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Trunow Review: This Free Cash Back App Helps You Save On Gas

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The current price of a regular tank of gas in the United States is $2.82, according to AAA. For people who travel about 20 miles to work, they’re spending about $5 on gas each workday, or at least $25 a week, not counting personal travel time.

Gas is a huge expense for many households, whether they have a long work commute or not. The price of a gallon of gas can rise quickly, and some states are nearing $4 a gallon. Unfortunately, gas isn’t one of those things you can typically save money on without a reward card or credit card – or is it?

Using an app called Trunow, you might now have a way to save money at the pump by finding the lowest gas prices in your area. Trunow also take savings one step further by saving you cash on things you buy at gas station convenience stores, like snacks and drinks.

You can download the Trunow app from the App Store or Google Play, or browse the website to see what it’s all about.

  • Join Trunow ($2 sign-up bonus with promo code TOF19 when you scan your first receipt)

What is Trunow?

Trunow is a money-saving app for iOS and Android devices that not only finds you the lowest per-gallon gas prices near you, but it also gives you cash back on your gas purchases from partnered gas stations.

If all that savings wasn’t enough already, you’d probably love knowing that Trunow even pays you to shop at gas station convenience stores by offering cash back rebates on specific products and giving you the rewards straight to your account.

Trunow is a relatively new app, arriving on-scene around late 2017, so there isn’t a lot of information floating around about it or the company. That also means that it doesn’t have a lot of partners yet, so you may experience a lack of rebates and gas prices, depending on how rural an area you live in or visit.

How is Trunow Different from Other Gas Price Finders?

You might be wondering why there’s a need for another gas price finding app because there are already several available. I thought the same thing until I tried Trunow and saw that it’s different than others I’ve tried.

Trunow offers a couple of features that other apps don’t: rebates and cash back for gas. There are cash back gas apps, rebate apps, and gas finders, but Trunow combines the best of all three to give users one comprehensive app that does it all for you.

How Does Trunow Work?

Trunow’s an app only, so you can’t use its website to find gas prices or rebates. It’s likely one of the most straightforward apps you’ve ever used, though, so it shouldn’t take much time to get used to.

Trunow partners with gas stations and convenience stores all over the United States. By turning your location “On” on your phone, the app can see where you are and located the prices from any gas station near you that it has a contract with.

Other gas stations won’t show up. It also uses your location to find rebates for partnered products that have rebates. You’ll find these in the “Deals Nearby” section of the app.

When Trunow finds a gas station or store rebate, it will also show you how far away they are from you. Typically, it searches immediately within a 1-mile range, but you can scroll through the map to find other spots on your route.

Once you purchase gas or a rebate, you’ll take a picture of your receipt and get 2% cash back for gas and the amount of the rebate in your account!

Pros and Cons of Trunow

After using Trunow myself, I’ve learned some things I love and don’t love:

Pros of Trunow

  • The app is incredibly easy to use to find local gas prices
  • Since it’s location-based, you can use Trunow while you travel to find gas stations with the lowest prices quickly
  • You get 2% cash back for gas from any partnered retailer
  • Most areas will have at least a few product rebates available
  • The map feature helps you find gas along your route
  • You can earn extra cash by referring your friends
  • Trunow gives you a sign-up bonus right after registering
  • You can get paid with PayPal

Cons of Trunow

  • The app drains a lot of battery. It seems like it’s always running and searching your location to find gas
  • It’s relatively new without a ton of partners, so you may not find prices for every station in your area
  • Rural users probably won’t get as much from Trunow as city or suburb users
  • You can’t sign up without giving your phone number
  • Cash back and rebates don’t show up automatically; you’ll usually need to wait a few days for Trunow to approve your receipt
  • Non-partnered gas stations only give 1% cash back
  • You earn points instead of cash, but each point equals $0.01
  • Opting for a PayPal payment cuts your rewards in half

How to Sign Up for Trunow

The easiest way to sign up for Trunow is by heading to the website and clicking the link at the bottom of the page for the app store you use. Download and install the app and make sure your phone’s location is turned on.

Once you open the app, you’ll complete a quick registration by giving Trunow your phone number. The app then sends a text notification to you with a code you’ll enter to verify your number. This is currently the only way to register.

