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Author Topic: Pre-paid gasoline sites (MyGallons, etc.) - are they legit? Back to Topics
thirstyV8suv

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Columbus

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Message Posted: Nov 11, 2013 4:19:38 PM

I tried to solicit opinions on the legitimacy of pre-paid fuel sites over in the Columbus forum but it seemed no one over there was familiar with them. The one I am most familiar with is MyGallons.com

Now that gasoline prices are at their twelve-month lows, I'm wondering if anyone can comment on if these types of websites and the services they provide are legitimate ways to lock in fuel prices. With the cost of 87 octane here in Ohio hovering at about 2.91/gal I would love to purchase a six months or a year's worth of fuel now since I am nearly certain we will see $3.50+/gal before the Summer driving season arrives.

Any guidance or commentary from first hand experience is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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bobjd445
Sophomore Author Fort Wayne

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Message Posted: Mar 13, 2014 9:43:10 AM

never heard of it
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Mar 11, 2014 11:29:31 PM

buzz, you don't actually 'buy' gas from MyGallons. You load a certain number of gallons on to a pre-paid card at the px shown on the website at the time of purchase. You then go and buy gas as usual at your neighborhood filling station. When you want to redeem the gallons on your card you virtually 'cash in' the gallons on the card at the px shown at a later date. Problem is the company seems to be a scam to me... see my post below on how they make their $$$
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Mar 11, 2014 11:26:51 PM

brerabbit, supposedly according to the website they post there pxs for each state based on average pxs available within the state.

My point is, no where in Ohio can you find gas for what they are saying they will reimburse you at.

This seems to be their business model. When gas pxs fall the pxs on MyGallons don't fall as much, and when gas pxs rise the reimbursement px on MyGallons doesn't go as high so they're screwing you all the time.
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BuzzLOL
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Mar 11, 2014 7:40:45 PM

. WHERE do you actually get the gas from?

. In this economy, there is a lot of risk in pre-paying for anything... including gift cards... if the company files bankrupty/goes out of business, which is really common these days, you lose your money...

. I remember a few years ago when Tractor Supply did a bankruptcy, people discovered their gift cards became worthless... people pre-paid or charged a credit card for auto parts from J.C.Whitney, didn't get them after the bankruptcy filing...
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tklsr
All-Star Author Akron

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Message Posted: Mar 10, 2014 7:27:08 PM

yawn
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brerrabbitTX
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Mar 10, 2014 7:11:25 PM

I know people are trying to tie this whole pricing thing back to Nymex prices but you just cannot do it. Pricing is a function of regional availability and the reason gas prices spiked in Ohio was a large refinery that feeds into Ohio was done for a couple of weeks. Gas prices are about regional supply and demand. Premium normally trades wholesale in Chicago for about 15 to 20 cents over Nymex. Last week some wholesalers paid 65 and 70 cents over Nymex. That's because the refinery that was down is the largest producer of premium in the market. Further the market for summer gas in very different than the gas sold today. The RVP goes to 7.8 base and that gas cost as much as 15 cents a gallon more to make.

If nothing else I read their web site and they want 13 dollars in fees for each deal. Not worth it at all.
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jason54915
Champion Author Appleton

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Message Posted: Mar 10, 2014 9:34:22 AM

not sure
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lwood655
Champion Author New Orleans

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Message Posted: Mar 10, 2014 9:22:46 AM

never heard of them, but it sounds like a scam to me
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hockeybabe25
Veteran Author Allentown

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Message Posted: Mar 9, 2014 3:14:28 PM

haven't tried, sounds scammy
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Mar 9, 2014 3:00:29 PM

What a joke!

The scammers at MyGallons are posting pxs in Ohio of $3.24/gallon. Columbus average is $3.65+. According to the Gas Buddy heat map there is only one zip code in all of Ohio in green (gas price under $3.30) and I suspect this is because of delayed pricing/under reporting. The rest are north of $3.45

Where does this site get their pricing from?

http://www.mygallons.com/fuel_prices/
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Feb 22, 2014 6:53:01 PM

stopped paying much attention to MyGallons after diagnosing them as a fraud. But, there may be a slight bit of value for those that are able to time it right. For example, MyGallons price for Ohio is currently $3.19/gallon. Of course, here in Columbus that's about 40 cents below the typical retail pump price. But, had you bought back in December at sub-$3/gallon you would at least be able to defray some of the gouging at the pump.

In general, it appears that MyGallons gas prices are less volatile, both up and down, than what is actually experienced in the Central Ohio area.

