Which is the best gas reward credit card?
With gasoline prices soaring, consumers are looking for the best gas reward credit card to help them save money at the gas stations. But which is the best gas reward credit card to get? There are different types of credit cards that allow you to earn rebates (whether in the form of cash rebates, credits or reward points) for gasoline purchase. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. We explore the different types of gas credit cards below, explain the strengths and weaknesses of each type of cards and recommend the best gas reward credit card or cards in each category.
First, let us look at the types of gas credit cards available. There are four types of gas credit cards to choose from
Station Specific Gas Credit Cards - These are cards that allow you to earn rebates from just a specific brand of gas station. You typically earn 3% to 5% rebates on these cards.
Any Station Gas Credit Card - These cards allow you to earn rebates from any gas stations.
"Everyday Purchase" Cash Back Credit Card - These cash rebate credit cards pay 5% rebates on purchases from gas stations, standalone supermarkets and drugstores. You should consider getting one of these cards if your gas credit card does not pay you 5%.
Reward Credit Cards that pay more points on gas purchases - Some reward credit cards pay more than one reward points when you make a purchase from a gasoline station. If you prefer to earn rewards rather than cash rebates, you may want to consider these cards.
Let us take a closer look at these credit cards.
Station Specific Credit Cards
Below is a list of station-specific gas credit cards and their cash rebate ratios.
The advantages of using having these "station specific gas credit cards" are
- You normally get an introductory period where you can earn a very decent rebate percentage from your gasoline purchases
- Rebates are credited against your credit card account and used each time you charge at the stations (do not have to worry about getting rebate checks or expired rebates)
The disadvantages are
- You cannot get the lowest apr with these cards
- Can only be used at one particular brand of gas stations.
Those who use just one particular chain of gas stations will find these cards useful. The best gas reward credit card in this category pay 5% rebate. Note from the table that some only pay 3% or 4% (which is not bad). But if you have a ExxonMobil Card for example that pays 3% rebate, you might want to consider switching either to a gas credit card that allows you to earn 5% rebates on all gas purchases or an "everyday purchase" cash rebate credit card. We will explore these types of cards next.
"All stations" gas credit card
If you are one that uses several different gasoline stations, you would want to consider the following cards. They allow you to earn rebates on gasoline purchases from ANY station. The table below highlight key features of cards in this category.
Everyday Purchase Cash Back Credit Cards
Those who either use different gas stations, do not want to carry seperate cards for gasoline purchases and want to earn decent cash rebates should consider these "everyday purchase cash back credit cards". These pay 5% rebates (matching the best gas credit cards) on not just gasoline purchases but also on purchases made from standalone supermarkets and drugstores. You can get rebates from using them at ANY gasoline stations.
The main advantages of "everyday purchase" cash rebate credit cards over dedicated gas credit cards is that
- You can use it to earn 5% rebates at supermarkets and drugstores as well
- As a group these cards offer lower apr than gas credit cards
- You can use at any gas stations
- No need to carry a seperate credit card just for gas
Reward Credit Cards
Those who prefer to have a reward credit should choose one that pays more than one point for every dollar you spend when you make gasoline purchases. The table below highlights the reward cards that lets you earn more than one point for every dollar you spend on gasoline purchases.
The advantages of using a reward credit card for gasoline purchases are
- You earn faster reward points
- If you have good credit, these cards tend to offer better balance transfer and apr deals
The disadvantages are
- You do not realize your rebates until you redeem your reward points
- So reward points expire, hence you have to make sure you use your rewards before they expire.
Our Recommendations - the Best Gas Reward Credit Card
Below are our recommended gas reward credit cards. We have chosen the best gas reward credit card from each category that we described above. So let's get started.
Best Gas Reward Credit Card for those looking for a station specific card
The critieria for the cards we choose in this category (in fact in all categories) is that the cards have to pay a 5% rebate as this is the highest rate paid by the best gas reward credit cards.
With the Hess Platinum Visa® you get to earn 5% rebates on all purchases at all HESS, HESS EXPRESS, and WILCO HESS locations. As a signing bonus, you earn 10% rebate for the first 90 days. You can earn unlimited rebates. This is a great card for those who use HESS gasoline stations.
We recommend the Marathon® Platinum Mastercard® from Chase to those who use Marathon gas stations frequently. You earn 5% rebates on all Marathon purchases (not just gas). For the first 60 days, you earn 10% rebates. There is no annual fee and you also get a 6 month 0% apr for balance transfers.
