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How to pay the absolute lowest price for gas - I'm thinking its NOT Costco!

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11/27/12 11:36 PM
Hello my friends. Before I begin, I do want to point out that I searched for "gas" since I am sure this topic has been addressed before. I didn't find this topic on the first few pages and I wasn't about to shuffle through all 71 pages looking to revive this topic. So I hope no one minds that I start a new one.

Well anyway, I finally got around to getting a costco membership. After I posed for my picture and was handed my card, I didn't even enter the store to look around. I immediately left the store and headed straight for the pumps!! Man was I excited, I was going to stack my 5% penfed rewards with the costco gas selling for a 10 cent discount and then come post the experience on here and get lots of green. Well you guys know what I am about to say. Imagine my disappointment when its rejecting my cards and asking for PIN codes!! I drove off with an empty tank crying, it was so sad, a grownass man crying like that. You would have cried if you saw me.
Later I did some research and discovered what, again, I bet most of you already know. That you can use only AMEX, debit cards, or costco cash cards at the pump. No problem, I have a no-annual-fee AMEX card (actually 2, another for my wife "employee" that gives 3 points per dollar rewards for gas. But then in the fine print it says it must be a standalone gas station and that costco is excluded. What the hell does a guy gotta do in society to get ahead these days!!
So I am now thinking that there is no possible way to get credit card rewards with costco gas. I am thinking that penfed's 5% rewards, which is always going to be better than 15 cents per gallon as long as gas is more than $3/gal, will always be better than costco's 10 cent discount. A real bummer since one of the big reasons I got the costco card was for the gas....

But anyway, as I see things, the best way to purchase gas is to use grocery rewards, if they are available where you live, and stack that with 5% gas rewards. I can't think of another way - costco doesn't even fit into the equation.

Thoughts? Anything I am missing?
11/27/12 11:36 PM
This AMEX card will give you 4% back at Costco gas stations (thanks to Krutis).
11/27/12 11:40 PM
Yup. Penfed card is good.
11/27/12 11:43 PM
I purchase Arco gas cards at the grocery store (Albertsons), using my 2% Cash Back FIA AMEX. When I purchase $500 in groceries, including gift cards, I receive a $5 off coupon that I can use in store. Arco is always the cheapest, closest, and most convenient gas station to my house.
11/27/12 11:43 PM
Use your Penfed card and buy costco cash card on costco.com then use cash card to pay for gas.
11/27/12 11:45 PM
No need to worry my friend, this Amex card will give you 4% back at Costco gas stations.
11/28/12 12:06 AM
Buy Arco GC's at safeway with Blue Preferred or Sallie Mae. Gets the cash price.
When safeway fuel rewards reach $1.00 off per gallon (or $2 in some geographical areas) then stock up at the safeway pumps (car & gas cans).

Other than the limited time promos like AMX Like Link Love the strategy above generally beats Costco by a wide margin.

There's always siphoning from your neighbors who don't have locking gas caps

Edit: There is also a strategy involving 7-eleven & plink.com that gets 15% if done correctly. I posted about that site a while back but the thread did not receive any real action.
11/28/12 12:10 AM
safeway has a nice program where you can earn a dollar off per gallon of gas pretty quickly, plus use your 5% rewards card. The lines are atrocious though!
11/28/12 12:20 AM
I'm born and raised in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, so I know what you mean when you say Arco and safeway. But now I'm a Minnesota man so most of these solutions won't work for me.

Anon94305, you are suggesting to use the Penfed card to buy the costco cash card? Do you get 3% grocery store rewards when you purchase the cashcard online? I am a new costco member, so I am not sure if costco is considered a grocery store since you can buy so much stuff there, and am even more doubtful if you are buying the card online from the costco website. Please let me know your experiences.

Krutis: Wow, no annual fee. This might be exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much for sharing this with me!!
11/28/12 12:53 AM
I use Penfed card at the pump at Sam's Club. I think they only give $0.05/gallon off though.

kintro said:   

There is also a strategy involving 7-eleven & plink.com that gets 15% if done correctly. I posted about that site a while back but the thread did not receive any real action.

I reread your thread. I guess I didn't pay it much mind from the title on fast food! What CC do you use? Do you recommend earning through Plink or through MemoLink? HAs your experience been positive with them thus far?
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