Costco gas

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
thangngo
Posts: 1139
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Costco gas

Post by thangngo » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:47 pm

tmsul100 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:13 am
Do you go out of your way to buy gas at Costco? Those who drive a "premium" tier car, do you buy premium gas? Thanks!
No. Costco gas is no better than Exxon or Shell. I use Exxon station because it's closer and the price is usually similar or lower than Costco.

Helo80
Posts: 713
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Costco gas

Post by Helo80 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:00 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:39 pm
Retailers like Costco that use the Top Tier label have agreed to use a high quality additive pack added to the gas loaded onto their delivery from the local gas wholesaler in their region. Non top tier brands buy their gas from the same wholesaler but typically do not add the extra cost additive pack to their gas.


Correct. You can buy the same additives off the shelf from any auto parts store from several brands. BG, Lucas, Seafoam, etc. that perform similar actions. That being said, there is little to no statistical difference between Costco, Shell, Exxon, BP, Texaco, etc. gas.

Costco's distribution model is unique though compared to most retail distribution.

It seems like most people choose Costco gas here because of the price. That's fine. That's great. There is nothing wrong with that. But, when people start posting about the fuel additives and Top Tier gas status... IDK where this all comes from. It's like everyone starts reiterating the same talking point from some data source.

Bacchus01
Posts: 1753
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Costco gas

Post by Bacchus01 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:02 pm

I commute 110 miles a day

Fill up at Costco about 3 times every two weeks. Sometimes more.

Just today Costco was .16/gallon cheaper

It adds up fast

madbrain
Posts: 4968
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Costco gas

Post by madbrain » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:04 pm

sport wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:37 pm
For the last year or so, Costco has stopped accepting AMEX cards. They now accept Visa cards instead.
Indeed, and the Citi Costco VISA card gets 4% back on gasoline (at any gas station, not just Costco). Not that it matters to me since I only use about $200 of gas per year on my Volt PHEV.

atomicrc11
Posts: 170
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Costco gas

Post by atomicrc11 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:09 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:00 pm
It seems like most people choose Costco gas here because of the price. That's fine. That's great. There is nothing wrong with that. But, when people start posting about the fuel additives and Top Tier gas status... IDK where this all comes from. It's like everyone starts reiterating the same talking point from some data source.
People are getting the information from their owner's manuals and from www.toptiergas.com. The fact is, if you can get Top Tier gas for a better price than other brands you might as well get it. If the car companies are putting this information in owner's manuals, it means they are taking it into account when designing engines. If you plan to keep the car for a long time following the manual will ensure you minimize issues. It's just like following the maintenance schedule, you can deviate but you won't be minimizing issues/failures.

quantAndHold
Posts: 1701
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Costco gas

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:50 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:44 am
No, I usually never get Costco gas.

1. No love for AMEX anymore and that means no 5% CB for me.
2. The lines are usually long (3-4 cars just waiting to fill up)
3. The price is within a nickel of Sam's and other gas competitors around my Costco location. 9 times out of 10, Sam's matches the Costco price... the 1 time out of 10, it's a penny or two more expensive or cheaper

But, it's mainly the lines and lack of AMEX support that causes me to go elsewhere.
Costco switched from AMEX to Visa in June of 2016.

Helo80
Posts: 713
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Costco gas

Post by Helo80 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:05 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:50 pm
Helo80 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:44 am
No, I usually never get Costco gas.

1. No love for AMEX anymore and that means no 5% CB for me.
2. The lines are usually long (3-4 cars just waiting to fill up)
3. The price is within a nickel of Sam's and other gas competitors around my Costco location. 9 times out of 10, Sam's matches the Costco price... the 1 time out of 10, it's a penny or two more expensive or cheaper

But, it's mainly the lines and lack of AMEX support that causes me to go elsewhere.
Costco switched from AMEX to Visa in June of 2016.
sport wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:37 pm
Helo80 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:44 am
No, I usually never get Costco gas.

1. No love for AMEX anymore and that means no 5% CB for me.
2. The lines are usually long (3-4 cars just waiting to fill up)
3. The price is within a nickel of Sam's and other gas competitors around my Costco location. 9 times out of 10, Sam's matches the Costco price... the 1 time out of 10, it's a penny or two more expensive or cheaper

But, it's mainly the lines and lack of AMEX support that causes me to go elsewhere.
For the last year or so, Costco has stopped accepting AMEX cards. They now accept Visa cards instead.

