At a glance
- Sign-Up Bonus: Regular Pay With GasBuddy users save $0.10 per gallon on their first fill-up after joining
- Rewards: Standard users save $0.05 off per gallon on all gas purchases and up to $0.25 off per gallon through Deal Alerts; Premium users save $0.20 per gallon on the first 50 gallons purchased each month and up to $0.40 per gallon through Deal Alerts
- Benefits: Local gas price search feature; trip cost calculator; gas price map; fuel insights; vehicle recall database; 24/7 roadside assistance for Premium members
- Fees: $9.99 per month for GasBuddy Premium ($99 per year when billed annually); regular GasBuddy membership is free
GasBuddy is a popular app built on the simple premise that drivers should never pay more at the pump than necessary. GasBuddy delivers on this promise in a couple of different ways.
For starters, the GasBuddy app boasts an easy-to-use search feature covering tens of thousands of gas stations across North America. Just plug in your city or zip code and preferred gas blend to find the best deals on gas near you in real time.
GasBuddy has a suite of free tools for drivers looking to save money and stay safe, such as a trip cost calculator, outage finder, interactive gas price map, and vehicle recall digest.
GasBuddy even has a proprietary payment platform (Pay With GasBuddy) and a generous spending rewards program (GasBack). Pay With GasBuddy occasionally makes our list of the best gas credit cards on the market – an impressive feat, given that it’s not a traditional credit card and doesn’t require a credit check to apply.
Intrigued by what you’ve read so far? Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of GasBuddy.
These are GasBudy’s core features:
Find Gas (Gas Station & Price Finder)
GasBuddy’s original feature, available on Android and iOS operating systems, is still among its most useful. Input your city or zip code and preferred gasoline grade into the appropriate Find Gas fields, and GasBuddy generates a list of nearby stations ordered from lowest to highest price. If you prefer, you can search by state or gas brand too, though results from those searches may not be quite as convenient.
GasBuddy’s Find Gas feature relies on user-submitted data, so you shouldn’t take it as gospel or expect 100% coverage. Fortunately, GasBuddy’s member network is broad enough that you’re likely to find plenty of nearby gas stations with recently submitted price data.
GasBuddy’s Outage Tracker is a potential lifesaver during natural and manmade disasters that cause widespread infrastructure disruption. Just input your city or zip code to find gas stations marked by users as:
- Fully operational (“has fuel and power”)
- Not operational (“has no fuel and power”)
- Partially operational (“has no power” and “limited fuel options”)
Like the Find Gas feature, Outage Tracker is crowdsourced, so it’s not guaranteed 100% accurate. But it’s a useful tool all the same if you have Internet service following a disaster.
Trip Cost Calculator
GasBuddy’s interactive trip cost calculator adds up the total projected fuel cost for your next big trip using information you’ve provided:
- Starting and ending location
- Trip type (round-trip or one-way)
- Measurement scale (metric or standard)
- Vehicle make and model
- Desired fuel type
Gas Price Map
GasBuddy’s gas price map is a great way to visualize approximate projected gas costs on longer journeys. It’s essentially a heat map that shows prevailing gas prices down to the municipal level and sometimes even more granular than that.
GasBuddy’s Fuel Insights feature shows location-based fuel price trends over time. Use it to see how prices have changed in your area over the past week, month, or year and how they stack up to other metro areas.
GasBuddy’s vehicle recall database includes virtually all makes and models sold in North America. Just input your vehicle year, make, and model to find open recalls.
Pay With GasBuddy
Pay With GasBuddy is GasBuddy’s most distinctive feature. It’s a debit card that securely connects to your bank account (usually a checking account) and facilitates pay-at-the-pump transactions at thousands of gas stations across the United States. You don’t need to submit to a credit check to apply, making Pay With GasBuddy an ideal gas discounting solution for those with impaired credit.
Pay With GasBuddy has two membership tiers:
- Standard. This entry-level plan costs nothing to join or maintain. Members get up to $0.25 off per gallon when they also sign up for the Deal Alerts feature, though most retailers offer lower savings per gallon.
- Premium. For $9.99 per month or $99 per year when billed annually, Premium members get $0.20 off per gallon on the first 50 gallons purchased each month, then $0.05 off per gallon on all subsequent fill-ups. Premium members also get up to $0.40 off per gallon with select retailers when they use the Deal Alerts feature and enjoy complimentary 24/7 roadside assistance through Allstate.
Pay With GasBuddy members aren’t limited to instant discounts at the pump. GasBuddy partners with major retailers such as Walmart and Petco on GasBack, a rewards program that delivers targeted offers to Pay With GasBuddy members.
When you use your GasBuddy card to make qualifying purchases at participating partner retailers, you earn cash back rewards equal to up to 10% off your purchase, depending on the retailer, or a lump sum good toward gas purchases at participating gas retailers. GasBack is automatically applied at the pump at your next fill-up.
