Finding the Best Gas Credit Card for You
Key Points About: Gas Credit Cards with Rewards
There are two main types of gas credit cards: gas station-branded credit cards and general credit cards that offer rewards on gas and other purchases.
The best gas credit card for you will depend on your purchase habits.
When choosing a gas card, you should consider fees, rewards program details, and introductory offers.
Why choose a gas credit card
What do commuters, long-distance road trippers and the family chauffeur (read: parents) all have in common? They fill up their tanks a lot—and they all might benefit from a gas rewards credit card.
Gas credit cards allow cardholders to earn rewards on gas purchases. They can be a great option for anyone who puts a lot of miles on their car, not to mention anyone planning a long-distance road trip in the not-too-distant future. Here’s a look at what you need to know if you’re considering applying for one.
What’s the best gas credit card for you?
There are generally two types of credit cards that offer gas rewards: gas station-affiliated credit cards and credit cards issued by a credit card company that offer rewards on gas purchases. The best gas credit card for you depends on both your geographic location and spending habits.
Gas station credit cards
Station-affiliated gas credit cards offer competitive rewards, but you can only save on gas that you purchase at gas stations that are the brand or brand family of your credit card. This type of gas credit card is a good fit if you only buy gas from a specific gas station or if you could easily start going to one particular station without significantly changing your fill-up habits.
Gas rewards credit cards
There are also gas rewards credit cards, which are similar to traditional credit cards and offer rewards on gas purchases at any station, not just brand-affiliated ones, and may offer rewards for everyday purchases as well. You might find this more convenient (and it allows you to hunt for the best deal on gas, regardless of the brand on the pump).
Things to consider when choosing a gas credit card
Cash back rewards levels
Ask yourself, are there introductory rewards levels that taper off—for instance, do you get 10 cents back per gallon for the first 90 days and three cents back after that? If so, consider getting your card right before a major road trip to maximize rewards during the time you’ll be traveling the most.
Can you also earn rewards on purchases not made in gas stations? If not, do you spend enough on gas alone to make the rewards add up as much as you hope?
If a card has an annual fee (a specific amount of money that you pay every year to keep the credit card), it’s important to consider whether you’ll earn enough rewards to offset the cost of the card. For example, if your card has an annual fee of $25, and you earn 1% cash back, you’d have to spend more than $2,500 a year on the card in order to earn the same amount of rewards that you spend on your annual fee. Discover® Cards have no annual fee, so every cent of cash back that you earn is a bonus.
It’s also good practice to read the terms and conditions to learn about late fees, cash advance fees, or foreign transaction fees. You don’t want to get caught off-guard with fees that you didn’t know your card included.
Some gas cards may come with introductory offers. You should review the card issuer’s terms to find out what offers you may be eligible for.
For instance, the Discover it® Chrome Credit Card offers a low Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Do you do all your shopping on your gas credit card?
If you want to have only one credit card in your wallet to use for a range of shopping needs, you probably want to choose a card that rewards you for more than just gas purchases. Otherwise, you’re missing out on rewards if you use your card anywhere but the gas station! This may influence whether you choose a gas-station-affiliated card or a general credit card.
For example, there are opportunities to earn meaningful cash back with a gas card that isn’t affiliated with a specific gas station. The Discover It® Chrome Credit Card, for example, lets you earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1 Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. Discover also matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.2
How much can you earn with a gas credit card?
The amount you can earn with a gas credit card varies from card to card as each has its own rewards structure, terms, and so on. The amount you earn also depends on how you use the card. Using it irresponsibly by incurring penalty fees or carrying a large interest-bearing balance can negate the rewards you may earn.
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