Update 5/17/20: Seems to be available in most states now, but not Wisconsin.
Using the app is fairly easy:
- Open the app
- Select an offer (the screen shows you both the price per gallon and the discount)
- Pay with your regular credit card and take a picture of your receipt
- Upload picture to Upside
Within a day or so of uploading the receipt, you’ll see the cash back available in your Upside account. You can cash out via check or Paypal. Check payments have a $5 minimum while Paypal cash out has no minimum. I was able to cash out a small ~$1 balance without a hitch.
Aside from cash back on gas purchases at these gas stations, Upside also gives you a credit toward future purchases at the gas station location. These Upside Credits are more generous than the actual cash back discount, BUT they are much more restrictive in use and can be used only for specific items or services at the gas station. You might be able to use the credit for an oil change, for example.
The app will dictate on which goods or services the Credit can be used. After purchasing the specific item, you’ll upload a receipt of that purchase and then the Upside Credit will turn into real cash back via Paypal or a check.
A recent purchase of mine at a Sunoco gas station got me 8¢ cash back per gallon on around 6-gallon purchase for a total of $.48 back, plus I got 25¢ per gallon in Upside Credit for a total Credit of $1.50. The app gives me two options for using up the $1.50 credit: 1) get the $1.50 back as a rebate on an oil change, 2) purchase goods at the gas station convenience store and get 20% off the purchase by submitting the receipt. (Tobacco and gift cards are excluded.)
Pay careful attention to the cash back numbers you see in the app: the standard earnings are literally cash back, but the Upside Credit earnings have much more limited use, as noted.
Uploading receipts is always a pain. In this case, if you use a lot of gas and have a big tank, it could be worthwhile to use the app and get a couple dollars off each fill up. If you are able to easily use up the Upside Credit too (e.g. you regularly buy food items or do oil changes at your local gas station), the value proposal is much more.
They also have a business facing website that’s quite interesting if you’re into reading about their business model.
If you live in one of the participating states, I’d love to hear your feedback about the app in the comments. Is it worth the download or is it mostly just overpriced stations offering non competitive discounts?
Please do not share your referral codes in this post. Instead use this linked post.
Hat tip to Maximizing Money for making me aware of this app.
Update 1/12/20: Some stations no longer require you to upload a receipt. They are identified by a blue lightning bolt next to them. Hat tip to FM
Update 12/30/19: All gas offers are at least 10¢/gal until 11:59 pm EST 12/31. Hat tip to reader Gadget
Update 12/16/19: Referral bonus has been increased to $7
Update 9/20/19: Another 1,200 stations have been added to TX & GA. Georgia is a new state as far as I’m aware. Hat tip to FM
Update 7/2/19: Another 1,000 stations have been added to the Midwest. Hat tip to FM
Update 3/25/19: Existing users can get an additional 7¢ off per gallon with promo code UPSIDE7. Looks like it only works for users that have used the app successfully/submitted receipt before it can be applied. Details on applying it can be found in this comment. Thanks to reader Gadget.
Update 1/6/19: Now available in more states, they have also expanded the number of gas stations they partner with. Hat tip to reader Gadget.
Upside is an app that allows you to get cash back on gas you purchase at select stations. They currently only have stations in the following locations: MD, VA, NY, NC, SC, DE, FL, TX, MI, WI, MO and DC.