MyGallons.com: Lock in tomorrow's gas at today's prices
Basically, it works like this: MyGallons and GasBank both charge customers a yearly membership fee. At MyGallons, it ranges between $29.95 and $39.95, while GasBank charges $19.95. Members can then purchase gas at the current rate. Their gallons are recorded on a debit card, and they can withdraw gas from their accounts at a later date. Of the two, GasBank is a better bet right now, as MyGallons has yet to set up a national network for its card.
This system has a few dangers: if gas prices drop, as they're likely to do when the summer gas spike is over, then customers will be stuck with a card full of $4.20 per gallon gas. On the other hand, filling up a prepaid card in February might be a pretty good idea, as it could help consumers lock in their summer vacation gas at cheaper winter prices. Similarly, loading up before the Thanksgiving/Christmas rush might be wise.
Of course, in the long run, gas prices are likely to continue rising, so saving money by prepaying may just be a matter of taking a very long view. It's not too hard to imagine some kid finding Grandpa's old gas card twenty years in the future and using it to buy AT&T. In the meantime, it might be a good way to save some money on your weekly fill-ups!
Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He's starting to seriously think about that gas card/AT&T takeover idea...