Ok, I get that some are not necessarily fans of my explanation of downstream and gasoline distribution. My point is that most gasoline sold at semi-well known to very well known gas stations is going to be fine. But, maybe you all live in areas with tons of independent, non-branded gas retailers. Buying on price is totally fine, and I'd probably buy exclusively from Costco if I could save 40-70 cents per gallon like many here regularly do. But, Costco is usually never worse, but rarely significantly better than competition. Personally, I have Lucas, BG, Seafoam, and Chevron Techron injector cleaners on the garage shelf. I take care of several small engines, as well as, regular car motors.

But, I've gotten the AMEX to Visa comment twice now, and I'm wondering what I said when the first bullet point was "1. No love for AMEX anymore and that means no 5% CB for me.". My USAA AMEX does 5% CB up to $3 grand (I'm under) every year.

When the AMEX Costco card went, I did not sign up with Citi. 2% CB is not statistically significant enough for me to forego my Chase Freedom Unlimited card at 1.5% back.

But, it's mainly the lines and lack of AMEX support that causes me to go elsewhere.

User avatar
jabberwockOG
Posts: 1351
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Costco gas

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:13 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:50 pm
Helo80 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:44 am
No, I usually never get Costco gas.

1. No love for AMEX anymore and that means no 5% CB for me.
2. The lines are usually long (3-4 cars just waiting to fill up)
3. The price is within a nickel of Sam's and other gas competitors around my Costco location. 9 times out of 10, Sam's matches the Costco price... the 1 time out of 10, it's a penny or two more expensive or cheaper

But, it's mainly the lines and lack of AMEX support that causes me to go elsewhere.
Costco switched from AMEX to Visa in June of 2016.

Costco requires a membership to buy Costco gas. A person can buy gas at Sam's because they are a member of Sam's Club. Sam's Club gas is bargain basement "no add pack" gas. Low grade gas will work in a pinch, but personally would not buy gas long term from either Sam's or Walmart (Murphy). Some folks like Sam's gas and merchandise/food/etc rather than Costco and that's fine just as long as they are clear eyed about what it is they are actually buying. There is a reason the typical Costco is very popular and Costco membership keeps growing while Sam's is closing stores.

User avatar
dumbbunny
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:00 pm
Location: Oregon coast

Re: Costco gas

Post by dumbbunny » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:19 pm

My Honda Fit has about an 8 gallon tank so I'm not saving much to drive the extra miles to save $0.25/gallon.
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"

HIinvestor
Posts: 1591
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:23 am

Re: Costco gas

Post by HIinvestor » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:25 pm

I buy Costco gas if I’m 1/2 tank or less and am in the area where there is a Costco that sells gas. We only buy maybe 2-3 tanks if gas per month between our two vehicles (don’t drive much), so it doesn’t bake sense to us to put a ton of effort into finding the least expensive source. I personally don’t notice any difference in performance, tho my H says he does. He likes ethanol-free gas best, but will get what’s convenient and reasonably priced.

quantAndHold
Posts: 1701
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Costco gas

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:29 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:05 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:50 pm
Helo80 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:44 am
No, I usually never get Costco gas.

1. No love for AMEX anymore and that means no 5% CB for me.
2. The lines are usually long (3-4 cars just waiting to fill up)
3. The price is within a nickel of Sam's and other gas competitors around my Costco location. 9 times out of 10, Sam's matches the Costco price... the 1 time out of 10, it's a penny or two more expensive or cheaper

But, it's mainly the lines and lack of AMEX support that causes me to go elsewhere.
Costco switched from AMEX to Visa in June of 2016.
sport wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:37 pm
Helo80 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:44 am
No, I usually never get Costco gas.

1. No love for AMEX anymore and that means no 5% CB for me.
2. The lines are usually long (3-4 cars just waiting to fill up)
3. The price is within a nickel of Sam's and other gas competitors around my Costco location. 9 times out of 10, Sam's matches the Costco price... the 1 time out of 10, it's a penny or two more expensive or cheaper

But, it's mainly the lines and lack of AMEX support that causes me to go elsewhere.
For the last year or so, Costco has stopped accepting AMEX cards. They now accept Visa cards instead.

Ok, I get that some are not necessarily fans of my explanation of downstream and gasoline distribution. My point is that most gasoline sold at semi-well known to very well known gas stations is going to be fine. But, maybe you all live in areas with tons of independent, non-branded gas retailers. Buying on price is totally fine, and I'd probably buy exclusively from Costco if I could save 40-70 cents per gallon like many here regularly do. But, Costco is usually never worse, but rarely significantly better than competition. Personally, I have Lucas, BG, Seafoam, and Chevron Techron injector cleaners on the garage shelf. I take care of several small engines, as well as, regular car motors.

But, I've gotten the AMEX to Visa comment twice now, and I'm wondering what I said when the first bullet point was "1. No love for AMEX anymore and that means no 5% CB for me.". My USAA AMEX does 5% CB up to $3 grand (I'm under) every year.

