plans to replace it with a new rewards program.
“We are going to be changing our customer-rewards program,” said spokesman Paul Simon. “In August, we will be replacing our fuel program with a new customer-rewards program that we think will be even more beneficial to our customers and save them more money.”
The details of that new program aren’t ready yet, but it won’t involve fuel rewards, he said.
“It will involve groceries in our stores,” he said.
The fuel-rewards program allowed customers to save a nickel per gallon pumped at Schnucks-branded gas stations for every $25 spent at Schnucks, which has stores in Champaign, Urbana and Savoy.
“It’s one of the reasons I come here, one of the biggest reasons,” said Barbara Powell of Champaign. “I’d guess we probably save $3 on a fill-up, sometimes more than that. I usually let it build up a bit, and right now, we’ve got 50 cents a gallon off. … It’s significant, especially with gas prices going up.”
The fuel program will continue to work until Aug. 1, Simon said, and customers will still have 90 days after that to use their fuel rewards.
Schnucks plans to notify customers next month about the new program in stores, at gas pumps and by email.
“There will be some instructions they need to follow to register for the program,” Simon said.
Shopper Chad Trisseo of Champaign said he loves the fuel-rewards program.
“I think it’s great because I Uber, so gas prices, I keep an eye on it,” he said. “I try to use it as much as I can.”
But regardless of what changes are made, Trisseo said he won’t stop shopping at Schnucks.
“No, no, no. I love Schnucks. I can’t help it,” he said. “Schnucks has a great meat department, and so I’m hooked and I barbecue a lot.”
Simon said the new program will be available at all of Schnucks’ 100-plus stores, unlike the fuel-rewards program.
“We actually have the fuel programs in just a few of our markets,” he said. “This new program allows us to save money for customers in all our markets.”
Simon encouraged customers to give the new program a shot.
“We would hope customers would take a look at the new program and see that it would be more beneficial to use the new program,” he said.