Gas prices: How to save at the pump, according to an expert


Consumers are feeling the pain at the pump and looking for ways to save.

The national average price for a gallon of gas were $4.98 as of Monday, according to AAA, with 17 states averaging over $5 per gallon. And as drivers dig deeper into their wallets to fill up their tanks, there are a few things to consider to bring down fuel costs.

“What I would suggest is get a card that gives, let’s say, 5% cash back on gas — something like the Sam’s Club Mastercard, for example,” Bankrate Senior Industry Analyst Ted Rossman told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “The Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited give new customers 5% cashback on gas in their first year. The Costco Anywhere Visa is popular as well with 4% cash back on gas.”

The Wawa Credit Card is another option for drivers looking to save, offering customers 50 cents off per gallon for the first month after opening your account and 5 cents per gallon after that.

Shop around and use Warehouse Clubs

Another tip to save at the pump is to shop around for the best deal, according to Rossman.

Warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club or Costco typically offer fuel at discounted prices, and those savings can be substantial.

“Keep your eyes peeled as you drive around,” he said. “Warehouse club memberships could pay off for gas savings and food. In some markets, you could save 50 cents, maybe even a full dollar per gallon at a place like Sam’s Club or Costco, and then if you get their credit card, you can save even more on top of that.”

GasBuddy data shows the price for a gallon of gas at a Costco in Culver City, California, is $5.99, 41 cents lower than the state’s average of $6.40 per gallon. Meanwhile, the cost of a gallon of gas at a Sam’s Club in Long Beach, California, is currently $5.79.

Cars line up for gas outside a Costco Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Pewaukee, Wis. The Costco offered gas at less than $4 a gallon, some of the cheapest in the area. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Cars line up for gas outside a Costco Wednesday, May 11, 2022, in Pewaukee, Wis. The Costco offered gas at less than $4 a gallon, some of the cheapest in the area. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Rossman also suggested consumers tack on savings from a gas station’s app. Many of the major gas station companies offer these to customers, which can help drivers pile on savings over time.

“Use the gas station apps,” Rossman urged. “Their payment apps usually give you 5 or 10 cents off per gallon. Combine that with the rewards credit card.”

Phillips 66 is offering customers 10 cents off per gallon when they pay through the My Phillips 66, My Conoco, or My 76 app. BP’s BPme rewards allow customers to save 5 cents per gallon when using the app, and you can save 10 cents per gallon when you fill up at Shell stations using its fuel rewards program.

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JUNE 09: Guy Benhamou sends a picture of gas prices to friends while pumping gas at an Exxon Mobil gas station on June 09, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Gas prices are breaching record highs as demand increases and supply fails to keep up. There are now over 10 states where the average price of gasoline is $5 a gallon or higher. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Guy Benhamou sends a picture of gas prices to friends while pumping gas at an Exxon Mobil gas station on June 09, 2022, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Car maintenance

Lastly, it makes sense to think twice about your driving habits before hitting the road.

Things like driving too fast, carrying extra weight in your trunk, and excessive braking can impact how much you’re spending on gas per month, too.

“If you have got a whole bunch of junk in your trunk, clean that out,” Rossman advised, adding that you should also keep your car’s maintenance up to date.

The U.S. Department of Energy says keeping your vehicle in shape can help with gas mileage. Things like fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve mileage by up to 40%, and properly inflating tires can improve your mileage by up to 3%.

“Don’t drive too fast,” Rossman stressed. “There is a real drop-off, especially after 55 or 60 miles per hour. If you go faster than that, you are burning more gas.”

Seana Smith anchors Yahoo Finance Live’s 3-5 p.m. ET program. Follow her on Twitter @SeanaNSmith

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