In a world of insane prices, continually looking out for ways to save money is critical — especially when it comes to must-have expenses like housing, groceries, transportation, and gas.
While there aren’t BOGO deals for your mortgage or rent payment, you can find promotions and savings for your fuel purchases.
With special apps, a little savvy, and a lot of creativity, there are many ways to lower your gas bill and, yes, even get free gas.
17 Ways to Get Free Gas
Here are some great ways to get free or discounted gas or gas money, including specific apps or programs to check out.
- Cashback Apps
- Survey Sites
- Loyalty Programs and Gas Station Rewards
- Credit Card Rewards
- Company Reimbursements
- Car Advertising
- Gas Giveaways and Contests
- Community Carpool Programs
- Use Public Transportation or Bike
- Gas-Saving Driving Habits
- Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
- Gift Card Exchanges
- Government and Non-Profit Assistance Programs
- Volunteer Reimbursements
- Discount Days and Member Prices at Wholesale Clubs
- Social Media Groups and Forums
- Gas Price Comparison Apps
1. Cashback Apps
Some apps reward you for your everyday spending with free cash and gift cards you can use to pay for your gas.
Upside and Fetch Rewards are two great mobile apps that will help you find the lowest gas prices and earn rewards every time you fuel up at the pump.
- Upside: This free gas app rewards customers for their everyday spending—at a gas station, grocery store, or supermarket. Members earn cash back for purchasing everyday necessities.
- Fetch Rewards:Fetch Rewards is a free receipt-scanning app that pays you points for everyday purchases, including gas. Earn 25 points or more for every purchase, and cash out points once you reach at least $3 in earnings.
Use Upside promo code RSG25 to earn an additional 25¢/gal on your first fill-up.
2. Survey Sites
You can earn $100 a month or more using survey sites like KashKick and Swagbucks, which pay you for sharing your opinion and completing everyday tasks.
While they aren’t gas-focused, these platforms have generous payouts and offer a fun and diverse range of ways to earn gift cards, PayPal, and cash.
- KashKick: KashKick pays you for completing tasks like playing games, taking surveys, and signing up for personal finance apps. You can cash out with PayPal once you’ve earned $10.
- Swagbucks: Swagbucks also rewards you for online surveys and online tasks. It also offers cashback shopping rewards online and in-store. Points can be redeemed as cash or gift cards.
3. Loyalty Programs and Gas Station Rewards
Like other retailers, most gas stations around the country have loyalty programs as a way to retain and reward their regular customers. By joining these programs, you can earn points on every dollar spent — both on gas and other in-store purchases. You can usually earn 2x or 3x points for qualifying food and merchandise, however, lottery tickets and alcohol purchases are generally excluded.
Redeem your points for free gas cards or other perks that the gas rewards the station offers. Additionally, loyalty members can usually save 5 cents or more off every gallon of gas just for belonging to the free program.
Solid rewards programs to check out include Shell Fuel Rewards, BPMe Loyalty, Speedy Rewards, Exxonmobil Rewards+, Pilot Flying J Preferred Customer Rewards, Maverik’s Adventure Club, and Nitro Card Rewards.
In addition to earning points toward free fuel and upfront savings with your purchase, these programs come with other perks too. Speed Rewards will give you a free coffee or beverage with sign-up. Maverik’s will give you a free BonFire burrito.
4. Credit Card Rewards
The right credit card can deliver major savings and cash-back rewards at the gas pump. Many rewards credit cards will offer you 3x to 5x as many points or cash-back percentage rebates, over other purchase categories, for filling up your gas tank. And these rewards can be earned on top of other fuel rewards program perks.
Some of the best gas rewards credit cards include the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Card, Discover It Chrome, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi.
The best credit cards for gas rewards often are not gas station affiliated.
5. Company Reimbursements
If you use your personal vehicle for work purposes, make sure to ask about mileage reimbursement. It costs you nothing to just ask.
Even if you are not a rideshare, fleet, or delivery driver, you could still qualify for company reimbursements. Many businesses offer compensation for traveling to work meetings, client meetings, inter-office commuting, or even team-building events.
Any reimbursement is generally at a per-mile rate. For 2023, the IRS has set that rate at 65.5 cents per mile. (Note this rate is optional, except in Illinois, California, or Massachusetts, where employee mileage reimbursement is mandated.)
Make sure to keep an accurate record of work-related travel distances. In some instances, your employer may also offer free or discounted parking. While not a direct fuel savings, this financial assistance can still offset the cost of gas.
