Practical rewards and incentives that can be used at gas and grocery stores have always been popular.

Now that inflation is impacting virtually every segment of the economy, they’re even more effective. It’s hard to overstate the impact of being able to knock $50 off your (growing) bill the next time you stock up

"Everyone knows the pain of filling up your tank and seeing that number grow and grow and grow. Knowing that you have a gift card to help alleviate that is a great ‘feel good’ moment." 
-Giftbit CCO Nat Salvione
Nat Salvione, Giftbit CCO (2)






In this article, we’ll explore why and how to create those feel good moments for better rewards and incentives programs. 

The rising benefit of offering gas and grocery store gift cards

With all this tension and penny-pinching, the benefit of high-impact incentive and reward options for your programs is greater than ever. 

Consider these new figures:

⚡ The Incentive Research Foundation 2024 Trends Report reveals that employees prefer gift cards over cash, especially for essentials like groceries.

⚡ The Fiserv Q2-2024 Gift Card Gauge highlights that grocery gift cards are surging in popularity, with nearly 3 out of 5 consumers naming them as their top choice.

Based on these stats, many companies have been reconsidering what incentives they’re using, and whether their recipients might appreciate a fresh (and budget-boosting!) approach. 

Specifically, Kroger gift cards for American recipients will help them relax a bit the next time they’re stocking up. And offer your Canadian recipients Sobeys gift cards to your Canadian employees (redeemable at Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, and Lawton drugs + 350 fuel locations).

You might consider offering digital gift cards to Instacart, SkiptheDishes, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, or Walmart to take care of some other essentials. 

And we’ve all felt the pinch at the gas pump, right? Delight your recipients with a gas card to Esso and Mobil, Petro-Canada, or Chevron and Texaco! ⛽ 🚗

With a free Giftbit account, you can give your recipients access to a robust catalog that includes all these brands and more, including Amazon, Visa, and MastercardⓇ

See our full global catalog here. 

‘Inflation-proof’ rewards and incentives

Inflation-proof rewards and incentives are those practical rewards that cover the biggest "budget busters" plaguing the average consumer. 

Whether you're brainstorming rewards to help with employee motivation, need help retaining talent, or want to attract a bigger audience for your marketing incentive programs, choosing inflation-proof rewards can be highly effective. 

Like we’ve covered, inflation has taken its toll on virtually every price tag. But some product categories—namely gas and groceries—have experienced an even more significant spike. So sending rewards that cover the costs of these consumer essentials provides meaningful value.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices have jumped 20.8% percent since February 2020. The same report shows that the cost of unleaded, regular gasoline increased by a whopping 38.6% between February 2020 and April 2024. 

Note that because shutdowns from COVID-19 did not begin until March 2020, this jump doesn't even reflect the plummet in gas prices during the early months of the pandemic. 

Inflation has also taken a toll on the cost of groceries. Consider the steep incline in specific grocery prices between February 2020 and April 2024:

  • Margarine: Increased by 56.2%
  • Baby food and formula: Increased by 30.7%
  • Canned vegetables: Increased by 35.7%
  • Crackers, bread, and cracker products: Increased by 39.9%
  • Juices and nonalcoholic drinks: Increased by 30.8%

For reference, if you bought a box of crackers for $3 in February 2020, that same box today would cost around $4.20. And if your entire grocery bill increased by an average of 30%, you'd pay $130 today for the same groceries that cost $100 in 2020.😳

Americans continue to name inflation as the most important financial problem their families face. So when it comes to choosing to send rewards that people want the most, inflation-proof rewards should be at the top of your list.

What are the best inflation-proof rewards and incentives? 

You can't exactly stand at the gas pump and pay for your recipients' fill-ups, or hand over your company credit card at the grocery store register. 

But you can provide digital gift cards to the right brands as a convenient, powerful means of delivering practical rewards that lessen the blow of inflation. 

Digital rewards to gas and grocery stores make life easier for your recipients while still allowing for flexible spending. They directly address inflation impacts, relieving the sticker shock that comes when spending money on these inflated products. 

For example, gifting your someone a $50 digital gas gift card might cover an entire fill-up. Meanwhile, a $20 gift card would cut their costs in half. 

 "You're very thankful for the company that gave you that reward," says Nat.

People want practical rewards

The right rewards are going to give your recipients that sense of relief and peace that comes with knocking down the price of these essential items.

"The ability to spend your reward on a budget-busting item like grocery is highly desirable for the recipient," says Nat. 

The research is clear: digital gift cards to grocery stores and gas stations deliver meaningful benefits. Plus, when you use Giftbit as your gift card distributor, your incentives only ever cost you face value (so, if you want to give an employee a $50 gas card, for example, that will only cost you $50). And there’s never any extra charges to use Giftbit. So it’s great for their budget, and great for yours, too. 🤩

Gifbit offers a full suite of practical rewards for employee engagement, marketing and business incentives, and research. Chat with Sales to learn more.