Finding the Top Gas Reward Cards
With gas prices skyrocketing by the minute, many consumers today are desperately searching for gas reward credit cards. With numerous credit cards offering gas rewards, but the question begs ... which card offer is the top one to go with?
Understanding Gas Cards
Well, you should first know how gas reward credit cards work. Gas rebate cards allow cardholders to receive a specified percentage of the amount he or she spends on gas for each month using the card. It works in the same way as cash-back rebate cards with one important exception: compared to cash-back credit cards that send out rebate checks yearly, a gas rebate is usually applied every month. This makes extra savings easier to feel and see for consumers.
The rebate percentages you earn vary depending on individual offers, ranging from 1 to 6% with an average of right around 3%. Most gas reward credit cards feature a higher "teaser" intro rate that eventually drops back down to a lower amount.
Many major oil & gas companies offer gas rebate cards, which are only accepted at their own franchise locations, as a method to capture more business. For consumers who are loyal to a particular gas company, this option may suit them perfectly. For consumers who always shop around for the lowest gas prices, however, this option may be an inconvenience and a waste of rewards.
General Credit Cards
Today, most general credit cards offer gas rebate rewards, which can be accumulated with all kinds of gas purchases from any company. Most of these major credit cards offer a gas rebate percentage on top of a lower rebate percentage for other general purchases. For consumers who wish to cut down their number of credit cards, these kinds of cards are becoming an attractive option.
The gas rebates are usually delivered by way of a credit to your account, gift cards, or free gasoline, during the end of each billing cycle. Since rebates largely depend on the credit card or oil company that issues it, make sure to shop around and research the type of rebate issued to ensure it is appropriate for your needs. In choosing the best gas reward credit card to suit your lifestyle, you should consider the following factors:
Does the Card Offer Value?
Compared to other reward cards, a gas rebate card has few strings attached and offers substantial savings. Let's look at one example. If John has a credit score of over 700 and he fills up his tank twice a month, his gas rebate card can be a real attractive proposition. Since his gas rebate card offers him up to 5% rebate on his purchase, he could save up to $2 for every gas fill up, which could amount up to $100 savings for an entire year.
Exclusive or General Use Card?
There are two kinds of gas rebate cards. When a certain gas company card offers a rebate, which can only be used for their gas franchise locations, this is an exclusive credit card. On the other hand, general-use gas rebates are offered by major credit cards in partnership with a range of oil companies.
For those loyal to a specific gas brand, it is recommended that you apply for an exclusive gas-rebate card to maximize its benefits. If you typically shop around for low gas prices and want flexibility with your rebate card, the general-use gas rebate card would be the obvious choice.
Be Aware of the Fine Print
Be aware that the average interest rate of gas reward cards is anywhere from as low as 14% to as high as 24% (or higher in some instances), which varies depending on personal credit history. In order to maximize the benefits of a gas reward credit card, or any reward credit card for that matter, make sure that you pay your balance in full every month. Otherwise, finance and interest charges that you incur from carrying a card balance will more than wipeout any rebates that you might get from the card.
Moreover, don't forget to read the fine print. Although a gas reward credit card can help in saving money, it could still have possible restrictions that may add to your financial problems. Along with details about fees and penalties, the fine print usually details the maximum rebate limit that you can gain in a given year, which typically ranges anywhere from $300 to $600.
In looking for the best gas reward credit card, try to negotiate a lower ongoing APR with the card issuer or even a higher rebate limit. Remember that credit card companies spend about $200 to advertise for every new customer gained. By understanding this and asking for more competitive features on the card, the best gas reward credit cards will help you save on gas as well as allow you to enjoy favorable card features comparable to other similar card offers.
Looking for more information on gas reward credit cards? We've provided more articles, tips, advice and resources on reward credit card offers below:
- Do Airline Credit Cards Offer Value? - Airline cards offer a wide variety of rewards programs, designed to appeal to consumers. However, without a clear understanding of the real-world value of air miles reward "points", consumers may find themselves dissatisfied. So before applying, consumers should take a detailed look at the sometimes-complicated real-world value of their particular "points" system...
- Making the Most of Your Miles Credit Cards - Miles card users may be frustrated with their existing card but frequent travelers can learn how to make the most out their miles credit cards.