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How Google Pay can help you save on gas and more

Using Google Pay on a recent stop at the gas station saved me 10 cents per gallon

Summary

Google Pay’s recent relaunch includes targeted offers to help consumers save in-person and online.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

I downloaded Google Pay after it announced a significant overhaul in mid-November. So far, the best feature for me has been the gas savings. Through the app, I have been getting 10 cents off per gallon at my local Phillips 66 station.

On my latest fill-up, the cash price was $2.24 per gallon and the credit price was $2.29 per gallon. Thanks to the app, I paid $2.19 per gallon with credit, and because I also earned 2% cash back from my credit card issuer, my true cost was approximately $2.15.

Following a recent relaunch, Google Pay now offers targeted rewards to users.

Read more from our credit card experts.

Ask Ted a question.

Other deals

Because I have an iPhone, most of my mobile payments have to go through Apple Pay. I can only pay directly through Google Pay at select gas stations and for certain takeout, food delivery and parking expenses. The new Google Pay app includes a lot of targeted offers that change frequently.

For example, I’m also seeing a targeted offer for a $10 referral bonus on my next 3 referrals, but a couple of days ago I had an offer for a $21 referral bonus. I’ve also previously seen a cash back offer for sending money to a friend I haven’t paid before. I’m no longer seeing that, but I do have an offer for $30 cash back on a Walmart+ membership.

There’s a digital coupons section that’s similar to card-linked offers. My list currently includes $21 cash back if I spend $50 or more at Target, 12% cash back from Levi’s and 10% cash back from Petsmart, Adidas, Gap and Banana Republic, to name a few.

See related: Guide to mobile wallets 

Monitoring spending

During the Google Pay relaunch presentation, Google representatives highlighted partner retailers such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Panera Bread and Subway that sometimes extend added savings opportunities. I have made recent transactions with all three, and they each have their own icon on my Google Pay app, but none are showing any targeted promotions. The text just says, “Welcome. Here you can discover offers and rewards, view past transactions and more.” I plan to keep checking and hope to see some relevant deals soon.

Speaking of recent transactions, I was intrigued by the budgeting section of that presentation which positioned Google Pay as a financial aggregator (similar to Mint). I linked my credit cards and my checking account, but I was disappointed to notice that my most-used credit card (issued by Capital One) is not compatible with this feature.

That’s a big hole. Otherwise, I would have found this integration much more interesting because it’s so centralized and searchable. It works well with my other cards. However, those comprise a minority of my purchases.

Bottom line

Even though some key features are unavailable to me, Google Pay is a free app that’s lowering my gas bills. I hope to make good use of their targeted retail promotions in the future.

Have a question about credit cards? Email me at ted.rossman@creditcards.com and I’d be happy to help.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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