You could grin and bear it, or you could look for ways to cut your costs. One of the best ways to save with a minimal amount of effort is to get cash back for your gas purchases.
Here are some top ways to do that.
1. Use a cash-back credit card
If you’re not opposed to using a credit card to pay for gas, you could get up to 3% cash back. Here are some examples of what’s available:
- 3% cash back on gas with Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express ($95 annual fee)
- 2% cash back on gas as a choice category with U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card ($0 annual fee)
- 2% cash back on all purchases with Citi Double Cash ($0 annual fee)
- 1.5% cash back on purchases including gas with Chase Freedom Unlimited ($0 annual fee)
Using a credit card comes with the caveat that you must pay off your balance each month for it to be worthwhile. Otherwise, the interest you pay will quickly outweigh the cash back you earn.
You can learn more about the cards above and search for other gas rewards credit cards in the Money Talks News Solution Center.
2. Get a Pay with GasBuddy card
The GasBuddy app has long been a way to locate cheap fuel. Using crowdsourced data, it tracks prices and makes it easy to see how much gas is selling for at nearby stations.
You now can earn cash back on your gas purchases using the Pay with GasBuddy card. It’s not a credit card but rather a savings card that links to your checking account and works like a debit card. When used at participating gas stations, users can save up to 25 cents per gallon.
While GasBuddy says its payment card is accepted at 95% of fuel stations, there are some notable exceptions. These include Exxon Mobil, H-E-B and some Walmart stations.
The Pay with GasBuddy card is free, although a Plus version is available for $7.99 a month and promises additional savings.
3. Download the Checkout 51 app
Checkout 51 is an app that provides cash back on both gas and groceries — we cite it in “7 Apps I Use to Beat Inflation at the Grocery Store.” There is no cost to download or use the app, which works by selecting cash-back offers and redeeming them by uploading receipts.
Gas is a relatively new addition to Checkout 51, and the company says cash-back offers are available at about 5,000 stations nationwide. People use the app to find nearby offers — which could be as much as 10 cents per gallon — and select them. Once an offer is selected, users have four hours to make a purchase and 24 hours to upload a receipt.
4. Download the Upside app
Similar to Checkout 51, the Upside app has cash-back offers that users select and redeem. In addition to gas, Upside offers cash back on grocery and restaurant purchases.
With Upside, you’ll need to make your purchase within 20 minutes of selecting an offer. Some stations have a “Check In” feature that automates the process of validating a purchase while others require a receipt to be uploaded. Only purchases made with a debit or credit card are eligible for cash back, and if you use another discount along with Upside, your cash-back amount could be adjusted.
Money earned with the Upside app can be redeemed via PayPal, an e-gift card or a deposit to your bank account.
5. Sign up for a gas station loyalty program
Although they don’t technically offer cash back, many gas station loyalty programs offer discounts or points that are just as good. Here are a couple of examples:
- Fuel Rewards at Shell provides members with 3 to 5 cents off per gallon, depending on status level, as well as opportunities to earn additional discounts through purchases at partnering businesses.
- Speedy Rewards gives customers points for fuel and gas station purchases, and those can be redeemed for fuel discounts and gift cards, among other things.
- Exxon Mobil Rewards+ offers a discount of at least 3 cents per gallon plus the opportunity to earn additional rewards.
For more details on these and additional programs, read “6 Gas Rewards Programs to Ease Pain at the Pump.”