2008 Gasoline Statistics

So 2008 ended a week or so ago and I finally got around tallying up my last few gasoline receipts. Here’s my overall gasoline statistics for 2008 on my Honda Civic EX Coupe 2001:

Total Miles: 7456.6
Total Gallons: 264.245
Total Cost: $899.53

Average Cost Per Gallon: $3.40
Average MPG: 28.2
Average Miles Per Dollar: 8.3
Average Daily Cost: $2.46
Average Daily Mileage: 20.4

Here’s some nice pretty charts that charts the averages across the year:

2008 Gasoline Statistics

Nothing too surprising about the graphs. My MPG is pretty flat along the 28MPG line, while several charts were mostly affected by the cost of gasoline hitting over $4.00, then dropping back below $2.00.

Update: Noticed one of my graphs included stats from 2007. Fixed.

Consumerist Banned Me From Commenting

So I’ve been reading Consumerist pretty much since they’ve started and even advocated people to read them a long time back. Anyway, slowly and slowly, the quality of the articles have gone downstream and like mainstream media, they’re much more about trying to get more readers, often times posting stories that diverge from their helping consumerist theme. And for quite some time, I’ve been commenting on how the quality of Consumerist has gone down hill and I can’t believe some of the crap they’re posting these days.

One such story was: Buy Super-Cheap Costco Gas Without Costco Membership. This was a story advocating readers to defraud Costco, where there was a trick to allow any American Express card user to purchase Costco gas without having a membership. This trick has been around for quite some time, but it does NOT belong on Consumerist, nor should they be advocating readers to defraud a company.

I posted the following comment:

Consumerist Banned Me From Commenting Consumerist has long forgotten the difference between a “deal” and “illegitimate loophole”. I’m waiting for the day they start posting price mistakes. Whatever gets readers, right?

I’m not saying I’m all high and mighty and won’t try my hand at ordering what is obviously a price mistake once in awhile. I’m saying crap like that does NOT belong in Consumerist.

It’s like those security hole researchers. When they find a security hole in a software, they don’t go and tell everyone how to do it and then ask if it’s ethical. They try to contact the software company first and hope the issue a fix fast.

I guess we can never really expect Consumerist to be of that quality. And yet I had high hopes when they just started. Sigh…

I guess it finally struck a nerve because when I went to post a comment yesterday, I saw this:

Consumerist Banned Me From Commenting
Comments are not enabled for this account but you can still clip articles and follow friends. If you have any questions about your status, please send us an email from your profile page.

Then I went to my profile and saw this:

Consumerist Banned Me From Commenting

I guess Consumerist has no problem criticizing other companies, but when people start criticizing them, they ban users from commenting. I’m actually surprise that comment hasn’t been deleted yet.

I’m not really that avid of a commenter, but I do have 125+ comments) under my belt and they’re not junk comments like half of what gets posted on Consumerist these days.

I’ve sent an email to them asking why comments were not enabled for my account anymore and am awaiting their reply.

Interestingly, they posted a story I had submitted to them earlier this week: Wal-Mart Fails To Change Your Oil And Lies About It

Tipster Toland pointed us toward the Stonecipher Report which contains an entry about a weary traveler who, against his better judgment, decided to get his oil changed at Wal-Mart […]

Anyway, I’m much more of a fan of this new anti-consumerist site: Not Always Right | Funny & Stupid Customer Quotes

Update: Just got a reply back from them:

You’re a go for comments!

Guess I got a nice moderator this time, though I didn’t really get a reason why I was banned in the 1st place.

American Express – SimplyCash Business Card – 5% Cash Back on Costco Gas

I’ve mentioned this card before, but didn’t really have a reason to get it before since I had my Advanta card. However, due to the fact that Advanta has changed its term in limiting the amount of rewards you can get per year, the Advanta card has basically become useless to me:

Cash Back rewards are also earned on Bonus Qualifying purchases, which include purchases in the following categories: “gasoline and diesel fuel,” “computers, computer supplies, electronics and office supplies,” “online advertising services,” and “utilities and telecommunications.” Cash Back rewards on Bonus Qualifying purchases are earned as follows: 5% on up to $1,200 in annual purchases; 1% on purchases in excess of $1,200.

