Gas Prices Set To Rise Again. Here’s How To Save At The Pump

Gas prices will soon be on the rise again.

Starting next month, OPEC+ will cut its oil production by two million barrels per day. That means the relief consumers are experiencing at the gas pump could be over.

The national average price of gas was $3.87 per gallon on Oct. 6, according to data from AAA. It’s 10 cents higher than it was a month ago but still lower than a record-high of $5 per gallon in June.

With inflation at 8.3%, states are stepping in to provide rebate payments for residents to help them afford elevated prices on everyday items, including gas—but many states don’t have plans to send checks to residents.

If you need help managing higher gas prices, there are ways to save.

5 Ways to Save Money on Gas

1. Use Gas Apps to Find Cheap Gas Near You

A handful of helpful apps will show you nearby gas stations and real-time prices of their gas. GasBuddy, for example, lets users update nearby gas prices and allows you to search by current location, ZIP code or city. GasBuddy also offers a free rewards card for users that provides discounts on gas. The card links directly to a checking account and is sent via mail.

Swiping the rewards card and that gas pump can save users up to 25 cents per gallon at the pump, according to GasBuddy’s website. GasBuddy makes money by selling customer data preferences to station operators, according to USA Today.

2. Enroll in Gas Rewards Programs

Those with a favorite gas station chain can benefit from enrolling in its rewards program. These programs reward returning customers by providing discounts every time they fill up.

Exxon Mobil Rewards+ earns three points per gallon on fuel and two points for every $1 spent in convenience stores and car washes. Every 100 points redeemed will provide $1 off your purchase, up to a maximum of 5,000 points redeemed at once, totaling $50 in savings.

3. Take Advantage of Grocery Store Rewards Programs

Numerous grocery store chains have loyalty programs that provide gas rewards. Kroger’s fuel points program provides one fuel point for every $1 spent in Kroger stores.

Purchasing gas at Kroger gas stations provides the best redemption value of up to 1,000 fuel points for $1 off per gallon; at participating Shell stations, 100 points can be redeemed for 10 cents off per gallon.

There’s no limit to how many fuel points can be earned each month, but they expire the last day of the month after they are earned—so be sure to use them each month to maximize your discount.

4. Buy Gas with a Rewards Credit Card

Responsible credit card usage can reap rewards at the gas pump. Some credit cards have specific spending categories with high-percentage earning amounts, including gas.

Be sure to pay off your credit card balance in full each month to avoid extra costs to cover the interest. Check out our picks for the best credit cards for gas.

5. Fill up on Mondays

A Feb. 2022 survey by GasBuddy found that gas is the cheapest on Mondays in most states across the country, and Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday were the most expensive days.

Why Are Gas Prices Still High?

High demand for crude oil and low supply pushed gas prices upward this year. And though the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates five times so far in 2022—and is planning on more raises in the near future to nudge prices down—there are other factors at play internationally.

Crude oil, the natural resource used to produce gasoline and diesel fuel, has seen dramatic changes to its supply throughout the pandemic. When Covid-19 first hit worldwide and fewer people were on the roads, major oil-producing companies cut back on their oil production.

The war in Ukraine has hurt the global supply of oil. Russia, which produces about 10% of the world’s oil, is being sanctioned due to its invasion of Ukraine. The United States has completely banned Russian oil imports, further squeezing global supply.

Gas prices did start to slide over the summer as a variety of price-stabilization efforts brought relief, including a historic release from the Strategic Oil Reserve. But now, the announcement from OPEC+ to further cut the global oil supply means they’re bound to spike again.

States all over the country continue to see elevated gas prices. For example, California’s average gas price per gallon is $6.42 (partly because California has unique market challenges), and Illinois’ price currently sits at $4.38.

Read more: Today’s Highest Gas Prices By State

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