How much do you spend on gas? The average car consumes nearly 750 gallons annually. Wouldn't it be nice to get a discount on all that fuel?
- Make sure the rebate applies at every station. When a gas card is affiliated with a specific station, you will be forced to buy that brand of gas to get the rebate. Why confine yourself to just one station? Gas credit cards that can be used at any gasoline retailer are the way to go. This gives you the flexibility to choose the cheapest stations and still earn the extra rebates offered for the gasoline spend category.
- Pay attention to spending caps and tiers. With gas hovering around $4 it is not surprising that most cards have caps on the amount of fuel rewards you can earn. Keep this in mind when choosing your card.
Featured Gas Credit Card Offers(this list is constantly updated with the latest featured offers from our advertising partners)
For the gasoline reward credit cards that provide cash back, you can typically redeem earned cash back in the form of a check or statement credit. Most require a minimum cash back threshold to be reached before redemption is allowed. Often times this amount is relatively low, such as $20 or $50 worth. With some gas cards, you will also have an additional option of converting your cash back to gift cards. For example, with the Discover it card you can actually increase your cash back when you do this – i.e. convert $20 of rewards into a $25 Foot Locker gift card.
Why oil company gas cards continue to be a bad deal
Many people ask "Why not just get one from a gas station?" There are many reasons why that's a bad idea...
- Most reward programs have been discontinued. In the not so distant past, there used to be a few stations that had half-way decent reward programs like Conoco MasterCard which gave 4%, Shell MasterCard gave 5%, the BP Visa gave 5%, Chevron MasterCard gave 3%, and the Sunoco MasterCard gave 2%. But guess what? All of those reward programs have been discontinued.
- The ones that still give rewards are a joke. While the Shell MasterCard was canceled, they do have a replacement call the "Drive For Five" card. It only gives 5 cents (cents, not percent) per gallon and in order to even get that, you need to buy at least 45 gallons per month. Do the math to see how lousy of a deal this is... 5 cents off $4.00/gallon equals only a 1.25% rebate.
- They restrict you to a single brand of gas. For example if you had the Chevron card, you can only use it at their stations. That limits your ability to seek out the best price per gallon. Because as we all know, the cheapest station can vary day by day. Don't you want the ability to choose from all of them, instead of only one?
- The interest rates are obscene. All of us already know carrying a balance is bad so I'm not going to lecture on that. Rather, I'm just going to tell you the facts: most gas station cards charge interest rates of around 25-27%.
- They are not general use major credit cards. Almost all of the cards which garnished the Visa/MasterCard logo were discontinued. Now they're gas-only cards. You're probably asking then, why on earth would anyone fill out an application when they give no rewards and can only be used at one place? Well, the answer is that anyone with half-way decent credit avoids them like the plague. Mainly the only people who apply for them are those with bad credit who can't qualify for anything better.
As you are all too aware, fuel prices were not exactly cheap in 2014. That, combined with last year's payroll tax hike (or tax break expiration, to be more precise), leaves all of us with less money to spend this year. Unfortunately, it's not possible to control the price at the pump but using a reward credit card that provides extra cash back for gasoline purchases will allow you to save a bit of money every time you fill up. It's one of the easiest ways to trim the cost of driving, without having to sacrifice your lifestyle.