Feeling the pain of record-high gas prices? Here’s how to save money and earn rewards on gas purchases

Mar 8, 2022

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Gas prices in the U.S. have hit a record high: American motorists are now paying an average of $4.17 per gallon at the pump, according to AAA. In states like California and Hawaii, you’re lucky to find gas for under $5.50 per gallon.

But although we’re all feeling the pain at the pump, TPG is here to remind you of the many ways you can make those gas prices work for you in the form of points, miles and other rewards.

As many people prepare to hit the road for spring vacations, those costs — but fortunately, also those rewards — can add up quickly. For example, a driver of a vehicle that gets 25 miles per gallon would have to pay $60 to fuel up for a 500-mile road trip back when gas was $3 a gallon. If that same driver has to pay $5 a gallon, you’re talking $100 for the same trip. Ouch.

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Despite the sudden increase in fuel prices, there are some excellent ways to save on fuel. Here are a few:

In This Post

Sign up for Fuel Rewards

BMW i8 at a Shell gas station
Use Fuel Rewards to save at Shell gas stations. (Photo by Everyonephoto Studio/Shutterstock.com)

At a Shell station, this is the easiest way to save money on fuel.

When you sign up or download the app, you’ll earn automatic Gold status, which gives you 5 cents off per gallon on every fill-up. Plus, you can use the online shopping portal to save even more on gas.

For example, a Home Depot or Staples online purchase will give you 5 cents per gallon off your next fill-up. Although each fill-up is limited to 20 gallons and the maximum discount allowed varies by state, you can easily get significant discounts off your gas using Fuel Rewards.

If you shop at certain grocery stores such as Giant or Stop & Shop, you can link your Fuel Rewards account and apply your grocery store points through Fuel Rewards for discounts on your next fill-up.

For those who are after American Airlines status, you can link your AAdvantage account to earn 2 miles per dollar spent at the pump. This will add to your Loyalty Points balance too, putting you closer to the next elite tier. New members will earn 100 miles just for joining and completing their first fill-up at Shell.

Best of all, you can stack your cash back or American AAdvantage miles with whatever return you’re getting on the credit card you decide to use at the pump.

Related: Earn airline points for gas purchases

Leverage the Amex Platinum’s Walmart+ membership for gas savings

Walmart gas station
Walmart+ gives members a discount on gas. (Photo by HUM Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)

Last year, The Platinum Card® from American Express started giving all cardmembers a  membership to Walmart+, which is Walmart’s subscription service which offers $155 credit which includes a $12.95 (plus taxes) that cover full cost (excluding any Plus Ups) each month when you use your Amex platinum to pay your monthly Walmart+ membership  akin to Amazon Prime. But beyond free shipping, you can also use the membership to save on gas.

Walmart+ gives members 5 cents off per gallon at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Murphy-branded gas stations. To get the discount, just use the Walmart Pay option in the Walmart app to get your savings. You’ll want to link a card that earns bonus points on gas (more on that soon) to your Walmart app before you get to the pump to maximize savings.

Additionally, a Walmart+ membership now offers 10 cents per gallon off at Exxon and Mobil gas stations. You’ll need to link a credit card to Walmart+ and then use that card at the pump.

(Screenshot from Walmart+)

Related: This fast delivery alternative is complimentary with your Amex Platinum

Use a credit card that offers bonuses on gas purchases

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

If gas is one of your top spending categories, you want to be using a credit card that earns a bonus every time you fill up.

One of the best options is the Citi Premier® Card, which earns 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent on gas. The card currently offers 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on the card in the first three months of account opening. You’ll also earn 3 points per dollar on air travel, hotels, supermarket spending and at restaurants, which is a solid return on everyday spending. Of course, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar elsewhere.

A number of cards also offer bonus points on gas as part of their welcome offer. For example, you’ll earn 5% cash back on gas purchases for your first year of account opening, on up to $6,000 in spending, on the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards. The Chase Freedom Flex offers $200 after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers up to $300 with an extra 1.5% cash back on everything you buy on up to $20,000 spent in the first year.

If you’ve got a premium Ultimate Rewards-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can turn the cash back earned with your Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex into Ultimate Rewards points, which can be transferred to a handful of airline and hotel loyalty programs.

If cash back is more your thing, you can earn 4% back on your first $7,000 in fill-ups per year with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. Plus, the card offers % back on dining and eligible travel, 2% back at Costco and 1% back on all other purchases.

Related: Best credit cards for gas purchases

Get the most out of GasBuddy

In addition to helping drivers shop around with its up-to-date, member-reported gas prices, GasBuddy will run “deals” where you can save a set rate on gas.

Save using GasBuddy
Save using GasBuddy. (Screenshot from GasBuddy)

Before visiting the pump, you will want to make sure that you activate the discount. You can either pay using a GasBuddy debit card, which can be mailed to you, or you can pay with a credit card and upload a receipt of your fuel purchase. Generally, the latter of these two options is more appealing if you’ve got the right credit card. The cash back will be credited to your GasBuddy account and can be used for a variety of purchases.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this can also be combined with Fuel Rewards at Shell stations.

Related: Gas prices are surging: Here’s how I save $1,000 per year on gas fill-ups

Bottom line

We are all feeling the pain of sky-high gas prices.

Although fuel prices have gone through the roof, you can get a little more creative to save money on your gas. Between a credit card with a high return on fuel purchases and third-party applications, you might be able to get between 15% and 25% back in rewards — helping to ease the hit on your wallet.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.

Featured photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

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