12 Ways to Fill Up for Less at the Gas Station
Marina113/istockphoto

12 Ways to Fill Up for Less at the Gas Station

View Slideshow
12 Ways to Fill Up for Less at the Gas Station
Marina113/istockphoto
Kroger Gas
WendellandCarolyn/istockphoto

Join a Grocery Store Perks Program

Some grocery chains operate their own gas stations, enticing customers with reward programs that accumulate points toward fuel discounts. Use your Kroger Shopper's Card anytime you buy groceries and earn one point for each dollar spent, double points on gift card purchases, plus point bonuses for using the Kroger pharmacy and grocery delivery. Redeem points in blocks off 100 or more for savings of 10 cents to $1 per gallon on a single fill-up. Safeway has a similar program for members of its Just for U shopper's club. The only drawback: Unused points expire at the end of the month.

052317_how_to_get_cheaper_gas_slide_3_fs
Tupungato/shutterstock

Sign Up for Gas Station Rewards

If you're loyal to a particular company, don't leave money on the table by bypassing its rewards program. BPme members earn 5 cents off each gallon for every $100 spent on fuel. Shell's Fuel Rewards program also offers discounts of 5 cents a gallon up to 20 gallons, and you can earn additional savings of 5 to 10 cents per gallon by using your Fuel Rewards card when shopping online, buying groceries, or eating out.

Fill Up on the Right Day of the Week
jetcityimage/istockphoto

Fill up on the Right Day of the Week

You aren't crazy: Gas at the station on the corner actually was a lot cheaper the other day. Prices fluctuate throughout the week. GasBuddy crunched the numbers using three years of price data and found that Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday are the best days. A related GasBuddy study suggests that it may be cheapest to fill up in on Monday morning, when demand is at its lowest for the week. 

Avoid Rush Hour
slobo/istockphoto

Avoid Rush Hour

Some people say filling up early in the morning, when it's cool, saves money because gas expands when it's heated. But Consumer Reports concluded that any savings would be minimal at best. Stations may be more likely to raise prices in rush-hour traffic, though.

052317_how_to_get_cheaper_gas_slide_7_fs
Alfonso de Tomas/shutterstock

Use Your Costco Membership

Costco's gasoline prices are more than 20 cents per gallon cheaper than competitors, according to a 2019 study by CSP, a convenience store industry trade publication. That can add up to significant savings that can make Costco's $60 annual membership pay for itself.

Related: 11 Ways Costco Can Save You Money on Your Car

GasBuddy
GasBuddy/Facebook

Compare Prices with an App

Your phone can make comparison shopping easy. GasBuddy is among the most popular apps for finding the lowest gas prices wherever you may be. The Balance also recommends Gas Guru and traffic-spotter app Waze, which can flag cheap gas.

Use the Right Credit Card
jabejon/istockphoto

Use the Right Credit Card

There are an overwhelming number of reward credit cards available that offer anywhere from 2% to 5% off the per-gallon price of gasoline or accumulate points redeemable toward air travel, hotels, or cash back. But choose carefully and look for sign-on perks such as bonus points or a low interest rate.

Opt for Cash
ChristiTolbert/istockphoto

Opt for Cash

Some gas stations offer a discount to customers who pay with cash. Why? They avoid the swipe fees charged by major credit-card companies and fatten their bottom line.

Research Restaurants Beforehand …
simonapilolla/istockphoto

Take a Few Surveys

Some websites let you take surveys, watch videos, or shop with retail partners in exchange for points that can be used to earn gift cards. One of the most popular survey sites, Swagbucks, includes Exxon, Chevron, and Sunoco gift cards as rewards options.

052317_how_to_get_cheaper_gas_slide_13_fs
Melinda Fawver/shutterstock

Skip the Premium Fuel

You may think you're babying your car by buying the "good stuff," but premium gas offers little benefit for modern engines, according to Edmunds. Stick to premium if you drive a luxury car that requires it; otherwise, enjoy the savings of buying regular unleaded.

Avoid Stations in Certain Areas
WendellandCarolyn/istockphoto

Avoid Stations in Certain Areas

If you aren't using an app to check prices, experts offer this rule of thumb: Bypass stations immediately off the highway, which charge for convenience, and think twice about filling up in affluent areas where customers aren't as price-sensitive.

052317_how_to_get_cheaper_gas_slide_14_fs
nata-lunata/shutterstock

Stay Vigilant

The biggest money saver may be simply remembering to hunt for deals. According to GasBuddy, when gas prices are low, there's actually more of a spread — not less — between the highest and lowest prices at the pump. Because of that, drivers who assume prices are low everywhere run a greater risk of overspending.