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How to fill up a car almost for free: bonuses and loyalty programs to save on gasoline

Due to the fact that Russia started a war in Ukraine and a number of problems due to the pandemic, gasoline prices do not stop rising. What should drivers do in this situation - how to save money, reports PointsGuy.

Photo: Shutterstock

If you're one of the nearly 238 million licensed drivers in the US, you're probably well aware that gas prices continue to skyrocket at gas stations across the country.

The war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia are having a strong impact on the price of crude oil…and the price of gasoline at the gas station. Gasoline prices have risen 37 cents since Russia invaded the neighboring country. We are seeing the sharpest price increase since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Higher fuel prices do mean more expensive plane tickets, but it's not as straightforward as you might think.

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Prices were high even before Russia launched a war in Ukraine a few weeks ago. Lack of supplies led to gasoline shortages last summer, pushing US gasoline prices to a seven-year high.

What to do?

Car trips don't have to break the bank thanks to gas station programs and third-party loyalty programs designed to save you money on gas. You can use one or more of these programs to save on your next gas station - and that's not counting any rewards you'll earn with your gas credit card.

If you are a strategist, you can even make a profit on your next trip to the gas station.

Fuel bonuses

An independent loyalty program specifically designed for Shell petrol stations, Fuel Rewards has become the most effective way to save on gasoline. Once you familiarize yourself with the program and adapt a few buying patterns, it won't be hard to accumulate enough fuel credits (earned in cents per gallon) to make your next trip to the gas station cheaper.

You need to sign up for instant Gold status, which gives you a 5 cents per gallon discount on your first fill up. This adds up to any additional fuel bonuses you earn, to the point where gas is almost free.

Fuel Rewards has dozens of national partners where you can use your linked credit card to shop and earn cents per gallon the next time you fill up. There is also a food bonus program and many promotions (like T-Mobile Tuesdays) to earn fuel bonuses.

Shop through the online portal and earn at least 5 cents per gallon. Link your Dunkin Bonus account and earn an extra 10 cents per gallon. Eat at your favorite local restaurant through the restaurant reward program and earn 10 cents a gallon.

With these savings, in addition to your Gold status, your next fill-up will be at least 30 cents per gallon off.

Circle K EasyPay

Another way to save money in Shell is to use Circle K EasyPay. This program allows you to save 30 cents per gallon for the first 100 gallons or 60 days, after which you save 6 or 10 cents per gallon, depending on your location.

Here's how it works: You get a physical Easy Pay card linked to your checking account. You then use this card to pay for gas stations, with all savings automatically deducted. The cards are PIN-protected and are blocked after three unsuccessful login attempts. The only downside is that you cannot earn credit card rewards this way.

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It's third party application appeared a couple of years ago and has expanded significantly. It now includes restaurant and grocery store bonuses, as well as gas station savings. You can request offers in the app to save a certain number of cents per gallon.

After you take advantage of the offer, you have four hours to refuel at the station of your choice using your linked credit card. The cashback received from the deposit will be deposited into your GetUpside account, which you can cash out at any time.

"My wife and I wait until the tanks of our cars are empty and then fill up the cars at the same time at the same gas station. Remember that you can not return the fuel nozzle to the dispenser between cars, otherwise it will put an end to your refueling and your savings, ”says the user of the program.

Pay with GasBuddy

Pay with program Gasbuddy continues to develop and improve rapidly. It used to offer Shop Your Way points, but now it offers several tiers of cash savings per fill up. She recently introduced deals you can get at certain gas stations right before you fill up, as well as an in-app "gasoline return" shopping portal.

As with Circle K Easy Pay, you pay with a physical card that GasBuddy links to your checking account. You pay them at the gas station. The amount you fill up, minus any GasBuddy savings, is deducted from your checking account.

Pay with GasBuddy Premium membership allows you to save more per gallon and offers additional perks such as roadside assistance.

Gasoline and grocery stores

Nearly every nationwide grocery store has its own fuel points program or partners with an existing national gas station brand program to offer fuel savings when shopping for groceries.

When you shop at Kroger, you earn fuel points on gift cards that can give you the ultimate $1 per gallon gas savings. You can even purchase additional gift cards from the dedicated Kroger Cards website. He regularly sells discount gift cards or 4x fuel bonuses.

Consolidation of programs

You can combine two or more of the above programs into one gas station to save money and make gas even cheaper. Here are some strategies:

Fuel Bonuses Plus Pay with GasBuddy: These two programs work independently of each other, allowing you to lower your gas station price with Fuel Bonuses. If you earn enough fuel bonuses to make refueling virtually free, GasBuddy still gives you savings based on Shell's pre-reduced gas price - meaning you can make a profit by filling your tank with gas.

Kroger plus Pay with GasBuddy: The same principle as above applies to discounted refueling using Kroger Fuel Points and then paying with a GasBuddy card.

Fuel Bonuses Plus Circle K Easy Pay: Like the two strategies above, you can earn Fuel Bonuses when you pay with your Circle K Card.

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Combining with Amex Deals: From time to time, American Express offers promotions at gas stations. For example, Amex offers 400 Membership Rewards when you spend $40 on gas. They are compatible with gas station and third party loyalty programs, although you must pay with the Amex card you linked the offer to. Therefore, you cannot combine Amex offers with GasBuddy or Circle K Easy Pay.

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