Secrets To Cheap Gas Prices At Canadian Pumps Revealed!

The Best Ways to Save Money on Gas in Canada

Advertiser Disclosure This article/post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers or partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products or services.
Last updated on June 16, 2021 Comments: 19

Gas prices often fluctuate. One day you’ll see dozens of cars lined up to fill up on what seems like the lowest per-litre price of the year. The next day it might seem like you need to mortgage your house just to be able to drive to work.

Unfortunately, gas prices are out of our control but you do have some control over how much you can save at the pump. You don’t need to waste gas by lining up at the pumps when the price drops. Instead, work these tips and habits into your regular routine and soon enough you’ll notice that you’re saving a good chunk on gas each month.

11 Tips for Saving Money on Gas

Did you know that speeding at just 120km an hour can increase your fuel consumption by about 20%? Slowing down will not only help save you from getting a hefty fine, but it can also give you better mileage out of every fill-up. While gas station discounts might be hard to come by, there are other easy ways to save money on gas. Here are some other handy tips that can save you a chunk of change on your monthly spending.

1. Use Apps

Don’t roll your eyes just yet at the idea of downloading yet another app. We promise these ones are really worth the extra space on your phone. Whenever you need to fill up, check out these great apps to find the best gas prices in your area so that you can save a couple of dollars by going to the right station:

  • Waze: Aside from being a great navigation app that gives you real-time information on traffic, Waze also has a built-in feature that shows you gas prices at nearby stations.
  • GasBuddy: Get a list of gas prices at stations near you that are regularly updated by Gas Buddy users.
  • CAA: If you’re a member of CAA, you can use the app on your phone to find local gas prices.

2. Fill Up During the Week

Gas prices tend to go up on weekends and the days leading up to it. Last year, GasBuddy studied gas prices across Canada to find out which days were best to fill up. They found that Tuesday and Wednesday were the best days, and Thursday and Friday were typically the most expensive.

3. Get Memberships

Registering for a membership is a great way to save on gas anytime you head to the pump. Some of the best gas loyalty programs in Canada are with companies like Esso, Shell, and Petro Canada, which offer rewards points every time you fill-up. Shell, Esso and Petro Canada also offer points that can be redeemed for things like in-store items, discounts on gas purchases, car washes, and other perks.

You can also rely on your membership from warehouse stores like Costco to pay less for gas. If you’re already paying for a Costco membership, then you should be taking advantage of the cheaper gas prices. Costco purposely sells gas for cheaper than its competitors by offering lower prices to its members only. With annual memberships starting at just $60 a year, it can be worth becoming a Costco member just for the gas savings alone.

4. Monitor Your Car Maintenance and Driving Habits

Speeding isn’t the only thing that can waste a lot of gas. There are a lot of other driving habits you may not notice that are eating into your mileage. Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your fuel consumption:

  • Don’t idle for more than 30 seconds at a time.
  • Get your car serviced. Low air pressure in your tires can cause your car to use more fuel.
  • Make sure your engine is tuned and your oil is changed regularly.
  • Remove things from the trunk or roof rack that are weighing down your car.

5. Use A/C Wisely

Use AC Wisely

ImageSource: Shutterstock

Contrary to popular belief, using your A/C won’t significantly impact your mileage, but this also depends on your car. If you drive a smaller sedan, it’s usually more fuel-efficient to use your A/C since opening the windows can create resistance and makes your car work harder. For bigger cars, there’s already more resistance, so opening the windows instead of cranking the A/C might be a better option. In general, the best rule of thumb is to roll down the windows while you’re driving in town and rely on the A/C on the highway.

6. Don’t Wait Until You’re Empty

It’s a bad habit, but we’ve all done it. You want to squeeze every last drop out of your engine before you rush to fill up again. The problem with this is that instead of waiting for the best price or day to fill up, you’ll need to rush to the closest station just to continue your drive, which means you might be overspending.

7. Use the Right Type of Gas

Most cars use regular, so there’s no real need to add premium gas to your tank. Unless your car specifically requires it, there are no additional benefits to using premium over regular. You’re just spending extra money for nothing.

8. Carpool When You Can

By carpooling with co-workers or friends who are headed in the same direction, you’ll be able to split gas costs by not having to use your car all the time. Another perk? You can use the carpool lane and get to your destination quicker.

If you don’t know anyone you can carpool with to work or you’re looking to split the cost of gas on longer routes between cities, check out Poparide to fill some seats in your car and earn back money for gas.

9. Plan Your Route in Advance

If you’re headed out to run some errands, take a few moments to plan out your route. Say you need to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, and post office. Find a route that’s efficient that saves you from driving back and forth between destinations.

