Propane tank exchange vs. refill — which is better for you? | Ferrellgas | Fuel Life Simply (2024)

Propane tank exchange vs. refill — which is better for you? | Ferrellgas | Fuel Life Simply (2)

AUTHOR: Ferrellgas

Choosing between a grilling-sized propane tank exchange or refill is less about which is the better option in general, and more about which is right for you.

When you exchange your propane tank, you’ll need to visit a Blue Rhino retailer to trade your empty tank for a ready to grill tank that has been cleaned, inspected, and leak-tested. With refills, you will need to take it to a refilling station where a trained professional will add propane to the tank you already have.

There are advantages and drawbacks to each. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of exchanging versus refilling your propane tank to determine which is right for you.

Refilling a propane tank: Pros and cons


  • It’s cheaper.You can save up to $1.75 per gallon by refilling over the cost of an exchange at third-party retailers.
  • You’ll only pay for the propane you use if you own your own propane tank. Any propane left in your tank isn’t lost as it is during an exchange –and even if it’s a small amount, it’ll return home with you. If you plan to reuse your tank for an extended period of time, you’ll want to find the tank’s expiration date, generally stamped on the top handle area.


  • Instead of finding a fresh tank of propane when you need it at your nearest hardware store, gas station, or grocery market, you’ll have to take your tank to a retail location set up for refills, during normally scheduled business hours. In addition, refill outlets do not inspect tanks for safety. In most cases, refill outlets do not recertify tanks or replace outdated components, either. Refillers and their equipment are also not monitored by government weights and measures agencies. In addition, finding a refill location may be less convenient, as there are usually fewer of them compared to exchange locations in many markets.

How much does it cost to refill a propane tank?

The cost to refill a propane tank depends on several factors including the size of the tank, the propane provider, and your location. Another factor to consider is seasonal demand. We recommend calling your nearest authorized propane retailer before arriving for current pricing.

Propane tank exchange vs. refill — which is better for you? | Ferrellgas | Fuel Life Simply (3)

Exchanging a propane tank: Pros and cons


  • Blue Rhino provides bilingual safety and connection information with every tank. They also provide a toll-free Customer Care line to answer any questions or assist where needed.
  • Exchanging your propane tank at a Blue Rhino retailer is quick and easy, and can be done when the store is open, which typically includes evenings and weekends. You can hold an impromptu barbecue, and quickly find the propane you need just moments before the grilling begins. The processonly requires you to drop off your old tank and pick up a fresh one. Tanks are also available at thousands of stores across the country, anywhere gas, grills, groceries, and prescriptions are sold, making propane exchange extremely convenient. And, you can exchange any brand, even one that isn’t a Blue Rhino.
  • Exchanged propane tanks are regularly inspected, so you’ll know that the tank you pick up has a lot of life left and has been checked for any issues. Propane exchange companies like Blue Rhino also recertify tanks that have expired.
  • Blue Rhinoaccepts any brand of tank, so all you have to do is drop your empty tank beside the display, have a store employee swap your tank for a fresh one or two, and enjoy the rest of your day. And, propane exchange is increasingly available for purchase through innovations like propane vending machines. Select grocery retailers also offer buy online services and curb-side pick-ups.
  • In addition to exchanging your propane tank at a Blue Rhino retailer near you, you can also get a fresh tank without exchanging. Doing so will allow you to keep a spare on hand, which many people find helpful when their other tank runs out.


  • Exchanging a propane tank can be more expensive than a refill.

How much does it cost to exchange a propane tank?

Like refills, the cost to exchange a propane tank depends on several factors, including the size of the tank, the propane provider, and your location and the retail store where it is purchased. On average, a 20-pound propane tank (the standard size for grills and small appliances) costs somewhere between $20 and $25 to exchange. Most exchange companies only exchange 20 pound tanks. Larger tanks generally require refilling, so we recommend calling your local Ferrellgas office for more information.

Where can I refill or exchange my grilling sized propane tank?

Propane tanks can be refilled at authorized filling stations. If you’re interested in refilling your tank, you can search our locations here. Or, if you’d rather exchange it for a fresh Blue Rhino, you can use our propane finder here. Or text FIND to 75653. If you have questions, you can always count on Ferrellgas to guide you. Just give your local Ferrellgas office a call to start the conversation today.

When should I refill my propane tank?

The short answer: when the propane level in the tank is too low to use. There are ways to check your tank levels at home if you don’t want to wait until it’s empty. If you’re unsure, you can always pop over to your local Ferrellgas location or a Blue Rhino retailer for expert guidance. 

Where can I exchange my propane tank?

Need a fresh, ready-to-grill propane tank? You can exchange your empty tank at any Blue Rhino retailer near you. Find your nearest location by browsing the store locator or texting FIND to 75653.*

How to exchange your propane tank

Exchanging a propane tank with Blue Rhino is as easy as Drop, Swap, & Go.

When you arrive at the store, place your empty tank beside the propane display. Don’t bring tanks inside!

Next, purchase a tank from the cashier. A store employee will escort you back to the display and provide you with a fresh, ready-to-grill tank.

That’s it! Go enjoy!


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Propane tank exchange vs. refill — which is better for you? | Ferrellgas | Fuel Life Simply (2024)


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