Shock at the pump? Discounted or free gas can be yours
Whether you blame the current president, the past president or the Russian president, there’s no denying that gas prices have skyrocketed in the past couple of weeks, leaping up 15-20 percent across the country just since the invasion of Ukraine.
While you still won’t get as many gallons per dollar as you did last week, there are ways to offset the outlay or earn gas cards to cover the cost for little to no additional expense.
If filling up your tank is breaking the bank, take a look at these ways to reduce or even eliminate your gas expense.
Daily Purchases Add Up
If you buy groceries, gas, and other items already, you might be able to leverage these purchases to earn free gas.
Many credit card companies offer cash-back rewards in the form of gift cards, and your local grocery store or gas station might have a program that helps shoppers earn free gas at their affiliated gas stations.
Credit Card Rewards
Many credit cards have travel rebates or travel rewards to inspire customer loyalty. For example, the Best Western credit card lets you accumulate points to use in exchange for free nights in their hotels. However, this card and other travel credit cards also allow users to redeem their points for fuel at participating gas stations.
Credit cards often have an online portal that allows you to log in and choose how you will use your credit card points. Search this portal for gas card promotions and redemptions and order your gas cards from here. Before you take out your next credit card, be sure to evaluate what the annual fee on it is and what gas stations will allow you to redeem your points.
Collect Grocery Store Gas Points
Many grocery stores have gas stations that they affiliate with. Some offer the chance to accumulate points for discounts of 10-20-cents, or even up to a $1.00 off per gallon of gas with every purchase. Buying certain items, like gift cards, may also yield double or triple points, and brands even get into the mix, adding an extra 5-cents off per gallon for buying Cheerios or Coca-Cola.
Check with your local stores to find out which brands of gas they’re connected with, and how much you can save. Oftentimes larger chains like Kroger, Meijer’s, Albertsons and HyVee have better deals, so shop around, and double check – your “local” store might be owned by a larger chain.
You can also double down on the gas savings by buying groceries on your credit card. This way, you’ll earn credit card points at the same time as collecting points at your local grocery store.
Join Gas Station Rewards Programs
Sometimes, the best rewards programs are loyalty programs. If you know that you always purchase your gas from the same gas station or brand, you should sign up for a gas station rewards program. While each one has different parameters, they all operate similarly.
If you have cards for free gas that you’ve redeemed from survey sites or credit card points, you can use gas station rewards programs to help your gift cards stretch farther. For example, if you fill your 10-gallon tank at $2.50 per gallon, your gas bill would come to $25. If you receive $0.10 off per gallon with a gas station rewards card and had earned a $20 gas card, your final gas bill would only be $2.50.
When you purchase gas from the same gas station regularly, you can earn a few cents off per gallon. Some of our favorite loyalty programs for free gas include:
Shell Fuel Rewards. – When you shop at Shell gas stations and general stores as well as their partners, you can earn points. Most members receive at least $0.03-0.05 off per gallon of gas. They will also launch exclusive offers for members to maximize their points. It’s one of the best ways to get free gas money for your gas tank!
Exxon Mobil Rewards+ – Every dollar you spend with this program earns you a point. One hundred points earn you $1 off fuel, snacks, and other purchases at Exxon gas stations.
Speedway – When you join the Speedy Points program, you can earn points to get discounts on free gas vouchers and other items.
BPme Rewards – All members automatically receive $0.05 off every gallon of gas they purchase. The program is free to join, and members get access to opportunities for further savings.
Earn Free Gas Cards Online
You don’t even have to spend money to earn free and discounted gas. Several websites allow you to sign up and start earning points by performing simple tasks, answering surveys or tracking receipts.
Swagbucks is a rewards and loyalty-program operator and one of the most popular survey sites available. They give users $5 just for signing up and have a high reward-per-survey ratio. Users must be over 18 and can earn several dollars per survey. The average survey pays between $0.25 and $0.50, and they pay their users in either free gift cards or through PayPal.
While polls and surveys are Swagbucks bread and butter, they also allow users to monetize searches on the Swagbucks search engine and make money from playing games on their platform. You can also earn credit on the site watching videos for a few cents per video.
It doesn’t take a lot, either. Users can cash out with as little as $3 in earnings. Your $5 sign up bonus, added to a few surveys can get you a few gallons of gas in just minutes.
MyPoints has been serving customers for over two decades. They offer paid surveys and pay people for shopping online, through their portal. After you sign up online, just shop like you normally would – clicking to the retailer site from MyPoints’ online platform. Users earn up to 25 points per dollar they spend online and get to redeem points for gift cards, including gas cards.
Every day, the rewards available on the MyPoints website change. No gas cards today? There might be some tomorrow – you’ll be coming back to accrue more points anyway, right? Visa gift cards are almost always available, and you can also choose to cash out. Even if you can’t purchase a gas card, you can use the cash or another gift card to buy your gas.
Survey Junkie is an online survey website that focuses on gathering general consumer information. They connect companies that need market research with individuals in their respective markets. These people take surveys through the Survey Junkie website in exchange for cash. Users can use the website or download the app to sign up. Survey Junkie ‘pays’ 100-200 points per completed survey.
Survey takers can exchange their points for cash or online gift cards. The minimum cash out is $10. If you do not want to purchase gas cards with your Survey Junkie earnings, you can take the cash option then choose to spend it on gas.
The Bottom Line
Few of us can get by without a vehicle. Gas expenses add up quickly, but earning free gas cards, getting discounts per gallon, and free gas vouchers can significantly reduce how much you pay for gas each month.