[imga=pumping gas"]http://creditcardforum.com/images/cards/misc/pumping-gas.jpg[/imga]I don’t know about your area but where I live in Southern California, the Velero gas stations usually have pretty good prices. It seems like every time I fill-up there, the gas pumps are plastered with ads for the Valero credit card. So I finally decided to check it out…
Isn't 30 cents off a bargain?
What probably caught your eye was the advertising on the Valero gas pumps for 30 cents off per gallon in a big bold font. Well, read the fine print to understand...
You only get the 30 cents off during the first 3 billing cycles. Furthermore, the offer is limited to the first 100 gallons purchased per month during the promotion. After that, the rewards are lousy which we will review next...
What are the rewards after that?
Let’s face it… the days of cheap gas are long gone! That’s why it’s more important than ever to get the best deal on your gas. But do the rewards on the Valero gas card give you that? Definitely not and here’s why…[INDENT]Regular Velero credit card (for individuals) – Surprisingly this offers absolutely no rewards program! What’s the point of hassling with another credit card payment each month if it’s not going to save you money on gas?!
Velero Preferred Gold Card (for individuals) – You have to pay a $10.00 annual fee to get this card and the rewards are pathetic:
- $0.01/gallon on regular gas
- $0.015/gallon on mid-grade gas
- $0.02/gallon on super-grade gas
Velero fleet card (for businesses) – If you run a business and are looking for gas card to save money, this won’t be of much help. You only save between 1 to 2.5 cents per gallon (notice that is cents, not percent). If you buy between 250-999 gallons, the discount is only a penny/gallon! Even if you buy 5,000+ gallons, it’s only 2.5 cents/gallon. (Sidenote: there are business credit cards that give a much better gas rebate than this!)
Conclusion?The Valero gas cards are a horrible deal if you are looking to save money. You’re better off going with cards that give up to a 5% rebate.
[/INDENT]What’s the interest rate?
As you know these things are subject to change at any time, but as I’m writing this the APR on the regular card is a high 23.00%... yet another reason this credit card is a dismal failure.
Why do people apply?
To be honest, I don’t know who would fill out a Valero credit card application. My guess is that some applicants might be confused by the signup promo, where a higher discount is given to start off with. Perhaps they wrongly assume that’s the normal discount on the card, when it’s often only given for the first few billing cycles.
My guess is the only reason this credit card exists is because it has Valero gas stations are behind it. Without that, I doubt this gas card could survive on its own. The cash back is just too low and the APR too high for it to be attractive.
What are your other options?
If you open up your wallet, probably the plastic you already have in there offers you better rewards than this does. So if nothing else, just keep using your current credit card and you will probably do better.
On the other hand if you want a good gas card that is going to give you a decent discount, fortunately there are tons of options out there. What I would recommend is (1) choosing a credit card that gives a rebate at all gas stations, not just Velero, and (2) picking one without an annual fee, because paying $10 for the Valero “Preferred Gold” seems silly to me.
What is the best gas rebate credit card in 2013?
CreditCardForum advertises a number of cards on the market that give up to a whopping 5% rebate at every gas station with no annual fee. You can learn more here.