Once upon a time, food was inexpensive, utilities were cheap, and free gas was practically real. But times have changed.
According to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, gas prices were just $1.50 in the 90’s. (And a couple pennies in the 40’s, but that’s another story).
With the average gas tank for a small American car at 12 gallons, the price to fill up was just $18.50.
Now, the average price for a gallon of gas in California is $4.07, as per AAA. And with prices that high, you have to budget as much for gas money as you would for shopping at grocery stores.
Gas stations are taking notice, too. Many offer a rewards program or a branded credit card with promises to trim your fuel bill. And more new options to save at the pump are cropping up every day.
So don’t despair. Because savvy consumers are finding all types of ways to get free gasoline, from scoring free gas cards (we’ll show you how shortly) to bundling gas rewards points and so much more.
So keep reading, because all it takes is a little bit of time. Before you know it, you won’t have to ever reach for your wallet or credit card again at gas stations.
Free Gas Cards
InboxDollars is one of our favorite survey sites. Started way back in 2000 (when gas prices were less than a $1.50) they’ve since paid out $57M in free gift cards, free gas cards and prizes.
Survey Junkie, which was started in 2011, now has over 3M members and counting. They’ve paid out millions of dollars in free gift cards, gas cards included. You can fill your gas tank up for free by earning these gift cards through surveys, inviting friends, sharing links on social media and other easy tasks.
Swagbucks is another legit way to get free gas. You can even get paid to watch videos. Once you stack up enough reward points, you can redeem them for free gas. Plus, their point system is easy to use. For every 100 points you earn, that’s worth $1. So, with 5,000 points you can get a $50 gas card at Shell, Sunoco, Chevron, or Exxon Mobil.
Discounted Gas Cards
Another great way to save money on gas is to buy discounted gas cards. One at a time you may only save a few percentage points, but in aggregate, over time, it could mean considerable savings.
CardPool is another great place to buy discounted gift cards. Here you can expect to save quite a bit. Sometimes, the discounts are as steep as 35% off retail. As an example, let’s say it costs you $50 to fill up your tank. If you can snag a cheap gift card at that discount, you’d only pay $32.50. So, given the steep discount, it’s 100% worth the search effort.
Raise is another discount gift card market. They offer a wide variety f discounted gas cards, for stations like Shell, Speedway, Sheetz and many more. If you buy a discounted gift card now, you can expect to save $10 off your first buy of $100 worth of gift cards.
Gift Card Granny is another great source for cheap gift cards. Savings will vary here, anywhere from 2% to as much as 15%. Much like the discount level, the selection varies too. But, regardless, you can expect a better deal compared to paying full retail price.
Virtually every major gas brand is listed on Gift Card Granny, so regardless of where you’re located, you’ll find one you can use.
Gas Credit Cards
We recommend you get a a gas credit card from a company that offers rewards at any gas station. Why?
- Partly for convenience. Because who has time to go out of their way for a specific gas station?
- And partly because you can always get for the best deal–and aren’t tied to any one gas station.
Because some stations have better prices than others at certain times. Getting a card not affiliated with any one gas station means greater savings for you. Banks know this, hence why there’s no shortage of gas credit cards out now (learn more about our favorites in this Discover Card review).
Discover It Credit Card has the best offer in the business right now. You can earn 5% at gas stations–plus on any Uber & Lyft ride you take–through June 2019, upon activation.
Discover It Chrome for Students has the next best offer out right now. If you’re a student looking for free gas, this card is for you. And, considering most students have a lengthy commute, a card like this is a no-brainer.
Advertise On Your Car
Using your car as an advertisement is one of the best passive income ideas. You can make money–and free gas–just by doing what you do anyway: driving.
Wrapify is a leader in the car advertising space. They’re trusted by leading brands like Google, Microsoft, Bud Light, Petco, Lyft, eBay and dozens of others. What makes Wrapify compelling? You can earn free gas fast with no upfront costs. Plus, it’s fast, simple and easy to sign up. Not to mention you can make great money.
