By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– Week after week, month after month, drivers have been feeling pain at the pump. Spring is usually a time where we get some relief from high gas prices, but not this year. And who knows what the summer will hold! So 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan went in search of the three best ways to save on gas.
With gas prices hovering close to a one-year high, Kelly Ditsche took matters into her own hands.
“We don’t even shop around for gas anymore,” said Ditsche.
Jack Phillippe adopted that attitude too.
“I’ve been shopping there and no other place since,” said Phillipe.
And word is getting around.
“I just saved $12.60,” said Giant gas customer, Alyssa Sorichillo.
They’re all giant fans of Giant supermarkets’ gas extra rewards program.
“It’s huge and it’s a great program for us and it separates us from our competition,” said Giant store manager, Christina McAdams.
Shoppers cash in points to lower the price they pay at Giants’ gas pumps.
Points are accrued based on the amount of groceries you buy and even prescriptions you fill.
For every $100 dollars you spend, you save ten cents on every gallon.
“I don’t buy that much food, don’t have a family and still I benefit by it,” said Phillipe.
Purchase featured items and earn even more points. Redeeming coupons from mailed circulars and you’ll benefit too.
“You get fifty cents off now with the gallon,” said Giant customer Theresa Cinciruk.
Shoppers can cash in their points every time they fill up or can allow them to build up over the course of eight weeks. Then use them or lose them, as another eight week cycle begins.
“It’s really great for the customers with the rising cost of fuel, to just be able to get the groceries that they have to buy anyway and save so much money on the back end getting their gas,” said McAdams.
It’s a free program that can save you hundreds of dollars a year!
On this fill-up Kelly cashed in points lowering the price she paid from $3.93 a gallon to $2.73. 1.20 less! And she saved $19.08.
Don’t normally shop at Giant? Well if you’re a member of a wholesale club like Sam’s or BJ’s you could save too!
When we shopped, their prices on average were 5 to 10 cents cheaper per gallon than nearby gas stations.
Finally, if you pay with plastic at the pump, consider a no annual fee credit card that will earn you cash back.
“We have seen around 30 percent increase on searches for gas related credit cards,” said Odysseas Papadimitriou with CardHub.com.
According to CardHub, a credit card comparison website, some of the best reward cards are the Exxon Mobile credit card that offers 15 cents back per gallon and the Blue Cash everyday card from American Express. It gives you 2% cash back on gas purchases.
Which could make filling up at the pump a little less painful.
By the way, you can stack your savings too. If you use a cash back credit card when buying that discounted gas you will end up saving more in the end.
Don’t forget maintenance. It plays a big role in fuel efficiency too.
Properly inflated tires will save you 12 cents a gallon and keeping your engine tuned can save you another 15 cents per gallon.