A man wearing a blue jacket filling fuel in his car at a petrol pump

How to Save Money on Gas

Published April 11, 2023
4 min read

Key points about: how to save on gas

  1. Switching your payment method could help you save money on gas.

  2. Gas rewards credit cards often offer extra cash back from gas station purchases, so you could earn rewards for filling your tank.

  3. You can save money on gas by driving carefully, buying a fuel-efficient car, and choosing the right gas station.

Gasoline prices can put a strain on many American household budgets. Fortunately, you can implement a few strategies to reduce your gas expenses. Read on to learn how to save money on gas, behind the wheel, at the pump, and beyond.

How do you pay for gas?

As you reach for your wallet at the gas station, you might want to consider how your payment method could lower your costs: 

  • Cash. Some gas stations may offer a discount if you pay in cash. You could save between five and ten cents per gallon, though you may find that the convenience of a credit card is worth the extra cost. 
  • Debit cards. Some gas stations include debit cards in their cash discounts, and some don’t. If you’re looking to cut costs on gas with your debit card, confirm at the register before paying. Be warned: your debit card could leave you more vulnerable to card skimmers than a credit card.   
  • Credit cards with rewards. You could save money on gas by paying with the right credit card. Cash back rewards credit cards typically offer you a percentage of your total purchases as cash back. These rewards usually appear on your monthly statement.

Use a gas rewards credit card

Gas rewards credit cards could help you save even more at the pump. They offer extra cash back at gas stations, so you can get rewards for your road trips and your daily commute.

Did You Know?

With the Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurant Credit Card, you could earn cash back on your next trip with 2% cash back at Gas stations and Restaurants, on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.1 The rewards don’t end there. You also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases and an unlimited cash back match. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.2

Learn More

Turn cash back rewards into fuel

One way to save money on gas with your gas rewards credit card is to budget the cash back you receive to go toward fuel costs. Depending on your budget and financial needs, you could also use rewards for other expenses and further offset your gas costs.

How to maximize cash back on gas purchases with your rewards credit card

Once you have a gas rewards credit card, a few tricks could help you take your cash back rewards to the next level. Some people use their gas rewards card for all gas purchases to earn rewards quickly.

You could save even more on gas purchases by participating in loyalty programs for gas stations. Then, you’d earn rewards through your credit card provider and you’d also earn rewards through the loyalty program on the same transaction.

Tips for saving money on gas

Making savvy choices about how you pay for your gas isn’t the only way to save money. You could also employ a few of the following tips on and off the road.

Check your car’s fuel efficiency 

You could save money on gas based on the car you drive. How often do you have to refill your tank? You might want to note the average number of miles you’re getting per gallon. If your car’s fuel efficiency is low, consider switching to a hybrid or electric car or another energy-efficient option. Dealerships and auto loan providers will probably examine your credit score before approving you for a loan, though. So, before starting your search for a new car, you may want to check your credit report to ensure you have good credit.

Drive as efficiently as possible

No matter what car you drive, your decisions behind the wheel could help you save on gas. Aggressive driving and speeding may not only put drivers in danger but also reduces fuel efficiency by 10 to 40% or 7 to 14%, respectively. After you hit 50 MPH, your fuel efficiency begins to plummet. Idling eats up fuel quickly, too. Avoid leaving the engine running while the car is in park. You can also take anything you don’t need out of your vehicle to improve fuel efficiency. Extra weight could bring down your miles per gallon, especially in a smaller car. 

Keep your car in good shape

You may reduce your car’s gas consumption by attending to maintenance needs immediately. Keeping your tires inflated, for example, may improve your overall gas mileage. Switching the motor oil you use may help, too. If you use the grade of oil your car’s manufacturer recommends, you may improve your gas mileage by a few percent.

Which gas stations do you go to?

Perhaps you’ve noticed two gas stations on different sides of the same street charging different gas prices. The price of gas varies by location based on factors such as each retailer’s marketing costs, state and local taxes, and distance from the distributor. By comparing prices and loyalty programs across local establishments, you could uncover the best prices.  

What type of gas do you use?

Premium gas has a higher octane rating than regular gas and costs around 50 cents more per gallon. Car manufacturers optimize the vast majority of cars to function on regular gasoline. Unless your vehicle requires premium gas, using regular could save you money without affecting the car’s function.

Other rewards when you spend on gas

Some gas merchants may not offer cash back rewards or gas discounts, but they may offer loyalty cards that could save you money. Bonuses like a free car wash, sandwich, or cup of coffee add up over time, especially when paired with other money-saving tools like a gas rewards credit card. Plus, they could offer a pleasant surprise to brighten your day.

Many small changes could help you save money on gas, from the car you drive to the way you pay. With a gas rewards credit card, your gas station purchases could earn you cash back so that you’ll save even more money in the long run.


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