It’s no secret that gas prices are on the rise. In my state, gas prices are up over 30% from what they were last year at this same time. You’re no doubt seeing a similar trend where you live, and you’re hoping to find ways to get free gas.
Gas is an essential expense for most people, which makes it a tough one to trim. You probably need to drive your vehicle to work, to school, and to the grocery store.
And if you want to visit friends or family or just get out of town, you’ll jump in your vehicle to get there. Who wants to stay home all the time?!
Table of Contents
- How to Get Free Gas
- Ways to Save on Gas
How to Get Free Gas
If you put in a bit of time and effort, you’ll find that there are several ways to get free gas. You probably won’t be able to fill up your tank for free every time you’re at the pump, but you can still cut down on this expense.
1. Earn Free Gas Cards
You can’t just pull up to the pump and fill up with free gas, but you can earn free gas cards to help offset or even completely cover the cost of gas.
Swagbucks is a free website that rewards you for watching videos, answering surveys, signing up for special offers, and more.
The easiest way to earn rewards is by shopping through their online portal. It doesn’t cost you any extra, and you’ll rack up SB (Swag Bucks) for each dollar spent, depending on the retailer.
Once you have enough SB in your account, you can cash them out for free gas cards at national chains like Chevron. Or you can just cash out your SB to PayPal Cash and use that money to buy free gas.
BONUS: Right now you can get a 1000 SB bonus ($10 value) when you sign up for Swagbucks and shop online through their portal!
Other sites that reward you with free gas cards include:
- InstaGC – complete surveys, watch videos, shop online, search the web
- PrizeRebel – answer surveys, sign up for offers, watch videos
Or you can get free PayPal money and use that cash to fill up your tank.
2. Use Credit Card Rewards
If you’re confident that you can use a credit card responsibly (as in, pay it off in full every month), you can utilize credit card rewards to your advantage and get free gas.
Typically you’ll earn a percentage of what you spend as cashback to your account which you can either apply toward your balance, transfer to your bank account, or redeem for a free gas card.
It’s important to note upfront that if you can’t pay off your credit card balance in full each month, it doesn’t make financial sense to get one just for the rewards. Any points you may earn toward free gas will easily be swallowed up by finance charges and interest.
That being said, it is very easy to earn points toward free gas when you use a credit card. And many credit cards out there have no annual fee, so you really are getting free gas when you earn with credit card rewards!
You could start small by just getting one credit card with no annual fee and just using it to pay for gas. As each month passes, you can use the rewards to help pay off the balance. Whatever rewards you earn will be like getting free gas!
Some credit cards that offer cashback with no annual fee include:
- Chase Freedom – $200 bonus plus 5% gas station cash back
- Discover It Cash Back – Earn 1%-5% gas station cash back
3. Ask Local Charities for Free Gas
If you’re really in need, reach out to a local charity near you to see if they give out free gas cards or gas vouchers. Charities do this to help people make necessary trips like driving to appointments, job interviews, and work.
Are you having trouble finding a charity near you? The Salvation Army is a great place to start. They have chapters across the country to help people in need.
Another place to start your search is United Way. Visit the website 211.org or simply call 211 for information about places near you that may give out free gas cards or vouchers. Calls are confidential and can be anonymous.
Otherwise, Community Action Partnership is a national nonprofit membership organization that has individual chapters across the country. These chapters help people with lower incomes navigate crisis situations, build stability, and lift themselves out of poverty.
4. Display Ads On Your Vehicle
Did you know you can get paid to drive around with advertising on your car? You may feel a little silly, and you definitely won’t be able to blend into traffic, but this is a legit way that you can earn free money for gas.
One company that facilities this advertising with brands and agencies is Wrapify. People who drive with Wrapify can earn up to $452 each month!
To get started, you’ll need to download the Wrapify app and then drive as normal. As you drive on your normal commute, you’ll start qualifying for campaigns and receiving offers.
Once you’ve accepted an offer, follow the instructions to start earning money which you can then put toward free gas.
You won’t have to wrap your vehicle yourself – they’ll give you instructions on where to take your vehicle to be wrapped (and later unwrapped once the campaign is finished).
