Is Walmart+ Worth the Cost Just to Get Discounted Gas?

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA - Mar 26, 2019: A Walmart gas station.
hapabapa / Getty Images

More than ever, drivers are searching for deals on gas. From apps like GasBuddy to memberships at places like Costco, it’s not hard to find discounted gas. But are the lower prices worth the cost of membership in some of these programs?

The Walmart+ subscription service offers “members-only” pricing on fuel at Walmart gas stations, plus Murphy USA and Murphy Express stations as well as Sam’s Club fuel centers. The Walmart website says that members receive 5 cents off per gallon at Walmart and Murphy stations, and “members-only” discounts at Sam’s Club.

Access to Walmart+ costs $12.95 monthly or $98 annually, which means you can save $57.40 by paying upfront for an annual membership. But does that $98 membership cost pay for itself (and then some) if you’re joining exclusively for the gas savings?

Let’s do the math and see. Keep in mind, your results will vary depending on the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, how much you drive and gas prices in your area.

To find out how much you’d save if  GOBankingRates put the American average of 14,263 miles per year on your car. CNET reported that the average fuel economy is roughly 24.9 miles per gallon. That means you’d put roughly 573 gallons of gas in your car per year, spending $2,348.52 per year at today’s national average gas price of $4.10 per gallon.

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Knock 5 cents per gallon off that price and you’d spend $2,320.65 by filling up at Walmart’s discounted rate. That’s a difference of just $27.87 annually, which covers less than a third of that annual membership fee.

Discounted gas prices are a nice perk to Walmart+ membership, but it shouldn’t be your driving factor to join. Most people sign up for the service for the free same-day delivery on some groceries and other household items. You’ll also enjoy Walmart’s mobile scan-and-go service, which allows you to scan your items for purchase with your phone in your local Walmart store, and then pay quickly at a self-checkout using a debit or credit card.

If you’re looking to save money on gas, the GasBuddy app and debit card that offers 25 cents cashback per gallon when you use the card to pay for gas with your linked checking account might save you more money. Plus, it’s free to sign up.

However, if you want the convenience of free shipping for groceries and more from Walmart, the Walmart+ membership is a good value — and the 5 cents per gallon savings on gas is an added bonus.

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