Inflation is hitting the U.S. hard — particularly in the area of gas prices. According to AAA, a gallon of gas cost an average of $4.37 nationwide at the start of May 2022.
One way to save money on gas is to download a gas savings app. These apps help you find the cheapest gas station in your area and fill up your tank for less. They generally update gas prices in real time so you can always find the lowest price.
Many gas apps include other features as well. Filters help you search gas stations by type of fuel or amenities. Rewards programs boost your savings on gas and, sometimes, other purchases too. And navigational tools help with trip planning and avoiding traffic.
Pro tip: If you’re looking to earn cash back on gas purchases we recommend the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. With this card, you’ll earn 3% back at gas stations as well at 6% back at grocery stores.
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The Best Apps to Find Cheap Gas Stations
Our top gas app, Waze, is primarily a navigation app. However, it gets great ratings from both professionals and users for its easy-to-use gas price search tool.
The other apps on our list stand out in particular areas, such as their rewards programs, up-to-date gas pricing info, or ease of use.
Best Overall: Waze
Many people know Waze as a crowdsourced navigation app that steers you around traffic and road hazards. However, not everyone knows this free app can also help you find cheap gas. Just click the gas pump icon below the search bar to see a list of nearby gas stations. You can sort the list by distance, price, or brand.
Click any station to see a full price list for different grades of gas. Listed prices may be outdated, but the app warns you if they are. Once you choose a gas station, Waze can show you the best route to get there.
Other Waze features include:
- Ability to set preferred gas stations and fuel type
- Contactless payment for cardholders at ExxonMobil and Shell stations
- “Waze-only” deals at partner gas stations
- Podcast and music streaming
- 4.9-star rating on App Store and 4.4 stars on Google Play as of May 2022
Best for Saving on More than Gas: Upside
The free Upside app — formerly known as GetUpside — provides savings on more than just gas. To find deals, first use the app to search for gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants. Then click to claim an offer at a participating location.
After you shop, eat, or fill up your tank, snap a picture of your receipt. Alternatively, you can pay with a linked credit or debit card and then “check in” with the app. Cash back rewards then go into your Upside account. You can earn up to $0.25 per gallon on gas, 15% at grocery stores, and 35% at restaurants.
- Cash in rewards at any time via PayPal, bank transfer, or digital gift card
- Works at over 50,000 locations nationwide
- You can collect both Upside rewards and credit card rewards for the same purchase
- 4.8 stars from App Store, 4.5 from Google Play as of May 2022
Best Feature Set: MapQuest
Like Waze, MapQuest is mainly a mapping and navigation app. However, it can also help you find the cheapest gas stations along any route you’ve plotted out. You can filter the list of prices by location and fuel grade.
MapQuest is ideal for commuters. You can save your home and work addresses as favorites in the free app. Then it can automatically update prices at all local gas prices along your route each day before you set out.
- Create routes with multiple stops
- Locate stores, restaurants, and other points of interest on your route
- Place food orders or make restaurant reservations through GrubHub and OpenTable
- See local weather conditions at a glance
- Real-time traffic updates and satellite images
- Voice-guided GPS navigation
- Available for iOS, Android, and Amazon devices
- 4.4 stars on App Store, 4.2 stars on Google Play as of May 2022
Best Interface: Gas Guru
The free Gas Guru app, owned by Yellow Pages, lists all nearby gas stations with their brand names and prices. The app’s gas prices come from the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and are updated regularly.
Professional reviewers give Gas Guru high marks for its interface. It’s easy to filter the list of gas stations by price, fuel type, or distance. However, user reviews as of May 2022 are mixed. Some users on the App Store and Google Play complain that the app is glitchy and gas prices and locations aren’t always accurate.
- Search for gas stations with specific features, such as car washes, ATMs, or 24/7 service
- See other businesses near each gas station
- Save your favorite locations in the app
- No account needed to use the app
Best for Planning Road Trips: AAA TripTik Planner
If you’re an AAA member, you may already be familiar with the AAA Mobile app for iOS and Android. Its TripTik feature helps you plot out a route for a road trip. It can also show you gas stations along that route with the best prices or the highest fuel grade.
The AAA app is free, even for nonmembers. Anyone can use it to plot out trips and find gas stations and other amenities. However, only members can use some of its other features, marked with asterisks in the list below.
- Find AAA-approved hotels, restaurants, and auto repair shops on your route
- Book hotels and car rentals
- Share saved trips across devices*
- Access member discounts and roadside assistance via the app*
- Add your AAA membership card to the Passbook feature on newer iPhones*
- 4.4 stars from App store, 4.3 stars from Google Play as of May 2022
Best for Real-Time Pricing: Geico Mobile
If you use Geico for your auto insurance, the company’s mobile app provides easy access to your policy. But even if you’re not a Geico customer, you can use the app to find gas stations near you or along your driving route.
Geico also offers a separate online gas price locator. This website provides gas prices from OPIS and shows when each one was last updated. Enter your location and a search radius to find the cheapest gas in your area. Like the mobile app, this site is free for anyone to use.
The app also offers these additional features for Geico customers only:
- Digital insurance ID card
- Access to roadside assistance
- Photo estimates for auto body repairs
- Vehicle care tool that shows service history, maintenance schedule, and recalls
- 4.8 stars from App Store, 4.7 stars from Google Play as of May 2022
Best Loyalty Program: GasBuddy
GasBuddy is a crowdsourced app that gets gas pricing information from its 60-million-plus users. You can find gas along a given route and check gas station ratings and reviews. And you can earn cash back for gas when you deal with Gas Buddy’s partner brands.
