CINCINNATI (AP) — The Kroger Co. is pumping up its fuel discount program, more than tripling the number of grocery stores where regular shoppers can get up to $1-a-gallon discounts on gas fill-ups.

The nation's largest traditional grocery chain has pointed to its fuel program as an increasingly successful way to build sales in tough economic times while U.S. households see bigger chunks of their budgets eaten up by gas. Kroger officials said Friday the increase from a maximum 10 cents off per gallon to $1 has already been rolled out in markets such as Atlanta and Phoenix, in time for Memorial Day weekend travel.

Loyalty-card users get 10 cents off a gallon for every $100 spent on groceries. The deal had been capped at 10 cents per fill-up in most markets.

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