U.S. Gas Prices Are Their Lowest in a Year -- but You Can Still Do These 4 Things to Save

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  • The average gallon of gas costs $3.33 right now.
  • It's a far cry from what drivers were paying earlier in 2022.
  • To get a better deal on gas, pick the right credit card, pay in cash for discounts, and research prices ahead of time.

Consumers may be getting some relief -- finally.

There was a point not so long ago when gas prices spiked to $5 a gallon in the wake of the start of the Ukraine conflict. Thankfully, though, today's prices are a lot more manageable.

AAA reports that the average cost of a gallon of gas today is $3.33. That's the lowest price gas has reached in a year. And at a time when inflation continues to drive living costs upward across the board, that's some much-needed savings.

But that doesn't mean drivers shouldn't try to do what they can to lower their costs even more. And here are some tips for doing so.

1. Swipe the right credit card at the pump

It's common to use a credit card when filling your car. But the right card could put extra cash back in your pocket. If the most your current credit cards give you is 1% back at the pump, it may be time to apply for a credit card with a more generous rewards program -- especially if you tend to do a lot of driving.

In fact, if you still have quite a bit of holiday shopping to tackle, it could pay to apply for a new credit card with better gas perks soon. If that card comes with a sign-up bonus, you may be more likely in the coming weeks to spend enough money to claim it.

2. Look for cash discounts

Some gas stations will give you a discount if you pay for your gas in cash instead of using a credit card. To be clear, this practice is perfectly legal provided a station advertises its different prices so consumers aren't getting duped. If you're looking at a notable discount for cash fill-ups, then it pays to forgo those credit card rewards and instead pay a lot less per gallon.

3. Research gas prices before you fill up

If you live in a rural part of the country, you may only have one or two gas stations in close proximity to your home or place of work. But if you live in a typical suburb or city, you probably have numerous options for filling your car.

If that's the case, doing some research before getting gas could help you identify the cheapest source for it. You can download the GasBuddy app and use it to locate the most cost-efficient spot in your area to fill up.

4. Get into the habit of carpooling

Carpooling could mean having to accommodate other people's schedules and making adjustments to your own. But it could also save you a lot of money on gas. So whether it's in the context of school, work, or an evening activity you do regularly, it pays to take turns driving with others so you're filling your own car less frequently.

The fact that gas prices are way down is apt to spell relief for cash-strapped consumers. But it still pays to try to lower your gas-related spending so you can reserve your money for other expenses and purchases. And these tips could make it possible to lower your spending on gas in a meaningful way.

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