Note that not everyone and every vehicle is eligible for Wrapify. You’ll need to pass a basic background check and drive a 2010 or newer coupe, sedan, SUV, pickup truck, or minivan without significant body/paint damage.
And understandably, they’ll want you to be a good driver with limited accidents and moving violations as well as no recent cell phone or distracted driving violations.
A similar company is Carvertise. You can earn $100 – $300 per month by participating in their advertising campaigns.
5. Buy Discounted Gas Cards
No, this isn’t a completely free option, but it will help you spend less at the pump.
Some websites offer discounted gift cards that let you receive the full face value of the gift card but pay less.
For example, you may be able to buy a $25 gift card for $20, but still be able to use the full value of the $25 gift card to pay for gas. That’s like getting $5 worth of gas for free!
Be sure that you’re buying from reputable websites that ensure the value of the gas card and back it up with a satisfaction guarantee.
Here are some top-rated websites where you can buy discounted gas cards:
- CardCash – sells gift cards to BP, Gulf, Sheetz, Shell, Sunoco, and Valero
- Gift Card Granny – sells gift cards to BP, Marathon, Sheetz, Shell, and Speedway (also gives Granny Cash Back Rewards)
- Raise – sells gift cards to Chevron and Texaco, Gulf, Kwik Fill, Sheetz, and Speedway
RELATED: 12 Easy Ways to Get Free Gift Cards
6. Utilize Grocery and Gas Station Rewards Programs
Many grocery store chains across the nation partner with gas stations to offer cents off per gallon for each dollar spent on groceries. Sometimes the gas station pumps are right at the grocery store so you can fill up and save on gas right away!
Also, gas stations can set up their own loyalty discounts that give you cents off per gallon for swiping a rewards card, scanning an app, or entering your membership number at the pump.
Some popular grocery/gas station rewards programs include:
- BPme Rewards
- Circle K Easy Rewards
- Exxon Mobil Rewards+
- Giant Eagle Fuelperks+
- Harris Teeter Fuel Points
- Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks
- Kroger Fuel Points
- QuikTrip QT Rewards
- Safeway for U
- Shell Fuel Rewards
- Speedway Speedy Rewards
7. Check Out GasBuddy
You’ve no doubt already heard of GasBuddy, but if you haven’t, here’s a quick primer.
GasBuddy is a price comparison app for gas stations. Registered users (it’s free to join) update the current prices of gas at stations near them, and you can search by price and distance to find the cheapest gas near you.
But I’ve been using GasBuddy much more than usual now that they’ve introduced the Pay with GasBuddy feature. When you sign up, they’ll send you a free gas card that you swipe to pay for gas.
Browse the GasBuddy app before you fill up, then activate additional discounts via the app before you pay to save up to 25¢ per gallon. Your purchase will come out of your linked bank account, just like a debit card.
To me, using GasBuddy is a no-brainer! I’m already using the app to find the lowest prices, and I would have paid with a debit card anyway (most likely), so why not save a little more and get free gas while I’m at it?
RELATED: 18 Best Coupon Apps to Save Money
8. Use the Upside App
Upside is a free cash back app that rewards users with up to 25¢ per gallon cash back. And yes, you can use BOTH GasBuddy and Upside!
Once you download the app, use the map to find cash-back offers near you. Once you’re at the gas station, just “Check In” before you fill up, and pay with a linked credit or debit card. (If you’d rather scan your receipt, you can do that instead.)
PS – Upside also gives cash back at restaurants and grocery stores.
BONUS: Use the coupon code AFF25 when you register for Upside to get a signup bonus of 25¢ per gallon. This stacks with your first offer of up to 45¢ per gallon to save up to 70¢ per gallon on your first receipt!
9. Enter a Free Gas Sweepstakes
OK, so this one’s a little wacky, but it’s worth a shot. Take a stab at winning free gas by entering sweepstakes!
There are lots of websites that round up sweepstakes, but my favorite is Sweepstakes Today. It’s free to join, and they give each sweepstake a star rating so you can quickly find the best ones to enter based on prize value and the number of winners.
You can save your favorites to “My Lucky List” to make it easier to enter.
Some current free gas sweepstakes include:
- Into the Wild Sweepstakes – enter to win a $400 Airbnb Gift Card, $150 Shell Gas Gift Card, HearHere 1-Year App Membership
- Miller Lite & Coors Light Gas for a Year Central Sweepstakes – enter to win a $4,800 prepaid card
Sure, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win free gas, but it doesn’t take much effort and you might get lucky. Keep in mind that by signing up for sweepstakes, you’re also giving your information to companies that may be used for marketing purposes in the future.
Ways to Save on Gas
It’s not always possible to get free gas, but there are things you can do to cut down on your gas expenses nonetheless. Some techniques involve using less gas, while others help you pinch your pennies and cut down on the dollar amount you spend at the pump.
1. Fill Up on Monday
According to GasBuddy.com, the day of the week with the lowest average gas prices in the majority of the U.S. is Monday.
If you can’t fill up on Monday, the next best day to fill up is Friday. GasBuddy analyzed gas price data from their app to make this determination.
(Note that these results can vary by state; you can check the state-by-state results here.)
Even if you don’t religiously analyze gas price data, you’re probably already aware that the price of gas fluctuates throughout the week.
If you have a favorite gas station to fill up at, consider tracking the price for a few weeks to see which day of the week has the lowest price for you.
2. Take It Slow and Steady
This may not be a popular tip, but one way to use less gas is to improve your gas mileage by driving more slowly and keeping a consistent speed.
According to FuelEconomy.gov, speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking can lower your gas mileage by 15 to 30% at highway speeds and 10 to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.
Doing the math on this…I have a Honda Civic that gets 33 mpg (city) or 42 mpg (highway). With the current cost of gas in my area, I pay 10¢ per mile for gas in the city and 8¢ per mile for gas on the highway.
But if I drive aggressively, my price per mile jumps to 17¢ per mile (city) and 12¢ per mile (highway). Yikes!
Stay in the right lane, give yourself plenty of following distance to slow down as needed, and avoid stomping on the gas to go accelerate. All of these things will help you pay less for gas and probably help your stress levels, too.
RELATED: 9 Ways to Get Free Air for Your Tires
3. Consider Getting a More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
It may seem a little extreme to buy a new vehicle to save on gas, but with gas prices on the rise, you may find that swapping your gas guzzler for a newer vehicle – or even a hybrid or electric vehicle – will pay off in the long run.
As technology advances, new vehicles are designed to maximize fuel economy and help you save on gas or even eliminate the cost of gas. Companies are even making electric trucks and SUVs!
If you’re in the market for a new-to-you vehicle, consider factoring in the cost of gas as you determine how much you can afford. You may be surprised to find that opting for a hybrid vehicle is worth the extra cost.
4. Walk, Bike, Carpool, or Take Public Transit
I know I’m guilty of hopping in my car to take short trips with the justification that it’s faster. And if the weather isn’t great and/or you have lots of passengers, it often does make more sense to drive.
But if the weather is decent and you have the time, why not walk or ride your bike to the post office/grocery store/friend’s house that is close? You’ll get some exercise in and save on the cost of gas, too.
Another option to consider is setting up a carpool for work, school, extracurricular activities, or even a night out with friends.
You can either split the cost of gas if you’re driving/riding with others or swap with another parent or guardian to bring the kids to and from sports practice or music lessons.
Need help setting up a carpool? The Rideshare Company, Ridesharing.com, and Waze, are all websites you can browse to help you get started finding riders or drivers that are headed the same way as you.
It’s also worth a look into your city’s public transit – bus, train, subway, etc. – especially for commuting to work. Check out possible routes and compare how much you’d spend on public transit vs. buying gas.
Plus, by hopping on public transit, you can spend your time reading a book while you ride instead of fighting traffic.
Unless someone else is paying your bills, you won’t be able to get free gas all the time.
But by using these methods to earn free gas cards, maximize rewards, and even display ads on your vehicle, you can defray the cost of this necessary expense and continue to hit the road without wincing at the price of gas at the pump.