The free Pay with GasBuddy card offers additional gas savings. This debit card links to your checking account and earns you cash back of up to $0.25 per gallon. And the $9.99-per-month premium service gives you a guaranteed $0.20 cash back per gallon on up to 50 gallons per month, plus free roadside assistance.
One caveat: this app collects your location data and sells it to advertisers. If you’re concerned about online privacy, use the mobile-friendly GasBuddy website instead.
- Trip cost calculator
- Fuel usage tracking
- Vehicle recall info
- Gas station outage updates during natural disasters
- 4.7 stars from App Store, 4.3 from Google Play as of May 2022
Methodology: How We Select the Best Apps to Find Cheap Gas Stations
To find the best gas pricing apps, we consulted reviews from financial publications and from users at the Apple and Google app stores. We chose our top picks based on six metrics related to overall value and ease of use.
The whole point of using a gas app is to find the best price on gas. So it’s incredibly frustrating when you arrive at the gas station and find that the price is higher than your app promised.
To spare you that frustration, we gave higher rankings to gas apps that get good marks for pricing accuracy. One reason the popular GasBuddy didn’t earn our Best Overall title was that some reviews said its crowdsourced prices aren’t always up-to-date.
A good gas pricing app should be easy to use. At a minimum, it should be easy to see all the gas stations in your immediate area, with their prices. And being able to search for gas stations and prices along a specific route is a plus.
Gas apps earned extra points for having good filters. The best apps let you sort your list of gas stations by location, brand, fuel grade, or gas station amenities. They also let you save your favorite locations and searches so you don’t have to repeat them.
Some gas apps don’t just help you find cheap gas stations. They also boost your savings through cash-back rewards. Gas pricing apps with a strong rewards program were more likely to earn a spot on our list.
Many gas apps are good for more than just gas savings. We gave higher rankings to apps that can also help you with the various other tasks you might want to do on the road, such as:
- Planning a route for a road trip
- Finding other amenities along your route, such as restaurants
- Making restaurant, hotel, or car reservations
- Avoiding traffic jams and road hazards
- Navigating to your destination
- Calculating fuel usage and trip costs
- Keeping track of regular auto maintenance
- Staying on top of recalls for your car
Professional reviews don’t tell the whole story about an app’s performance. Apps that perform well under test conditions don’t always work equally well in the real world.
That’s why we also checked user reviews on Apple’s App Store and Google Play. We gave higher rankings to apps that earned higher average ratings from users.
The purpose of gas pricing apps is to save you money. When you have to pay for the privilege of using them, it eats into those savings or, worse, cancels them entirely. That’s why all the apps on our list are either completely free to use or have a free version.
Gas Prices Apps FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)
Here are a few more useful things to know about gas price apps and gas prices in general.
Where Do Gas Apps Get Their Gas Pricing Information?
It depends on the app. Some apps, such as GasBuddy and Waze, are crowdsourced. They rely on app users to submit information about prices at their local gas stations. Their prices are based on real-world info, but they aren’t always up to date.
Other apps, like Gas Guru and Geico, get their information from the Oil Price Information Service, or OPIS. This private company tracks prices for all kinds of oil products and sells the data to businesses. OPIS offers a variety of pricing products updated on different schedules.
Do Gas Pricing Apps Sell My Personal Data?
Waze, which is owned by Google, also collects a fair amount of user information. However, it seldom shares this information with companies outside the Google family. Besides, if you have other Google products on your phone, the company probably has your information already.
At the other end of the spectrum, some gas apps don’t require you to set up an account at all. These include Gas Guru and the web-based versions of GasBuddy and Geico.
Why Are Gas Prices So High Right Now?
There are a lot of factors behind the recent spike in gas prices. Part of it is pent-up demand from the COVID-19 pandemic. People who couldn’t take trips in 2020 and early 2021 are taking them now.
At the same time, the global supply of oil has been constricted. OPEC nations cut their oil production during the pandemic and have been slow to restore it to normal. The 2022 war in Ukraine and resulting sanctions disrupted the supply of oil from Russia as well.
What are Some Other Ways to Save Money on Gas?
Using a gas savings app is only one way to cut your fuel expenses. Other strategies include:
- Using Store Perks. Some grocery store loyalty programs offer discounts on gas.
- Timing Your Fill-Ups. Gas prices fluctuate throughout the week. According to GasBuddy, gas costs least on Monday and most on Wednesday and Thursday.
- Using a Gas Credit Card. A gas credit card gives you cash back for every dollar you spend at the pump.
- Using Gift Cards. Use gift cards bought at a discount to pay for your gas.
- Changing Your Driving Habits. To save gas, drive gently. Avoid high speeds, rapid acceleration, sudden stops, and prolonged idling. Combine short trips into longer ones and time your trips to avoid heavy traffic.
- Maintaining Your Vehicle. Keep your car tuned up and your tires properly inflated. Use the right grade of oil and replace clogged filters. And avoid carrying excess weight in your trunk.
- Carpooling. Consider carpooling so you can split your gas costs with others.
- Changing Vehicles. Think about upgrading to a hybrid or electric car. Or, for even bigger savings, switch to a bicycle.
How to Choose the Best Gas Prices App
A good gas price app is a useful tool for coping with rising gas prices. However, different gas apps do different things well.
The ones with the most accurate prices aren’t always the easiest to use, for example. Some apps only steer you toward the cheapest gas, while others help you save with rewards. And some have other features besides gas pricing.
To choose the best app, consider your personal needs and preferences. Some questions to ask include:
- When and where will you use the app?
- How much of your personal data are you willing to hand over in exchange for gas rewards?
- Which other features besides gas savings are most important to you?
The gas apps on this list offer a wide range of benefits, so there’s sure to be one that meets your needs.