Due to all of the talk around gas prices at the moment, I started to think about all of the ways I am maximizing the cash back or discounts I can potentially earn whenever I purchase gas. So I wanted to share those with you!
Gas prices are currently at or near decade lows depending on what area of the country you live in. Due to a gas price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, an over supply of gasoline is being created. Combine that with the fact that people around the world are social distancing, working from home, or not working at all due to the Coronavirus, this is making the issue worse as there's a lot less demand on the purchase of gas due to less driving.
This is why I wanted to talk about my favorite combinations of how I am able to get a discount or increase cash back at the pump, by stacking cash back.
There are a few cash back strategies I use when getting gas. The largest cash back stacking strategy combination when it comes to gas, involves a credit card and three apps. The first level of every cash back strategy you can use should first start with a cash back credit card, and the credit card I use to maximize cash back at the pump is the Costco Credit Card. With Costco I receive 4% Cash Back whenever and wherever I buy gas, not just at Costco!
Level 2 - GetUpside App
The 2nd level is the GetUpside Cashback App. With GetUpside, there are several gas stations including Shell, Exxon Mobile and others which work with GetUpside to provide you with cash back whenever you buy gas. If you're not familiar with GetUpside, I have a video detailing how the app works, but essentially you open the app and use the map to locate your nearest gas stations. Once you've found one near you that offers cash back, you can then select it, and you have a 4 hour window to buy gas and then upload your receipt into the GetUpside App. Now the amount of cashback you can receive will vary each time you check the app, even if you're going to the same gas station. So be sure to check for other gas stations in your area to ensure you are getting the maximum cash back, while also considering the cost per gallon and the station you choose. Getting more cash back is a bad reason to pay more for gas, so ensure that you are getting the best overall value with the lowest total spent on your gas! As an example, at the time of this recording, the Shell gas station nearest me is providing 21cents cash back per gallon, and I also have a bonus .15cents per gallon cash back I received for inviting another user to GetUpside, which brings the price per gallon down to $1.49 theoretically. However the actual price per gallon I pay at the pump is $1.85 per gallon, and I'll receive a total credit of 36cents per gallon in the GetUpside app the next time I pump gas. This would be a total of $5-$6 cash back, as it usually takes 15-17 gallons to fill my tank. Now not including my bonus 15cents per gallon, the 21cents I am seeing in the app at the time of recording is on the high end of what I normally see. This could be as low as 1cent, or as high as 25cents which I've seen in the past even without an invite bonus. If I were to use an average of 15cents cash back per gallon, with gas at $2 per gallon, that would equal out to 7.5% cash back using GetUpside! However with currently low gas prices, and an extra bonus from inviting another user, my cash back percentage is actually higher today at 19.5% per gallon!
Level 3 - Bits of Stock App
In order to go to the 3rd and 4th level, it does take some coordination and decision making on the brand of gas you will consistently shop with. On the first level it didn't matter, because you're getting 4% at any gas station. On the 2nd level there are several gas stations to choose from, but not all gas stations, even from the same company, will give you cash back. And the amount of cash back will vary on a day to day basis. So once you've used the GetUpside app on a regular basis you may find a gas station which is consistently giving a good cash back to price per gallon ratio for you, and you now need to align it to the next app which is the Bits of Stock App! With Bits of Stock, you receive cash back at certain gas stations which are available in the app, and that cash back is used to purchase fractional shares of stock. For me the two gas stations which work out the best for me, as far as aligning with the GetUpside app, are Shell and Exxon Mobile. Every time I buy gas from either Shell or Exxon, I receive .50% cash back on all of my purchases, as long as the credit card I use is linked to their app. In this case, my Costco Credit Card! This is done automatically, and there's no need to upload a receipt or complete the transaction within a certain time period. Just swipe and receive the credit within a few days in the app. This cash back then turns into Shell or Exxon Mobile stock. Now the amount of cash back is very minimal in the grand scheme of things at only half a percent, but this will add up over time. Not only that, but since you receive it back in stock, those bits of stock (pun intended) turn into larger and larger shares. Unless you have an electric vehicle, or don't drive, you will need to buy gas eventually. So why not maximize on your purchases and receive free stock in the process as well!
Level 4 - The Bumped App
The 4th level follows the same premise, and that is with the Bumped app. But there is a slight difference on how they work. With the Bumped app you can only choose one gas station and there are only 4 options to choose from, so this is really getting you into brand loyalty territory. With this app I ended up sticking with Shell, since Shell has the best cashback/price per gallon ratio in my area. In fact, where I live there is not an Exxon Mobile gas station nearby that provides cash back at all via GetUpside. I tend to run into more eligible Exxon Mobile's when I travel away from home. The other 2 options within the Bumped app are BP and Chevron. No matter which of the 4 options you choose, you will receive .50% cash back which is also used to purchase fractional shares of stock! With all 3 of the 4 companies you have the option to choose either the VTI ETF as your stock, or the actual company stock of ExxonMobil/Chevron or BP. Shell only has the option to receive fractional shares of VTI, which is my preference anyway. So I receive half a percent of my gas purchase which is used to purchase the VTI ETF whenever I buy gas.
So in Total, my favorite cash back stack receives 4% from Costco Credit card + an average of 7.5% from the GetUpside App + half % from Bits of Stock + another half % from the Bumped App, bringing my average cash back at the pump to a total of 12.5% cash back! With the average person using over 600 gallons of gas per year, and using an average price per gallon of $2, that's about $150 worth of cash back every year! If gas cost more in your area, then your cash back amount would be higher as well.
Alternate 2 Level Stack
However this cash back combination isn't always the best value. Remember, the actual price per gallon of gas also matters. Like I mentioned, my average cash back from the GetUpside app is 7.5%. So if I can buy gas at another gas station, which has a higher percentage savings vs the percent of cash back per gallon using get-upside, then that is the better value.
This takes me to my most often used stack, which is simply Costco!
Costco gas in my area is typically 15 to 20 cents lower than all of the surrounding gas stations. So if gas is $2 at Shell, in many cases gas at Costco will be in the $1.85 to $1.80 range. That's 7.5% to 10% cheaper on a pretty consistent basis. If my cash back from GetUpside isn't more, then here's my 2 level stack! 4% Cash back with the Costco Credit Card, and then .50% cash back with the Bits of Stock App! Yes, Costco is also available in the Bits of Stock app, and you get cash back with their gas station or whenever you shop inside of Costco. This makes my Cash Back stack at a minimum, 4.5% when I buy gas using my Costco Card at Costco Gas Stations.
Now if you happen to have a credit card which provides a higher cash back amount than the Costco Credit card, then certainly use that card. The Sam's Club credit card offers 5% cash back year round, and the Chase Freedom and Discover IT 5% Cash back for 1 quarter out of the year. So definitely use the credit card which provides the most cash back on a consistent basis for you.
If you are not familiar with any of the apps mentioned above, or don't currently use them, be sure to use my referral links in the description and comment section below. With GetUpside you will receive a bonus 15cents per gallon on your first gas purchases when using the app. And there's also an automated feature to receive cash back without uploading a receipt, just look for the gas stations with a Blue Lightning Bolt next to their location. What credit cards and cash back apps do you use to maximize your cash back? Think you have a better Cash Back Stack? Let us know in the comment section below!
AJ Mobile Money
Husband | Father | YouTuber | Former ATLien
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