With how outrageous fuel prices are these days, I thought it would be a good time to investigate the Union/Unocal 76 gas credit card for 2013.
To be honest, I rarely buy my gas at Union 76 stations (which still go by the name Unocal 76 here in some parts of California). Around me their prices usually run on the higher side, but I know it might be different where you live.
If you do get gas at their stations, should you be using the Union 76 credit card to pay for it? Let’s find out…
They offer a couple different credit cards:
76 Personal Credit Card
This is your basic gas station credit card. It can only be used at 76 gas stations and their affiliates, Conoco and Phillips.
Annual Fee: none
Interest Rate: At the time of this review the application listed the APR as 24.99%. This is extremely high, but not unusual for a basic gas card like this. However what is unusual is that there is a minimum finance charge of $2.00. That means if interest is charged, the charge will be at least $2.00 (even if your debt is only one dollar!). Most credit cards have a minimum finance charge of $0.50 or $1.00 so I was pretty shocked to see this (in fact, it’s probably the highest I’ve seen).
Rewards: The personal version of the 76 gas card has a rewards program which looks okay at first glance, until you read the fine print…
- 5 cents off per gallon but ONLY if you buy at least 45 gallons per month. And there are no rewards on purchases beyond 110 gallons per months.
- Remember this is only 5 cents, NOT 5 percent. So if the cost was $4.00 per gallon, getting 5 cents off only equals a measly 1.25% discount.
Benefits: You have your basics like online account management but aside from that, there are no special benefits listed.
This credit card appears to be geared towards those with bad credit who won’t qualify for something better. If you have bad credit then it might not be a bad card for rebuilding credit since there’s no fee (but only if a balance is never carried).
76 Credit Card (MasterCard)
Update: Unfortunately the MasterCard was discontinued and it’s not coming back. For 2013 they only offer the personal card (non-MasterCard).
Officially called the Phillips 66 Conoco 76 MasterCard (what a mouthful!) it gives a gas rebate at Union 76, Conoco, and Phillips 66 stations. It can also be used for purchases wherever MasterCard is accepted.
Annual Fee: none
Interest Rate: 19.99% or 23.99% based on your credit. The minimum finance charge on this 76 gas card is 50 cents (that’s 1/6 the amount of the personal version).
Rewards: The 76 MasterCard does have rewards and they work like this:
- “Qualifying purchases” at Phillips 66, Conoco, and 76 gas stations earn a 4% rebate. The 76 credit card application doesn’t go into detail about what’s considered qualifying but one can presume that it will at the very least apply to gas purchases at these stations.
- On all other purchases totaling up to $5,000 annually, the rebate is only 0.5%
- On all other purchases in excess of $5,000 annually, the rebate is 1%
- There is a $50 cap on rewards per billing cycle
Benefits: The only benefit I see that could be considered unique is Citi Identity Theft Solutions, which as the name implies, offers help for dealing with identity theft. This is offered on most other Citi credit cards too.
The 76 gas credit card isn’t a bad idea if you frequently fillup at their stations and their prices are cheap in your area. However I wouldn’t recommend using this card for other spending, due to the tiered structure that starts at only a half-percent. Last but not least, as with any credit card the rewards will be pointless if you carry a balance.
This post was written or last updated April 2017