While inflation is slowing down, prices are still high and consumers will be feeling its sting for some time. Saving money on gas, and earning cash back fuel rewards, can ease some of the burden. Upside and GasBuddy are two standout mobile apps that help consumers save money on gas, and even make real cash back on their purchases.
Maybe you’ve never heard of these apps before, or you know them by name only and are not familiar with how they work.
This review article will cover what you need to know about GasBuddy and Upside, including how to sign up, how to utilize both of the apps and how the two compare to one another.
By the end of the article, you should be set to register for either one for free today and start earning extra cash.
Upside vs. GasBuddy: Overview
Upside has been around since 2016. Formerly known as GetUpside, the app rebranded to its current name in April 2022. Initially known as a fuel rewards app that provided consumers cash back for gas purchases, Upside also offers cash back rewards for supermarket, grocery store, and restaurant purchases.
When users make a purchase at a participating retail location, they can scan their receipt and submit it in the app to earn the associated cash reward. Merchants nationwide partner with Upside to offer these cash-back deals.
Users can cash out directly to their bank account, PayPal, or via a range of digital gift cards such as Amazon, Starbucks, and more.
Use our referral link to download the app. For first-time app users, use Upside Promo Code RSG25 for an additional 25¢/gal signup bonus on your first fill-up.
The money-saving gas app, GasBuddy, has been around for decades. Launched in Minnesota in 2020, GasBuddy was the market’s first fuel-saving app. It was created as a navigation app, to assist drivers in finding the best gas price in their area.
Reliant on crowd-sourced user data, GasBuddy was one of the first apps to rely on community-reported information. Users report gas prices in their location and can search for fuel prices based on city, state, or zip code.
Information is continually updated to provide the best real-time data. GasBuddy also tracks other driving-related information like road conditions and offers challenges and cash-back rebates to win free gas and gift cards.
More recently, GasBuddy has also rolled out cash-back or “gas-back” shopping features. Users can shop at participating national retailers and earn rewards that are automatically redeemable at the pump.
Upside vs GasBuddy: Features
Here’s a rundown of some of the core app features of the Upside and GasBuddy apps.
Upside App Features
- Earn up to 45% cash back for dining at featured restaurants, such as Chipotle, IHOP, and Chili’s.
- Earn up to 30% cash back for grocery and gas station purchases, including alcohol.
- Earn up to $0.25 cash back per gallon for fuel purchases.
- Receive in-store discounts and personalized offers.
- Referral rewards for life: Earn a bonus when a friend signs up and makes their first purchase and then per-gallon earnings indefinitely.
- No linked debit or payment card is required, though it is encouraged so that app users can earn instant cash back.
- No credit check is required to use the Upside app.
GasBuddy App Features
- Free GasBuddy card that you link to your checking account. No credit check is required.
- Effortlessly purchase gas at Shell, Safeway, and over 95% of gas stations in the United States and Canada.
- Earn up to $0.25 per gallon cash back at the pumps with your gas card.
- Receive in-store discounts and personalized offers.
- Earn up to 10% cash back for shopping at Home Depot, Old Navy, and other partner retailers. Rewards are redeemed at the pump with your gas card.
- Paid membership options:
- Plus membership ($7.99 per month)
- Premium membership ($9.99 a month)
- Real-time community data for fuel prices, gas station cleanliness, and more.
- Trip cost calculators based on fuel prices, tolls, and road conditions.
Upside vs GasBuddy: Cashback Requirements
In terms of requirements to use the app, Upside is the winner.
While GasBuddy tracks eligible purchases through your linked debit card, with the Upside app you can just scan and submit the receipt through your phone. This means you will need to get a receipt whenever you fill up your gas tank.
The earned cash goes into your Upside account, your bank account, your PayPal account, or gift cards to Amazon and other popular stores. Cash out once you reach at least $15 in earnings, or you can cash out before then for a $1 payment processing fee.
With GasBuddy, you must apply for a GasBuddy card (a card for use at participating gas stations) and then link it to your bank account (debit card). Upfront you will need to provide your bank details and then GasBuddy will mail a physical gas card to you.
While they state there is no minimum credit score or credit check required, there is the upfront hassle of setting up your account. This also means app users must have a bank account.
There are some rules and restrictions to the GasBuddy card.
- Transactions take 1-3 business days before funds are withdrawn from your linked checking.
- The pumps do not show the discounted amount upfront; it’s calculated afterward.
- The card is for fuel purchases only; it cannot be used to purchase other goods or services at the gas station.
- You’re prompted for an odometer reading every time you use the card.
Earned rewards go onto your GasBuddy card.
Upside vs GasBuddy: Cashback Offers
Beyond cheap gas and fuel discounts, Upside and GasBuddy both offer users cash-back shopping.
