DARMSTADT, Germany — The current Army and Air Force Exchange Service fuel coupons expire at the end of the month, but that does not mean they are useless.

The discount coupons, which are purchased in advance and can be used at AAFES gas stations and at certain stations in Germany and the Netherlands, can either be exchanged for cash or used at AAFES stations for several more months.

According to Ruth Wagner, retail program specialist for AAFES Europe, the expired coupons can be used at all AAFES pumps until the end of April — although they will not be accepted after Sept. 30 at Esso and certain Aral and BP stations that normally take them.

Customers who prefer a refund can turn in any unused coupons still attached to the booklet for cash until next September. Wagner said single, unattached coupons will not be refunded.

Returned coupons will be bought back by AAFES for the same price they were purchased, Wagner said. The date of purchase, stamped on the book’s cover, will determine the price.

If the old coupons cost more than the current cost for a similar number of liters, customers “will get a little extra money back. If not, they’ll have to spend a little more for a new booklet,” Wagner said. “Coupons are not given back on a one-for-one basis.”

On Sept. 5, AAFES stopped selling the coupon books that expire Sept. 30 and are now selling new books.

Maj. David Accetta, chief spokesman for AAFES Europe, said that while there may have originally been spot shortages, the coupons should now be available at all AAFES locations.

Accetta also said drivers stopping at gas stations on the economy should always make sure the coupons will be accepted before filling up.

“That’s especially true in the Netherlands, where not all Esso stations take coupons,” he said.

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