Skip to content

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

May 24, 2022
6 min read
Drivers pumping gas at a Valero gas station in California
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

American motorists are now paying an average of $4.59 per gallon at the pump, according to AAA. And in states like California and Hawaii, you’re lucky to find gas under $6 per gallon.

As many people prepare to hit the road for spring vacations, costs can add up quickly. For example, a driver of a vehicle that gets 25 miles per gallon would have paid $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, it's a whopping $100 for the same trip. Ouch.

Although motorists are feeling pain at the pump, TPG is here to remind you of the many ways you can leverage loyalty programs to save money on gas. It won't bring gas back to 2020 prices, but it can help you shave a bit off your fill-ups and maybe even earn travel rewards.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

For more TPG news and deals delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to save money and earn more rewards when you buy gas.

Sign up for Fuel Rewards

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

This is the easiest way to save money on fuel at a Shell station.

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 Shell's 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 with relatively little effort.

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. Likewise, T-Mobile customers can earn Shell discounts every Tuesday through the T-Mobile Tuesdays app.

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+ 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+ in the form of a monthly statement credit. This is Walmart’s subscription service that's akin to Amazon Prime, offering free shipping on all Walmart.com orders. But beyond this, you'll also earn discounts on gas.

Walmart+ gives members 10 cents off per gallon at Exxon, Mobil, Murphy, Sam’s Club and Walmart-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.

(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 80,000 ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within 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.

If cash back is more your thing, you can earn 4% back on your first $7,000 in fill-ups, and EV charging purchases per year with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. Plus, the card offers 3% 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.

(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 for free, 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. 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, and it's unclear how long high prices will drag on. But if you stack rewards programs and pay with the right credit card, you can score a large discount at the pump.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh.

Featured image by (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases