After gasoline prices surpassed $5 per gallon in Franklin County for the first time ever, drivers started wondering how to cushion the blow from their daily commute.
Discounts are available if you look for them, but most involve buying other products. Kroger, for example, gives you a 10 cents per gallon discount for every $100 you spend at the grocery store if you have a Kroger Plus Card — which is free, provided you don’t mind the grocery giant tracking your purchases, the downside of loyalty cards.
In most cases you have to spend money to save money, so seek discounts with caution.
Record gasoline prices:Why are gas prices in Ohio higher than the national average?
But for those already inclined to shop at stores that offer discounts, a loyalty card might be worth it.
Here’s a look at some of the more prominent discounts available in Greater Columbus.
A Kroger Plus Card entitles users to a 10 cents per gallon discount at Kroger and some Shell gas stations for every $100 you spend at the grocery store, ideal if you already do most of your shopping there.
Giant Eagle AdvantagePay
You’ve likely noticed that the marquee outside most GetGo stations has two prices, one of which is discounted between 5 and 30 cents per gallon. That discounted price is for people who hold an Advantage Card. The card has limits. You can’t buy more than 30 gallons in a single transaction, and you’re limited to $200 in a 48-hour period.
Warehouse giant Costco sells gas for as much as 20 cents a gallon cheaper than most gas stations. A Costco membership costs anywhere from $60 to $120 annually, but that price is well worth it for anyone with a long commute to work.
A Sam’s Club membership, which costs around $45 a year, entitles card holders to a 5 cent per gallon discount on gas at Walmart gas stations. And Sam’s Club stations are known to be cheaper than most conventional stations. The Sam’s Club in Hilliard, for example, was offering gas for $4.94 per gallon Tuesday, when many Greater Columbus stations were selling gas as high as $5.09 per gallon.
BP Price Match
With a BPme Rewards membership, which costs 99 cents per month, BP will scan prices at gas stations within a two-mile radius of your fill-up and charge you the lowest of those prices. The membership also offers a 5 cents per gallon discount, provided you spend at least $100 on gas every month. This could, of course, cost you money if you don’t drive much, or if there are never cheaper prices at nearby stations.
Shell Rewards program
Members are given “gold status” just for signing up, which entitles them to 5 cents off per gallon. They automatically move to “silver” status (and 3 cents off per gallon) after six months if they don’t fill up at least six times per month.
A Speedway rewards card entitles the user to escalating fuel discounts based on how much you spend at Speedway. You get 10 points per gallon of gasoline and 20 points per dollar spent inside the station. You need 1750 points to get a 10 cent per gallon discount. It’s worth it for anyone who already makes frequent stops at Speedway.