There are dozens of ways to save on gas and diesel, though most require some kind of card or identification. You won’t find many clip-and-save paper coupons in most areas. Most everything is based off of your telephone number, your email address or your card number. Let’s look at a few.
Loyalty cards are the largest group of programs out there. You simply grab a card from the front desk or a flier on the pumps, register it online and away you go. No need to hook a bank account to it, these cards only remember how much fuel you’ve purchased and discount your current purchase based on that. Others may work on a certain amount off no matter how much you’ve purchased, such as Shell’s Fuel Rewards program that guarantees at least 5 cents off each gallon of fuel you purchase.
You’ll also find that if gas stations are owned by the same parent company, you may be able to use your loyalty cards at those businesses as well. A good example of this is Shell-owned Circle K gas stations. The pumps always ask for your Fuel Rewards card.
Credit cards are available from most major chain gas stations and often offer a large 10 to 20 cent discount on all gas purchases. This is a great deal so long as you remember to pay that card off each month. However, you need not apply for these credit cards to take advantage of fuel discounts.
A good example is the Chase Freedom credit card. Every few months this card offers an additional cash back reward for using it to buy your fuel with. Again, so long as you pay it off every month you can save a significant amount of money with this method.
Grocery Rewards Programs
With the rise of the Plenti card, we’re seeing more and more grocery stores getting in on the fuel discount scene. The Plenti card works at several different grocery stores to build up points on your purchases there, which you can then turn into discounts at Exxon, Mobil1 and other gas stations of your choosing for a deep discount.
Kroger is another example of a similar program, though they have only paired with a few gas stations in the past and these contracts seem to change at regular intervals. Kroger, Costco and Sam’s Club all prefer that you use their own pumps to get your discount. Though in the case of Kroger, that discount is substantial. 10 cents off per gallon for every 100 points you earn in store. For many people, that’s a weekly shopping trip. And isn’t it nice to get 10 cents off every gallon when you fill up every week?
Many rewards programs come with a large amount of literature. Read through it and look for ways to earn double points or double rewards. And keep your eyes peeled while you drive: sometimes gas stations offer these perks out of nowhere on their signs!