Best Gas Credit Cards For 2019 award seal

Unless you use public transportation, having a commuter vehicle is a necessity.

And with it comes expenses – repairs, insurance, and gas (unless you have an electric car).

That's why credit cards with gas rewards are major money savers – they allow you to earn rewards on something you have to buy anyway.

And since almost all gas stations require you to prepay for your gas if you use cash, you can bypass this by using a credit card and pay at the pump instead.

If gas is one of your biggest expenses, a gas credit card can help reduce your cost or get you extra rewards you can use later on.

How gas credit cards work

Gas credit cards can help you save at the pumps by offering valuable rewards on your gas purchases.

They'll usually get you a 1.67% - 5% return, allowing you to pocket more rewards.

How to choose a credit card for gas rewards

The first thing to keep in mind before making a choice when looking for a gas credit card is what type of rewards you'll earn.

To really get the most out of your spending, it's best to find a credit card that's geared towards your goals – whether it be cash back rewards, flex rewards, or travel rewards. This way, you're not earning rewards you likely won't use.

Get cash back for gas rewards

If you love a good discount, cash back credit cards are great for saving money on your everyday spending.

On each purchase you make, you'll get a small percentage back, usually in the form of a statement credit.

These are rewards you can use for anything you like.

Earn flexible travel rewards for gas purchases

Flexible rewards are for people who prefer to have options. You'll earn points that can be used for a multitude of different things.

Want to redeem your points as a statement credit? No problem. What about switching travel providers here and there? You bet.

With flexible rewards, you get to decide what type of rewards you want.

Earn travel rewards for gas purchases

Whether you travel for work or play, a travel rewards card is great for getting discounts on specific airlines, cruise lines, hotel chains, railways, and stores.

Each dollar you spend will earn you points or miles that you can use towards those specific travel providers.

If loyalty is your middle name, this could be the type of rewards for you.

Annual fee or no annual fee gas credit card?

Credit cards that let you earn extra rewards on your gas spending can sometimes come with an annual fee.

But when does it start to make sense to pay an annual fee for your gas rewards?

Let's crunch some numbers.

Spending breakdown

Say you choose a credit card with an annual fee of $95 that gives you a 3.87% return on your gas purchases.

Compared to a credit that would only earn you 1.5% on your purchases, here's what you would have to spend to offset the annual fee:

[(annual fee / return on gas purchases - regular return on spending) * 100] / 12 months
[($95 / (3.87%-1.5%) * 100] / 12 = $334

If we only take into account gas spending, this means you'd have to spend roughly $334 on gas per month to break even.

Between my partner and I, we usually spend around $350 per month on gas, making a gas credit card with an annual fee easily worth it for me.

And when you factor in other spending, the amount needed to spend on gasr goes down considerably.

Things to watch out for

There are a few other things to keep in mind as you hunt for a gas credit card.

Specific gas stations

Some gas cards will only allow you to earn rewards when you purchase gas at specific stations.

This can be a big downside for people who don't always visit the same place to gas up.

But, if you routinely fill up at the same location each and every week, this might not be such a nuisance for you.

And if it's with a major gas station chain like Exxon or Shell, it shouldn't be too hard to find one near you.

Discounts or rewards

Instead of allowing you to earn rewards, some gas credit cards will allow you to get instant cents-per-gallon savings at the pump.

But – you guessed it – only at specific stations.

However, you'll be rewarded up front, instead of having to wait to get your rewards later on.

Limits on earnings

Another downside to look out for is caps and limits.

If we use my $350-per-month gas spend as an example, an annual cap or limit of $5,000 is plenty – anything below that, however, I would start to lose out on some major rewards.

Make sure to read the fine print to see if there's a limit or cap on how much you can earn in rewards with your credit card.

Compare Gas Credit Cards

Note: Rewards based on a monthly spend of $500 in gas only to illustrate cards that give great bonuses for gas.

The creditcardGenius algorithm calculates an estimated dollar value for all rewards and bonuses by using a typical point value a person can realistically achieve by redeeming their rewards in a reasonably optimized way. The "Welcome Bonus" is the dollar value obtained by combining all one-time bonuses available to new cardholders within the first year. To qualify for the full bonus you may need to make purchases, meet minimum spending requirements, or complete special actions. Terms and conditions apply.

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