NORTHLAKE, Ill. (CBS) – Gas prices continue climbing and we’re all looking for deals.
According to gasbuddy.com, the average price of gas in Chicago is $3.63 a gallon. Just last month the price was $3.38.
But as CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, there’s one way to save money, if you don’t mind paying a fee.
At the Sam’s Club in Northlake, a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.35 a gallon on Tuesday, but to get that price you have to be a Sam’s Club member and pay an annual membership fee.
The search for the cheapest gas drew big lines at the Delta Sonic gas station in Melrose Park on Tuesday, where regular unleaded was $3.51 a gallon on Tuesday.
At least one driver there said it was the best deal he knew of in that area.
But there might be a better deal up the road at Sam’s Club, where gas was $3.35 a gallon, or at Costco, where it was $3.32 a gallon.
But to get those prices, you have to pay an annual membership fee of $40 for Sam’s Club or $50 for Costco.
Gasbuddy.com spokesman Patrick DeHaan said those fees could be worth it for the average driver.
“Most of the time, it can be worth it to buy a membership and you’ll come out ahead,” DeHaan said.
For example, if you drive a car that gets 25 miles a gallon and travel 15,000 a year, you’d be buying 11.5 gallons of gas a week.
At Costco, that much gas would cost you $2,042 a year at Tuesday’s price of $3.32 a gallon, plus the $50 annual membership fee for Costco.
At Sam’s Club, that much gas would cost you $2,050 a year at Tuesday’s price of $3.35 a gallon, plus the $40 annual membership fee for Sam’s Club.
At the Delta Sonic gas station, you’d pay $2,106 a year for that much gas at Tuesday’s price of $3.51 a gallon.
Experts said that, if you drive less than 5,000 miles a year, prices at Costco or Sam’s Club wouldn’t be a bargain because of the additional membership fee.