Wouldn’t it be great if you could have predicted the ridiculous prices that gasoline would hit, and bought a bunch of it before prices went through the roof?
Actually, many people did just that and, no, they didn’t have big underground storage tanks in their back yards. These people joined a Gas Bank. “Eh, what’s that?” you ask. Gas Bank, Gas Tank, what’s the difference? You don’t deposit gas into a gas bank, you deposit money. Here’s how it all works….
Joining a Gas Bank is a lot liking trading on the commodities market. When you join, you pre-purchase a supply of gas at the then current price. You receive a stored-value card, which is somewhat like a debit card, that you use to turn the gas pumps on at the bank’s filling station.
Regardless of which way the price of gas goes, and it’s been only going up lately, you’re getting it for the prearranged price.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say that you bought 100 gallons of gas when the price was $1.999. You gave the gas bank $199.99, and they reserved 100 gallons of gas for you at the $1.999 price. Every time you go to the bank’s filling station, you simply insert your card into the pump’s card reader and put gas into your tank. The gas bank deducts $1.999 for your account for each gallon. If the actual price of gas today is $3.009, you’re getting it at the locked-in price of $1.999. Once you have used 100 gallons of gas, the amount that you originally purchased, you can purchase more gas “credits” and whatever price gas is selling for on the day that you make your new deposit.
Now, before you run out the door screaming “Halleluiah”, you should know that there aren’t too many Gas Banks around. In fact, the only one that has any real visibility is located in Minnesota.
First Fuel Banks of St. Cloud, MN has over 8,000 members who are glad that they were smart enough to catch on to a good thing. Many of the members are fleet owners who operate several vehicles for their business. Although Mom and Pop drivers are saving a bundle as well, these commercial drivers are getting dizzy over how great the savings are.
One business owner locked in 8,000 gallons when the price way at $2.069, and he’s saving $.49 per gallon now that the price is hovering around $2.559 in his neck of the woods. While that may not seem like a fortune, he’ll save nearly $4,000 by the time he burns through his 8,000 gallons. Of course, most regular drivers don’t use anywhere near that amount of gas in a reasonable amount of time. But they’re still saving big by locking in a couple of hundred gallons at a time.
First Fuels Banks owners Denis Feneis, and his sons Jim and Dan, claim that the operation is profitable and predict that it will remain so. If there isn’t a Gas Bank near you, maybe you should start one.