Trunow will then deposit a bonus into your account just for signing up. I’ve heard different bonus amounts from members, so I assume the amount they give you has something to do with the average price of gas in your area (it mentions giving you a free gallon when you get your bonus).

My gift was $2.50, which is average in my town. You can start using the app’s features once you’re set up.

Saving Money on Gas with Trunow

When you open Trunow, it will show you all the gas stations it has information for within a mile or so from your location. You can scroll through the map to browse other areas, which is helpful if you’re traveling and want to see if prices might be lower elsewhere along your travel route.

The map displays gas station icons, if available, and the current prices for a quick overview of the cheapest prices in your area. You can click on any gas station icon to see more information, like the price of Premium or Diesel, the station’s ratings, and how long ago the price was updated.

If you visit that station, you can also return to the app to confirm its price or update it with the correct one to help other users, which gives you points that add up to cash.

Making Money with Trunow

Purchasing gas from any gas station in the United States will give you 1% cash back when you upload a receipt to Trunow. To do this, you’ll need to press the camera icon on the front screen of the app that says “Receipt”.

Make sure the full receipt is in the picture frame. If the station is a Trunow partner, you’ll get 2% cash back instead of 1%!

Not only are you saving money by visiting the station with the lowest price per gallon, but you’re also making money every time you use Trunow with your gas purchases.

Get Rewards from Purchases

Trunow also offers rebates on products. Some of these are brand-specific instead of store-specific but most will require a purchase from a particular store. You can find these by clicking the “Deals Nearby” button at the bottom of the app and scrolling through the available offers.

Click on any offer to see where you need to purchase the item from, if applicable, and get any further instructions for the rebate. Some rebates might require you to buy more than one of an item to be eligible, while others need you to buy specific product sizes.

The one thing I dislike about this feature is that Trunow only lists the address of the store rather than its name, so it’s not clear where you need to go until you look up the address. This seems like an important feature Trunow overlooked.

Once you buy the items you need, you’ll upload your receipt just like you did for gas. After Trunow approves your receipt and purchase, you’ll see your earnings in your account.

Referrals

Like most money-making apps, Trunow has a referral system to help bring new members on board. When you sign up, you’ll get a unique member ID, which you’ll find in your Wallet. Go here by clicking your balance at the top right-hand corner of the app.

Use the app’s share button to share your code with others on social media or through text or email. For every person that signs up with your code, you’ll get $2 and they’ll get $2. The only catch is they have to upload at least one receipt for you to get your referral bonus, so make sure they follow through!

Does Trunow Take the Place of My Gas Station Rewards?

No! This is one of the best things about Trunow. I have a couple of gas stations that I frequent even if they don’t have the lowest prices because their rewards cards give me awesome perks and money off each gallon.

Trunow won’t take the place of any gas station credit or reward card you have, so you can combine it with your rewards to maximize your savings and earnings.

One feature I do wish the app had is the ability to add your rewards cards in your Trunow account for easy access and quick savings, but maybe this is something they’ll tack on in the future.

How Much Money Can I Expect to Make with Trunow?

Trunow isn’t going to make you rich. It’s just another app that can help you save and make a little money on gas purchases, which is something you need to buy anyway. Let’s look at an example of what you might expect to make in a month by using it regularly

We’ll say your average gas price is $2.50 per gallon and you fill up your 15-gallon tank twice a week for $75 weekly or $300 a month.

Trunow helps you locate the cheapest stations, so let’s assume you save about $0.03 a gallon off what you’d usually pay. At $2.47 per gallon for 30 gallons of gas for the week, you’ll pay $74.10. That’s a $0.90 savings per week, or $3.60 a month. It’s not something to celebrate, but it’s better than nothing.

Trunow gives you 2% cash back on gas purchases from partnered stations, so we’ll assume that all the gas you bought for the month is from a partner. $74.10 x 2% = $1.48 in cash back this month.

Most rebates on Trunow are between $0.25 and $0.75 off a product’s regular price. Suppose you usually redeem two rebates each week that equal about $1.00, so that’s $4.00 in savings for the month.

