Gas Buddy Review: How it Works & 6 Great Alternatives
You’re not alone with your gas station woes. Plenty of great apps and savings programs are here to take out some of the sting.
Swagbucks will give you $1.00 for installing the free BPme Rewards app. And right now, for a limited time, you can save 40-cents per gallon when you open the app on your phone and register for BPme Rewards using the promo code SAVE40. Get BPme Rewards now.
And GasBuddy is another great to tool to help you get the best prices possible.
What is Gas Buddy?
GasBuddy is a money-saving app that helps people not only get the best prices on gas but provides other tools. It is available on the internet and mobile apps for Android and iOS users. Users can get gas savings that can total as much as 25 cents per gallon of gas. You will never have to pay to use the “free forever” GasBuddy card.
Some of the additional Gas Buddy tools include:
- A trip cost calculator
- Gas price map
- Fuel log book
- Outage tracker
- Fuel insights
- Vehicle recalls
- Pay with GasBuddy: Pay with a Gas Buddy card that’s linked to your debit card
GasBuddy is available in both a free format and a premium option. The premium option includes additional tools and benefits.
<<< Related: Interested in earning cash back on your purchases at over 10,000 retailers, including gas stations? Join Swagbucks. Over $680 million in PayPal cash, Amazon cards, Prepaid Visa, and other rewards paid out to real consumers. >>>
<<< Related: Interested in earning cash back on your purchases at over 10,000 retailers? And earning rewards for your pharmacy, supermarket, and gas station receipts? Join Swagbucks. Over $680 million in PayPal cash, Amazon cards, Prepaid Visa, and other rewards paid out to real consumers. >>>
How Does GasBuddy Work?
To get started with GasBuddy you can sign up either online or through the app that you download to your mobile device. GasBuddy members must be at least 18 years old and have a current driver’s license plus an open checking account to use the service.
Only a checking account can be used at this time and will be linked to your GasBuddy account for payment purposes. If you do not use online banking you will need your routing and account numbers to complete the signup process.
After completing the basic information, you will be sent a GasBuddy card. The card will have to be activated before it is used to pay at the pump.
How to Enroll in GasBuddy Pay at the Pump
- Open the GasBuddy app and find the join for free icon and tap it.
- Create a new account or log in to your current account.
- Follow the on-screen directions to complete the form including adding your checking account information.
Note: if you have linked using your routing and account number you will be instructed to wait up to 3 days. During that time 2 small deposits will be made to this account to confirm. Once those deposits have been made you can complete the process.
How to Use the GasBuddy Card at the Pump
Once the card has been activated you are ready to use it to pay for gas at the pump. Remember, the discounted amount will not show at the pump. You will get those savings through your GasBuddy account.
- Swipe the GasBuddy card (it will look like the one above) when you are ready to pump your gas.
- Select credit when asked for the payment type.
- Some pumps may ask for an odometer reading. You can either add this information or press “99” to skip this step.
- Enter your 4 digit driver number and then pump your gas as you normally would.
That is all there is to it. You will pay the regular price at the pump and get the discounted savings back. There is a daily limit of $75 and a weekly limit of $300.
GasBuddy Premium gives you higher per gallon savings plus additional benefits including roadside assistance. Roadside assistance includes:
- Towing of up to 10 miles. After 10 miles there will be a charge.
- Fuel delivery. 2 Gallons of gas will be delivered and must be paid for upon arrival.
- Lockout events.
- Flat tires.
Your premium Gas Buddy benefits include 3 of these events per year.
GasBuddy Premium also gives you the Park with GasBuddy and GasBuddy Drives benefits. Park with GasBuddy allows you to find and buy discounted parking passes to public and private parking lots or spaces.
GasBuddy Drives gives you money-saving tips on your driving including proper maintenance, speed and braking, and more.
How Much Does GasBuddy Premium Cost?
There are 2 options for GasBuddy Premium. The monthly option is $9.99 for a 12-month contract for a total of $119.88. The yearly option is billed one time and is $99 for the whole year, saving you just over $20.
How Do I Cancel GasBuddy?
If you decide to cancel the premium account or close your free GasBuddy account, you can do so at any time. To close the free account you will need to submit a help ticket to customer service.
To cancel the remainder of your Gas Buddy premium account:
- Go to your account and find “Manage membership”.
- Click on that and follow all of the prompts to close the account.
- You will still have access to the free GasBuddy service unless you also take the steps listed above to close it as well.
Any fees paid for the premium service are non-refundable unless your membership is terminated by GasBuddy.
What is Shop Your Way?
Shop Your Way is the alternative way to save. Instead of receiving a percentage off a gallon of gas at the pump, you will earn cashback savings when you redeem your rewards. Currently, your savings will be 30 cents per gallon for the first 2 months of membership. After that, the savings/cashback amount will drop to 15 cents per gallon.
The same $75 per day or $300 per week restrictions apply to Shop Your Way.
The Shop Your Way Mastercard Credit Card
You can also apply for and use the Shop Your Way Mastercard Credit card and earn additional savings whenever you use it.
Cashback earnings include:
- 5% on gas and related purchases.
- 3% back on grocery and restaurants
- 2% back on purchases made at merchants including Sears and others.
- 1% back on other, valid purchases.
You must be approved for the Mastercard based on income and credit ratings. Credit card applications are handled differently in each state.
GasBuddy has some definite pros and cons. Let’s go over them.