When the AMEX Costco card went, I did not sign up with Citi. 2% CB is not statistically significant enough for me to forego my Chase Freedom Unlimited card at 1.5% back.

But, it's mainly the lines and lack of AMEX support that causes me to go elsewhere.
I misunderstood and thought you *didn’t* want to use AMEX, sorry.

That said, the Costco Visa pays 4% on gas, whether you buy it at Costco or not, and Costco may only be a nickel cheaper than Sam’s, but it’s Top Tier gas, and Consumer Reports says Top Tier gas is worth the extra money.

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-mai ... tra-price/

Other Top Tier gas, at least in Southern California, is at least 20 cents more than Costco.

Honestly I don’t buy gas at Costco very often either, because it’s out of the way I only drive about 3k miles per year. So the once a month or so I fill up, I just go to the Valero on the corner.

User avatar
Cycle
Posts: 567
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis, USA

Re: Costco gas

Post by Cycle » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:51 pm

Absolutely not, bought a membership for a year with groupon but weren't impressed with the prices compared to Aldi / Target / local butcher. We dropped the membership. I wouldn't get a membership again even if it were free, wouldn't be worth lugging the card around with me. This is based on our purchases, not much processed food / few electronic do-dad purchases, so YMMV!

We don't buy much gas, so saving $.20 per gallon doesn't amount to much at the end of the year.

The $5 rotisserie chickens were a great deal though.

squirm
Posts: 1377
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Costco gas

Post by squirm » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:26 pm

jminv wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:16 am
CULater wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:56 pm
squirm wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:39 pm
Our Honda runs fine on just about any gas I buy. I've seen very long lines at Costco. We are members at Sam's, we've never had to wait in line.
I've noticed that too. Wonder why. They always have the same price and is the lowest in the area.
I think the simple explanation is that Costco has more shoppers per store than Sam's. Costco has a greater return on capital because they keep the stores they have very busy instead of opening more stores. This is one reason I like shopping at Sam's when I'm in the states as it's less busy than Costco.

In many areas, Costco gas is cheaper than Sam's and in general Sam's has decided to stop competing with Costco where they can't win, which is what many of their recent store closures were about.
The other nice thing with Sams is the check out app. We haven't been to the registers since becoming members a little while ago (although the registers barely have a wait, but it's fun with the little app). They also have a lot of samples we can try...at least our kids like to sample the samples. We usually will top off with gas if it's needed or not. We have't waited in a gas line either...Sams also accepts all my credit cards and the ones with rotating gas rewards. The employees are nice (better than Wally's)....Last we have never had to park far away. Not sure why is low on the list for others. Oh, I noticed Sams is also carrying 52oz OJ, although they also carry one gallon by Tropicana.

jlawrence01
Posts: 1391
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:34 am
Location: Southern AZ

Re: Costco gas

Post by jlawrence01 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:31 pm

Costco is about two cents cheaper than Kroger's but they lack a fuel point program that is worth about 20 cents a gallon to us.

harrychan
Posts: 1401
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Costco gas

Post by harrychan » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:18 am

Never. My time is much more valuable than the $5-10 I save by waiting upwards of 15-20 min waiting in line for Costco gas.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

daveydoo
Posts: 1369
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 1:53 am

Re: Costco gas

Post by daveydoo » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:05 am

harrychan wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:18 am
Never. My time is much more valuable than the $5-10 I save by waiting upwards of 15-20 min waiting in line for Costco gas.
Unfortuantely, my time is not. We love Costco gas and it's part of every trip (alas). The 100-gallon minimum is a killer, though. :D
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

madbrain
Posts: 4968
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Costco gas

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:48 am

daveydoo wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:05 am
harrychan wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:18 am
Never. My time is much more valuable than the $5-10 I save by waiting upwards of 15-20 min waiting in line for Costco gas.
Unfortuantely, my time is not. We love Costco gas and it's part of every trip (alas). The 100-gallon minimum is a killer, though. :D
100 gallon ? What are you driving ?

madbrain
Posts: 4968
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Costco gas

Post by madbrain » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:54 am

thangngo wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:47 pm
tmsul100 wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:13 am
Do you go out of your way to buy gas at Costco? Those who drive a "premium" tier car, do you buy premium gas? Thanks!
No. Costco gas is no better than Exxon or Shell. I use Exxon station because it's closer and the price is usually similar or lower than Costco.
Each station has widely different prices depending on zip code, even two Shell stations. I passed a Shell station today that was selling premium for $4.69 a gallon . I also passed another Shell station 12 miles apart that sells it for $3.45 . One is near my work, and the other near my home.

Post Reply