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Driving is getting more and more expensive thanks to rising fuel prices. Even cars with excellent gas mileage are costlier to fill up than they used to be. This has motorists looking for ways to save at the pump. One free mobile app that advertises savings of up to 25 cents per gallon is Upside. 

If you’ve heard of Upside, you might wonder whether it’s legit and can actually save you money when you fill up your car. We’re here to break it down so you can decide whether the app is right for you. 

Is Upside legit?

Upside co-founder and CEO Alex Kinnier
Upside co-founder and CEO Alex Kinnier | Andre Chung for The Washington Post

The short answer is, yes, Upside is legitimate. And if you’re concerned about fuel costs, it could provide significant savings. Upside is a free app that partners with local businesses to offer consumers cashback on purchases at retailers, including gas stations. There are no scams or hidden fees associated with Upside’s offerings. 

That said, some customers have encountered challenges with using the app, either because of user error or mixups with their accounts. The Better Business Bureau lists complaints it has received from users. Examples include delayed processing of gift cards and challenges associated with depositing refunds in customers’ bank accounts. But most users appear to be satisfied with the resolutions for their issues. 

So, how does Upside work?

To use Upside, you need to download the app on your smartphone. The app works on iPhones running iOS version 10.0 or newer and Android phones running Android 4.1 or newer. Then register as a new user or sign in if you already have an account, and see which gas stations near you have offers available. You can select a station to see which cashback offer you would receive if you filled your tank there.

To take advantage of the offer: First, click the orange “Claim” button. You will have four hours to go to the station and fill up your tank. (Ensure that the address of the station matches the one in the offer you claimed; otherwise, you won’t get cashback.)

Next, be sure to get a receipt for your purchase. Last, enter an image of the entire receipt into the app within 24 hours of your purchase for your refund to be processed. Processing could take up to 10 days, Upside says.

You can even use the app with rewards cards and coupons. However, Upside will lower the amount of cashback per gallon to account for the cost of the promotion.

Other apps that can save drivers money at the pump


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Upside certainly isn’t the only app in the game of saving motorists money on gas. If you’re looking for free smartphone apps that can help cut your fuel costs, there are several good choices.

One popular option is GasBuddy. Enter your zip code in the app to see gas prices at various stations near you. Users and the stations themselves enter the prices, so although you can generally count on them to be accurate, they might not be correct 100% of the time because prices change often, U.S. News reports. Nevertheless, a quick glance at the app before heading to a gas station can save you a few cents per gallon, particularly if you make a habit of checking it regularly. 

Another app known to save on fuel costs for drivers with multi-stop deliveries is the Route4Me Route Planner. With this iPhone route-planning app, you can optimize routes to save money. The app also cuts down on maintenance costs by reducing the mileage on your cars

Finally, there’s the Fuel Rewards app, which allows consumers to save money on every fill-up at Shell gas stations. You can earn additional discounts on Shell gas by shopping at associated merchants or dining at restaurants affiliated with the program. 

There’s really no lack of ways to save on gas costs out there these days. The main challenge is finding the one that works best for you.