Secrets To Cheap Gas Prices At Canadian Pumps Revealed!

Secrets To Cheap Gas Prices At Canadian Pumps Revealed!

Last updated on September 25, 2018 Views: 1946 Comments: 2

We have a few tricks up our sleeve to help Canadians save a bundle at the pump. Don’t look to Shell, Petro or Esso credit cards to relieve pressure from ever increasing gas prices. You can save far more by combining certain general rewards and cash back credit cards with a gas station’s points program. We’ve crunched the numbers and we’ll show you how to get cheap gas prices at the pump with little effort.

How To Get Cheap Gas Prices

First, find a credit card that offers the rewards rate at the pump. Many Canadian credit cards offer 4% cash back at the pump, or 2X points at a gas station. The surprising fact is, these offers are oftentimes better than the value offered by gas station credit cards themselves.

Second, combine the savings from your credit cards with a gas station’s loyalty program i.e. Esso Extra, Petro Points, or Shell Air Miles. This allows you to double dip into two rewards programs at the same time, the credit card rewards program and the gas station loyalty program.

Third, find a gas station in your area that offers the cheapest gas prices for the type of fuel you use. Use an app like GasBuddy.com, to help you find the cheapest gas prices in your area at any given time.

Strategies To Get Cheap Gas Prices

In order to determine how to get cheap gas prices, we took a look at the three largest gas retailers in Canada: Esso, Shell and Petro Canada. We then calculated the amount of value each gas station’s loyalty program would provide when filling up $50 worth of gas, first by taking a look at how many points you earn, and then by determining how much gas one could redeem with those points. The answer would give us the cash value of the gas stations loyalty program per dollar spent. This is what we found:

  1. Esso =.58% : Each Esso Extra point is worth $.0058. You get 1 Esso Extra Point per dollar spent. Therefore, for each dollar spent, Esso provides a reward of $.0058 / 1 = .58%.
  2. Shell =.52%: Shell offers Air Miles points. Each Air Mile point is worth $.13. You earn 1 AIR MILES® reward mile on your first $20 purchase including fuel and 1 reward mile on each additional $30 spent in the same transaction. On a $50 fill-up you get 2 Air Miles. Therefore, for each dollar spent Shell provides a reward of $.26 / $50 = .52% .
  3. Petro-Canada =.42% : Each Petro Point is worth $.00112. You get 5 Petro Points per litre of regular gas. Using Gas Buddy, we calculated the average cost of a litre of gas across Canada at $1.339. Therefore, for each dollar spent, Petro-Canada provides a reward of ($.00112*5) /$1.339 = .42%. As the cost of a litre goes down, the value per point goes up.

We then took a look at the rewards rate of various credit cards when filling up at the pump. This is what we found:

Credit CardsGas RewardsGas Rewards Rate Per $1 Spent
American Express No Fee Simply Cash Card5% cash back 1st 6 months, 1.25% cash back thereafter5% 1st 6 months, 1.25% thereafter
Scotia Momentum Visa4 % cash back4%
Scotia Amex Gold4% cash back4%
Shell BMO Mastercard World3% cash back3%
American Express Gold Rewards2 points per dollar spent2.5%
TD Aeroplan Infinite1.5 points per dollar spent1.9%
Shell BMO Mastercard1.5% cash back1.5%
Petro Canada CIBC2 cents per litre1.5%
Esso Visa RBC1 point per $1 spent1.2%

Based on the above, the best credit cards and loyalty programs to get cheap gas at the pump are:

  1. No-Fee: Using the Amex no-fee Simply Cash card in the first 6 months to get 5% cash back at the pump. Thereafter, you’ll get 1.25% cash back at the pump and everywhere else! Still the best no fee cash back rate out there when you compare to the values offered by other cards.
  2. With Fee:  The Scotia Momentum Infinite Visa card, which gives 4% cash back at the pump at all times. (first year annual fee waived for new accounts opened by June 30th, 2018)

Combine either of those offers with the Esso Extra Points card and you’re likely to get 4.5% to 5.5% cash back at the pump, the best deal out there.

Article comments

2 comments
Rob says:

Petro Can has an arrangement with RBC where you pump your gas and pay for it with RBC debit card. I think it is 3¢ per litre that is deducted on the spot when you pay. On a recent $45.00 purchase, my card was charged $43.93. Savings does add up

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Rob,

Nice of you to come lend your appreciation to RBC’s great partnership program with Petro Canada! We’re also big fans of this benefit, which goes pretty underappreciated if you ask us. It’s essentially a constant savings for those who buy gas at Petro Canada stations, which are virtually everywhere in Canada. Some of the best RBC cards have this perk, including the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card—one of our top travel card recommendations of all time. With a generous welcome bonus of 15,000 points, steady rate of rewards, and ultra-flexible redemption model, the card packs a big punch in several relevant areas for travelers.

GreedyRates