Here’s how the line-up of merchants and deals compare.
- Up to 45% cash back for dining out or ordering takeout from 15,000+ restaurants. (Must order directly from the restaurant and not through a third-party app like DoorDash.)
- Up to 30% cash back for grocery purchases at 1,400+ grocery stores and supermarkets, including large national chains and smaller local businesses.
- Over 50,000 participating total gas stations and retailers nationwide.
- Up to 10% cash back for shopping at over a dozen popular retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Petco, Advance Auto Parts, Old Navy, Home Depot, Petco, and GNC.
- Cash-back rebates are for online purchases only. Must log into the GasBuddy app, select the “Shop Now” option, and then select the participating store.
Upside vs GasBuddy: Cashback Potential
Upside has greater cashback potential than GasBuddy.
Both apps offer similar gas deals at the pumps, but Upside offers a broader range of other deals. Upside offers cash back at over 50,000 restaurants, grocery markets, and supermarkets while GasBuddy offers cash back at only a couple dozen national chains.
And while Upside rebates may be as high as 45%, GasBuddy rebates are 10% at the highest. Honey, Capital One, and Rakuten are three cash-back shopping apps of many that commonly offer much higher cash-back rewards – and at a broader range of merchants; Rakuten alone has over 3,500 participating stores.
Upside vs GasBuddy: Referral Bonuses
Both apps have a referral program, but Upside offers more generous bonuses for inviting your friends and family.
With Upside, you and your friend both get an upfront reward. When a referral signs up with your promo code, you’ll each get an extra $0.20 off per gallon — for your next refuel or your friend’s first after signing up. Afterward, you’ll earn $0.02 per gallon for all of your friend’s future gas purchases.
For every friend you refer to GasBuddy, the app will give you $0.10 off per gallon for your next fuel purchase when you pay with your GasBuddy card. So if you referred a friend with your unique referral code and then purchased 20 gallons of gas, you would get a $2 reward.
You can only redeem rewards for one friend at a time. So if you referred three (3) friends, you would save $0.10 per gallon on your next three (3) gas purchases. You cannot stack or combine the rewards.
Upside vs GasBuddy: User Experience
Both Upside and GasBuddy offer a solid user experience with similar gas savings and rebates, but Upside offers a better in-app user experience.
Upside has an average rating of 4.7 stars (4.8 stars in iTunes and 4.6 stars in Google Play) compared to GasBuddy’s 4.4 stars (4.7 stars in iTunes and 4.1 stars in Google Play).
Upside’s focus is more related to cash-back savings for everyday activities, while GasBuddy’s is tied to fuel savings.
Pros and Cons
- Earn cash-back rewards for groceries and restaurants
- No need for a special Upside card
- Flexible payout options including PayPal or gift cards
- Receipt required to claim cash back
- Offer availability varies by location; there may be limited offers and merchant participation in Wisconsin, and New Jersey.
- Immediate fuel redemption at the pump; no need to wait on a gift card or PayPal
- Real-time gas price: Area gas prices are continually updated by its community of users.
- Trip cost calculator: Budget and plan for long-distance trips.
- Additional user updates: Community shares info about traffic, road conditions, gas station food selection, and more.
- Must link your bank account info (debit card) to your GasBuddy
- Requires usage of a special GasBuddy card to get fuel savings.
- Gas-focused app; limited other opportunities to earn cash back.
- Limited redemption options; no PayPal or gift cards. All rewards are redeemable through the gas card only when paying at the pump.
- Privacy concerns; in addition to banking info, GasBuddy collects information about your purchase history, car mileage, and driving habits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common FAQs that readers have when comparing the Upside vs GasBuddy apps.
Can You Use Upside and GasBuddy Together?
Yes! You can use both of the apps together. Many subscribers take advantage of both Upside and GasBuddy to maximize their savings. Some offers may have redemption restrictions, so make sure to review the terms and conditions carefully.
Can 2 People Use the Same Upside App?
The app is designed for individual use. Each account is tied to a user’s phone number. However, it may be possible for 2 or more people from the same address to both have the Upside app and participate in and redeem the same offers.
Is There a Limit to How Much You Can Earn on Upside?
No, there’s no limit to how much money you can earn using Upside. The average, frequent user makes $340 per year seeing $106 in savings from gas and the rest coming from groceries and restaurant orders.
You can use Upside in addition to coupons and other loyalty apps and rewards programs.
What Grocery Stores Are on Upside?
More than 1,400 grocery store and convenience store chains are featured in the Upside app including Piggly Wiggly, Cardenas Markets, Lunds & Byerlys, Cub Foods, Price Chopper, Woodman’s Market, Vicente Foods, and Circle K.