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

May 24, 2022

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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.

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

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)

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 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+ 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.

Walmart+
(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 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.

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 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 photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

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Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

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More Things to Know
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