10. Use the Right Credit Card

Use these tips together with a credit card that offers a good rate for rewards or cash back on gas purchases and you can save even more. There are quite a few great credit cards in Canada for gas savings.

11. Use Alternative Means of Transport

The best way to save money on gas is to simply avoid driving. Of course, if you work far from home you may still need to drive but there’s no reason you can’t give your legs a stretch when you need to do a quick errand nearby. Use a bicycle or public transit instead. These small changes can end up having a big effect on your gas bill (and the environment, too).

To Wrap Up

You shouldn’t have to wait for gas prices to drop just to fill up your car. With these tips, you’ll be able to save some cash with every fill-up. Try and combine a few different tips to save more, like pairing up loyalty programs or gas station memberships with a rewards credit card to gain double on each gas purchase.

Author Bio

Alicia Schneider
Montreal-born Alicia Schneider is a digital nomad that specializes in freelance content and travel writing. She has experience writing about financial topics such as invoicing and accounting as well as business technology and software. When she's not writing, she's exploring a new destination that most likely includes sun and a beach. You can see more of her work at

Article comments

Jeff Witty says:

TL;DR: Cheapest gas in Canada method, & get cashback working to the max

1. Have or get a Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card for 4% cashback on fuel (all Canadian stations) & up to 5.5% cashback if combined with Esso Extra Points card, at Esso stations only mind you.
2. Use Gasbuddy app to locate “cheapest” fuel of your desired type. Limit fuel station selection to #1 Esso #2 Petro Canada #3 Macewen (on best discount day for fuel type only). Possibly, #4 Shell, if you desire Air Miles over cashback
3. Get the rewards card for each fuel retailer/station selected
4. Do a simple 4% vs 5.5%, on “cashback vs fuel cost per liter”, always select the greater cashback value. Note: this formula can easily be programmed into the “memory” of your phone’s calculator.
5. Have “highest interest rated” Canadian HISA, TFSA (Motive currently @ 2.05% & 2.2%) & RRSP (Achieva or Implicitly, currently @ 2%). “Roll” cashback into the HISA until RRSP/TFSA investment time of year. Max out yearly TFSA amount, then RRSP.

This is the easiest way to “grow” your 4% to 5.5% cashback on fuel into some decent money.

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Jeff,
That’s a great strategy. You guys should all follow these tips and report back on your savings.

Sam says:

Petro-Canada can often switch to the #1 spot if you have CAA and HBC rewards card (free to join). Each of those adds 20% to the points you would originally get through the Petro-Points program so if you have both, you’ll be getting 1.4x the points each time you purchase fuel.

Also, if you’re into doing short online surveys via e-mail, then you can acquire A TON of points via “AskingCanadians”. I get around 30,000-40,000 points a mont just from that. I average a car wash a week and haven’t paid for a single one in 4 years thanks to Petro Points.

Aaron Broverman says:

Thanks Sam,

That’s a really good tip. Also, BMO Air Miles members can currently get 5 times the points when they fill up at Shell and use their BMO Air Miles Mastercard until the end of December 2020.

Steve Sills says:

I followed your link to The Scotia Momentum Infinite Visa card and it states 2% for gas and 4% for groceries. Is this correct?

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Steve,

Thanks for the comment. If you’re thrown off a bit, it’s because Scotia recently changed the rewards system on their Momentum Visa Infinite card. While it’s billed as an upgrade, some who prefer more cash back on gas don’t see it as such, and honestly that’s logical considering how high gas prices are. Scotia swapped gas out and put it into a 2% category alongside a new addition—transit—which could be useful for some but ultimately doesn’t make up for it.

Our advice is to consider replacing the card, as there are now a lot of other choices available in the same card league as the Momentum Infinite. Try looking at the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card, which offers a nice 10% cash back bonus on all spending in your first 3 months, and afterwards 3% on gas and grocery, and 1% everywhere else. The BMO CashBack World Elite card is also great if you have the $80,000 income required, as it earns 1.5% cash back on all spending—not just gas or groceries.


Hal soe says:

MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus® Mastercard give you back 2% on gas n grocery with 0$ annual fee

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Hal,

Appreciate the comment. It’s true that if you want to avoid paying annual fees and maximize the amount you earn from gas and groceries, that the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard is one of the superior choices. Another great choice is the Tangerine Money-Back credit card, which will give 2.00% cash back on gas and groceries if you choose them as your two custom categories—you’ll even get an extra third 2.00% category if you deposit your cash back earnings in a Tangerine Savings Account, making it a more useful choice.

