This post 8 Ways to Save on This Summer’s Road Trip appeared first on Daily Reckoning.
Summer is approaching. That means vacations for many families. AAA estimates that 100 million Americans are planning a getaway, more than half opting for a road trip.
But with gasoline prices inching higher, traveling could cost more than you may have expected. And for anyone on a tight budget, that could mean cutbacks on other parts of your trip.
As of mid-May, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline was $2.86… 3 cents higher than the same time last month.
Here in California we’ve been hit the hardest… passing a whopping $4. That’s up about 30 cents from a year ago.
For an estimate on how much gas will cost on your road trip, AAA has a handy calculator that’s based on where you’re traveling and the car you’re driving.
Now if you’re like me, you hate paying too much at the pump. So here are eight things you can do to make any upcoming road trip, and even your everyday commutes, a bit more affordable…
#1—Tap Your Smartphone
Use apps such as AAA’s Triptik or GasBuddy to find the lowest prices when you’re traveling. You can search by city, state, or brand.
#2—Find a Fuel Rewards Program
Most gas stations offer a rewards program that can save you money…
For instance, BP’s Driver Rewards will knock off 10 cents per gallon (up to 20 gal.) for every $100 you spend on their fuel.
Shell has one, too. You can save 30 cents per gallon on your first five fill ups and 10 cents thereafter.
Exxon Mobil Rewards+ program gives you 3 points per gallon. For every 100 points accumulated, you get $1 off your fuel purchase. So 500 points = $5 in savings.
The obvious downside to these programs is that you have to buy at participating stations, which can be a nuisance when on a road trip.
If that’s a concern, you might consider Pay with GasBuddy. It works as a debit card at most every station nationwide taking the purchase amount right out of your checking account.
The service has three membership levels. One is free; the other two have monthly fees. You’ll save 5 cents to 20 cents per gallon depending on which membership you join.
#3—Cash Is King
Some gas stations will charge you as much as 10 cents or so a gallon when you pay with a credit card. That’s to offset the processing fees that credit card companies charge them.
So if you’re willing to pay with cash, look for stations that’ll give you a discount. Paying with a debit card often earns similar savings.
#4—Discounted Gas Cards
GiftCardGranny.com and CardCash.com sell discounted gas gift cards that give you another way to save…
A recent listing was for a Sunoco card. Face value: …read more
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