According to GasBuddy, Costco gas prices are close to 20% cheaper than the average gas station in your town. While not every Costco location has a gas station attached to it, if yours does, you’d be wise to use it regularly. Not only will you save money, but the Kirkland branded gas is considered a Top Tier fuel. Here’s everything you need to know about Costco gas to save money and time.
1. Costco Usually Loses Money on Gas
Think of the low gas prices at Costco like you’d think of their $1.50 hot dog meal or their $5 rotisserie chicken.
All 3 are loss-leaders designed to get you into the Costco parking lot.
After filling up your tank, they really hope you’ll enter the warehouse to buy stuff you had no idea existed, but CLEARLY can’t live without.
By keeping this in mind, you can avoid this retail trick and not give back your gas savings so quickly.
2. So How Cheap is Costco Gas?
According to the folks at GasBuddy.com, Costco gas averages 19.8 cents (per gallon) cheaper than other stations.
Costco has actually won GasBuddy’s “Low Price” award 4 years straight.
3. What Are the Costco Gas Hours of Operation?
Because Costco makes very little (or no money) from their gas stations, they are not open 24/7.
They typically open at 6 a.m. and close at 9:30 p.m..
Kinda makes sense as it would be silly to pay for an employee 24/7 when they make very little money from gasoline sales.
4. Use the Costco Visa and Get 4% Back on Gas
You’re essentially double-dipping your savings with this tip.
Not only do you get to take advantage of the low gas prices at Costco, but you also get 4% back with the Costco Anywhere Visa from Citi.
The cool thing about this credit card is you’ll get 4% back on gas at ALL gas stations, not just Costco.
It’s also worth noting that Citi puts a limit of $7,000 per year on their card. After you spend $7,000 in any given calendar year on gas you won’t get any more cashback at the pump.
5. Can Non-Costco Members Get Gas?
Well…there is a single exception where non-Costco members CAN fill up their tanks.
If you’re paying with a Costco Shop card, you DO NOT need to be a member.
This is a really cool workaround for those who want to save money on gasoline.
The best way to buy a Costco Cash card is to have a member buy you one online or in the warehouse.
You can buy one all the way up to $500 in value.
Not only will the cash card let you buy discounted gas at Costco, but you can also shop in the warehouse.
Exception #2: Due to state law, you do NOT have to be a Costco member to get gas in the state of New Jersey. Thanks Rob for the tip!
6. Avoid Weekend Fill-Ups (if Possible)
You’ll typically have to wait in a line to fill up your gas tank on weekends at Costco.
To avoid this, the single best time to get gas at Costco is weekdays between 10-11 in the morning.
Most folks are busy at work and not on their lunch breaks yet.
7. Who Can’t Get Gas at Costco?
Glad you asked. These folks can’t take advantage of cheap Costco gas prices.
- Non-Costco Members: You’ll have to have a paid Costco membership to get gas (unless you’re paying with a Costco Cash card). Make sure you have your membership card with you as you’ll need to slide it. By the way, Executive members DO NOT get the same 2% cashback reward on gas that they get inside the Costco warehouse.
- Those Without a Visa Card: Actually, if you don’t have a Visa in your wallet you’re not completely out of luck. You can still pay with most PIN debit cards, Costco Credit, and Costco Cash cards.
Ask the Reader: Besides filling up at Costco, what tips do you have for saving money on gas?
By Kyle James