6. Car Advertising
You can earn up to $500 per month for using your car to advertise, or carvertise, for ad agencies and marketing companies.
For drivers with newer vehicles and clean driving records, this is an excellent way to earn a little extra cash for just driving their car. Vehicles are typically wrapped in a vinyl design that is easy to apply and remove and will not scratch or hurt the car in any way.
How much you can earn per month depends on the make and model of your car, the size of the advertisement, the areas where you drive, how much you drive, and when you drive. Advertisers will pay more for those who drive in high-traffic areas during commuter or other busy times.
Three car advertising services to look into are:
7. Gas Giveaways and Contests
By participating in gas station contests and other giveaways, you can win free gas. These opportunities include social media and radio station campaigns, grocery store promotions, and local gas station contests, and store giveaways.
Past and current free gas promotions have included:
- O’Reilly Fix-a-Flat
- Old Navy
- Circle K
Similar to promotions, local fundraisers can offer you free gas. Many school or sports groups will sell discount cards to offer you savings at local area restaurants and gas stations, which can include fuel savings of up to $0.25 off per gallon.
While this is not a free tank within one refuel, the savings can more than add up to a free tank’s worth of gas.
8. Community Carpool Programs
Cities throughout the country are promoting carpooling to reduce traffic congestion and encourage go-green initiatives.
With many carpool programs, there are generous incentives like free parking or choice parking spots at reduced rates, free gas vouchers, and a smoother commute with free carpool lane access.
The city of Minneapolis, as one example, offers registered carpoolers cheap parking for $20 in a centrally located downtown city ramp — which is a savings of $120 to $405 per month compared to nearby ramps — as well as free access to EZ Pass Lanes and free Ramp and Ride transfers.
Beyond any state or municipal programs, some employers may offer similar incentives to encourage their workers to carpool.
9. Use Public Transportation or Bike
Using public transportation or a bicycle is an effective, indirect way to save money on gas — and get some exercise.
Many employers will encourage public transit usage by offering free or reduced public transit fares and monthly transit passes.
In dense urban areas, using your bike for the full commute or the final leg of your commute can save you time and gas money, not to mention saving the environment from the carbon emissions of stop-and-go driving.
10. Gas-Saving Driving Habits
Ease up on the gas pedal. Adopting safe and fuel-efficient driving habits can improve your gas mileage and reduce your overall fuel consumption — along with lowering your carbon emissions and risk of getting in an accident.
This means maintaining a steady speed and avoiding hard braking, rapid acceleration, and aggressive driving. These safe habits, along with regular vehicle maintenance, can improve your fuel economy, lower your overall gas expenses, and extend the life of your vehicle.
Additionally, use GPS and other navigational apps to avoid heavy traffic and shorten your driving time. Apps like Waze, Google Maps, and Gas Buddy
11. Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
An electric or hybrid car, or a more fuel-efficient vehicle, can significantly reduce your fuel costs. While there is an upfront investment in switching to a fuel-free or fuel-efficient car, there are commonly federal and state government rebates and incentives to help consumers make the switch.
Additionally, if you are financing your purchase, a no-interest, credit union, or green auto loan could offer significant savings.
And even if you can’t upgrade to a new vehicle now, gas-saving driving habits can make your existing car more fuel-efficient.
12. Gift Card Exchanges
Gift card exchange sites like Raise, CardCash, or Gift Card Granny, offer consumers another great way to save money at the pumps.
These platforms allow consumers to sell and cash in on unwanted gift cards, and for bargain hunters to buy these gift cards at a discounted rate. The platform itself connects the selling and buying parties, makes sure the funds are on the card, and guarantees the transaction.
You can find gift cards for up to 35% off from a slew of retailers across all categories, including apparel, travel, home goods, groceries, and even gas.
As an added perk, you can purchase these discounted gift cards through cash-back apps like Honey or Rakuten and with a cash-back credit card. These rewards programs give you plenty of ways to stack up the savings.
13. Government and Non-Profit Assistance Programs
Yes, programs giving away free gas outright do exist. Many local government, non-profit, and church organizations will offer free gas vouchers for low-income families or individuals in need. They may offer free gas cards upfront, or reimbursement for fuel purchases.
Generally, the assistance is designed to help community members in specific situations, like driving to job interviews, medical appointments, or qualified emergencies.
