Choosing to apply for a Sheetz gas card isn’t a bad choice, but it’s not the best either…
With fuel prices as high as they are, it’s no shocker that gas station credit card applications are so popular. The bad news is that many of them are changing for the worse:
- Reduced (or eliminated) rewards – With the price per gallon being so high, many gas station chains are realizing it’s too expensive to pay out good rewards. As a result many have greatly reduced them (like the BP gas card did in 2012) or outright cancelled them altogether (like the Citgo and ConocoPhillips MasterCards which were killed off in 2012).
- No longer available as Visa/MasterCard – These major credit cards are more expensive to run versus a card that can only be used at the gas station. So it comes as no surprise that many of them are no longer Visa or MasterCard.
Now for the good news… so far the Sheetz credit card hasn’t fallen victim like its peers. Sheetz still has a rewards program and their gas card is still a Visa.
The 2013 Sheetz Visa card in a nutshell
Issuer: First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO)
Annual Fee: None. However surprisingly, they charge $10 if you need an additional/replacement card.
Interest Rate: 15.99%, 17.99% or 19.99% depending on creditworthiness. These aren’t low rates but for a rewards card, they’re not unexpected.
Points Program: 1 point per dollar normally, 3 points per dollar at Sheetz gas stations/convenience stores.
Promotion: 8 points per dollar at Sheetz stores for the first 90 days.
When you redeem the points, if you choose gift cards you will usually get a good deal on ones that cost 5,000 points or more.
Examples: 5,000 points is enough for a $50 gift card from T.G.I. Fridays, Tony Roma’s, Bass Pro Shops, Best Buy, and JC Penney.
If you choose options like that, it means your Sheetz credit card rewards are the equivalent of a 3% rebate at their gas stations and 1% elsewhere.
It looks like you’re almost always are going to get a bad value if you’re cashing out less than 5,000 credit card points at a time.
Examples: 2,500 points for $20 gift card from Subway, Pizza Hut, Starbucks. 3,000 points for $25 gift card from Best Buy, Cracker Barrel, Dunkin’ Donuts.
Cash rebates are also a rotten deal most of the time. For 6,000 points you only get $50 cash back. In order to get $0.01/point you need to redeem 50,000 ($500) worth in one fell swoop. Unless you are a mega-spender it will probably be difficult to accumulate that many points on your Sheetz card.
However the biggest drawback is simply that the rewards value is only so-so. It’s not bad, but not the best either. For example, compare the Sheetz credit card’s 3% and 1% rewards to the Blue Cash Preferred which gives you 3% US gas stations.
Among the gas station-branded cards, the Sheetz Visa card is actually one of the better offers out there. Unfortunately it’s still not very competitive when compared to the best gas cards.
Written or last updated 2013