5 Gas Apps to Help You Save Money at the Pump in 2022
Inflation is making everything we buy more expensive, and that's especially true at the pump. According to AAA, average fuel prices in April 2022 are up 42% from a year ago.
That can be especially tough if you rely on your car to get to work, for example, or even if you just enjoy road trips. But there are many ways to save money on gas and one of the best strategies is to use gas apps. It's a bit more work to use gas saving apps but they can help you save money.
What Is a Gas App?
There isn't any one definition of "gas app," but it generally means any mobile app that's designed to help you save money on gas. Gas apps can help you do this in a few different ways.
Some free apps simply point you to the nearest gas station with the cheapest prices. Other gas apps offer discounts on your purchase, or ways to earn cashback rewards that you can stockpile and redeem later. Some gas apps help you operate your car at its maximum fuel efficiency, so you don't waste gas.
Here Are 5 Gas Apps to Try This Year
Gas apps can help you save money in a few different ways. Based on customer experience, here are some of the best apps to use, plus the details of how they work:
- 4.7 based on nearly 440,000 reviews on the iTunes App Store
- 4.3 based on nearly 825,000 reviews on the Google Play Store
How GasBuddy works
GasBuddy is one of the premier gas savings apps. It offers several money-saving features, starting with its real-time gas price map to help you find the cheapest station in your area.
You can also sign up for their free Pay with GasBuddy card, which you can swipe at the pump. You link this card up with your bank account, and it functions much like a debit card. By using the card, you'll get access to special discounts and promotions that you'll need to activate in advance, but GasBuddy claims that it can help you save up to 25 cents per gallon.
- 4.8 based on over 180,000 reviews on the iTunes App Store
- 4.5 based on nearly 145,000 reviews on the Google Play Store
How GetUpside works
If you'd rather use your own credit cards or debit cards to pay, you might prefer GetUpside. This app partners with stores across the country to offer cash back on gas purchases. All you have to do is upload a receipt into the app or use its Check In feature to earn cash back. It's similar to how loyalty programs or fuel rewards programs work.
While GetUpside offers many ways to earn cash back on gas purchases, it also offers cash back at grocery stores and restaurants, too.
3. Gas Guru
- 3.2 based on over 2,000 reviews on the iTunes App Store
- 3.2 based on over 11,000 reviews on the Google Play Store
How Gas Guru works
Gas Guru's premise is simple: all it does is allow you to find details on nearby gas stations. You can sort by features like ATMs available, discounts for paying in cash and yes — even the price of gas.
It's a relatively basic app, but one of the handy features it does offer is the ability to save locations that you frequent, such as your home and workplace. This lets you quickly find the nearest cheap gas stations to these locations so you can plan in advance.
- 4.9 based on over 3,000,000 reviews on the iTunes App Store
- 4.4 based on over 8,500,000 reviews on the Google Play Store
How Waze works
You might know Waze as a navigational app, and that's where it shines. But one of the built-in features you might not be aware of is that it can help direct you straight to the nearest gas station with low prices.
To do this, just click on the search bar like you would when you're entering any location. Click on the gas pump icon and it'll pull up a list of the closest gas stations to you, along with the real-time gas prices at that station. You can also tap the gear icon to sort according to the cheapest gas prices, rather than distance.
Pro tip: Do this before you start driving. If you wait until after you're already on the road, like if you were adding a stop, it's hard to see the gas prices listed (not to mention it’s also unsafe!).
- 4.7 based on over 500 reviews on the iTunes App Store
- 4.5 based on over 91,000 reviews on the Google Play Store
How Drivvo works
If you drive for a side hustle like Uber or Lyft and need a broader understanding of your costs, Drivvo is a great app to try. You can enter all of your costs for car ownership into the app, including repair work, fees and fuel costs.
That might sound like a bummer at first, but consider this: You can see how much certain driving situations cost you, and make more cost-effective decisions based on that data. For example, you can compare exactly what your fuel consumption is if you do a shift in rush-hour traffic with stop-and-go driving, versus morning airport trips.
The app can also remind you of regular maintenance and payments you need to make. These nudges can help your car run at maximum efficiency to save money on gas, as well as help you avoid late fees and fines.
How Do You Get Cashback Using a Gas App?
Most gas saving apps that offer cash back don't offer the savings immediately. Instead, you'll save up cash back in the app each time you use it, just like depositing money into a savings account.
Each cash back app has its own rules for how it works, but generally, there are limits on when and how you can redeem your cash back. For example, you may need to have a certain balance of cash back in the app before you're eligible to redeem it. And once that happens, there may be limited options for claiming your cash back, such as by Paypal deposit, gift card or physical check mailed to you.
Are Gas Apps Worth It?
Gas apps take time and effort to use — and require a bit more planning than just choosing to fill up at the closet gas station. And once there, you may need to remember to activate your rewards, upload a photo of your receipts and track your cash back.
But as the cost of filling up the tank continues to rise, the best gas apps will locate cheap gas near you, offer rewards and cash back and help plan your routes with fuel efficiency in mind. Those perks can be worthwhile given today’s fuel prices — plus they may help you keep more money in the budget for goals like building an emergency fund or paying off debt.