Gas credit cards are worth it if you’re often on the road and want to earn some cash back when filling up your tank. Aside from earning rewards on gas, some cards will reward other purchases as well, such as groceries flights or hotel stays.
However, these are “standard” credit cards issued by banks. You can get cobranded cards with gas station chains like BP and Chevron where you get discounts on your gas purchases instead of earning rewards. Typically, these cards offer lower value than the standard credit cards, which is why we’ll focus our breakdown on the standard rewards cards.
Should I get a gas credit card?
To find out whether it makes sense to get a gas credit card, consider the following:
- How much do you spend on gas? If you spend up to $500 on gas each month, you can get the Sam's Club® Mastercard® and earn 5% back on this category for the first $6,000 each year, and 1% back after that. That’s up to $300 back each year on gas alone. If you spend slightly more than that, you can get another card, but you would generally earn less rewards per dollar spent on gas purchases. This can easily add up, though, the more you spend.
- Do you need an interest-free period? Cards that come with a 0% intro APR period on top of earning rewards on gas purchases, typically come with a lower rewards rate on gas. If you need to save money on interest, this could be the next best option you could go for.
- Do you want to earn rewards on gas and travel purchases? Some travel credit cards, such as the Hilton Honors American Express Card let you earn a higher rewards rate on gas purchases than you otherwise would with another rewards card. This can come in handy if you want to earn Hilton points on gas purchases and then redeem them on hotel stays.
Who shouldn’t get a gas credit card?
A gas credit card may not always be the best choice in certain situations.
- Heavy travel. If you often fly throughout the year or you stay at hotels that don’t offer rewards on gas purchases, a gas card may not be a great choice.
- Have poor credit. Credit-building cards rarely come with a rewards program. In this case, focusing on building your credit first with a secured credit card should be your priority. Once you get to a good credit score of 680 or higher, you can get almost any card that rewards gas purchases.
Benefits of gas credit cards
Features vary among this type of credit card, but the benefits you will likely find are:
- Rewards. Most gas credit cards let you earn cash back, but some offer discounts, points or miles on your purchases. You’ll get rewards on gas purchases, as well as on other categories such as groceries and dining.
- Signup bonus. With these type of cards, typically you’ll get a chance to earn a signup bonus when you meet spend requirements within your first months of card membership. Depending on the card, it can be up to $300 in reward value.
- Redemption options. Since the majority of gas credit cards are cashback cards, you can redeem your rewards as a statement credit or a deposit to your account. Other redemption options may include gift cards, merchandise and sometimes travel options.
- Additional features. Some of the gas credit cards come with a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases. Additional features may include travel insurance, purchase protection, zero liability and more.
What to watch out for with gas credit cards
Just as you’ll find great features with gas credit cards, there are some drawbacks. For example:
- Annual fee. Most gas credit cards have no annual fee. But there are cards that can cost up to $95. Make sure you’re getting more value than the fee you’re paying for the card.
- Interest rate. Rewards cards, in general, have higher APR than other types of cards. Be sure to pay your balance on time to avoid paying interest. Otherwise, you could offset your reward value.
- Points caps. Some cards impose a limit on the number of rewards points or cash back you can earn per quarter or annually. If your expenditure exceeds that cap, you’ll earn fewer points for additional dollars spent.
- Limited use. Some cobranded credit cards will only let you earn at a specific brand of gas stations. Purchases made at other gas station won’t earn you accelerated rewards. Luckily, this is not the case with all gas credit cards.
How to make a gas credit card worth it
Here’s what you could do to maximize your credit card rewards:
- Use it for gas purchases. The best way to earn the most rewards with a gas card is to always use it for your gas purchases.
- Earn a signup bonus. Most rewards cards come with a signup bonus in one form or another. Make sure you meet the spending requirements to clear the signup bonus.
- Use additional perks. Depending on the card, you could get other perks like a 0% intro APR period or rewards on other categories.
- Combine credit cards. Gas cards usually have the highest rewards rate on gas. With a lower rewards rate on other categories, you could miss out on potentially even higher rewards. Consider combining credit cards to make the most of your card purchases.
Compare gas credit cards
Once you’ve determined you want a gas credit card, you’ll want to compare cards. Below are credit cards that earn significant rewards on gas.
If you’re often on the road and spend thousands of dollars on gas, getting a gas credit card could be worth it. Don’t forget, most gas credit cards also earn accelerated rewards on additional categories such as groceries and dining, which gives added value to the card.
But before deciding on a card, make sure you compare your credit card options until you find the right fit.Back to top
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