Use This Tool To Save On Gas During Your Next Road Trip

Are you part of the 100 million club? We're not talking about your bank account: It's your road-trip mileage we're interested in. According to a survey by The Vacationer, over 100 million Americans have planned to road-trip over 250 miles during the summer of 2023.

There's no wonder that road-tripping is a perennial favorite vacation activity. The lure of the open road combines iconic sights, great playlists, and unexpected stops at local diners where the pie is always too good to pass up. It's the stuff memories are made of. But as anyone who's hit the road lately knows, there's a bit of a downer: the price of gas. At around $4 per gallon, those pit stops to refuel can make a big dent in your travel budget. One app called Upside is aiming to take the downside out of travel (not the official slogan!).

What is Upside, and how does it work?

Upside is not a magic wand that you wave over the pump to make gas prices plummet: It's a cash-back app that helps you save money on gas, as well as in restaurants and grocery stores. Using Upside is simple. After downloading the app, you enter your destination or search the map as you go. The app will show nearby gas stations, their prices, and the special discounts available. (It also shows local restaurants and grocery stores that are participating.) Click the "claim" button and fill up. The offers Upside shows you expire, so make sure you're going to be able to fuel up (the car or yourself) in time.

Pay using your regular credit card, then upload a photo of your receipt through the app. The cash back is credited to your Upside account. Be aware that this can take up to 10 days. Over time, you can withdraw your savings or spend them on gift cards to your favorite retailers.

You can even check how much you might save before you download the app. Go to Upside and check out the "How much can you earn?" tool. If you want to see local deals, scroll down and type your zip code into the search bar. We typed "90210" (classic) and saw we could get up to $0.19 per gallon back at a local gas station.

But does it really work?

Yes, it works, but not perfectly. Upside really can get you cash back. According to Upside's website, it has delivered consumers over $500 million in cash back since it started in 2015.

The app has a 4.6 rating on Google Play from over 290,000 reviews and a 4.8 rating on Apple from over 432,000 reviews. Reviewer Brad Sturz writes, "It's nice when you ... have an extra $100 to blow on a rainy day," while R2D2manbot says, "It's like a free fill up every now and again."

However, not all users are satisfied with how the app works. Several reviewers say the app is glitchy, and others complain about the lack of customer service when things aren't working. Keep in mind that you can also use Upside alongside other apps like GasBuddy. Upside may give you money off fuel, but there might be other, less expensive gas stations in the area that they are not partnered with.