5 Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards
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Gas prices are again approaching (or exceeding) $4.00 a gallon. It's really cramping our summer road trip plans. But using the best gas rewards credit cards listed below, you can save a bundle this summer as gas prices climb ever higher.
How to Pick the Best Gas Card
First, you want to consider the savings you will realize from each card. Some products offer a percentage off your total purchase, while others grant a fixed amount of savings per gallon.
Next, think about where you buy gas and which stations in your area have the lowest price. Some cards are specific to a brand, while others allow you to choose most stations except for warehouse stores.
Finally, consider the other benefits of each card. Several of the cards on this list offer excellent rates of cash back for purchases beyond gas, while others do not. This is important if you plan on using this card for more than just fuel purchases.
Our Top 5 Gas Rewards Cards
Here are my top picks for gas rewards credit cards.
TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express
For those familiar with this brand, the word Costco is synonymous with savings. The consumer version of the Costco TrueEarnings card offers 3% cash back on gasoline. Costco limits the higher returns on gasoline to the first $4,000 each year for the consumer card. Other benefits included 2% cash back on travel and at restaurants, along with 1% cash back everywhere else. Strangely, the 1% rate also includes purchases from Costco, an odd feature in a world where extra rewards are typically awarded for purchases from the co-branded merchant. Another odd fact about thing about this card is that the rewards are issued in the form of a voucher each February. You can use your voucher for purchases at Costco stores, or redeem it for cash at their customer service counter. If your account is closed before February, your forfeit all of your rewards. There is no fee for this card with your paid Costco membership.
Here are the latest offer details:
- 3% Cash back at US gas stations and on gasoline at Costco up to $4,000 per year in purchases, then 1%
- 2% cash back at U.S. restaurants; 2% cash back on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco; 1% cash back on other purchases, including at Costco
- Terms and limitations apply; You will receive your cash back annually in the form of a reward coupon
- The Two-In-One Card: it’s an American Express® Card and Costco membership card, with no annual fee for Costco members
- Terms and restrictions apply.
Discover it® chrome
The newest addition to Discover's family, the Discover it® chrome card offers a straightforward 2% cash back on all gas and restaurant purchases (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter), and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You also get the benefit of getting 5-20% cash back if you shop through their online portal which feature over 200 online retailers. Another outstanding feature of this card is the 0% promotional financing on both new purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. Plus, you get a free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement, and this card looks out for you: each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by email, phone, or text — and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees, so take this card with you for dining aboard. There is no annual fee.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
While the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card doesn't offer a special bonus for gas purchases, all purchases will get you 1.5% cash back. There is no limit to the amount of cash you can earn, and no minimums to redeem the cash back. You can get cash back in the form of an account credit, check, or gift card. There is no annual fee.
There is currently a sign up offer of $100 bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months. There is also a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers until May 2015 (a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred).
Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard®
The Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® offers 2x points on groceries, gas, and utilities (and 1 point for all other purchases). Redeem points for flights, shopping, dining, and more. Bonus offer: get 2,500 points after your first use. Also get 0% intro APR for 6 months on balance transfers and purchases. There are blackout dates and no cash back limits. There is no annual fee.
Visa Platinum Cashback Rewards Card From PenFed
PenFed is the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. They are one of the largest credit unions in the country, and offer some of the most consumer friendly products on the market. Their Platinum Cash Rewards card offers 3% cash back on all gasoline purchases (5% for those who have another qualifying PenFed product, like an active checking account with direct deposit, mortgage, etc.). PenFed also has a great reputation for low fees. This card has no annual fee, no cash advance fee, no foreign transaction fee, and no over the limit fees. Their APR is pretty low -- 9.99%. To apply for this card, you must be a member of the credit union, which is open to current and former members of the military, many government contractors, their relatives, and household members. Even if you do not qualify on this basis, you can do so by making a one-time, $15 donation to a military charity.
The Downsides of Gas Cards
Now that you know about all the great deals out there, pause for a second and consider if one of them is really right for you. As with all reward cards, you are not saving any money unless you are paying each statement in full and on time. To do otherwise ensures that you will owe more in interest that you ever earn in cash back. Also remember that you are not saving much money if you have to pay a higher initial price or drive further to take advantage of credit card rewards. Finally, consider how much money your household can save with one of these cards over the course of the year. That amount has to easily exceed the cost of any annual fees, or the point is moot.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.