Gas prices have increased so high that those who do not drive are taking double-takes at the gas station.
If you’re a fan of the road or have a driving lifestyle, you’re probably wondering what you’re going to do to keep your wheels moving, considering the high gas prices we’re witnessing.
It’s possible to consider a branded credit card for gas stations to help reduce these outrageous costs. Getting some cents back for every gallon sounds like a very appealing offer, particularly now.
However, the cash-back or rewards card that incorporates gasoline among its purchase categories might be better to limit the damage to your bank account until the oil-related crisis is resolved.
What is a gas credit card?
When I refer to “gas credit cards,” I’m not necessarily referring to credit cards with an oil-related logo in the centre of the card. There are a variety of credit card options available, with some offering discounts as much as 6 cents each gallon (think the ExxonMobil Smart Card and the Sunoco Rewards credit cards).
Saving 6 cents for every dollar seems like a lot; however, be aware that the more gas prices increase, the less of a return that 6 cents will yield. And not only that, gasoline-branded credit cards typically are accompanied by higher interest rates of around 26% or more. If you don’t pay your credit card bill for gas every month, you may be losing more money than you’re gaining.
This means that cashback or rewards cards can be more beneficial when gasoline prices are excessive (as they are currently).
CNBC According to CNBC, the typical gallon of regular fuel within the U.S. now costs $4.33. Do you realize that cashback credit cards can give as much as 5% cashback in gas pumps? (Take note that we’re talking about percentages here and not cents.)
If you swipe any of the cards, you’ll be able to get savings by up to 21 cents per gallon, which is triple the amount offered by the brand-name gas station credit cards
Which credit card for gas do you need to choose?
If cheaper gas prices are your goal, There are plenty of high-end credit cards you can choose from. I pay about $60 to fill my small Mazda 3. With the correct gas station credit cards, I could easily save $150 per year, using my car sparingly.
Let’s look at some credit cards with a value that provides a substantial return on gas.
Citi Custom Cash(sm) Card
The no-annual-fee Citi Custom Cash(sm) card is a straightforward reward earning structure. It gives you 5% cash back on up to $500 worth of purchases, regardless of the category in which you use the most money in every billing cycle. The eligible categories include:
- Gas stations.
- Grocery stores.
- Select streaming services.
- Home improvement stores.
- And more.
If your most significant expense each month is gas purchases, your Citi Custom Cash(sm) Card will automatically give you 5% cashback for those purchases. Just note that you can only earn 5% back on up to $500 in purchases in whichever category triggers the bonus (then you’ll earn 1%). You’ll also earn 1% on all other non-bonus purchases.
In short, the Citi Custom Cash(sm) Card gives you the ability to earn up to $300 in bonus cash back at gas stations each year if gas is your top spending category. The card also comes with a sign-up bonus of $200 after spending $750 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
U.S. Bank Altitude Connect
Alternately it is you can also use the U.S. Bank. Altitude Connect provides 4 Altitude points per cent at the gas station and for purchases made on travel. The points can be redeemed to cashback and gift cards or travel. For 1 cent per point, this card gives you 4% in fuel savings at the gas station.
While it’s lower than Citi Custom Cash, this card could be more suitable for drivers, as its rate of return isn’t capped. Based on the frequency you travel, you could earn thousands of cashback every year.
The card comes with an annual cost of $95, which is waived during the first year. However, it comes with advantages such as cell phone protection and the possibility of up to $30 per year in credits for streaming.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect comes with a 50,000-point bonus (worth $500) after spending $2,000 on the purchase within 120 days after account opening.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
The annual fee-free Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card provides the chance to earn an impressive 5.25 per cent back at gas stations. However, there’s a huge limitation.
The card lets you earn 3% in any among the categories below:
- Gas stations.
- Online shopping.
- Home improvement or furnishing stores.
However, this 3 per cent bonus is limited to $2500 per quarter. If you exceed that amount threshold, you’ll only earn 1 per cent.
This is how: If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you’ll get a bonus percentage added to the rate of your earnings based on the amount in account balances in the Bank of America account and Merrill investment accounts. What you can expect:
- 25% bonus for those with an average combined balance of $20,000 to $49,999.
- 50% bonus for those with an average combined balance of $50,000 to $99,999.
- 75% bonus for those with an average combined balance of $100,000+.
If you’ve got at least $100,000 in those accounts, or between your Bank of America and Merrill investment accounts, and you’re a member of Merrill, you’ll receive 5.25 per cent when you visit gas stations. This is a rate that’s nearly unbeatable; however, it’s challenging to get as well.
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card gives you a 200 cash reward online when you make $1,000 in purchase within the first 90 days after the account’s opening.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The most well-known card to help save cash at the pump is the no-annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited. It is currently offering a double welcome bonus for signing up:
$200 after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
5% back for gas station purchases on up to $6,000 spent in the first year.
This bonus is worth $500and $300 from gas station transactions.
Be aware that following the first year as a cardmember, this card is no longer a credit card when you shop at gas stations, and you’ll only earn 1.5% back.
Citi Premier(r) Card
The Citi P Remier (r) Card is an excellent travel rewards credit card that can be used for gasoline station purchases, however, only if you’re comfortable having points earned rather than cashback.
This card is credited with the card 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar on the following charges:
- Gas stations.
- Air travel.
You can use Citi ThankYou points for cash at a rate of 1 cent, allowing you to earn 3% back when you pump. The difference is that Citi ThankYou points can be worth more when they are transferred to airline and hotel partners like Wyndham, Singapore Airlines, Avianca and many more.
If you’re looking to make your gas consumption to be rewarded with affordable hotel stays and flights, this card is for you. If you’re looking to earn more overall cash savings, you’ll want to stick with cash-back.
Be aware that the Premier(r) Card of Citi Premier(r) Card is accompanied by an annual fee of $95. However, it also comes with an initial bonus of 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months following the account’s opening.
It is also possible to offset the annual cost of the card each year by making use of the annual hotel credit of $100 off one hotel room that costs $500 or more (not including fees and taxes).
The most reliable gas cards are usually cash-back credit cards that do not have a connection with any oil company. It’s easy to get between four and five per cent back on your gas station purchases without paying fees for the year.
Even if you own an efficient car that is fuel-efficient or work from home, you’re probably suffering from the high cost of gasoline costs. If you’re using one of the credit cards mentioned above to fuel your car, you’re losing cash and gas.