Gas prices have fallen from the record highs set earlier this year, but they remain well over the prices of a year ago. And as you travel this summer, who doesn’t want to save money on gas?
If you travel with just the right gas apps at your fingertips, you’ll ease the pain at the pump, which stood at a nationwide average of $4.47 per gallon of unleaded on July 20, 2022, compared to $3.17 on the same date last year, according to AAA. Using apps with cash-back or discount options will help to keep your budget under control for your summer road trips.
“When you’re on a road trip, things can get expensive no matter what your budget is,” Sahara Rose De Vore, a Milwaukee-based travel coach and consultant, told US News & World Report. “Everything from accommodations, food, tolls, activities and, of course, transportation, can easily add up.”
But here are six apps that can help you to save money as you fill the tank this summer.
Credit Card App
Before investigating any other apps, look into the credit card already in your wallet. Sign in to your app or online account to determine if your card offers cash-back for gas purchases. You might need to set gas as your top choice for cash back, such as with the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card, which gives 3% cash-back on your preferred category, including gas.
- Pro: Today’s high gas prices can result in bigger-than-expected rewards. If you spend $500 a month on gas, your reward will be $15. At the end of the year, that’s $180 in your pocket.
- Con: Your existing cards might not offer a cash-back benefit for gas.
By using the Upside app, you can earn cash back rewards when you fill your tank, buy groceries and eat in restaurants. Before making a purchase, claim your offer through the app, then pay by credit or debit card and be sure to grab your receipt. Your cash back will be paid to you via transfer to your bank account, PayPal or on a gift card. On its website, Upside says it has paid out more than $150 million to its over 10 million users.
- Pro: Thousands of gas stations, restaurants and grocers partner with Upside, allowing you to achieve greater cash-back rewards, the app’s website reports.
- Con: To get credit for your purchases, you’ll need to submit photos of the receipts through the app.
With about 3,900 locations in 36 states, you quite possibly could have a Speedway near you. Download the Speedway app and register to earn points for filling up your tank. While your points don’t give you cash back, they accrue for redemption on merchandise in the station’s convenience store, for cents off per gallon or for gift cards for fuel.
- Pro: Speedway has many locations.
- Con: It can take a while to reach the best rewards level. For example, you need 10,450 points for a $10 Speedy Cash gift card.
Much like Upside, Checkout 51 gives users cash back on gas and groceries. Users will save at the pump at more than 5,000 participating gas stations, Checkout 51 reports. Offers change from week to week, and you can check what’s available beginning at midnight each Thursday morning in your time zone. The offers are good for one week.
- Pro: A variety of offers are available.
- Con: You must submit photos of the receipt through the app while the cash-back offer is live.
With TruNow, you earn cash back on most everything you buy — gas, restaurant meals and groceries. Again, you’ll get your receipt at the gas pump, then take a picture and upload it on the TruNow app.
- Pro: You can redeem your rewards for cash or spend it on more gas or in area restaurants or stores.
- Con: Requires photos of sales receipts.
You might have used the GasBuddy app to enter your ZIP code and find the cheapest gas in your neighborhood, but delve further and you’ll find a trove of saving — even if it isn’t a cash-back app. If you sign up for a free GasBuddy card, you’ll unlock savings of up to 25 cents per gallon and other benefits. The card isn’t a credit card and no credit approval is required. Instead, it’s linked to your debit card, and purchases will come out of your bank account.
- Pro: GasBuddy’s website says the card is accepted at 95% of stations nationwide.
- Con: You’ll need to take the extra step of signing up for the GasBuddy card, meaning you have one more card to carry and keep track of.
While you might think the last thing you need is another app, when it comes to combating gas prices, that extra app or two can turn into more cash in your pocket.
Information is accurate as of July 21, 2022.