Costco gas is a great way to save money the next time you fill up your tank. But what does it cost? And do its low prices justify buying a membership for your household? Read on to find out answers to these questions, and more.
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What Is Costco Gas?
Of course, gas prices range based on the market, time of year, and region you live in. Still, some quick searches on GasBuddy show that Costco consistently offers the cheapest gas.
At time of publication, Costco gas was 6 cents cheaper than the next-cheapest option in New Rochelle, New York. At times, consumers report the difference to be has high as 30 cents per gallon.
Others report that premium gas at Costco is consistently the same price as regular gas at competitors. Costco gas stations also hold the two cheapest slots on GasBuddy’s Top 10 Lowest Gas Prices & Best Gas Stations in New Jersey.
Costco wins the same title in Alaska, so the depth and reach of the wholesaler’s savings is wide.
The Motley Fool’s Daniel Kline confirms this by determining that savings range from a few cents up to $0.30. The report goes one step further by concluding that an average savings per gallon of just $0.07 can, in many cases, equal the cost of your annual membership.
Note that not all Costcos have gas stations. Competitors Sam’s Club and BJ’s have affordable gas as well, so it’s worth comparing what’s available in your area before buying a membership based on gas alone.
Costco Gas Quality
Costco doesn’t name its gasoline provider, but assures consumers the fuel it sells is “top tier.” Kirkland Signature Gasoline is formulated with deposit control additives to clean your engine and keep it running like new.
Here are some factors Costco lists about its Top Tier Gas:
- Restores fuel economy
- Improves performance
- Reduces emissions
- Protects fuel injectors and intake valves from deposits that can harm your engine
Some locations also even offer Kirkland Signature Diesel, which can clean deposits from injectors in order to deliver the best engine performance and efficiency possible.
How to Pay at Costco Gas Stations
The great thing about Costco gas is you can get low gas prices and pay with a credit or debit card. (Unlike other gas stations that require cash for the cheapest price.) To pay, have your membership card on hand.
First, insert your membership card. Then, insert a Visa credit card or a PIN debit card. Unfortunately, Costco only accepts Visa cards, not any other brands like American Express or Discover. However, it does also accept most PIN-based debit cards, so you’re not completely out of luck.
If you aren’t a Costco Member, you can still use the gas station by paying with a Costco Cash Card. The best way for Costco members to rack up savings on gas is to pay with the Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi.
You’ll receive 4% cash back on gas purchases, including Costco’s. After $7,000 gas purchases per year, the cash back is 1%.
Things to Keep in Mind
You already know that Costco Wholesale has cheap gas. And along with low prices, it’s high quality. Some other things to keep in mind? Here are some other tips and tricks to keep in mind when buying gas at Costco:
- Self-Service Only: With the exception of states like New Jersey where legally mandated, CostcoGas pumps are self-serve.
- One Way Traffic: At Costco gasoline stations traffic flow goes one way. This means it doesn’t matter which side your tank is on. Don’t worry, they have extra-long pumps.
- Middle Lane Hogs: Don’t block the middle lane! If you’ve ever been at a gas station and finished pumping gas before the person in front of you, you know the frustration of being stuck. At Costco, no worry! You can exit through the middle lane at any time.
- Avoid Peak Hours: Avoid long lines during peak hours. Early afternoons mid week can be the best time to pump gas. Or, try going early in the morning.
- Longer Hours: Costco Gas Stations have longer hours than the wholesale club. Be sure to check you Costco gas station’s hours. For example, most wholesale locations open at 10am, but the gas station is open at 6am.
- Car Washes: If you’re due for a clean-up, some stations offer car washes as well.
Should You Shop at Costco Gas?
Costco Gas is both cheap and high quality. If your Costco offers gas, it can be a great way to earn back your membership fee, and fast. For the best savings, apply for the wholesale’s Visa credit card.
This card boasts 4% back on gas. Just try to go during off hours or you’ll be stuck in a long line at the gas pumps with fellow bargain hunters. Not convinced? Check out Costco Gasoline on Yelp.
Almost every location has 4 to 5 stars and tons of rave reviews. Yelp customers (who, let’s face it, love to complain) will tell you how cheap Costco Gas is!