Criteria will vary from program to program, but some programs that offer gas assistance include:
- Catholic Charities: CatholicCharitiesUSA.org
- United Way: Call 211 for assistance. United Way connects you with local government programs and nonprofits offering assistance
- Vincent de Paul: StVincentDePaul.net/get-help
- Salvation Army: SalvationArmyUSA.org
You can also inquire at your local church.
14. Volunteer Reimbursements
If you drive or use your car for volunteer work, you may qualify for some fuel reimbursement. The organization may offer per mileage reimbursement, a stipend, or gas cards. Just ask what their policy is for travel reimbursement; it never hurts to ask.
Beyond any assistance that the non-profit may provide, the IRS does have a charitable mileage rate of 14 cents per mile when using your automobile to render “gratuitous services to a charitable organization under § 170.”
15. Discount Days and Member Prices at Wholesale Clubs
Many wholesale club retailers, like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale, have their own on-site gas stations where they sell fuel at significantly lower prices than you’ll find anywhere else. Costco, for example, is known for selling gas at the lowest legal price in the state.
In addition to the ultra-low prices, these member clubs offer other perks like discount days and cash back on gas purchases for using the club-branded credit card. With the Costco Visa, members can get 4% cash back on gas purchases. BJ’s Perks Mastercard members save 10 cents per gallon on fuel.
16. Social Media Groups and Forums
Keeping social on forums like Reddit, Facebook, and Quora can help you find great deals on gas. Group members share information about local gas station promotions, sudden price drops, and promo codes.
Additionally, these groups can share information about the best days and times of weeks to fill up.
17. Gas Price Comparison Apps
Gas price comparisons and driving apps, like Wex Connect, AAA, and GasBuddy, provide real-time gas prices for stations in your area. You can find the most current prices of gas near you, and get in-app coupons and promo codes.
By using these free comparison tools, you can regularly save an extra 2 to 5 cents per gallon — sometimes more. Over time, this can add up to a free tank of gas.
Beyond price data and coupons, these apps also offer fuel cost and trip cost calculators, price alerts, and tips to reduce your gas consumption and drive more fuel efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that readers have about ways to get free gas.
Can I get gas with no money on my debit card?
It may be possible, but it’s not a good idea. If you pay at the pumps, many payment systems will place a pre-authorization hold on your card to make sure the card is active and that there are enough funds to cover your fuel purchase. The hold amount can range from $1 to $175.
If you only had $1 on your debit card and the pre-authorization hold was only $1, it might technically be possible for you to fill your tank despite having insufficient funds. However, this could overdraft your account and incur NSF charges and other fee penalties. You don’t want to deliberately steal fuel or draw your account into the negative.
Can you pump gas and pay later?
This has become very uncommon. Most gas stations will require you to pay before you pump, either by using your card at the pumps or going inside the station to prepay the register.
At some gas stations with camera surveillance, or smaller gas stations, paying afterward may be permitted. But generally, this is offered as a courtesy for station regulars whom station employees know and trust.
Is there a way to pay for gas online?
Kind of. You can purchase credit card gift cards and gas station gift cards online that you can use at the station to pay for your fuel. And many stations will accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, or other digital wallet transactions.
How long do gas stations hold money?
If you pay using a credit card or debit card at the pump, commonly a hold on funds will be placed on your account until the transaction has completely cleared. The hold can last up to 72 hours.
So if you purchase $25 worth of gas but the gas station places a $175 hold on your card, this could mean that $175 in checking account funds or available credit limit may not be available to you for up to three (3) days.
If you only want to get $25 worth of gas and do not want a hold for a greater amount on your credit or debit card, you may want to go inside the station and prepay $25 worth of gas.
Can gas build credit?
If you use a credit card to purchase gas and consistently pay the balance on time, then fuel purchases may be a good way to build your credit. Additionally, if you’re an authorized user of a small business credit card, used for gas and other work expenses, this could also impact your credit too.
For many, gas can be a significant part of your monthly budget but it doesn’t have to be. Free gas does exist. There are many apps, rewards programs, loyalty programs, and assistance programs you can use to get free or cheap gas.
Beyond any discounts or freebies, being smart about your transportation needs, adopting good driving habits, and owning an EV or fuel-efficient vehicle can also help you reduce your fuel expenses.
In addition to changing up how, when, what, and where you drive, there are plenty of free and easy side hustles that you can do from your phone to earn you enough cash to buy free gas every month.