In a Nutshell: GasBuddy is a platform and app that help drivers find the best deals on fuel anywhere in the United States. Users can also sign up to receive a free Pay With GasBuddy debit card that provides additional discounts. Drivers gain access to GasBack rewards, a trip-planning tool, and promotions, including GasBuddy BINGO-inspired games, which rewards winners with credit to spend on fuel. Frequent road-trippers can purchase a premium membership that includes deeper discounts on gas and roadside assistance.
You’re on a long road trip, and, after checking every few miles, the needle on your gas gauge finally dips just below E. Unfortunately, your bank account balance is on the same track. You see a few gas stations ahead, but should you keep going and hope for a better price?
It is a common scenario that has led to much frustration in the past. But now, drivers can quickly consult GasBuddy, an app that provides updated local fuel prices and a host of other perks and features, to know for sure.
“The heart of all of what we do is making sure the driver can save as much money as possible on gas,” said Jessica Prouty, Marketing Communications Specialist at GasBuddy. “The founders were frustrated with gas pricing. Nobody knew what the price of gas was unless you drove by it, and even then, you might not get the best deal.”
When GasBuddy started in 2000, it was a website where consumers reported the best gas prices in their area. But over the last two decades, the platform has added options to help drivers and travelers save even more money when they’re on the road. One of those tools is its mobile app, which launched in 2010 and brought GasBuddy’s service into the smartphone era, providing more convenience for users.
“We’ve added more ways and more places to save than any other travel and navigation app available in the United States and Canada,” Prouty said.
Those discounts, combined with other ways GasBuddy helps drivers pinch their pennies, have resulted in user savings of more than $12 million — and counting.
Free App and Debit Card Provide Discounts
GasBuddy’s primary offering is a price-comparison tool that shows the cheapest gas stations in the specific user area. Consumers can use the site or the app for free to find the lowest prices, and they can filter the results by fuel type, payment method, and most recent price update.
“It’s all through crowdsourced data. It’s our users who are inputting these prices,” Prouty said. “In the GasBuddy app, we also have stations jumping in and providing that transparency as well. Today, compared to 2000 or 2008, pricing transparency has transformed the way consumers buy gas.”
GasBuddy users also have access to the free Pay With GasBuddy debit card, which requires no credit check, so it is available to those with poor or no credit. The card links safely and securely to an existing debit account, and users can save up to 25 cents per gallon at 95% of gas stations across the United States. It also offers a distinct advantage over fuel rewards cards, which typically provide a discount at only one fuel company.
“If you’re living in Los Angeles and driving in traffic, you’re not going to turn around to go to the cheapest gas station. It’s too much of a headache,” Prouty said. “It’s not good enough anymore just to save with the best gas prices. We need to provide savings for every kind of driver, no matter where they live or what situation they’re in. That’s why a payment product seemed like the best solution.”
The Pay with GasBuddy card launched in 2017. By mid-2020, hundreds of thousands of drivers had signed up for the card, making over $500 million in transactions and saving $10 million on fuel.
Features and Perks Offer More Ways Drivers Can Save
GasBuddy offers a wide range of tools beyond helping users find the lowest gas prices and get discounts with its debit card. Its other features offer additional savings and convenience.
The Plan Your Trip tool allows drivers to map a route from one destination to another, with options for one way or round trip. In addition to addresses, users also input their car’s make, model, and year. GasBuddy returns a map and a list of the best gas prices along the route at points where, based on the vehicle info, users will need to stop and refuel.
In mid-2020, GasBuddy also started a savings-based BINGO-inspired game feature. Each square on the card represented a different way drivers can save money using GasBuddy’s tools and services. Each time users save money in a particular way, they mark the square, and winners receive $100 in free gas — along with a T-shirt that lets them show off their fuel-saving savvy.
“We’ll do regular campaigns like that,” Prouty said. “We love interacting with our consumers, and it’s a fun way for people to learn about all the different ways they can save money.”
Another benefit of the card is the GasBack program, which rewards users with credit for gas. Users can earn gas credit in two ways. The first is by shopping through the GasBuddy app, which offers deals from brands that include Sam’s Club, Wayfair, The Home Depot, and Petco.
A percentage of each qualified purchase price goes toward gas with the GasBuddy card. Users can also earn GasBack by using the app to reserve parking, which is especially useful for those commuting in metropolitan areas.
The app also allows users to input their vehicle mileage information. Transactions are automatically added to their fuel log when they use their Pay with GasBuddy card. That enables users to budget smarter and track their spending on gas.
“It’s a great tool for people who want to maximize their savings,” Prouty said.
Premium Members Earn Additional Savings
Although most of GasBuddy’s tools are free, it offers a premium membership program that provides additional perks for only $9.99 per month. According to Prouty, this program is aimed at consumers with long daily commutes, people who drive for Uber or Lyft, and parents who regularly drive kids to school, sports, clubs, and other activities.
The premium membership consists of two components. The first is an additional 20-cent discount on top of all the savings GasBuddy already offers. This discount is valid on up to 50 gallons of gas each month.
The second piece of the premium membership is roadside assistance, which GasBuddy offers in partnership with Allstate.
“If you look on the website, you’ll see a comparison of the roadside assistance from Allstate and GasBuddy versus AAA, and you’ll see that we offer just a bit more,” Prouty said. “We’ve had many of our users compliment us on how the roadside assistance saved them when their tire was flat, or their battery died. It’s rewarding for us to hear that roadside assistance, along with the gas discount, is making a difference for consumers.”
GasBuddy’s value beats out many other travel and driving apps in the U.S., and the company plans to extend its services to Canada soon. Entering that market will bring savings to an even broader range of North American drivers.
GasBuddy: A Community-Driven Service that Gives Back
Helping drivers find the right price on gas is just one facet of the GasBuddy platform, and the company enjoys receiving user feedback that often leads to new offerings.
Recently, users requested that GasBuddy incorporate information on which stations carry non-ethanol-based fuel. So, GasBuddy is now investigating the potential to add this transparency. It pursues innovation because it has always been a community-driven platform beginning with the people who report prices.
“GasBuddy’s price reporters are very serious when it comes to making sure the prices are accurate on the GasBuddy gas station listings,” Prouty said. “It’s not fair to anybody when the price is not correct. It’s a pain when you drive to the station, and the price on the sign is different from what you saw in the app. We’re very grateful for our community of price reporters who help keep everything accurate.”
Another way GasBuddy gives back to users is through challenges. Some allow drivers to accumulate points by reporting prices at certain times or at specific station brands, ensuring listings stay up to date at in-demand pumps. Users can redeem their points for a chance to win $100 in credit for free gas.
GasBuddy’s ongoing focus is to reach new users with innovations and additional features. By providing more information and recruiting more price reporters, GasBuddy will continue to ensure drivers in the United States (and Canada) get the best possible deals on fuel.