Best Gas Rebate Cards

I recently did something I haven’t done in years–I applied for a credit card.  Now that I am wise to the potential pitfalls of credit card use, I decided it was time to try to recoup some of that money I’ve been pouring down the gas tank.  Gas credit cards that offer rebates for gasoline purchases seemed like the best idea, and I was off to compare various options based on the following three requirements:

  • The new card must have a low interest rate.  I am dedicating this card to gasoline purchases and utility payments only, so there is little chance I will roll over a balance from month to month.  However, I’ll try to get a competitive rate just in case.  Find low interest credit cards at CardOffers.com
  • I refuse to pay annual fees.  Not much room to negotiate here.  There are simply too many options available to spend $35 plus on a fee just for the privilege of carrying a card in my wallet.
  • Extra cashback earnings on gasoline, and other regular purchases.  One of the downsides to using a credit card is that studies have shown we typically spend more money with plastic.  Since I am limiting myself to required purchases only (gasoline, utility payments, etc.), and those don’t have much variability, I feel confident I won’t be spending any additional money running those charges through the credit card and paying them off each month.  In the process, it would be nice to earn a little extra money back for those types of purchases.

And the Winner Is…

The Blue Cash® from American Express®.  This card had everything I needed in a rebate credit card, and offered a nice 5% bonus on cash back at the places you frequent most, like supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations..  What will we do with the cash back money? We will probably drop it in one of our targeted savings accounts like the vacation fund, or maybe even the Christmas fund.  I’ll report back after a month or two to let you know just how much cash rebate we rack up.

To aid in your search, check out the gas credit cards at CardOffers.com

Comments

  1. I looked at the Discover Open Road card, but felt it was actually too constrictive on the rebates. If you look at the agreement, you only get a 5% rebate on your first $100 per billing period (month) and is only applicable to automotive purchases (gas and maintenance). Anything beyond the 100 is rebated at a different rate (described below). This didn’t seem helpful to me since I drive an explorer and pay ~70 per fill up and I have to fill up once a week.

    You only get the 1% rebate on purchases after your total yearly purchases exceed $3,000. This is also based on a graduated scale (you get .25% on the first 1,500, you get .5% on the second 1,500)and then, once you pass the 3k bench mark, you will start to receive 1%. Unfortunately, the agreement leads me to believe this starts over at the beginning of the year. Also, you can’t apply grocery purchases from “super centers”, sorry Walmart Shoppers ?

    For solely a gas card, I have a feeling you are better off looking at gas stations in your area and if you can be loyal to that brand, get one of there gas cards. I currently have a BP card that gives 5% rebate on gas at BP’s and 2% at ammoco gas stations. I don’t have any spending requirements/restrictions. The interest rate sucks, but as long as you are dillege

    If you, or an immediate family member, have been in the service, the Pentagon Federal Credit union offers the best gas card I have found. You have to become a member of the credit union (a minimum of $5 in a savings account), but then you can apply for their rewards visa that allows for a 5% rebate on gas and groceries from any store.

  2. Looking at the terms, it appears that the 5% cash back on gas is only for the first $100 in gas purchases per month (not very much). After that, you only receive the rate that applies to all other purchases (which, by the way, starts at .25% and works up to a maximum of 1% only after $3,000 in purchases per month).

    Over the long term, AMEX blue cash blows this away, no?

  3. I don’t know if you saw it, but the rewards structure contains a lot of wording… It looks like the 5% is only for the first $100 (in gas/auto expenses) per period. The 1% is only after the annual purchases exceed $3000.

    I have the CitiBank Drivers edge card that earns 6% for the first year on Gas and Groceries, after which it drops to 3%. It’s only 1% on everything else. On top of this, every time you get service and they track your mileage, you send in a form and get $.01 for every mile you drive. I drove about 3000 miles a month for the past year and was getting about $50 a month that could then be used for auto repair/service.

  4. @Phil, and others: Admittedly, capping the gas rebate at $100 is rather ridiculous considering where prices are now. However, I have a 5-minute commute, so I rarely use that much gas anyway. The $3k annual expenses is not tough to reach if you run all of your utility payments through each month, but again, it is a little bit restrictive. I’ll check out the other cards you have recommended and may wind up canning this one if it isn’t working out for me. Thanks for the recommendations.

  5. I use the Discover Open Road card for my first $100 of gas a month. I then use my Citi Drivers Select card to get 3% back on the rest of my gas (also Drug Stores and Food Stores). The Citi Drivers card also gives you $0.01 for each mile you drive.

    If you’re going to run utility and other bills on the card, you’d be better off with Chase Freedom. 1% on everything. 3% on different categories, including utilities and gas.

  6. I know that studies show people are prone to spend more if they use credit cards but I find it’s the exact opposite for me. I pay the card balance completely every month. Because of this I’m reluctant to spend money on the card that I don’t have to because I know it just adds to the painfully large bill I have to pay at the end of the month. On the other hand if I have cash in my pocket, buying stuff with that doesn’t add to the big end of month bill so I’m more likely to spend the cash.

    They should do a study comparing those who pay their credit card in full each month vs those who do not.

    I have a Chase Freedom rewards card that gives me between 1 and 3% back on purchases depending where they are, or something. It’s not much but it’s something once every 6 months or so I cash in the points for $200 off that end of month bill.

    If you’re trying to get bang for your buck specifically on fuel, I’d look into a rebate card issued by the gas station you use most often. I know Marathon and BP have them. Marathon’s is pretty good (they advertise the price after rebate at the station by my house) it’s usually like 15-20 cents less per gallon than the regular price.

  7. Discovercard has been my only credit card since I was 18 years old. I have always loved the rewards system, but sadly it is not what is used to be. The reward card partners were historically at higher percents then they are now. I used to be able to double my rewards by cashing the rewards through Borders.com. No longer, I can only cash them in at an additional 25%. I started it out under the standard cash rewards that change on the season, but switched to the Open Road. Discover was able to make the switch without running an inquiry on my credit report. I did not see much change in my rewards balance after I switched, but the rewards rate was more predictable.

    Instead of using the cash back award for savings plan or to pay off the balance, I love saving it throughout the year. I then cash the rewards in for gift cards for the holidays. I can increase the value of the rewards up 25% to 100% which I can give directly as gifts or use to buy gifts. It is my holiday spending budget without spending a dime!

  8. I have the same Discover Open Road card and like it; however, I have another gas card as well because of the $100 a month cap. Mine is the Pentagon FCU Platinum Visa–5% rebate on gas unlimited and instantaneous, since it’s deducted every month on your bill. It also offers 2% back on groceries and 1.25% back on everything else. I recommend both, but since I use about $200 a month on gas, I figured I could use more than the Open Road could offer (don’t get me wrong, I like Discover a lot!).

  9. Hi

    I am a big fan of AMEX costco membership card. This rewards 3% on ALL gas purchases irrespective of the location.

    I used to charge my discover card for a very long time but the benefits are not that great as it used to be. Same boat as Betsy i guess …

    KC Desi

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