Best Gas Reward Credit Card for those who use more than one particular brand of gas stations and want a dedicated gas credit card
The best gas reward credit card in this category is the Discover® Platinum Gas Card here. Here is how the rebate formula works. For the first $1,500 in annual purchases, you earn 5% rebates for gas purchases and 1% for other purchases. For you second $1,500 in annual purchases, you earn 3% rebates for gas purchases and 0.50% for other purchases. For annual expenditures over $3,000, you earn 1% rebate for gas and 0.25% for non-gas purchases. Discover cards allow you to double your rebate percentage if you exchange your cash rebate for gift certicates or gift cards from their partner merchants (if you have earned $20.00 in rebate, you can exchange them for $40.00 worth in gift certificates). Hence, for the first $1,500 in annual spending on gasoline, you earn 5% rebate and if you exchange it for gift certificates, you have effectively earned a 10% rebate. For the second $1,500 in gasoline spending, the 3% cash rebate becomes 6% if exchanged for gift certificates. The highest rebate from gasoline purchases given by other gas or reward credit cards is 5%. This card is best used ONLY FOR GASOLINE PURCHASES UP TO $3,000. Exchanging the cash rebates for gift certificates will result in you earning a higher rebate.
Best Gas Reward Credit Card for those looking for a cash rebate credit card
I personally prefer cash back credit cards for the purpose of getting gasoline rebates. That is because they all pay 5% rebates not just on gas, but also on purchases from standalone supermarkets and drugstores. Furthermore, you are likely to get a better balance transfer and apr deals with these cards. That is why I think any of the following cards is arguably one of the best gas reward credit card available.
With the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card you earn 5% cash rebate for purchases at standalone supemarkets, drugstores and gas stations and 1% rebate on other purchases. There is no annual fee and the apr is quite low. You also get a 0% apr offer on balance transfer for 12 months from the date of balance transfer (not account opening) and makes for a very good card to transfer your balance. You can earn up to $300 in annual cash rebate. This is a great cash rebate credit card and is on our Editor's Choice List.
The Chase Cash Plus® Rewards Card. has a cash rebate formula that is essentially identical to the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card. You earn 5% cash rebates on purchases at grocers, gas stations and drugstores and 1% on everything else. Like the Citi Dividend card, you can earn up to $300 in annual rebates. You also get a 0% introductory apr for 12 months. The part where it stands out from the Citi Dividend Card is that you can exchange your cash rebates for gift certificates and rewards if you want to.
The Blue Cash from American Express has a tiered rebate formula. For spending up to $6,500, you earn 1% on "everyday purchase" and 0.50% on "other purchases". Once your annual spending exceeds $6,500, you earn 5% rebate on "everyday purchases" and 1.5% on "other purchases". You earn rebates for up to $60,000 in annual spending on the card, which is a higher threshold than the previous two cards. Hence, those who spend up to $60,000 a year will find this card more appealing.
Best Gas Reward Credit Card for those looking to earn reward points
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Rewards Card is a reward credit card based on the Thank You Redemptions Network reward program. For this card, you earn 5 points for every dollar you spend at standalone supermarkets, gas stations and drugstores and 1 point for other purchases. You can earn up to 75,000 points in a calender year. The ThankYou Redemptions Network reward program is comprehensive and includes travel rewards, shopping rewards, cash rebate, apr reduction amongst their reward options.
The AT&T; Universal Rewards Card is issued by Citibank and essentially identical to the Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards Card. The main difference is that you earn extra reward points for spending at AT&T; and you also get more AT&T; perks. You also earn 5 points for every dollar you spend on "everyday purchases", which includes purchases from gas stations, supermarkets and drugstores. You also get a 0% apr on balance transfer for 12 months from date of transfer (not account opening). There is no annual fee and the apr is relatively low.
Any of the credit cards mentioned above can be considered the best gas reward credit card available depending on your preference. All of them pay an equivalent of 5% rebates (whether it is in the form of cash, credits or reward points). With gasoline prices where they are now, these cards should help you save quite a bit on your gasoline purchase. Just ask yourself the following
- Do you buy gasoline at just one particular brand of gas station?
- Do you prefer a dedicated gasoline card or not?
- Do you prefer to get cash rebates or reward points?
Whatever your preference, there are plenty of choices available.
7th October 2005
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