US supermarket group Kroger has offered bonuses to shoppers who trade their tax refund or economic stimulus cheques for company gift cards to be spent in-store.

A US$300 cheque from the IRS can be traded for a $330 gift card, a $600 cheque can be traded for $660 worth of gift cards and $1,200 can be traded for gift cards to the value of $1,320.

“Grocery bills represent a significant expenditure for the average American family,” said David B. Dillon, Kroger chairman and chief executive officer.

“Kroger’s programme allows our customers to stretch their grocery dollars further. We are excited about the opportunity to touch the lives of millions of families across the country by helping them extend their household budgets through this special program.”

Cincinnati-based Kroger operates more than 2,400 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states.