By Mike Thayer
We had it good a few years back, when the USA had become a global leader in oil production. In May of 2019, our country became a net oil and gas exporter, the first time since 1953. That production lead to a national average price for a gallon of gasoline in 2020 of just $2.17.
Then Joe Biden got elected President.
His administration has been on the attack against domestic oil and gas companies since moving into the White House. Biden has killed pipeline production and drilling, pulling permits and denying new requests. The national average price for a gallon of gas is now $4.94.
So with that high average price in mind, a lot of folks use those grocery store and/or convenience store loyalty cards to buy gas at a discounted price. Now more important than ever, those cards do come in handy and depending on your shopping habits can benefit you with saving 10 cents a gallon on gas for example.
But that loyalty card gas discount doesn't guarantee you're getting the best possible price for gas.
There are also those gas buying apps, where purchases at big box stores can provide discounts or turn into money for gas or better yet, cash back. One of the more popular gas apps is GasBuddy, which even claims to help you find the cheapest place to buy gas in your part of town. According to GasBuddy, you can save up to 25 cents per gallon using their app, but their list of gas prices is only as good as the users who provide that input to GasBuddy and their list isn't always accurate, nor does it necessarily reflect the cheapest place to buy gas if GasBuddy doesn't have a partnership with a particular vendor.
The average price for regular gas in Kansas as of this writing is $4.62 a gallon. The Wichita area tends to run a little cheaper than the state average. But we're 'lucky' here in Kansas, the national average price is now $5.10! How is that Trump era $2.17 per gallon looking now?
If you're a grocery store or convenience store loyalty card user and you filled up today at a listed price of $4.44 per gallon for regular here's the breakdown. With your loyalty card, you would pay around $4.34 a gallon, a savings of 10 cents per gallon. Some days it's more, some days it's less - it does hinge on your shopping habit - but a savings of about 10 cents a gallon is the consistent average. You swipe your loyalty card, then swipe your credit/debit card or pay cash at the window. If you put 15 gallons in the tank you saved $1.50. That's not bad, but you shelled out $65.10 to fill up and you're restricted to that vendor for gas, not necessarily the cheapest in town. Dillon's typically runs around the area average in price, they're not the cheapest, but they're not the highest. As for convenience stores, Casey's tends to be the least expensive, QuikTrip runs on the high end and Valero is THE highest in town at $4.60 a gallon for regular as of this writing.
If you're an Upside app user, you have to buy gas from one of their recommended 'offer' locations to get cash back and the amount of cash back depends on the grade of gas you buy as well as the vendor you choose to buy from. Your discount could be 3.5 cents per gallon if you don't read the fine print but could go as high as 21 cents per gallon. Keep in mind the cash back rate also correlates with the price per gallon. The cheaper the gas, the lower the cash back per gallon amount is. Higher priced gas, means a higher amount in cash back per gallon. You also have to 'claim' the offer on the app before pumping, so if you forget to claim before pumping or don't pump the gas in the time frame provided (once you claim the offer you have four hours to upload the purchase receipt) you lose out on cash back. So today, if you bought gas at an Upside 'offer' location, say, Kwik Shop for $4.47 a gallon for regular and you put 15 gallons in the tank, you could get around $1.95 cash back after your uploaded purchase receipt is approved (4-24 hours later). You shelled out $67.05 to fill up.
If you're a GasBuddy user, you swipe your GasBuddy card at one of their recommended gas vendor locations, then the discounted price is withdrawn from your linked checking account in 1 - 3 days. So if you buy regular gas at their recommended QuikTrip location for $4.43 a gallon and pumped 15 gallons, you would get "up to" 25 cents a gallon off in discounted gas taken from your linked checking account 1 - 3 days later. But you might not get 25 cents a gallon, it depends on the deal GasBuddy has with the vendor you chose from their list. You might get $62.70 pulled (25 cents off) from your checking account, you might get $64.95 taken (10 cents per gallon off) from your checking account.
Wholesale clubs pricing on gas is consistently the cheapest place in town. If you put 15 gallons of regular in your tank today at Sam's Club it would cost you $4.39 a gallon, or $65.85. Your membership card serves as your 'loyalty' card giving you what is typically the lowest listed price for gas in town and that goes for any town the club does business in. A plus to having a membership is you also enjoy the cheapest gas in town benefit when traveling, whether you buy it in Kansas, Iowa or any other state. Bonus: You can use the Upside app at wholesale clubs! Get cash back on the cheapest listed gas around by using the Upside app, today's per gallon cash back amount at Sam's Club for example is 15 cents a gallon, or $2.25 going into your bank or Paypal account.
So there you have it, the best way to fight Joe Biden's attack on your wallet is to buy gas at a wholesale club, using the Upside app.
$pend Wisely My Friends...