Should you apply for a Speedway gas card? Here are the pros and cons for 2013…
Where I grew up in Michigan, there were quite a few Speedway gas stations around. I though their prices were fairly decent and I liked their selection of coffees and snacks. But how about the Chase Speedway MasterCard… is that also a good thing? Let’s find out…
For starters, there are actually two different Speedway gas cards. Here’s a review of both:
Speedway Super America Credit Card
This card can only be used for purchases at their gas stations. It offers no rewards and has a high interest rate.
Generally speaking, gas station cards like this are geared towards those who have bad credit and can’t get approved for a major credit card. If that’s you, then this Speedway credit card may not be a bad idea to use for rebuilding credit. For everyone else, it should definitely be avoided since there are no rewards offered on it.
This gas card is probably the one you have in mind. It is a major credit card that can be used at Speedway stations and anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Let’s take a closer look at its rewards, APR, and benefits…
What’s the APR?
At the time of writing the interest rate was 19.24%. This is higher than it was back in early 2012, when they gave 15.24% to 19.24% based on creditworthiness. Now, it looks like everyone just gets stuck with the high 19.24% rate.
How are the rewards earned?
- 10 extra Speedy Rewards points per dollar spent wherever MasterCard is accepted
- 40 extra Speed Rewards points per dollar at Speedway and SuperAmerica gas stations
- These points are in addition to any points you are already earning using your Speedy Rewards membership card
What can the points buy?
It appears they are giving a lot of points, but how much are those points really worth? Well as of Jan. 2011 here are a few examples of what the points will buy:
- 1,750 points = one fuel purchase with 10 cents off per gallon (not available in MI & WI)
- 1,500 points = 1 liter Coke/Sprite
- 900 points = coffee or fountain drink, any size
- 50,000 points = $50 Applebee’s gift card
- 5,500 points = “The Works” car wash
To the points can be redeemed by swiping the Speedway credit card at the rewards terminal found at stations, printing off the rewards certificate, and using it to pay for the selected reward.
How much are the points really worth?
At first it seems like you are earning high rewards on your spending but once you do the math, you realize it’s not really anything exciting. Here are a couple examples to show you:
1 liter of Coke – To earn 1,500 points you would need to spend $150.00 on regular purchases or $37.50 on Speedway purchases.
$50 Applebee’s gift card – To earn the 50,000 required points you would need to spend $5,000 on regular purchases or $1,250 on Speedway purchases.
“The Works” car wash – The 5,500 points would require spending of $550.00 on regular purchases or $137.50 on Speedway purchases.
Conclusion: Based on the examples, the value of reward points on the Speedway credit card appear to be around 1% on regular spending and 4% on purchases at Speedway/SuperAmerica gas stations.
Should you apply?
Their card isn’t a bad deal, but there are 3 potential drawbacks you need to consider:
1. Only higher rewards at Speedway – If you always go to their gas stations – and – they are always the cheapest for gas, then this isn’t a problem. However if you ever go to different gas stations, you will only be getting about 1% in rewards.
2. Getting 4% is great but not the best – Earning a 4% rebate on gas is a good deal, but it’s 20% less than some other gas credit cards on the market that give 5% at every station (including Speedway).
3. Deceivingly small signup bonus – At the time of this review, the Speedway credit card application offered 10,000 points after the first purchase. However as demonstrated above that only equals $10. This is very low for a signup bonus.
What I prefer to use is a gas card that gives 5% at every station. That gives me the flexibility to go to every gas station and still get a high rebate. There are several cards on the market that I would recommend comparing, some even have a signup bonus of $100. Check out this comparison: