Cars make it easier to get around, but it certainly is expensive to own or lease one, and we're reminded of this every time we need to fill up that gas tank, for starters. Unless your car is 100% electric, or is one of those ultra eco-friendly models powered by leftover cooking oil, then it's highly likely that you're a regular at your local gas station. You've probably also noticed the ever-fluctuating gas prices that make you wonder whether or not a bike is the way to go instead.
Credit cards that feature gas station perks can help minimize some of the financial strain, and just like you have choices when it comes to filling up your tank, you've got choices when it comes to paying for it. There are a slew of credit cards that offer travel rewards and cashback bonuses. To give consumers some relief at the pump, many of those cards offer bonuses for filling up at the station. Of course, you don't want to go into debt or wreck your credit score over gasoline, of all things. So choose wisely when shopping for credit cards with gas rewards. It might be as easy as going for the reward card with the highest percentage of cashback bonuses, but there are also other things to keep in mind. Keep reading to learn more about how to find the best gas rewards credit card for you and your wheels.
Match your gas credit card with your spending habits!
Consumer cards are credit cards that allow you to shop for things other than gas. These are usually marked with an emblem like Visa, Mastercard or Amex. There are options for store-branded gas cards, which can only be used at a specific gas station or storefront, but those are for another day. Today, we are looking at the best consumer credit cards for gas rewards. Here's what we looked for:
Big rewards for big spending. Some cards have a high max reward for bonus category spending. Take advantage of it! Get additional cards for the other drivers in your household and make cashback bonuses a family affair.
More options for everyday spending. If you like to keep your spending on one card, then it makes sense to get one that offers flexible spending rewards.
Easy redemption of rewards. What's the use of rewards if you can't access them without a hassle? Make sure your card allows you to get those cashback rewards, travel rewards, or statement credits easily and often.
Rewards that aren't eaten up by above average interest. Unless you pay off your card every month (a practice we highly advise) you might find that any money perks you earn will get eclipsed by high interest rates.
How We Picked These Cards
Steer clear of store-branded cards and navigate towards cashback reward options.
When it comes to credit cards, you have MANY choices, and it's not as easy as choosing from Visa or American Express, either. Here are some things to keep in mind before applying for a new credit card:
Spend enough to reap the rewards. We're not saying you should buy a gas guzzler so you have an excuse to go fill up more often, but we are saying make sure that your card usage is enough to actually get some significant cash back.
Avoid store-branded gas cards. Not only do they carry high interest rates, but they also force you to be brand loyal—which is not always an option when you're on a road trip. That said, here are a couple of our favorite credit cards that offer rewards for your gas purchases:
The Chase Freedom card is a top gas card choice because of quarterly bonuses that reward your spending habits.
You don't often hear the word "free" and "credit card" used in the same sentence, but the Chase Freedom Visa card lives up to its name.
Get everyday points and big quarterly bonuses with Chase Freedom. Like its name suggests, the Chase Freedom Visa gives you the liberty to spend as you please and get big bonuses each quarter. If you like the idea of getting 1% cashback rewards on everyday purchases and 5% on category specific purchases. This card made this list because that 5% cashback rate applies to gas purchases.
People love Chase Freedom Visa because of its initial APR offer. This card offers 0% Intro APR for the first 15 months that your Account is open. Yes, you read that right. This cash reward card isn't called Freedom for nothing! this is a premium welcome offer if we ever saw one!
Pay no annual fee. None! Put that money toward gas instead.
Earn an easy signup bonus. Get $150 in cash rewards when you spend just $500 in the first 3 months of having the card.
Skip the interest on balance transfers for 15 months. You'll get 0% interest for the first 15 months on a balance transfer. Just know that the same APR deal for the purchases happens for the balance transfers when that grace period ends.
Earn bonuses in quarterly categories. You'll get 5% rewards for shopping in bonus categories that rotate each quarter, including gas stations, department stores, movie theaters, and restaurants.
Travel freely. Unlike other cashback cards, the Chase Freedom card waives the foreign transaction fee.
Get cashback rewards on everyday purchases. Every time you use this gas reward credit card, you'll get 1% back on purchases.
Remember to activate bonus spending categories—or lose out There is one kicker to the 5% bonus bonanza—you have to remember to activate your card each quarter. Granted, it's not rocket science: All you have to do is log onto your online account and follow the link to activate your bonus. You can also do this right at the ATM if you are a Chase banking customer.
Max out quarterly bonuses. You are given a quarterly cap on rewards that qualify for the premium 5% cashback bonus. Keep an eye on your spending to ensure you are making the best use of this card.
Get rewards on everyday spending. This card makes it super easy to rack up cashback points on everyday purchases, even if you can't always remember what bonus category is currently available. No matter what time of year, though, you'll always get something back on everyday purchases, making the Chase Freedom card worthy of your wallet.
Fuel up with this card to establish or repair your credit
Are you just get started with credit cards? Or perhaps you've been in the game for a while, but are not so enthused by your FICO score? The Credit One Unsecured Platinum Visa is an option for you.
Improve your FICO with a Credit One credit card. It's good to know that there's a card available to you if you've got bad credit or are attempting to build credit. Here's why you might enjoy using the Credit One Unsecured Platinum Visa.
Skip the prepayment. Secured cards require prepayment—this one is unsecured, which means you don't have to shell out money to start using your card. This feature makes users smile. Even people with less than stellar credit can try their luck with gas rewards and cashback bonuses with this rare offer.
Sounds too good to be true? Credit One Bank may be a deal breaker for some. The bad news is, while there's an online lovefest in support of this card, the issuer isn't met with the same warmth online, in reviews, and on the Consumer Affairs website. The biggest complaints about Credit One are a general overall lack of quality customer service and an air of confusion around the brand, terms, and conditions.
Can the Credit One card really help you improve bad credit? Probably. This card is made for people with credit scores in the poor to fair range, and in general, you will rebuild your bad credit by using credit wisely. So if you get this card just for gas and pay it off every month, you'll not only pave the way to a higher credit score, but you'll also get rewards points as you do it!
Check your credit report before you apply
You'll want to do this not only to see your score, but also to see how long it's been since you've gotten any dings on your report, like a late payment. Even if you're in the clear, you'll want to make sure it's been awhile since you've recently gotten denied by another credit card company, so make sure you wait several months before applying for this one.
A Card That Gets You Far
If you want to save money at the pump, then you've got two options: One, ditch your car, or two, apply for a credit card that has good bonuses for gas purchases. If the second option seems more logical for your lifestyle, then you're in luck. There are plenty of cashback and travel rewards credit cards—many with no annual fee—that give you bonuses just for filling up your car.
To make the best choice for your wallet, keep your spending habits in mind. There are cards that offer a flat percentage of cashback on purchases, while others offer extra bonuses when you spend in special categories. Some of these cards come with a cap on your bonuses, so be sure to max out your rewards as much as you can.