Good idea in concept, but in practice the website doesn't seem to be of much use for anyone trying to save on gas costs in real-time.
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blaman
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2014 9:09:44 AM

Never tried it.
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2014 4:49:04 PM

After watching this website for a couple of months I think I've diagnosed how they make their money -- their price volatility is no where near the level of pump prices.

for example, when fuel prices in my area were sometimes as low as 2.89/gal the lowest you could buy gasoline for on MyGallons.com was 2.95/gal. Fine, I understand, it's an average price that MyGallons uses so maybe it will be higher than the bargain board prices on Gas Buddy. But here's the kicker, when gas went up to as high as 3.45/gal in my area after Christmas MyGallons was showing gas prices at 3.09/gal where they still are today as pump prices in my area are hovering around 3.19/gal currently.

I've checked the fuel price heat map and no way the Ohio average is anywhere near 3.09/gal. In fact, I'm in one of the lower priced areas of the state.

So it appears MyGallons will sell you fuel for slightly higher than the area average which I can live with under the assumption the MyGallons price is an average for the state so understandably they won't always be at the lowest price available in my area (thus the nature of an average). But the issue that makes this website ineffective is they lag price spikes in the couple of months I've been monitoring them and significantly so. I would be PO'd if I were buying pump gas at 3.45/gal and MyGallons was telling me the state average was 3.09/gal which is absolutely not the case.

Buyer beware.
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Dec 26, 2013 8:37:13 PM

Retail 87 octane in 3.45/gal in my area today. MyGallons showing 3.06 for the Ohio average. Would not have much benefit filling up at 3.45 and redeeming for 3.06
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Dec 21, 2013 11:33:44 PM

showing 3.06/gal in my area.
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Dec 19, 2013 7:15:27 PM

Sorry, just to clarify. The prices shown are not reflective of wholesale prices. They are meant to be the average for 87 octane in your respective state. However, they do move a day or two ahead of pump prices which reflects the moves in wholesale prices.

As recently as yesterday they were selling gas in Ohio for an average price of 2.95/gal which was about 5 cents higher than I was seeing it in my area. Today it is showing 3.02/gal which is 27 cents lower than I'm seeing it in my area. Seems there may be some value if you timed your purchase correctly.
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TomB2
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Message Posted: Dec 4, 2013 2:03:29 PM

Never heard of them till now.
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MertieMan
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Message Posted: Dec 4, 2013 9:53:41 AM

I don't pre pay for anything, including gas.
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pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Dec 4, 2013 4:14:37 AM

thirstyV8suv - "Other than some regional variation the wholesale price is very much linked to RBOB gasoline futures on the NYMEX. Otherwise, I agree, retail pump prices have become dislocated from wholesale and seem to arbitrarily spike without participation from wholesale at times. However, make no mistake, when wholesale prices rise retail does too. "

One thing you have to remember when looking at the nymex prices is that they are futures prices. In other words they are what the wholesale price will be in the future. From what I've been told by people in the industry is that it normally takes about 3-4 weeks for the futures price to effect the pump prices. A formula that station owners that I know have told me to use to get a pretty accurate average price in the area is as follows.

Take the nymex or what ever market price you use for your region I'll use nymex for this. Three weeks ago (w/e 11/15) it closed for the week at 2.66/gal. That is what the distributor pays at the terminal. They make an average gross profit of 5% so that will add 14 cents a gallon to the price making it $2.80/gal to the station. Now they will make an average of 5% gross profit on it adding 15 cents to the price making it $2.95/gal. Then you have to add all local, state, & federal gas taxes to it for New Hampshire it's a total of 39 cents a gal. Making the final price to the consumer $3.34/gal. Right now according to gas buddy the average price in New Hampshire is $3.34/gal. So it's a pretty accurate formula.

Granted some distributors will pay a higher price and some will pay a lower price depending on how much gas they are buying at a time. Like a distributor for a large chain like Cumberland farms or Circle K will pay a lower price because they are buying for all the stations in that region at once and a distributor that is only servicing a few stations might pay a higher price. A good example of this is in one town here there is a Circle K store that sells Irving gas (Canadian brand) and an independent Irving station on the other side of that same town. Both serviced by Irving trucks but the Circle K store is selling their regular for $3.33/gal While the independent station is selling the same gas for $3.38/gal. The reason for this is because Circle K is buying their gas for all of their stores in the region at once and is buying a much larger quantity than the single independent station so they are getting a better price.

Also the distributor itself might charge a higher price to a station that only buys say 20,000 gallons a month than one that buys 100,000 gallons a month. The more volume you sell normally the better price the station and the distributor will get.

