Here in California, the cost of gas is really high compared to the other states. I remember traveling to Arizona and have been really shocked on the difference in gas prices. Before we left for Grand Canyon during the early part of this year, the Chevron gasoline cost $3.99 per gallon in California. As we drove through Nevada and Arizona, the price seemed to be falling dramatically as it only cost $2.49 to $2.99 per gallon at a Chevron station in Arizona.
Gasoline is probably up there when it comes to the major monthly recurring expenses for most families especially in the high cost of living areas. Because of this, you may be looking for good alternatives on how you can reduce your cost. As for me, getting Costco gasoline has really alleviate the high cost of gasoline.
As much as I recommend Costco, there are still a few cynics on the value of Costco Membership and Costco gasoline.
6 Key Things You May Not Know When Buying Gasoline At Costco
1. Costco Gasoline Business Operation
- Hours of Operation: Costco gasoline has an extended hours of operations compared to the warehouse hours. The station usually starts as early as 5:30 am and closes as late as 9:30 pm during weekdays (6 am to 8 pm on weekends) but is close during the holidays when the warehouse is also close. The hours at gasoline stations located at the Costco Business stores are adjusted to be in line with the business stores hours of operations: shorter availability and closed on Sundays.
- Self-Service Only: The station provides self-service only but attendants are present in case you need any assistance. For example, if you are handicapped, you can always ask for the attendant to assist you.
- One Way Driving Direction: For a better flow of traffic, cars driving through the station only goes in one direction.
- Longer Hose: The gas hose is long enough that you can fill-up your gas on either side of your car. This is a good idea so you can line up at any pump that has a shorter line.
- Method of Payment: You can only pay using VISA, debit card or Costco cash card. Cash, check, American Express, MasterCard and Discover credit cars are not accepted as form of payment at the pump.
- Regular and Premium Unleaded Gas: For unleaded gasoline, Costco only sells regular (87 octane) and premium (91 octane). They do not have a mid-tier one, which is an 89 octane for most gas stations.
2. Non-Members Can Also Buy Gas
Just like the warehouse, the gas station can only be used by the members. Members are required to swipe their membership card before making any transaction.
However, non-members can actually shop by using a Costco Cash Card, which can be used in lieu of the membership. So if you have kids that are non-members, you can give them the cash card and allow them to benefit from the cost savings as well.
Related Article: Where to find Costco Membership discounts
3. Costco Gasoline is a Top Tier Gas
Just like Chevron, Arco, Mobil, Shell, etc., Costco Gasoline adds detergents to their gasoline and claims that it is a top tier gas. Top Tier detergent gasoline is the premier standard for gasoline performance. Costco Gasoline contains five times the EPA detergent requirement in both regular unleaded and premium grades.
Usually, gasolines are taken from the same refineries and the main difference with the brands is the use of various proprietary deposit control additive formulation.
Federal authorities have mandated that gasoline should contain EPA-approved deposit control additive, which are designed to minimize engine deposits that affects vehicle performance and emissions.
4. Costco Sells Diesel on Selected Locations
If your car runs in diesel, you are in luck! In order to better serve customers who are driving diesel vehicles, Costco also sells diesel gasoline but only on selected locations. For a complete list, please visit here.
5. Gasoline Savings Alone Can Help You Pay for the Costco Membership Fee
In one of my previous articles, I talked about how you can get free Costco Membership and one of the things I mentioned is the big savings on the gasoline. Costco gasoline cost hovers around 25 cents to 45 cents less per gallon on where I lived and the price is the same whether you pay in cash or credit card. In my area, Chevron and Valero charge 10 cents more if you use your credit card. So practically, I am saving at least 35 cents per gallon for filling up my tank at Costco.
So how much do I save? My Toyota Camry has a 15 gallon tank and for every full tank, I am saving approximately $6 per full tank. Since I fill up my tank twice a month, my savings yield to around $144 per year ($12 x 12 months)! If you are driving more than I do or if you are driving one of those big SUVs or trucks, you can practically double what I save in a month.
While the Executive Membership cost me $110 annually, I save $144 annually just with gas purchases alone! So this means Costco actually paid me money for becoming a member.
If you live in an area close to a Costco gasoline station, I highly recommend getting even the cheapest Gold Membership card at $55. It is all worth it with just gasoline alone even if you do not shop at the warehouse!
6. 2% Executive Membership Rebate Does Not Include Gasoline Purchase
Executive members usually receives a 2% rebate on their purchases. However, the rebate does not apply to gasoline. However, if you have the Costco Anywhere VISA Card by CITI, you can avail of their 4% rebate on gasoline. For the Costco Anywhere card, you do not have to be an Executive Member as the rebate applies to the Gold and Business members as well.
- How to get free membership at Costco
- 5 Ways to shop at Costco without being a member
- Where to find Costco Membership discounts
- How to become a member of Costco: 4 Ways to Sign-up
- How to save at least 20% on your next restaurant and entertainment using Costco
- Costco Anywhere VISA Card By CITI: A Few Things You Need to Know or Watch Out For
- Shopping At Costco: The Good and the Ugly
- Costco Return Policy: 5 Things You Need to Know
- Why Buy Tires At Costco