- 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? The best gas credit cards are the ones that you can use everywhere. This gives you the flexibility to choose the cheapest stations and still get a high rebate.
- Pay attention to spending caps and tiers. With gas hovering around $4 its not surprising that most cards have caps on the amount of fuel rewards you can earn. Keep this in mind when choosing your card.
- Find the highest rebate possible. Over the past few years some cards have scaled back their rewards on gas. This page is constantly updated with the best offers.
Top Choice (for a no fee card): Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Not only is this a great gas card, but it also gives high cash back on other categories, too. You may have looked at the Blue Cash before but passed on it because of the reward tiers it previously had (which was a drawback). But guess what? AmEx reconfigured the program and now the rewards program is simple and straightforward!
- Unlimited 2% cash back at US gas stations. If you do the math, that's the equivalent of getting a 7 cent discount per gallon when the price is $3.50/gallon!
- Unlimited 2% at select US department stores.
- 3% at US supermarkets. The first $6,000 spent per year in this category qualifies for the 3%. After that it's 1%.
- All other spending earns you a full 1% cash back.
- Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- You get a bonus of $100 Reward Dollars for spending $1k in first 3 months.
- Terms and restrictions apply.
Top Choice (for a premium card): American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card
The AmEx Premier Gold is often overlooked for the gas rewards credit card category, but here’s why you should strongly consider it: you get 2x points on gas but these Membership Rewards points can be worth a lot. I will explain why in a moment.
- 3x points for flights booked with airlines, 2x at US gas stations, 2x at US supermarkets, 1x on all other purchases. There are no tiers or caps on the amount you can earn!
- Recurring yearly bonus: You will receive an extra bonus of 15,000 points every calender year you spend at least $30k.
- Benefits include roadside assistance (up to 4x per year), travel accident insurance (up to $100,000), automatic extended warranty coverage and protection for lost/stolen/accidental damage on all eligible purchases, and many other valuable perks which will save you money (terms and restrictions apply).
- Increase the value of your points. Convert points to miles on over 15 airline frequent flyer programs, almost always on a 1 for 1 basis. No other card issuer can do this! Since some airlines offer roundtrips starting at 25,000 miles, your points have the potential to be worth far more than the typical $0.01 each. (Example: Redeeming 25k miles for a ticket that would have normally cost $500 out-of-pocket. In that situation the 2x points you were earning on gas would have been the equivalent of a 4% rebate!).
- Best offer: Your membership fee is waived for one full year (normally a $175 value) plus earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend $2k within the first 3 months. Terms and restrictions apply.
NEW FOR 2013: Discover it®
If you’ve overlooked Discover in the past, it’s time to take another look. They are now accepted at over 90% of US merchants who accept Visa/MasterCard. Add in the fact that they have 100% U.S. based customer support and a killer rewards program makes them a must-have for every wallet. At least one quarter per year this card gives you a full 5% cash back on gas, up to the quarterly maximum.
- 5% cash back categories. Every quarter you have the opportunity to sign up for and earn 5% in different categories, subject to the quarterly maximum. Gas stations are included at least one quarter of the year.
- Full 1% on all other purchases.
- 5-20% cash back for online shopping thru ShopDiscover. To earn it, simply login to your Discover account and click thru to the merchant of your choice (there are nearly 200 of them). A few examples are 5% at Walmart.com, 10% at 1800Contacts.com, 15% at GNC.com. 5% at the Apple Store and iTunes websites, and 5% at Target.com.
- No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no pay-by-phone fee, no late fee on 1st late payment & no APR hikes for paying late.
- 0% intro APR* on purchases and balance transfer for 14 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99%-22.99%. *Click apply for Terms & Conditions
Ink Cash® Business Card
As the name implies, this is a business credit card. If you don’t have a corporation/LLC, you can still apply as a sole proprietor using your Social Security for the tax ID field and your own name as the legal name of your business. I’ve actually had this card for almost two years now and absolutely love it.
- 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurant for the first $25,000 spent annually at these places.
- 5% on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.
- 1% on all other purchases.
- No annual fee.
- Use the link below to earn a $200 bonus, awarded after you spend $3k within the first 3 months.
TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express
Are you a Costco member? If you are (or if you're willing to pay the $50 membership fee to become one) then this is another great choice for a gas rebate credit card. It gives 3% like the card above, but with this one there is a cap on the 3% (fortunately it's high enough for most people).
- 3% cash back at gas stations in the US (including gas at Costco) on purchases of up to $4,000 per year (1% thereafter).
- Unlimited 2% at US restaurants and on eligible travel purchases.
- All other spending will get you 1% cash back, including purchases at Costco.
- You will receive your cash back in the form of an annual reward coupon (only once per year).
- You must be a Costco member to get this card. If you are not a member and would like to join, fortunately you can easily join for just $50 during the credit card application process (if needed). Since the credit card itself has no annual fee, paying only $50 for a Costco membership to earn these high credit card rewards is actually a good deal when you think about.
- Terms and restrictions apply.
Chase Freedom® Visa
This card gives you 5% on gas at least one quarter per year. But guess what? Chase kicked it up this year and included gas for two quarters, which ranks it among the best gas cards of 2013. Not to mention, during any given quarter there are other categories (typically 2 or 3) which will also earn you 5%. There's no annual fee.
- Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus categories each quarter when you enroll.
- During 2013 you can get 5% cash back at gas stations during the 1st quarter (Jan thru March) and the 3rd quarter (July thru Sept). Think about it... when combined that's half the year!
- Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- $100 bonus after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases AND balance transfers! After that the regular APR is 13.99%-22.99% (V).
For the gas cards that give cash back, you can typically redeem it in the form of a check or statement credit. Most require a minimum accumulation of rewards before they can be redeemed. Often times this amount is relatively low, such as $20 or $50 worth. Usually, you will also have an 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 gas station cards are a bad deal in 2013
Many people ask “Why not get one from gas station?” There are several 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 cancelled, 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.
- It restricts 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 terrible. 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’re not 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 in 2013 have been absolutely brutal so far. That, combined with the payroll tax hike, 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 gas credit card 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.
Reviewed and rated by Michael Dolen