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Obtaining a Costco membership can be beneficial for several reasons, with discounted gas prices being one of them, especially in today’s economy. However, if you’re not convinced to pay the membership fee, there is a creative way to purchase Costco gas without becoming a member of the warehouse club.
How to buy gas at Costco without a membership
If you’re interested in taking advantage of Costco’s cheap gas prices, but don’t want to pay for a membership, there is a workaround. You can purchase Costco gas by using a Costco Shop Card, which is essentially a gift card.
According to Costco’s website, “The fuel station is open to Costco members only. There is an exception: Costco Shop Card customers do not need to be Costco members.”
To get your hands on a Costco Shop Card, you’ll need to find someone who has a Costco membership to purchase one for you. Shop Cards are available for purchase in warehouses and online, with denominations ranging from $25 to $2,000.
If you’re uncomfortable asking a friend or family member to purchase a Shop Card for you, you could try asking them to purchase it as a gift for your birthday or the holidays.
Keep in mind that Costco gas is typically priced about 20 cents less per gallon than the market average, so using a Shop Card could potentially save you a lot of money on gas over time.
How to save money on gas (without a Costco membership)
Gas prices are constantly fluctuating, and finding a reliable and affordable source of fuel can be a challenge. Costco is known for providing its members with discounted gas prices, but what if you don’t have a membership? Here are some tips that can help you save money on gas without a Costco membership.
Use GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas prices
GasBuddy is a website and app that helps drivers find the cheapest gas prices in their area. Simply enter your location, and GasBuddy will show you a list of nearby gas stations, along with their current prices. You can also filter your search by fuel type and amenities, such as restrooms and air pumps.
Sign up for gas rewards programs
Many gas stations offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points or discounts on gas purchases. Some popular rewards programs include Shell’s Fuel Rewards program, ExxonMobil’s Speedpass+ app, and BP’s Driver Rewards program. Be sure to sign up for these programs to save money on gas.
Use a cashback credit card
If you have a credit card that offers cashback on gas purchases, use it to pay for your fuel. Some credit cards offer up to 5% cashback on gas purchases, which can add up to significant savings over time.
Purchase gas gift cards
Many retailers, including grocery stores and online marketplaces, offer discounted gas gift cards. Purchase these gift cards at a discount, and then use them to pay for your gas purchases. This can be an effective way to save money on gas without a Costco membership.
Optimize your driving habits
Finally, optimizing your driving habits can also help you save money on gas. Avoid excessive idling, accelerate and brake gradually, and keep your tires properly inflated to improve fuel efficiency. Additionally, try to plan your trips efficiently to minimize unnecessary driving.
Join a wholesale club with gas discounts
If you are not convinced about getting a Costco membership, consider joining another wholesale club that offers gas discounts. Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club are two popular alternatives that offer discounted gas prices to their members.
Costco gas quality
Despite the low prices, Costco gasoline is not of low quality. In fact, Costco only sells Top Tier Gasoline, which meets high performance requirements and is considered very high quality.
The gasoline is sourced from various providers throughout the US and uses Kirkland Signature licensed formulas to ensure consistency. The gasoline includes an EPA-approved deposit control additive to minimize engine deposits that can negatively affect vehicle performance and emissions.
Similarly, Kirkland Signature Diesel includes additional detergent additives to keep fuel injectors clean and provide added lubricity to reduce harmful wear.
Costco also takes measures to ensure the quality of its fuel. Fuel filters are used to catch particles including sediment, water, or phase-separated ethanol and water mixtures that can damage vehicles. Regular physical inspections are performed on underground fuel storage tanks to monitor for water, and chemical samples are taken to verify the fuel holds no contamination.
Gasoline octane can vary by state, but generally speaking, Costco’s premium gas is 91 octane, while the regular gas is 87 octane. Overall, Costco gasoline is of high quality, despite the low prices.
Is a year of Costco membership worth it for cheaper gas?
If you are considering buying a Costco membership solely for the purpose of getting cheaper gas, it is important to do some calculations to determine whether it is worth the cost. While Costco gas prices are generally lower than those at other gas stations, you should ask yourself how much gas you actually buy over the course of a year. If you only purchase a few gallons of gas every week, the savings from cheaper gas may not be enough to cover the cost of the annual membership fee.
To determine whether a Costco membership is a good deal for you, you can do some simple math. For example, if you have a 16-gallon tank and fill it up once a week, and if you save an average of 20 cents per gallon of regular gas by filling up at Costco, you would save $3.20 per week. Over the course of a year, this would add up to a savings of $166.40. However, you need to deduct the annual membership fee from this amount to get the full answer.
The cost of a Costco membership varies depending on the level of membership you choose. The Everyday Value Gold Star Membership costs $60 per year plus applicable sales tax, while the Costco Executive Membership costs $120 per year plus applicable sales tax. If you only plan to use your membership to buy gas, you would save some money with the low-priced membership, but it would save you very little with the executive membership.
Ultimately, whether a Costco membership is worth it for cheaper gas depends on how much gas you buy and how much you can save with the membership. If you determine that Costco is not the best place for you to purchase fuel, you may want to consider other alternatives. Many grocery stores have rewards programs that offer discounts on fuel at their partner gasoline providers.
For some people, a Costco membership may be worth it for other reasons beyond cheaper gas. For example, if you regularly shop at Costco for food and other household items, the cost savings on gas may be just one of many benefits of membership. Additionally, the convenience of one-stop shopping and cheap prices on food items like hot dogs and pizza may be enough to make the membership worthwhile.
How does Costco gas work?
Costco Gas stations are open only to Costco members, but non-members can purchase gas using a Costco Shop Card, which can be purchased by a member. The fuel station is self-serve, and payment is made at the pump. For Costco members, the process is straightforward: insert your membership card, payment card, select fuel grade, pump the fuel, and get a receipt.
However, for non-members, the process is slightly different. They need to notify an attendant that they are a non-member and require assistance. The attendant must authorize the pump for all non-members. Non-members can only use a Costco Shop Card to purchase fuel, and no other forms of payment are accepted. Once the card is inserted, they can select the desired fuel grade, pump fuel, and get a receipt.
Costco gas station hours
Generally, Costco gas stations are not open 24/7, but they typically open a few hours before the warehouse club opens. This allows you to fill up your vehicle before you go inside to shop.
The specific hours of operation for Costco gas stations may vary depending on the location, but as a general guideline, they are typically open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends. However, it’s important to note that these hours are subject to change, so it’s always best to check with your local Costco gas station for their specific hours of operation.
If you’re looking to avoid long lines at the gas station, it’s best to go during off-peak hours. The early morning, before the warehouse opens, is often a good time to visit the gas station. Another option is to go in the early afternoon during the middle of the week, when lines are typically shorter.
To find the nearest Costco location that has a gas station, you can visit the company’s website and use the “Find a Warehouse” feature. From there, you can filter for “Gas Station” and see the specific store hours for each location.