Now, we’ll average your referrals at a reasonable 3 per month, which gives you $6.00 this month if your referrals participate and upload a receipt.

Your grand total in savings and earnings with Trunow for the month would be $15.08, which is about 6 tanks of gas for free.

Getting Paid

Trunow lets you use the rewards you’ve accumulated to get free gas, or you can send your earnings to PayPal.

To use your rewards for free gas, you’ll need to go to your Wallet and click “Pick Retailer.” The app will show a list of partnered gas stations where you can redeem your rewards. Unfortunately, some areas won’t have any to choose from because there aren’t partners there yet.

You can opt for instant rewards through PayPal, but there’s a downside to this method too: your rewards get cut in half. If you have $10 earned, you’ll only get $5 of them.

I suggest waiting to redeem your rewards until you travel to an area with several partners to choose from so you don’t lose anything you’ve earned.

Common Complaints About Trunow

Browsing through Reddit threads and reviews of Trunow, I found a few complaints that kept coming up, so I believe they’re important enough for you to consider if you’re thinking about using it.

Major Phone Drainage

This is one issue I’ve experienced, too, and it’s something that concerns me. I use a Samsung phone running Android, and after I use Trunow, I’ll get a notification from the Android system saying that Trunow is using my battery.

I rarely get these notifications from any other app, so it makes me wonder what this app’s doing to run in the background consistently.

I’m not talking small drainage either. I’ve seen my phone go from 90% to 76% in about 15 minutes when Trunow’s running. Closing background apps doesn’t stop it either.

I have to force stop it for the notifications to stop. Several reviews on both the App Store and Google Play mention similar experiences with Trunow.

Not a Lot of Participating Retailers in Some Locations

If you live in a rural area with spaced out gas stations, you may not have a lot of luck with Trunow. Not all gas stations listed on the app are participating partners, either, so you won’t receive the full 2% cash back on every receipt you upload unless you can find a partnered station.

Rebates are also few and far between in some areas, depending on what stores are available near you that carry the featured products.

Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be an issue in more populated areas, like suburbs and cities. It might be worth it to you to use Trunow when you’re traveling to populated areas, so you’ll always know where the lowest prices are and can maximize your earnings by finding partners.

Receipt Approvals Take Some Time

Some users say that receipts take longer to approve than they’d like. I’ve uploaded two and they each took a few days to get approval. I don’t consider that a long time, although it would be great if it only took up to 24 hours like ibotta. This app is much newer, though, so I expect them to still have a relatively small team working to approve receipts and they’re probably still working out the kinks.

With that said, I’ve gotten approval for both receipts (other users have too, according to their reviews), so I don’t have any concern about them not getting approved unless you don’t buy the right product or otherwise didn’t follow instructions correctly. It might take a bit longer than you’d like, but you’ll get your cash.

Can’t Avoid Registering with Your Phone Number

Another common concern is registration. Trunow requires users to register with their phone numbers instead of their emails or a quick sign-up form. I’m not a fan of apps and websites that work this way because I like to give my number to as few people and companies as possible to prevent spam.

I’m not saying spam is an issue with Trunow because I haven’t experienced it yet, but I do wish the app would allow other options for registering. I don’t see any need for it to have my phone number.

The Privacy Policy states that Trunow doesn’t sell or trade your personal information to other individuals or companies, so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt that it keeps my number a secret.

Is Trunow a Legitimate App for Saving and Making Money Or A Scam?

Yes. Trunow may have some bugs to work out, but it’s a legit app that pays. I’ve personally received payment and haven’t had an issue getting rewarded in cash back or rebates. It’s far from perfect, but I think that, with a little more time to gain partners, Trunow will be a strong contender against similar apps.

Final Thoughts

Since gas is something you need to buy anyway, you might as well use an app like Trunow that helps you save and earn with your purchases. If you stay consistent with using it every time you’re at the pump and remember to share it with your friends, I’d say it’s possible for the average user to get about $15 to $20 a month.

Have you tried Trunow? Do you currently use any similar apps? I’d love to know your thoughts in a comment below.

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2 Comments

  1. Nancy Crocker Aug 26, 2018
  2. Kelli Hfaer Feb 8, 2019

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