Non-Participating Gas Retailers
Pay With GasBuddy is accepted at most U.S. gas stations, but coverage isn’t universal. According to GasBuddy, you can’t use your card at stations operated by ExxonMobil, BJ’s, Costco, Sam’s Club, or H-E-B. Some Walmart and Arco stations may be off-limits too. And your friendly neighborhood independent gas station may or may not take Pay With GasBuddy. Before filling up, ask the clerk.
Here’s why you might want to become a GasBuddy user:
- Free to Join and Use. GasBuddy is totally free to join and use, and there’s no obligation to upgrade. If all you care about is finding the lowest-price gas and earning $0.05 off on virtually every gallon you buy, you never have to pay a cent for the privilege.
- $0.05 Off Per Gallon on Nearly Every Gallon Purchased. Pay With GasBuddy members get $0.05 off per gallon at about 95% of all U.S. gas stations. At $3 per gallon, that’s a discount of roughly 1.67% to face value.
- Save Significantly More With Premium Membership. For $9.99 per month or $99 per year when paid annually, Premium members save a lot more: guaranteed savings of $10 per month on the first 50 gallons purchased, plus up to $0.40 off per gallon after that when they use the Deal Alerts feature. That’s more than enough to offset the cost of membership.
- GasBack Delivers Deeper Savings at the Pump. GasBack promises even deeper discounts at the pump – up to 10% off your total purchase, in many cases. With popular participating retailers such as The Home Depot, Petco, and Walmart, it’s not too hard to find GasBack deals in your neck of the woods.
- Rich Suite of Value-Added Tools. GasBuddy has a host of complimentary value-added tools, such as an outage tracker that’s great for finding open gas stations after natural disasters and a vehicle recall database that’s a godsend for time-pressed drivers prone to overlooking mailed recall notices.
- 24/7 Roadside Assistance With Premium Membership. GasBuddy’s Premium membership comes with 24/7 roadside assistance from Allstate. The annual $69 fee is a small price to pay for peace of mind. And if you can max out your 40-gallon-per-month bonus tier, you won’t pay out anything out of pocket.
- No Credit Check Required for Pay With GasBuddy. Pay With GasBuddy doesn’t require a credit check as a condition of applying. That’s great news for credit-impaired applicants and those who’d prefer not to temporarily lower their credit scores during the application process.
Consider these drawbacks before diving headlong into GasBuddy:
- Premium May Not Be Worth the Cost for Occasional Drivers. For drivers who don’t come close to maxing out Pay With GasBuddy’s 50-gallon-per-month bonus tier, a Premium membership may not pay for itself. Those willing to pay out of pocket for the peace of mind that comes with 24/7 roadside assistance (and who don’t want to purchase a AAA membership) may find value in Premium, but otherwise, the standard plan is the most cost-effective option for those who don’t drive much.
- Pay With GasBuddy Isn’t Accepted At All Stations. Pay With GasBuddy is accepted at 95% of all U.S. gas stations, according to GasBuddy. That leaves approximately 1 in 20 U.S. gas stations out, including those operating under the Exxon Mobil brand; associated with warehouse stores such as BJs, Costco, and Sam’s Club; and operated by Texas superstore chain H-E-B. If these stations are your typical go-to’s, GasBuddy may not be for you.
- Pay With GasBuddy Doesn’t Build Credit. Pay With GasBuddy is a debit card that connects directly to your checking account. While that’s good news for credit-impaired members who may struggle to qualify for a premium gas credit card, it’s not ideal for those hoping to build credit with timely payments and responsible use. For that, you’ll need a proper credit card that reports payment patterns to the major credit reporting bureaus or an alternative credit-building method.
GasBuddy is a one-stop resource for drivers looking to reduce commuting costs and find cheap fuel faster. The platform was useful enough as a data-rich gas price aggregator; now, with a built-in payment system with generous spending rewards, it’s practically indispensable.
That said, Pay With GasBuddy isn’t the gold standard for pay-at-the-pump gas cards. As gas prices rise, the relative impact of its perpetual $0.05-per-gallon discount shrinks, while category-leading gas credit cards such as the Costco Anywhere Card by Citi retain their edge. Those whose credit qualifies them for top-tier gas credit cards shouldn’t rely solely on GasBuddy for pay-at-the-pump discounts and rewards.
GasBuddy is a fantastic resource for anyone who drives a gas-powered vehicle, from city-dwellers who hop behind the wheel just a couple times per month to long-distance commuters who practically live out of their cars. Pay With GasBuddy, in particular, is a powerful ally for budget-conscious drivers; the Premium plan pays for itself when you purchase at least 50 gallons per month.
You don’t have to pay anything to use GasBuddy. Indeed, there’s a strong case to be made for forgoing its paid plans. You’ll still save $0.05 per gallon when you use Pay With GasBuddy, and every GasBuddy user has access to a powerful suite of free tools. But the Premium plan is a reasonable alternative to AAA membership; if you drive an older car that’s prone to breakdowns, it’s likely to pay for itself over time.