Drivers getting a break on filling up

As the spring and summer driving season gets under way, H-E-B and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are offering discounts on fuel to customers who use certain company cards starting Monday.

Both companies’ discount programs will run through July 7 and are for all grades of gasoline and diesel.

Customers who buy an H-E-B gift card and use it at the pump will save 12 cents a gallon at any of H-E-B’s participating fuel stations in San Antonio and most parts of Texas with the exception of the Houston area, a company spokeswoman said.

Customers can buy an H-E-B gift card at any H-E-B store. They must swipe the gift card before pumping gas, the San Antonio-based grocer said in a statement.

“H-E-B understands the impact gas prices have on our customers, and that is why we are committed to offering some of the lowest grocery prices in Texas and the nation,” said Winell Herron, group vice president of public affairs and diversity.

“At H-E-B, we always look for ways to help our customers make ends meet and gas promotions are included in our commitment,” she added.

At Wal-Mart, customers using a Wal-Mart gift card will get a discount of 10 cents a gallon, while customers using a Wal-Mart MoneyCard or Wal-Mart credit card will get 15 cents off each gallon, the company said in a statement.

Gas will be discounted at more than 1,000 Murphy USA and Wal-Mart gas stations at Wal-Mart stores in 21 participating states, including Texas.

Gisel Ruiz, chief operating officer for Wal-Mart U.S., said in a statement that “gas prices are making it tough for our customers to balance their budgets. For every cent gas prices climb, consumers have $1 billion less to spend.”

Ruiz said that in the last two years, the company’s gas discounts have saved customers more than $100 million.

While fuel prices usually rise as more Americans hit the road in spring and summer, prices have been falling recently.

In the last month, the price of regular unleaded gas has dropped 10 cents a gallon in Texas, to $3.53, and 11 cents a gallon in San Antonio, to $3.45, according to AAA.

Wal-Mart, in a statement, said it had offered similar fuel discounts in the past two years.

Most recently, the retail giant launched a fuel discount program that began in late August, and a few days later H-E-B announced a similar offer for those using an H-E-B gift card at its pumps.

vvaughan@express-news.net