So Top Tier gas is better for my car, according to AAA research. That's great, but it's ironic then that the only gas station that offers me a AAA renewal discount does NOT sell the Top Tier gas touted by the auto club. What gives?


I guess it's possible the research part of AAA doesn't pay attention to the marketing side of the business, but it's been two years since my auto club revealed that Top Tier gasoline, with all its added detergents, is well worth the extra money. The problem is that this gas costs, on average, $.03 more per gallon than the standard gas. I get an extra penny per gallon towards my AAA renewal at Gate, which isn't really all that much, but it was something.


If AAA says $.03 more per gallon is worth it for my car, I assume $.04 more is still worth it. I think the Gate partnership should be reconsidered, but I'd rather just have the option of getting Top Tier gas at Gate. The fact that it's a AAA partner and not on the list is telling, but it also opens up the opportunity for AAA to partner with a gas station that is on the list.


If I go with Top Tier, I'll have to stop going to the snack and drink-friendly Gate, 7-11, and Speedway near me. Looks like BP, Exxon, and Citgo locations are within range for me. I did use QT in KC when I lived there, but I'm thinking my cars have lost out on the special top tier gas for most of my adult life or that higher tier gas is something new. I don't actually know.


On a recent trip to Wisconsin, the Kwik Trip in Sheboygan offered 87 octane with ethanol or 91 octane without ethanol. I am not sure if I saw the Top Tier sticker. My car generally wants 93 octane, but I assumed the 91 without ethanol was supposed to be as good as 93. Back at home in Florida, it seems the ethanol-free stuff is only 89 octane. Not sure why.

[UPDATE - 2/2019]

The Southeast AAA has gone away from its affiliation with Gate, so now I get $.05 a gallon off at Shell. These gas stations are often paired with Daily's in my area, but there are aslo some stand-alone gas stations, I believe. At least it's top tier, so maybe AAA read this article and decided that if Gate wasn't going to offer the best gasoline, the relationship was going to end. The only problem is that I can no longer get AAA dollars towards my renewal fee. On the other hand, there are more Shell stations nationwide, so I can save wherever I might be.


And here’s the list of where you can get the Top Tier gas as of July 2018:

76 (USA)
Aloha (USA)
Amoco (USA, Canada)
ARCO (USA, Canada, Mexico)
Beacon (USA, Canada)
BP (USA, Canada)
Break Time (USA)
Cenex (USA)
Chevron (USA, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama)
CITGO (USA, Canada)
Conoco (USA)
Co-op (Canada)
Co-op Diesel (Canada - select locations only)
Costco Wholesale (USA, Canada, Mexico)
Costco Wholesale - Diesel (USA, Canada - select locations only)
CountryMark (USA)
CountryMark PLUS (USA)
Diamond Shamrock (USA, Canada)
Energy (Mexico)
Esso (Canada)
Express Mart (USA - Wisconsin)
Exxon (USA)
Fast Fuel (USA)
Fast Stop - Diesel (USA - select locations only)
Fast Stop Express - Diesel (USA - select locations only)
G500 (Mexico)
Hele (USA)
HFN - Hawaii Fueling Network (USA)
Holiday (USA, Canada)
Irving Oil (USA, Canada)
Kirkland Signature Gasoline (USA, Canada, Mexico)
Kirkland Signature - Diesel (USA, Canada - select locations only)
Kwik Star (USA, Canada)
Kwik Trip (USA, Canada)
Kwik Trip Express (USA, Canada)
Mahalo (USA)
Marathon (USA)
Metro Petro (USA)
Mobil (USA, Canada)
Ohana Fuels (USA)
Petro-Canada (Canada)
Phillips 66 (USA)
PUMA (El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Puerto Rico)
QuikTrip (USA)
Ranger (USA, Canada)
Ranger Mustang (USA, Canada)
Ranger Stallion (USA, Canada)
Ranger Thoroughbred (USA, Canada)
Reeder's (USA)
Shamrock (USA, Canada)
Shell (USA, Canada, Puerto Rico)
Sinclair (USA, Canada)
Sunoco (USA, Canada)
SuperAmerica (USA, Canada)
SuperFuels (USA, Canada)
Tempo (Canada)
Texaco (USA, Canada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama)
Tri-Par Qwik Stop (USA)
Valero (USA, Canada)
Win Win (USA)