Save on gas with these apps and reward programs

Shell gas station on Monday, March 7, 2022, had gas prices for regular unleaded at $3.799 per gallon and more than $4 for higher octane fuel and more than $5 a gallon for diesel. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

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Shell gas station on Monday, March 7, 2022, had gas prices for regular unleaded at $3.799 per gallon and more than $4 for higher octane fuel and more than $5 a gallon for diesel. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

With gas prices rising and surpassing $4 a gallon in some parts of the country, drivers are looking for ways to save at the pump.

Among them is Greg Rottbart, who can’t believe what it costs to top off his gas tank.

“I just paid $44 dollars,” he said of the half-tank of gas he put in his van.

Gasoline prices are now a full dollar per gallon higher than one year ago due to crude oil hitting $100 a barrel last week. That means that a 20-gallon fill-up will cost an extra $20 compared to last March.

However, several apps and programs can save drivers money at the pump.

Apps that find the lowest gas prices near you

Driver Crystal Hayes uses Google Maps, which as of last year, shows nearby gas stations and their prices.

Look for the little gas pump icon when on the Google Maps mobile app. On a laptop, enter the word “gas” in the search bar in the top left corner.

“Right now, I have the Google app I have been using for gas prices, so whatever can help,” Hayes said.

College student Macy Will checks the Gas Buddy app.

“It shows me somewhere where it is not crazy, crazy expensive,” Will said.

Gas Buddy is the most popular gasoline app. It’s free, and all it requires is a zip code or a phone’s location services, and it will show the lowest price nearby.

But Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan suggests upgrading to their alerts.

“For motorists signed up to get our push notifications, we also send push alert when gas prices start to spike,” he said.

Fuel rewards programs that save money

Drivers not enrolled in a fuel rewards program should join one.

Shell, 7 Eleven, Speedway and Circle K, as well as major grocery chains like Kroger, Safeway, Albertson’s, Giant Eagle and Fred Meyer, now offer fuel discounts for members.

The newest cash back program — one getting good reviews — is GetUpside. It is a free program that gives cash rewards from gas stations, stores, and restaurants.

GetUpside co-founder Wayne Lin says its free app shows users all nearby participating gas stations, including BP and Shell.

“We are probably one of the best ways to fight inflation with increases in gas prices,” Lin said. “You can save up to 25 cents a gallon every time you buy gas.”

GetUpside users can check the app for nearby stations, then click “claim the deal” to save 10 to 25 cents per gallon. The only catch is that users have to scan their receipt and send the photo to get cash back.

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