- Lite wrap will get you $196 to $280
- Partial wrap will get you $196 to $280
- Full wrap will get you $264 to $452
Carvertise is another leader in the car advertising space. They’ve wrapped thousands of car since 2012. The car wraps are 100% safe for your car, and you’re never obligated to participate in any one campaign. So you always have a choice.
- Earn a minimum of $100 per month
- Or, earn $300-$1200 per campaign
- Become a driver in less than 20 minutes
FreeGasHelp is another great way to get free gas. How does FreeGasHelp work? Simple! Much like Wrapify and Carvertise, you just place an advertisement on your car and they give you free gas. The requirements are just as simple.
- Drive at least 1,000 miles a month.
- Make sure your car is in good condition.
- Have a clean driving record
Free Gas From Non-Profits
Depending upon your financial situation, free gas could mean the difference between paying bills or not. If your income permits, try these methods:
- The Salvation Army offers fund for those in need of gas. Depending on your location, churches and other non-profit can expedite the process.
- Free Gas USA is another program that provides free gas vouchers. The application is simple, but requires the approval of a local case worker.
- Community Action Agencyis a leading, national, 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization that helps people and communities in need.
- United Way Membership Agency is another leading non-profit that helps over 1,800 communities across 40 countries and territories globally.
Other Ways To Save On Gas
Along with using the ways above to get free gas, there are other things you can do to cut down on gasoline costs in your budget. From getting a motorcycle to save money (it works) to staying on top of your vehicle maintenance, there are plenty of ways to save money on gas.
Slow and Steady Wins The Race
Ever wonder why new car manufacturers display highway MPG and city MPG? Because the constant acceleration, deceleration and braking typical of city driving will have you burning fuel fast. So, the remedy is to maintain a steady speed as much as possible. Another reason to do this is because it’s better for the car. Driving this way will ensure your car lasts longer and requires less maintenance.
Regularly Maintain Your Car
Did you know that your tire pressure influences your fuel economy? It’s true. If you keep your tires properly inflated, you could save some serious change on gas. The same is true of your oil levels and filter health. As per the U.S. Fuel Economy website:
Improve your gas mileage by 0.6% on average—up to 3% in some cases—by keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.
Buy A Motorcycle To Save Money
By cutting down your time in the car, you’ll cut your gas expense. That’s simple math. Public transportation is one great way to save. Taking the bus or subway can save you considerable gas money. But, the cost of getting your motorcycle license–including the safety course–can save you even more money annually. Consider this: your average motorcycle gets 45-65 miles per gallon. Meanwhile, according to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), gets 23.6 mpg on average.
Use Cashback Apps To Save More
Ibotta is one of the best money making apps of 2019, hands-down. You can learn more about it in our detailed Ibotta review, but the long story short is, you can get 10% to 20% cash back into your bank account just by downloading it. Once you download it, connect it to your credit cards and you’re all good to go. You’ll get $5 for every card you connect, plus the money back on purchases–including when you buy gas. Over time, the money you make will equate to gallons of glorious free gas.
Cancel Useless Subscriptions
We’ve covered Trim in-depth in a recent Trim review, but the short version is this: you can negotiate on your utility bills and cancel subscriptions, all with a text message. Trim examines all of your monthly expenses and tells you what costs to cut, when and where. It’s seriously that easy.
Free Gas: Wrap-Up
From using apps like Ibotta to save on gas, to doing surveys and even contacting local non-profits (or getting yourself a motorcycle), the options are truly endless. If you’re creative and willing to put the time in, you can absolutely get free gas. Of course, it won’t be 100% free. There’s some work involved, whether completing surveys or downloading apps, but that’s much easier than shelling out more cold hard cash than you need to.
Have you used any of these methods to get free gas? If so, what was your experience? Share it in the comments below.