Money

Looking for Cheaper Gas Prices? Try One of These Membership Programs First

Prices at the pumps are a little scary right now, but here's how you can make fuel a little more affordable.

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you apply through our links, we may get a commission. Advertiser Disclosure

While gas prices are finally starting to fall a bit in locations across the US, that doesn't mean there aren't ways to try to save. Fuel is essential for many of us -- unless you have an electric car. As with any purchase, always look out for the best deal available. 

In fact, there are a few different ways to save on gas right now. One of the best ways that offers multiple benefits is a membership to one of the following retailers.

We know, it sounds counterproductive to pay for a membership in hopes of saving money, but as a long-term play this works out. Walmart Plus, Costco and Sam's Club happen to be three of the best and easiest ways to help you cut costs on gas. The added benefit is that you can save money in other areas of your weekly spending, as well. 

Curious about how a membership can help you save at these locations? Let's break it down.

Hapabapa/Getty

Walmart Plus has a bunch of great perks, but one that really comes in handy right now is the fuel discount. If you're a paid Walmart Plus subscriber, you can get 5 cents off each gallon when you fuel up at Walmart's own gas station or at a local Murphy's station. In addition, the Walmart Plus membership will allow you to access member pricing at any Sam's Club fuel center. Between all of these different places, there are over 2,000 locations where you can save on fuel. 

You can get a subscription to Walmart Plus for $13 per month or $98 for the year, which also includes benefits like discounted prescriptions, free grocery delivery from local stores, free shipping from Walmart.com with no order minimum and more.

Ablokhin/Getty

At many of its locations, Costco has a gas station offering discounted gas to all members. You need your membership card to use the pumps, but the savings can be as high as 15 cents per gallon depending on your location (sometimes the discount is less). If you also have a Citi Costco credit card, you can get 4% cash back when filling up your vehicle. And who doesn't love getting money back for essential purchases? Both the regular and premium fuel meet "Top Tier standards" so you're getting quality gas for less. There are nearly 600 Costco fuel locations in the US.

While the lines have been long at Costcos across the country, remember it doesn't matter which side your tank is on, since the hose will reach both sides. Your Costco membership also gets you access to the warehouse locations, which sell food, electronics, plants, household items and more. There are a few different membership tiers to pick between based on your shopping habits, with the basic one starting at $60 per year.

Slobo/Getty

Sam's Club is another warehouse-style retailer that charges an annual membership to access its discounts. Sam's Club memberships are normally $45 a year. But if you're signing up for the first time, we have a deal to make it just $20 -- and you get a free rotisserie chicken and cupcakes when you go shopping. Sam's Club fuel centers offer members a 5-cent discount on all gas purchases (except in New Jersey where it's prohibited).

You do need to be a member to even use the pumps at these locations, so you'll want to make sure you always have your membership card with you. While Costco supplies "Top Tier" gas, it is worth noting that Sam's Club does not, though you should be fine with the gas you purchase there.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.