That means the 5% rewards bracket only adds up to $60 in rewards a year and everything after that you only receive 1%. The nice thing about the Advanta card is the fact it’s a Mastercard so it’s accepted practically everywhere (Costco being the main retailer I purchase from that doesn’t accept either Visa or Mastercard). I haven’t used my Advanta card in quite some time, but it’s still associated with my utilities (Comcast Cable and High Speed Internet and garbage collection). Otherwise, I’ve basically stopped using it on office supplies and electronics.

Anyway, I was reading some thread about Costco gas today and someone had asked if the Executive membership gets 2% cash back on gas also and I told them that the terms specifically exclude gas from the extra 2% back. However that got me thinking. I’m currently only getting 1% cash back on Costco gas with my American Express Costco TrueEarnings card. Costco gas accepts any type of American Express credit card and SimplyCash has 5% cash back on gas, office supplies and wireless services with no annual cash back limit. Of course American Express is also not widely accepted, but all the gas stations, office supplies stores, and wireless services that I use all accept American Express.

Cash Rebate: There is no limit to the amount of cash rewards you can earn. You will receive the Rebate in the form of a credit to your Account (net of credits for purchases). The credit will appear on the second billing statement following the billing statement in which the qualifying Purchase(s) appeared, based on the following structure: You will receive a Rebate of 5% for purchases of wireless telephone services, automobile gasoline(effective December 01, 2007, any individual Purchase transaction in excess of 75 gallons or equivalent dollar value will not be deemed to be a Purchase of automobile gasoline), and office supplies and equipment not purchased at warehouse clubs, superstores or supermarkets (“5% Purchase(s)”). You will receive a Rebate of 1% for all other purchases. To receive the Rebate, your account must be active and in good standing.

Important: You will receive a 5% Rebate only if the merchant submits the Charge for your 5% Purchase under the appropriate merchant code, industry code and required service or product identifier established by us with/for the merchant. For example, if a general merchandise retailer sells office supplies, and the retailer processes your Card transaction as a general merchandise charge instead of an office supply charge, you will receive a Rebate of 1%, not a Rebate of 5%. You will not receive a Rebate for balances transferred from other accounts, purchases of American Express Travelers Cheques or American Express Gift Cheques, fees, Finance Charges, Cash Advances and similar means of accessing your Card Account. Additional terms and conditions apply.

Therefore I’ve decided to apply for one. I’m hoping Costco gas counts as gas and not a regular Costco purchase since those only get 1% cash back. Looking at my previous statements, they do distinguish:


If you’re interested, you should apply for the American Express SimplyCash Business Card.

Gas Meter Mix-up

So back in October I came home to find a note on my front door telling me that there was a gas leak and my gas was turned off. It was almost 11pm so I thought I would’ve needed to wait till tomorrow before they could send someone over. Anyway, I called the 800 # and it turns out that 800 # is only available for Washington residents. Since my cell phone is still in the 626 area code, it didn’t let me call through. A search on Puget Sound Energy’s website revealed their non toll-free number.

I called and apparently PSE has available technicians till 12am and the customer service rep said she’d be more than happy to send someone over. Meanwhile, I put on a sweater to keep myself warm.

30-45 minutes later, I get a knock on my door. He asks me where my gas meter was and honestly I have no idea. He went around my place and found it on the other side I never go to. He comes back and tells me my gas is actually on and he would just need to re-ignite all my appliances that use gas.

I pointed to him my furnace, water heater, and my fireplace. He knew more about my appliances than I did! With a quick few twists and button pushes, he ignited everything back.

Before he left, he told me there was a mix up between meters and the one I was being charged for was actually my neighbors. He said PSE would probably send me a notice/bill later alerting me of this and that I would either get credited back for extra energy I had paid for or I would billed for extra energy I used.

Anyway, everything was fine and dandy. I had expected a credit since I do live on my own and I don’t think I use that much gas. I got my bill today and there appears to be a credit of $200.93. Woot! Ungsunghero says that I should’ve gotten more for my “inconvenience”. Plus the fact someone probably made interest on that $200+, however that person would be my neighbor.