[Edited by: pinbuster2005 at 12/4/2013 4:19:13 AM EST]
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Dale Jr.
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Message Posted: Dec 3, 2013 11:22:58 AM

I have not used the site.
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Dec 2, 2013 7:50:38 PM

now back up to $3. wtf?
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2013 10:14:08 PM

MyGallons showing $2.98 now for regular. This is supposed to be the average of the region on a wholesale basis. I can find some stations in my area, granted they are very few, offering retail for $2.98/gal. Curious if anyone has experience if this balances out in the long-run.
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Nov 28, 2013 9:18:37 AM

Total Quantity
*Purchased (Gallons) Total: 433.836
*Cost ($) Average: $1,405.22
*Price ($/G) Average Fuel: 3.257
*Economy (MPG) Total: 15.54
*Fill-ups: 35

The above is my fuel log book data since about May. This gives me a good idea how much I will need to purchase and what the anticipated breakeven would be with gasoline averaging around $3.26/gal for me.

With the economy improving, albeit slowly, expect average gasoline prices to be higher for 2014 than 2013.
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keriazy4
Veteran Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Nov 26, 2013 10:29:06 AM

don't know
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bluenvoy
Champion Author Nashville

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Message Posted: Nov 22, 2013 10:16:06 AM

Don't know. Never looked at that.
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dfp609
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Nov 22, 2013 5:36:23 AM

I would be leery of it. Go for it and let us know how it works out.
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AFOS
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Nov 22, 2013 12:06:53 AM

Go for it...and let us know how you make out.
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Nov 21, 2013 10:04:38 PM

brerabbit, forgive me if I'm misunderstanding you but the service is selling gallons of gas not dollars on a pre-loaded card like you can get at any gas station.

I agree, they must be hedging. The price they quote and reimburse at they state is the wholesale price. Other than some regional variation the wholesale price is very much linked to RBOB gasoline futures on the NYMEX. Otherwise, I agree, retail pump prices have become dislocated from wholesale and seem to arbitrarily spike without participation from wholesale at times. However, make no mistake, when wholesale prices rise retail does too.
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brerrabbitTX
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Message Posted: Nov 20, 2013 9:57:05 AM

Based on the procedure thirsty posted, there is no way I would use this service. Gas is 3.00 a gallons today, so we send you a gas card with 137 dollars on it? Really 50 gallons at $3.00 is $150 less fees of $13. That does not guarentee you $3.00 a gallon gas. You have to take the card that has $137 on it an buy gas at whatever the going price is, not $3 a gallon.

Heck I will do that for anyone today, no questions asked. You send me $150 and I will send you a gas card with $137 on it. I will play that game all day long. That is an 8.6% return with no capital invested because I don't buy the card till you send me the money.

The other reimbursement is simply I send you money from your account for the difference between current price and the price you bought at. So when the money in your account is gone you don't get any reimbursement. This all seems pretty dang fishy.

Any thing like this that is semi legitimate would require the hedging of gas prices on the NYMEX which is very inexacting because there is no equalizer between NYMEX prices and the local markets across the US. The are not very well correlated. Therefore anyone who says they can do this is questionable at best.

A better hedge and easier to actually do would be to just go buy some NYMEX futures for either oil or gasoline. Prices go up, you pay more at the pump but sell you contracts for a profit to offset the higher price. Prices go down you save money on gasoline for your car, but you lose money selling your futures. Either way you basically wind up with the same net price. It called hedging.

I have a pretty good hedge right now. I collect royalties on three oil wells. If the price of gas goes up, then oil prices are usually up so I make more money to pay for my gas. Gas prices go down, oil prices go down so I pay the same for gas or less.

These services talked about here I would not trust for a minute.
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Nov 18, 2013 9:48:21 PM

Read a report today that said we may have already seen the lows in gasoline. Anyone thinking it's still worth it to lock in prices at today's levels?
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Nov 17, 2013 6:53:33 PM

Here is the reply to the email inquiry I sent them asking for more details:

+++++++++++++

At this time we do not have an eta on when the new pages will be reintroduced. Corporate has been reevaluating some of our procedures at this time. The company is fully operational and has been since 2008. Below you will find a step by step guide for clarification on how the pre-purchase and cash in work together.

