With gas prices pushing four dollars a gallon nationwide, many credit card providers have started to offer gas rebate bonuses on their reward credit cards as an incentive to open an account. While these gas rebate cards are a great way to start saving some money at the pump, the terms and conditions of their bonuses vary so much that it’s important to know what you’re getting into before opening an account.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about signing up for a gas rebate card:
How Frequently Do You Use Your Card?
Many of the gas rebates that creditors offer depend on how frequently you use your card for other transactions. While nearly every rewards card offers a 5% rebate on gas until a spending limit is reached, some cards – like the Chase Freedom and the Discover More – alternate their rebate percentages between 1% and 5% on a monthly basis. If you’d prefer a consistent discount, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card would be a better bet.
Where Do You Buy Your Gas?
Believe it or not, where you buy your gasoline can have a significant impact on the rebate you receive. Cards that offer concrete rebate percentages like the Blue Cash Everyday tend to distinguish between standalone gas stations and filling stations offered by wholesalers like Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. As a result, people who don’t find themselves at a standard station regularly would be better off with a card that doesn’t make these kinds of distinctions. The Chase Freedom card is just one example.
Do You Only Buy Gas at the Station?
While some gas rebate cards will cut their discounts on gas pumped at a wholesaler, others give universal discounts for any purchases made at a standalone station. If you like to pick up a cup of coffee or a pack of gum while your car is filling up, you should consider the Citi ThankYou Preferred Rewards Card. You’ll get five points for every dollar you spend at any gas station for the first year, and after that you’ll receive a point per dollar.
The key to reaping the rewards of gas rebate credit cards is to pay off your balance every month. While these cards all have different terms and conditions, the one thing they have in common is that failing to pay your bill in full and on time will void your ability to earn rewards. However, as long as you’re a responsible consumer, these credit cards are an excellent way to save some money on a purchase many Americans have to make every week.
Come back tomorrow for even more tips, tricks and news from the world of credit cards.