Now you can hedge fuel just like Southwest Airlines! A Miami company is offering gas-weary consumers the opportunity to “lock in” today’s gas prices. For an annual fee, one can obtain a gas card that works as a debit card at a variety of gas stations. Does this idea appeal to you? [MyGallons.com]

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  1. MissPeacock says:

    Off topic, but what happened to the Carnival food story? If I go to my profile I can see my comment, but the link to the story is incomplete and won’t take me there and the story is missing from the home page. This isn’t the first time a story has just disappeared into a black hole. I won’t even begin to go into all of the posting problems we’ve been having for ages.

    WHY WON’T GAWKER FIX THESE PROBLEMS!?!?!?

    (Since there isn’t a central location to discuss technical issues, I’m posting this here.)

  2. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    I like the idea but not at todays prices as they’re here to stay.

    A note about the airline fuel hedging. I was listening to NPR on friday and they were talking about how to do this you need two things: “Foresight and liquidity, the other major airlines had neither”

    BURN!

  3. Rupan says:

    It is an interesting idea. The biggest problem I see with it is that in order to see a big savings you would have to purchase a lot of gas at the same time.

    From the FAQ: In addition to the annual fee there is a $1.95 per transaction fee if adding gas using your credit card.

  4. ThunderRoad says:

    Wish I coulda done this 2 years ago ….

  5. Rupan says:

    Also dont trust their savings calculator. It makes some wild assumptions.

    *Savings estimates based on national average prices for regular unleaded, pre-purchasing a 12-month supply of fuel on January 29, 2007, and redeeming equal amounts each of the 52 weeks.

  6. MoCo says:

    Or you can buy shares of US GASOLINE FUND ETF (UGA) and hedge the price of gasoline on a larger scale.

    [finance.yahoo.com]

  7. mac-phisto says:

    i think this is an awesome idea! (not really)

    i’m no analyst, but has anyone else noticed that one of the last indicators in a speculative trend is trying to get every possible person on the bandwagon? right before the oil glut of the late 90’s, i remember constant commercials on radio/tv seeking investors in oil – “become a millionaire today – buy 5,000 barrels today!” i wonder how many people made a million vs. how many suckers lost their shits.

    why would i stay away? anyone here ever prepay fuel oil to lock in a low price? that used to be popular here in ct until oil supply cos. started going belly up left & right about 2 years ago. a lot of homeowners lost thousands of dollars to these contracts.

    plus, i love this part,

    For example, you will receive a credit in gallons if you fill up at a price significantly lower than the average price in your home area on the same day [or a debit in gallons if you fill up at a price significantly higher than the average price in your home area on the same day]

    so, if they determine that a station should have charged me $4.29, but they charged me $4.49, i get to pay the extra 20¢/gallon regardless of the program. nice.

  8. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    No, I don’t want one of these. I respond to market signals by changing my behavior, not by signing up to a subscription service designed to put money in someone else’s pocket.

    (See also: I don’t use credit cards partly because I don’t want to pay fees and charges for the privilege of using my own money before I make it.)

  9. themaskedmarauder says:

    @speedwell: I agree with you. Hedging is a risk – it only works if the prices rise. When they fall – and they will – those users will be locked in at the higher rate.

  10. nfs says:

    what if that company goes south?

  11. The idea seems nice, but the implementation is a bit weird. If you read the FAQ there are a ton of loopholes this company will use to make sure you don’t save any money.

  12. Kudzu-Cottage says:

    If you believe Earth is surrounded by a vacuum because the whole world, sucks this could be just the thing for you! Cheer every time gas prices go up! With [mygallons.com] you can cash in on bad news AND piss everyone around you off each and every time you fill up your tank this summer.

    (Gotta LOVE American ingenuity!)

  13. mac-phisto says:

    @nfs: you lose whatever money you prepaid. see my post about fuel oil contracts.

  14. Ben Popken says:

    @MissPeacock: There is, it’s called emailing the editors.

  15. jdmba says:

    I hope this doesn’t catch on – I continue to await the tipping point on gas prices where the other residents of Los Angeles finally get off the road and ease traffic a little.

  16. b-real says:

    I remember priceline.com had a service like this way back in the day, during the 99 cent/gallon period in the late 90s. It worked pretty well, but lasted only about a year.