How to Save on Gas in Canada

To the point Check out our tips for saving money on gas purchases in Canada with loyalty programs and credit cards.

With gas prices rising steadily in recent months, it’s only natural to find ways to save money at the pump through loyalty programs. Here are some tips!

Gasoline: Credit Card Rewards

If you spend a lot of money on gas each month, the first thing you should do is find a credit card that offers you more rewards in the gas station category.

Here are 5 great cards for your gas purchases:

Gas: gift cards

Credit cards offering rewards points or cash back can help lower your bill if you have a lot of gas expenses.

Start by using one of our favourite tricks: buying gas gift cards.

If your credit card offers more points for grocery store purchases, buy gift cards from your favourite gas station.

5X The Points On For Cobalt Cardmembers!

Such as, for example, with the American Express Cobalt® Card, you earn 5 points for grocery store purchases and 2 points for gas station purchases. You can buy Esso or Petro-Canada gift cards at Metro or Super C and use them to pay for gas. You will then have earned 5 points per dollar instead of 2.

This is the same principle for the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard® with 5 points per dollar of purchase.

With this trick, a $100 grocery store gift card purchase will earn you 500 points ($100 X 5), instead of 200 points for direct purchase at Esso, Petro-Canada or Uber.

The same principle applies to the Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* card. With this card, you earn 4% cash back on grocery purchases and 2% on gas purchases.

Gas: partner programs


Another trick is to combine the gas station’s loyalty program with your credit card program. One of the most popular is Shell with AIR MILES. This is a double dip!

air miles shell amex

You earn the base AIR MILES Reward miles rate on gas purchases AND 3 AIR MILES Bonus miles for every $12 in purchases at Shell with the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*.

The base AIR MILES earning at Shell is:

  • 1 mile per 10L of Shell V-Power* fuel
  • 1 Mile for every 20 L Shell Bronze, Silver and Diesel

For example, let’s take a 40-litre fill-up of Regular (Bronze or Silver) gas at Shell, at a cost of $1.60 per litre. The cost will be $64.

No AIR MILES credit card With AIR MILES credit card
AIR MILES Earning 2 miles ($0.21 value) 2 base miles + 16 (credit card) = 18 miles ($1.89 value)
Ratio 0,32 % 2,95 %

We also recommend you sign up for Shell Go+ to get even more miles. There are many monthly promotions, and you get an extra 2X AIR MILES.

Shell gift cards are available at IGA. In addition, many IGA grocery stores accept American Express cards.

The combination American Express Cobalt® Card (5% cash back) and Shell Gift Card is the best in this case.

CIBC - Journie

On the CIBC side, with the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card or the CIBC Dividend Platinum® Visa* Card, you get cash back on gas at Ultramar (as well as Pioneer, Fas Gas and Chevron) with the Journie program :

  • 3 cents per liter every time you fill up
  • 7 cents per liter each time you earn 300 Journie points
cibc day

In addition, these credit cards offer the highest cash back rates in Canada for gas:

This is handy if the gift card trick is too complicated for you! Especially since it is rare to see Ultramar gift cards in grocery stores.

Starting in the fall of 2023, you will be able to redeem and earn Aeroplan points in partnership with Journie. Here are the details:

PC Optimum - Esso

On the PC Optimum side, you earn PC Optimum points on gas at Esso:

  • 10 points per liter (equivalent to 1 cent)
  • 30 points per liter with a PC Finance credit card

In addition, PC Optimum points can be redeemed for purchases at Esso :

  • 10 cents off per liter (up to 40 liters) when you redeem 4,000 PC Optimum points

Let’s go back to the example of a 40-litre tank of gas, at $1.60/litre = $64. You will earn:

Without PC Finance credit card With PC Finance credit card
PC Optimum points earning 400 PC Optimum points ($0.40 value) 1,200 PC Optimum points ($1.20 value)
Ratio 0,63 % 1,88 %

In comparison, this $64 purchase charged to a non-PC Finance credit card earns :

Cobalt only (2%) 128 Membership Rewards points ($1.28 value)
Cobalt + Gift Card Grocery Tip (5%) 320 Membership Rewards points ($3.20 value)
Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* card only (2% cash back) $1,28
Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* card + Gift Card Grocery Tip (4%) $2,56

RBC - Petro-Canada

On the RBC side, with any credit card such as the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card, RBC British Airways Visa Infinite Card or the WestJet World Elite Mastercard, you get discounts on gas at Petro Canada:

  • 3 cents per liter every time you fill up
  • 20% more Petro-Points
  • 20% more RBC Rewards points with an RBC Rewards-enabled credit card such as the RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card

In the Petro-Points program, the basic earning is:

  • 10 points per 1 liter of gas
  • 10 points for every $1 in store purchases and car wash

In order to get free items or gas, every 1,000 points gives you a $1 discount.

For example, with a gas purchase at $1.60 per liter, the accumulation of Petro-Points alone is as follows:

Without RBC card With RBC card
Gas purchases required to get $1 off $160 $131
Ratio 0,63 % 0,76 %

In addition, that same $160 purchase charged to a credit card earns :

Cobalt only (2%) 320 Membership Rewards points ($3.20 value)
Cobalt + Grocery Gift Card Tip 800 Membership Rewards points ($8.00 value)
Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* card only (2% cash back) $3,20
Scotia Momentum® VISA Infinite* card + Gift Card Grocery Tip (4%) $6,40
RBC Avion Visa Infinite Card 192 RBC Rewards points ($2.88 value)

Gas: For business

Do you spend a lot of money on gas for your business? With the American Express Business Edge™ Card, you will earn 3 points per dollar on gas (3% cash back).

Also, if you have a fleet of vehicles, you can add up to 99 free additional cards to your account.

Bottom line

With the right credit card in your wallet and a few tricks up your sleeve, you can save money on gas by earning rewards or cash back. And if you want to go electric, you can also save money on electric recharging!

In addition to credit cards and loyalty programs, there are many other ways to reduce your gas consumption. See our article: 10 tips for reducing gasoline consumption in 2023,

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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