Saving money at the gas station


By Dick Eppstein - Better Business Bureau



TOLEDO — Believe it or not, some consumers are even calling the Better Business Bureau to complain about the high gas prices. We can’t help, but Craig Johnson, writing on the internet for money expert Clark Howard, recently gave out seven ways consumers can save money at the pump. Here are his tips:

1) Monday is usually the best day to buy gas. The price is lowest. The worst day is Thursday when demand goes up in preparation for weekend driving.

2) A tip BBB always gives is to always pay with a CREDIT CARD, not a debit card. Credit cards give you much better protection. If you have a problem, paying with a debit card can make it much more difficult to get your money back. BBB urges consumers to follow this rule with any online purchases too. If you buy from Amazon or any online sellers, always use a credit card.

3) Use a credit card that gives rewards. Many cards give money back on gasoline purchases. If you belong to a wholesale club, their cards may carry that benefit. Do sone homework and you could get 4% or 5% back in cash on every fill up.

4) Use the recommend fuel for your vehicle. For example, if your car doesn’t require premium gas, filling up with higher octane can cost you 40 cents per gallon or more, and it may be completely unnecessary.

5) Shopping at the Gas Station Food Mart. When we are traveling, most of us may pick up some snacks or drinks at the gas station food mart. It is convenient and saves us time. But unless items are on sale, the gas station food mart will usually be more expensive.

6) Join the Gas Station Rewards Program. Many gas companies offer rewards programs that can save you money on gas purchases and also when shopping in their station stores. This can also be helpful if you go to the same stations when traveling.

7) Using a “Top-Tier” Gas Station. Many stations use “Top Tier” gas, which has additives and a higher concentration of detergent. This cleans the valves in your engine and can extend the life of your car. Even some discount stations have Top-Tier gas, and you can go online to find a list of the station chains that use it.

Of course, driving an electric car is an obvious way to avoid high gas prices, but most of us don’t have that opportunity – at least for now. Clark Howard has many excellent consumer tips at his web site, clark.com.

By Dick Eppstein

Better Business Bureau