Credit cards make it simpler and more convenient for so many of our financial lives. We use them to pay for food, retail items, and online orders, and once the bill arrives in our mailboxes (or email inboxes), payment is not due.
With the added bonus of helping us win incentives and discounts on our purchases of gasoline, gas credit cards can be very beneficial. However, it is essential to remember that two different card types fall under this category.
General credit cards that include bonus rewards points on purchasing gas stations and branded store cards can only be used at unique gas stations. Let’s look at the benefits of loyalty cards for gas.
Overview: How Do Gas Rewards Cards Work?
The best rewards schemes for gas stations are related to a particular gas brand, but you can take advantage of the rewards at any of their locations.
Some gas rewards systems encourage you to rack up rewards points that you can redeem for free goods or gas, while others instead concentrate on providing gas discounts.
Since gas incentives are free to join, you really have nothing to lose by signing up. Your best bet is to find out the gas station brand you use the most and then sign up for their rewards so that you can start earning benefits.
Also, bear in mind that you can participate in more than one gas incentive program, and if you spend a lot on gas but you don’t always fuel up at the same spot, you certainly should.
Rewards with Cashbacks
Not surprisingly, a part of that will be liked by credit card issuers, and many give deals for you to use their card at the pump. Many of the loyalty cards provided by central banks, for example, and bearing the famous Mastercard and Visa logos, now offer cashback on fuel.
In fact, they will always give you more cashback on your gas purchases, usually 2 or 3%, than on the other products you buy, which may be limited to 1%. The value of these kinds of loyalty cards is that you will get cashback on all sorts of transactions, not just fuel. Also, you’re not exclusive to a single gas brand.
Sign Up Bonuses
When you satisfy a minimum spending requirement within a few months, most credit cards that offer discounts on gas purchases also give you a significant sign-up bonus. Such sign-up incentives will significantly increase the flow of your rewards in the first year.
Other Spending Rewards
Some gas credit cards offer rebates on purchases of gas made within their gas station brand. These discounts will help you save a considerable amount of fuel, which is probably why you’re considering a gas credit card in the first place.
While some gas station credit cards are “store credit cards” that can only be used nationally at a particular brand of gas stations, others are traditional credit cards that allow you to pay for transactions anywhere they are accepted.
This ensures that you can receive discounts on gas purchases and other purchases you make elsewhere with your credit card.
How to Choose
For most buyers, the general loyalty cards will usually be a great deal as they offer cashback at several locations, including the gas station. Plus, they seem to have more generosity.
On a $3 gallon of gas, a rewards card that provides 3% cashback on fuel can return 9 cents, while the oil company card will cost either 5 or 6 cents a gallon.
Find out which gas brand you get the most from. The most important thing to consider is the type of gas stations you fill-up at, the most. Maybe one gas station near your home appears to have the lowest gas prices over time, or perhaps at a gas station close to work.
Whatever the case, if you pick a gas rewards program from a brand you can use, you’ll receive more rewards over time.
Read the fine print, no matter which sort of gas card you want. For example, some cards will restrict your discount to a certain amount of gallons, making them less desirable if you purchase a lot of gas. Also, keep in mind that your interest payments will quickly wipe out any money you save on gas if you don’t pay off your balance each month, and then some.
Finally, remember that not using a credit card might be the best way to save on gas. If you pay with cash instead, some stations will give you an even more significant discount.