You can also swap cash back categories to the other choices (home improvement, recurring bills, etc.) whenever you like. The Rogers World Elite Mastercard is another $0 card with (close to) 2.00% cash back. Instead of 2.00%, however, you’ll get 1.75% back on all purchases, which is doubtlessly superior. Essentially, if these are your only criteria for a credit card then your options are vastly expanded beyond the MBNA Smart Cash card. Hope that helps!


Christine Upton says:

No mention of Costco Gas Station or of Capital One Mastercard? Lineups are HUGE at Costco, so, there must be a good deal there, right?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Christine,

Thanks for your comment and inquiry about which card is suitable for use at Costco gas stations. In our experience one great card if you frequently fill up at Costco is the Tangerine MoneyBack credit card, which allows you to pick up to three purchase categories where you’ll earn 2.00% cash back consistently. Gas is one of these categories, so when you’re filling up at Costco or anywhere else, you’re getting 2.00% back on your money.

As a Mastercard, the Tangerine card will also work inside Costco and in most places earn you 0.50% back since there’s no Warehouse purchase category, and MOST Costcos in Canada carry this merchant code. Some don’t, so if you got this card, you’d ideally set your categories as gas and groceries, and then go to Costco and ensure your purchases are accurately reflected on your statement.

The Costco Mastercard by Capital One is always great for anything Costco-related as well, obviously. If you make Costco a central part of your financial life, you should therefore consider this card more seriously. Finally, the Rogers Mastercards are great at Costco (both gas and purchases inside) because they offer a high flat rate of cash back on everything. The Platinum Mastercard by Rogers grants 1.25% everywhere, and the World Elite Mastercard 1.75% everywhere. You’ll also earn more than double this when spending in a foreign currency.

Any of the cards mentioned here are probably being taken advantage of by those you see waiting in line at the Costco gas station, as they add significantly enough to make it worth the visit. Good luck!


android says:

Petro Canada gives 10 points/litre of gas, not 5 as you mentioned.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Android,

Or should we say 01101000 01101001? Lame jokes aside, we appreciate your coming to GreedyRates to talk about the Petro-Points program from Petro Canada, which is included on a large number of Canadian credit cards. We can confirm that our article is outdated to when the Petro-Points per-litre reward was just 5 instead of 10, but we’ve gone ahead and updated it in this regard. For all other readers, cards with the Petro-Points program now offer 10 points per litre when filling up at a Petro-Canada station, but they also offer increased gas savings and bonus points as well.

Take RBC, for example, which has a relationship with Petro-Canada. Use a card like the RBC WestJet World Elite Mastercard at the pump, for example, and you’ll not only earn 10 Petro-Points per litre but an extra 20% (making it 12 points per litre) and receive $0.03 off the price of every litre as well. This double-edged savings plan is powerful and adds a ton of unassuming value to the card. Petro Points can then be spent on fuel, snacks, car washes, gift cards, and more. Thanks again for the info!

GreedyRates Staff

Alex M says:

Actually, the highest rebate among no-fee cards is offered by PC Mastercard – for some reason not mentioned in your write-up. They pay 3 cents per liter + 1%. At today’s high prices it works to ~3.14%. Rebate works at Esso and Mobile only, but all PC stores have either Esso or Mobile, and with PC being the go-to place for groceries, you’ll be there anyway.

Christina says:

Two years later and GreedyRates hasn’t responded to this! Absolutely the PCOptimum program, PC Mastercard and Esso get you the best bonus on gas purchases. I think you can even scan an Esso loyalty program, too

Aaron Broverman says:

I think we never mentioned PCOptimum because it didn’t exist when we wrote this article. Though we haven’t updated this article, we just published an article on the best credit cards for gas in Canada written by Yours Truly. Check it out and tell me what you think: https:// www. greedyrates .ca / blog / best-gas-credit-cards /

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.


Dude says:

I’m trying to work out which is better value. RBC’s instant rebate at Petro Canada (3¢ per litre), and 2% cash back with No-Fee RBC Mastercard or 4% from Scotia, at any gas station.

If there’s a way to calculate it, I’d love to know how.


The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Dude,

Working out this equation might be a bit difficult, as it depends on multiple factors that are also context specific. The first thing that comes to mind is that the 3 cents per litre savings is capped per visit based on the size of your tank. If your tank is 45 litres, then you’ll save $1.35 each visit. Assuming five visits a month that’s still just $6.75 in monthly savings. It’s not hard to imagine that a family spend upwards of $500 per month on gas, and just 2% of this is $10.00. That means getting an extra 2% (4% versus 2% and 3 cents per litre) will be more beneficial in this case, but again, you’ll need to apply the same logic to determine if it works based on your personal driving habits. As a general rule, more cash back or rewards will always outweigh a flat per-litre savings plan.