Here’s how to triple your gas rewards with Shop Your Way and GasBuddy
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GasBuddy has long been one of my favorite ways to save money on gas, but did you know you can potentially triple your savings with Shop Your Way?
In 2018, Shop Your Way and GasBuddy partnered to improve the ‘Pay with GasBuddy’ program by letting drivers earn Shop Your Way points on gas purchases.
For those unfamiliar with Pay with GasBuddy, it offers instant savings on every gallon of gas purchased. All you have to do is swipe the free GasBuddy card that’s linked to your checking account. Savings range between 4 and 15 cents per gallon with GasBuddy’s free account.
GasBuddy’s goal is to make it easier for drivers to save money at the pump. Instead of being tied to a single station’s loyalty program like Shell FuelRewards, you can save at any station you choose (and stack with a company-specific program, too).
This is especially important right now when the U.S. is experiencing a gas shortage. Gas prices are skyrocketing in parts of the country, so every bit of savings counts. This is especially true if you have a long commute or are embarking on a mid-pandemic road trip.
On the other hand, Shop Your Way is a loyalty program run by Sears that lets you redeem points for merchandise and gift cards. The partnership lets you earn more cash back in the form of Shop Your Way rewards points.
But is it worth earning Shop Your Way points with GasBuddy to boost your savings? Let’s take a closer look at the partnership and see if it’s worth paying with GasBuddy instead of a credit card.
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Earning Shop Your Way points with GasBuddy
When you use Pay with GasBuddy, you have the option of earning instant savings at the pump or Shop Your Way points.
You’ll earn the following if you choose to earn with Shop Your Way:
- $0.30 per gallon in points for paid fill-ups for the first 60 days after pairing your account with Shop Your Way, equal to 30 points per gallon
- $0.15 per gallon in points for every paid fill-up thereafter, equal to 15 points per gallon
By comparison, you’ll save a variable amount of money when you use “Pay with GasBuddy” without Shop Your Way.
Here in New York City, I’ve found that most stations offer a $0.05 per gallon savings. The lowest I’ve seen is a $0.04 per gallon discount and the highest is $0.14 per gallon. Note you can increase your savings if you pay for GasBuddy Premium.
Using the most common price, Shop Your Way effectively triples your GasBuddy earnings. Plus, you’re able to lock in a 15 cent per gallon discount even if the gas station you go to has a lower discount.
That said, you’re restricted in where you can actually redeem your cash back.
Should I earn Shop Your Way points with GasBuddy?
You can redeem Shop Your Way points at Sears, Kmart and other retailers for discounts on select items. You can use points for either a portion of your purchase or to cover the entire purchase. Sears and its partners sell electronics, clothing and other home necessities.
The most useful way to redeem Shop Your Way cash back for gift cards from various merchants. You can redeem points for gift cards at a rate of 0.1 cents per point, so a $100 gift card is 100,000 points. The program has gift cards from many popular merchants, including American Airlines, Amtrak and Hotels.com.
So if your goal is to redeem for gift cards or Sears merchandise, you’re far better earning Shop Your Ways instead of instant savings on gas as you’re effectively tripling your return. Those who prefer cash will want to stick with gas savings.
How to link your GasBuddy and Shop Your Way accounts
You can link your accounts by opening the GasBuddy app and tapping the profile icon at the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Then, tap the “Free Membership” button to open your Pay with GasBuddy settings.
Look toward the center of the screen and tap the “Upgrade to Shop Your Way” button. Click the “Yes, Upgrade” button to go to the account connection screen. Then, log into your Shop Your Way account and follow the on-screen prompts to link your accounts.
Is it worth paying with GasBuddy instead of a credit card?
One downside of using Pay With GasBuddy is that you won’t earn credit card rewards on your gas purchases.
This is because — like a debit card — money is taken from your linked checking account when you pay with your GasBuddy card. That said, it sometimes makes sense to use GasBuddy despite not earning more points, especially if you’re earning Shop Your Way points.
As of writing this article, the AAA national average gas price is $2.99. If you pump 10 gallons of gas and pay $29.99, you’ll earn 150 Shop Your Way points (equal to $1.50). This is essentially a 5% return on your purchase when you redeem points for gift cards.
If your goal is cash back, you could put the $29.99 purchase on a Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express that earns 3% back at U.S. gas stations. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits. You’d earn roughly $0.90 in cash back on this purchase. This is less than earning with GasBuddy and Shop Your Way, but you can use the cash back however you’d like.
On the other hand, you can put the purchase on a Citi Premier® Card and earn 3x ThankYou points per dollar spent. TPG values these points at 1.7 cents apiece, giving you $1.52 worth of points. That said, you can easily make these points worth more depending on how you redeem them. In this case, I’d rather put the charge on my Citi card since I have immediate plans to travel.
Also, note that the Shop Your Way points will expire 60 days after they’ve been earned. It could make more sense to pay with a credit card that earns points or cash back since these rewards generally don’t expire while your card is open.
Further, the value of GasBuddy and Shop Your Way is lower when gas prices go up. At $4 per gallon, you’d earn the same 15 cents per gallon return that you would when gas is cheap. That said, you’d earn more cash back or points by paying with a card that earns a fixed number of rewards based on how much you spend.
I think it makes sense to use GasBuddy and Shop Your Way to earn points on gas purchases if you can use Shop Your Way points to purchase gift cards or buy merchandise from Sears, Kmart and other partner stores. At the same time, those chasing miles and points will want to stick with a card that earns more transferrable points per dollar spent on gas station purchases.
Feature photo by Pramote Polyamate/Getty Images
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