Here are the pre-purchase instructions:
1. Click on the Pre-Purchase tab
2. Fill in the amount of gallons of gasoline in the blank
section--it will automatically calculate the cost based on the current
MyGallons price.
3. Fill in the amount of gallons in the blank section--it
will automatically calculate the cost based on the current MyGallons
price.
4. Pick an option from the pull-down menu for method of payment
5. Verify your contact information
6. Review your form
7. Click on submit

When you are ready to cash-in some or all of your gallons, log into your account and click on the "cash-in" tab on our website (www.mygallons.com). You want to make sure that the cash in price shown on the site at the time of cash in is higher than what you paid for your gallons. This can be months or years, it is up to you at what value you want to cash in as you save the difference between purchase and cashin price. If you have already paid for your gas at the station, request a transfer into your checking account for reimbursement.If you want a MyGallons Fuel Savings Card to make purchases at the gas station, choose the amount of gallons you want to cash-in and your MyGallons Fuel Savings Card will arrive with that amount of money preloaded. For example, if you want to cash-in 50 gallons when the price is $3/gallon, your card will be loaded with $137 for use at the gas station.(This is calculated from 50 gallons multiplied by $3/gallon.The total of $150 is then reduced by $10 for the bank card issuance fee and $3 for the $.06 per gallon cash-in fee.)

You are welcome to reach out to us at any time via phone at 800-410-1877 or via the contact us form on the website at https://www.mygallons.com/contact/.

Thank you,
My Gallons Customer Care
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OceanArcher
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Nov 13, 2013 8:40:44 AM

I've not seen this option here in Mississippi, so I cannot comment "yea or nay"
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pinbuster2005
Champion Author New Hampshire

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Message Posted: Nov 12, 2013 1:11:42 PM

thirstyV8suv - "For example, if you purchased 500 gallons at $2.91/gal this would cost $1,455. Add in the 6 cents front end charge per gallon and the 6 cents back end charge per gallon for another $60 (e.g. 500*.12). Then add in the $39.99 enrollment fee for a grand total of $1,554.99 which would equate to $3.11/gal ($1,554.99/500gal)."

I can buy gas around here for $3.15/gal right now at Irving. With their rewards card after 50 gallons (about every 3rd tank) I get 10 cents a gallon off so it brings my overall price to about $3.12/gal so it's not really enough of a savings to bother with. If i'm in the right area when I fill up I can get gas for between $3.05 - $3.10/gal.
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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Nov 12, 2013 12:56:43 PM

Sent them an email requesting more info. Will post what I discover
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46chief
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Nov 12, 2013 9:49:56 AM

I don't pre-pay for gas.
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MertieMan
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Message Posted: Nov 12, 2013 9:31:33 AM

I don't prepay for anything.
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bluenvoy
Champion Author Nashville

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Message Posted: Nov 12, 2013 9:27:07 AM

Ok, if all the details are good like stations where you can get the gas and refunds when you don't have any more stations participating.
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Dennis783
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Message Posted: Nov 12, 2013 7:56:49 AM

I wouldn't trust them
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Camry05
All-Star Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Nov 11, 2013 11:45:32 PM

Personally, I would be very careful
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AFOS
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Nov 11, 2013 10:07:26 PM

My take: if the members always come out ahead even considering fees, the company loses money and won't be around long.

Priceline was in the gas business for a couple years about 10-15 years ago. There were no fees that I recall. You just purchased gas, x gallons at y cents per gallon on line and it was loaded onto a card that way. You swiped your card and it reset the price per gallon at the pump before you pumped the gas (at participating stations which included Speedway). I almost always came out ahead, even if only a few cents a gallon (I was less sophisticated than I now am at predicting price changes and buying on the dips).

But Priceline could not make money doing this so they dropped it.

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thirstyV8suv
All-Star Author Columbus

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Message Posted: Nov 11, 2013 6:28:25 PM

Their website seems to still be active. See the followinglink.

Yea, the fees look to increase the breakeven. After a cursory glance of the fees it looks like it would increase your breakeven by about 20 cents a gallon on 500 gallons.

For example, if you purchased 500 gallons at $2.91/gal this would cost $1,455. Add in the 6 cents front end charge per gallon and the 6 cents back end charge per gallon for another $60 (e.g. 500*.12). Then add in the $39.99 enrollment fee for a grand total of $1,554.99 which would equate to $3.11/gal ($1,554.99/500gal).

If the site is legitimate and still in business it appears there is some value in locking in gas prices at today's rate. Does anyone here not think gas will be higher than $3.11/gal as soon as March when the refiners systematically go offline and switch to the Summer blend?
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alphanyr
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Nov 11, 2013 5:23:25 PM

?
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AFOS
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Nov 11, 2013 5:01:21 PM

Are they still in business? Googling the site turns up a lot or reviews/comments for 2 or more years ago nothing more recent.

Here's one, Note the fees!
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