The cumulative costs of rising gas prices are starting to pile up for American consumers, who are now heading into the peak travel season of the year and have been paying more at the pump for months.
If you drive frequently, now is probably a good time to look into various loyalty and rewards programs that can help lower prices every time you fill up.
One of the easiest ways to get immediate savings in the weeks ahead is to simply download Wawa’s mobile app and link a card to the company’s rewards program. Wawa is offering a 15-cent-per-gallon gas rebate through May 8, which could help cover much of at least one trip to fill your tank over the next few weeks.
The Wawa app provides step-by-step instructions for getting the discount. All you will have to do is select the store location, enter the pump number, choose a payment option and confirm all selections before activating the pump and choosing the fuel grade .
There is a wide range of gas rewards and loyalty programs that are not tied to a time period and can be used to obtain ever better prices. These programs are not tied to your credit score and don’t even require an application or credit card to enroll.
Other programs may link directly to credit cards for benefits and rewards which may have greater flexibility around where they are used. Bankrate and The Penny Hoarder each have helpful guides to some of the best gas rewards programs, which should be chosen considering which brands have the most locations in your area.
Most of the time, the savings on these rewards programs use a points system to generate modest fuel savings, but can add up to significant savings over time. The temporary Wawa promotion stands out because 15 cents per gallon is a relatively high discount.
An increase of just 10 cents per gallon costs consumers $10 billion or more over the course of a year, according to an analysis by Moody’s Analytics. And the average driver spends about 2-3% of their monthly income on gasoline.
On Wednesday, the national average gasoline price was $4,083, with prices a little higher at $4,186 on average in Pennsylvania, according to AAA. Over the past two weeks, gasoline prices have fallen from their peak in March. This is largely due to measures taken by the Biden administration, such as the exploitation of the strategic petroleum reserves of the United States and the authorization of the temporary sale of the E15 ethanol gas mixture which is normally prohibited between June and September in order to to reduce smog.
Despite some modest price relief, many of the market conditions driving fuel costs higher are expected to persist for the foreseeable future. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the high price of a barrel of oil continue to put pressure on prices which still have a long way to go, even as the price per barrel rose from $123.70 in early March at $94.29 on Monday.
From the perspective of the American consumer, gasoline prices averaged just $2.86 a gallon a year ago. More generally, inflation pushed the consumer price index up 8.5% from a year ago, the fastest annual rise in the cost of goods and services since December 1981.
It might not seem like a lot at once, but the savings offered by Wawa’s temporary fuel discount and other long-term rewards programs are well worth the minimal effort they take to set up because the prices will remain high in the coming months.