American’s Mileage-Earning Gas Partnership With Shell Has Become Lucrative [Roundup]

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. If Costco or Sams membership makes sense for your situation, you’re better off getting gas there, miles/points be d@mned.

  2. Punctuation is important!

    Above you write “The average employee at government rail corporation Amtrak earns $121,000 more than the average at any federal agency.” This would mean that you can take the average at any federal agency, add $121,000, and that’s what the average Amtrak employee makes. That would be a huge difference—more than the average of other agencies by $121,000!

    You meant “The average employee at government rail corporation Amtrak earns $121,000, more than the average at any federal agency.” The average at Amtrak is $121,000, and that is more than the average at any federal agency.

    It’s not quite as bad as the difference between “Let’s eat, Grandma” and “Let’s eat Grandma,” but it’s a pretty significant comma.

  3. The average Amtrak employee does not make $121,000. The article referenced took a line from a financial statement “Wages, Salaries and Benefits” and divided that figure by the number of employees. That number includes the financial value of benefits, which can make up a large sum of that line on a financial statement. Healthcare and the value of a govt pension are in that figure. IT could be as much as half of the number in that statement – meaning the average Amtrak worker makes probably around 60K. Which means half make less than that. Highlighting that headline is spreading disinformation.

  4. Around here at least, you’d have to be pretty extravagant to buy gas at Shell. Much more expensive than several alternatives.

  5. The AA Shell Rewards is terrible. Shell Rewards gives me either 10 or 15 cents off per gallon, so 10 gallons means $1.50 in savings. 3 miles per gallon X 10 = 30 AA miles, each worth 1.5 cents according to TPG, so that is 45 cents versus $1.50 or $1.00 at a minimum.

  6. @Gary – the article says ‘cash compensation’. Benefits are not cash compensation. Its misleading to say that Amtrak employees make a $120K paycheck on average. Does anyone else look at their salary that way? Do you include the company paid side of income taxes in your wages? Or do you get to spend the company cost of health insurance? And then there’s the issue where accounting for costs may not equal the actual employee recognized value of that cost. Most readers are going to come away with “Amtrak employees are overpaid because I get paid less than them’ as they think Amtrak folks are getting $2,300 weekly paychecks. That’s the problem.

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