GasBuddy has some solid points and can be beneficial in many ways. The pros for the free service include:
- Easy to use at the pump.
- Free to join.
- Access to maps that show where gas prices are the cheapest on your route.
- The trip cost calculator can help you plan road trips to maximize your gas savings.
With the good, there will always be the bad as well.
- Must have a bank account (checking account) to use the Gas Buddy app.
- Savings are not immediate and may not come to your account for several days.
- Daily/weekly restrictions may mean that frequent drivers will not see adequate savings to make it worthwhile especially when gas prices are soaring.
- People who are uneasy about online checking may balk at having to give their routing and account numbers to save a few cents on a gallon of gas.
- There are additional steps to using the card at the pump like including odometer readings and entering your driver id number. You can skip adding the odometer reading by pressing “99”.
- GasBuddy is not available in all areas and is not accepted as payment at many gas stations.
GasBuddy Premium Pros
- Roadside assistance can be helpful in an emergency.
- GasBuddy Drives can help see where poor driving habits are costing you money and offer ways to fix them.
- Park with GasBuddy is great for people who are frequently stuck paying high prices for parking.
- Can pay for the year upfront to save time and money.
GasBuddy Premium Cons
- No refund is available if you cancel membership for any reason.
- Savings drop dramatically after the first 60 days.
- Roadside assistance is limited to 3 events per year and each service is also severely limited. You must still pay for gas if it is delivered to you, for instance. Depending on where you are when you run out of gas, 2 gallons may not get you to safety or to a gas station to fill up.
Other Ways to Save Money and Get Free Gas
GasBuddy is not the only way to save and is not available in every area so here are some additional ways to help you keep yourself on the road even during these times of super high gas prices.
#1 Tada App
Tada is free to join and works like magic to put cash back in your pocket. As a welcome bonus, you can earn up to 20% cashback on your purchases plus an additional $10 bonus. Earn cash back on every gas purchase you make at gas stations, too.
Use Tada to save money shopping at over 10,000 retailers – through cash back rebates and getting the best coupons and promo codes. You can also earn rewards for your drug store and supermarket purchases, too.
How Tada Works
Create your Tada account in 30 seconds, confirm your email and then sign in to upload receipts from wherever you shop. There are literally thousands of merchants and gas stations with thousands of items that are eligible for cashback.
Earn $1 for every gas purchase you make at a participating gas station. This for purchases of $5 or more. Just submit a picture of your gas receipt. Since pretty much every major chain, and many medium and small ones, work with Tada, this is pretty much a gimme. If you’re not using Tada to claim the rewards, you’re throwing away $52 in free money a year
And you can use Tada and other savings and rewards program apps, too.
#2 | Gas Guru
Gas Guru is a good app for showing you the price of fuel at all the nearby gas stations. You can filter by how far you’re willing to drive, fuel grade, and price. You can make sure that you’re getting the cheapest gas around – within a reasonable driving distance. There may even be ads and coupons for you to get bigger discounts.
#3 | Waze
Waze is a helpful app for those interested in saving money at the pump and connecting with a community of other drivers.
Use Waze to find the best traffic routes, avoid speed traps and hazards, and get the best discounted price when you fuel up. Other Waze users will share their tips for getting the best deals.
And as an added bonus, you can link your credit card or debit card to Waze. This makes paying at the pump truly contactless at participating ExxonMobil and Shell stations. But if you’re not comfortable linking your bank account (debit card), you certainly don’t have to.
#4 | Get Upside
Get Upside claims they can save you up to 25-cents per gallon. To get the cash back rebates through this rewards program, you’ll need to snap a pic of your receipt and upload it through your phone.
#5 | AAA TripTik Travel Planner
The AAA TripTik, Travel Planner is available to anyone for free. Previously, it was only available to its paying members, but now anyone can take advantage of the app’s fantastic features to plan the best road trips and track the prices (per gallon) of fuel at over 85,000 gas stations throughout the US.
If you do upgrade to a premium membership, you’ll save more money yet with special discounts for lodging (the participating hotel chain list is huge), free tows and roadside assistance, and special discounts at participating restaurants and retailers.
#6 | Loyalty Programs to Save Money on Gas Purchases
- Kroger is only one of many grocery stores that give you rewards points that are good for savings at the pump.
- Gas station reward programs. You can join multiple reward programs for all the gas stations in your area, too. Speedy Rewards, Shell Fuel Rewards, and BPme Rewards are all worth signing up for.
- Credit card rewards programs. Look for a card with the lowest possible, fixed-rate APR that also specifically mentions gas rewards. You can use these at the pump to pay for your gas and also earn the cashback to pay for additional gas.
It doesn’t hurt to remember the basics of good driving including not idling if you can avoid it, maximizing your trip by combining all errands by group in just one day, not overloading your car, and always checking that your car is at its best running condition. Check your tire pressure, avoid excessive braking or speeding, and use cruise control whenever it is safe and feasible to do so.
Conclusion on GasBuddy
GasBuddy can be helpful to people but is not available in all areas. And even where Gas Buddy is available, the app has its limitations – notably with privacy. You have to provide your bank account info and agree to be tracked. That’s a big commit. Also, GasBuddy Premium may not prove to be worth the added expense to the average driver and there is no way to try it out before committing to a full year.
Saving on gas by joining Costco or Sam’s Club, along with using Tada and using grocery fuel rewards, is probably a better money saving bet.