Citi® Double Cash Card
- $0 sign-up bonus.
- $480 for everyday spend.
Some of the best credit cards for earning rewards for gas are not branded by gas stations. Many credit cards target gas as a high reward earner because they know it is something that many people spend a lot on.
Most use their card at the pump not only to earn gas rewards, but also for the convenience. About two-thirds of Americans use plastic to pay for their gas. Credit card issuers charge merchants swipe fees, so some gas stations may charge slightly less per gallon if you pay with cash. Swipe fees are a percentage of the purchase that the gas station pays on their end.
Although nowadays many gas stations will charge the same price whether you pay with cash or credit, I am pretty sure that many who use cash still believe that it is cheaper. With some easy math, we can see that it’s worth paying a couple more cents per gallon if you are getting at least 3 percent back in rewards.
Most of us have to buy gas, but it can be ongoing battle to keep your fuel budget in check given price fluctuations that can be dictated by the economy, location, season, supply and many other factors. This is why learning how to maximize your rewards will help you tame the gas beast.
Using a credit card can also help you track your gas expenses and see how your spending fluctuates throughout the year, which can help with future budgeting. This can even be independent of changing gas prices. You may, for instance, spend double on gas in the summer compared to the winter. These sorts of spending patterns will probably hold true regardless of gas prices.
Having credit cards that earn good gas rewards that are not branded by specific gas stations allows for more flexibility in terms of where you can buy gas. That can help you get the best gas prices in town while still earning rewards.
Unlimited 1.5X rewards on every purchase offer
The Discover it Miles card is wonderful for two types of people. The first, and most obvious, is for someone looking for a single credit card that’s easy to use and that can do it all. The Discover it Miles card is a great option because it earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and redemptions areone cent per mile toward any purchase. Plus thereare a couple of other nice benefits, like $30 in annual Wi-Fi credits and no foreign transaction fees. As a no-fee card, all of that is essentially free.
The second type of person that the Discover it Miles card is a great option for is someone who is looking to truly maximize rewards. The Discover it is basically a no-brainer for the first year because all miles are doubled , meaning that it effectively earns 3 miles per dollar spent (1.5 when you purchase and 1.5 at the end of the year). After the first year it deserves a spot in the wallet of someone who wants to maximize rewards for purchases not included in the bonus earning categories of their other rewards credit cards.
The Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard is a solid option for someone who’s not too invested in travel rewards and is looking for a no-fuss cashback credit card. You’ll earn $200 just for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and continue to earn 1.5 points on all purchases, no matter the purchase category or time of year.
This is also a good option for those who cannot qualify for a Chase card because they’ve opened five or more credit cards in the last 24 months. If you fall into that camp, the competitive Chase Freedom Unlimited card is out of reach.
You can get excellent value out of ThankYou points, particularly if you transfer them to airlines and redeem for expensive premium cabin tickets. If you are a traveler that often books the cheapest economy class ticket, then there can also be strong value in redeeming points through the ThankYou program’s travel portal thanks to the 25 percent discount offered by this card.
If you are interested in domestic award travel or simple award redemptions, this card may prove to be too complex. Instead, consider cards with more domestic transfer partners. You may not get quite the same value for your points, but there will be more availability and easier redemptions.
If grocery stores and gas stations are your primary spending categories, I recommend giving the Blue Cash Preferred card a chance. Yes, the card charges an annual fee, but the earning potential outweighs the fee substantially as long as you use the card to make purchases in the bonus categories.
You’ll earn $200 for spending just $1,000 in the first few months of account opening, and that cash back can be redeemed for anything any time. That bonus covers the annual fee for two years, essentially giving you a chance to try the card out for free.
Ironically, the major downside is the card is the ease of redemptions. Membership Rewards points earned with most Amex credit card can be transferred to travel partners for a potentially better return on every point, but the points earned with the Blue Cash Card can be used for cash back only. Depending on what your goals are, this card can still offer great value to cardholders.
The Citi Double Cash mostly makes sense under two circumstances. The first is for someone who is seeking simplicity. Since the Double Cash card doesn’t have rotating or any other type of bonus categories to worry about, all you have to do is swipe, pay off your card and reap the benefits!
The second type of person that the Double Cash makes sense for is someone who has a few other rewards cards that cover popular purchase categories, like groceries, gas and travel, but they’re looking for a card for other purchases that otherwise would not earn a bonus. The Double Cash is a great option for that!
Capital One’s Quicksilver card is a great card for earning cash back. If you want to simplify your wallet and you value cash more than miles and points, this is the card for you. Since you can earn 1.5 percent back on every single purchase you make and never pay an annual fee, you can earn some serious cash on everyday purchases, big ticket items, all types of travel or whatever else you choose.
Again, since this card has no annual fee, there’s little downside to the Quicksilver credit card. Yet, it still comes with the elevated MasterCard World Elite protections. As far as travel cards go, this is not a premium card that helps earn status, free checked bags or lounge access, but if you’re an occasional traveler or prefer to fly economy, this card is still a good bet. The cashback you earn can be used toward travel or any other purchase you make. Flexibility makes this a great card.
The Premier Dining Rewards card might be a good option for some people, especially those who eat out often. The ability to earn three percent cash back at restaurants with a no annual fee card is pretty solid. And the fact that it also comes with a decent sign-up bonus makes the deal even sweeter! The card also offers two percent back at grocery stores and one percent back on all other purchases.
The benefit that really puts this cashback card ahead of others is the fact that there is no minimum for your redemptions and you don’t need to redeem for specific purchases. Additionally, no foreign transaction fees are charged on purchases made abroad, which makes this a good card for your wallet while traveling.
Compare all credit cards by RE® Value, which is an estimate of how much you will earn during first year of credit card use minus annual fees.
When comparing credit cards for earning gas rewards, it is important to know that your decision does not have to be final. I often use a mix of rewards credit cards, loyalty programs and gas stations to get the most savings.
Whether you are planning a road trip or just driving to and from work, being rewarded for gas purchases can add immense value to your overall budget. However, it is important to pay attention to credit card spending limits and restrictions, as well as the reward rate for gas and the cash/credit price differences at the pump.
Rewards for gas purchases on credit cards usually fall into one of the following categories: quarterly bonuses, a flat-rate with caps or a flat-rate without caps. The highest earners are typically on cards with quarterly bonuses or rotating categories. They’ll often offer up to 5 percent back if they’re featuring gas.
Then there are flat-rate gas rewards with caps. This is when a card gives you a good reward rate of 3 or 4 percent but limits earning to a certain dollar amount per year. There are also flat-rate rewards without caps, which usually range between 1.5 and 2 percent, but earning is unlimited.
I personally never like to get less than 3 percent back on gas. This is easily done by using a mix of credit cards and then upping the savings even more with loyalty programs. Below are some more tips for getting the most rewards at the pump.
Discover it is among the most popular rotating category cashback cards available, and it sometimes offers a 5 percent return on gas. You can easily turn that into a 10 percent return for gas because the Discover it card gives new cardholders the Double Cashback Bonus for the first year of spending. Chase Freedom also has a 5 percent quarterly spending bonus on gas. You must enroll in the quarterly bonus categories to qualify, though.
Knowing the limits on bonus spending is important as well. If you are receiving bonus gas rewards, it is likely that there will be a cap to the amount of rewards you earn. This is in reference to quarterly bonuses or general spending bonuses. Once I have maxed out my bonus limit on a card, I like to move to another one.
For instance, the Costco Visa gives 4 percent cash back on eligible gas, which is capped at $7,000 per year. After you have reached that limit you will get just 1 percent back on gas. The BankAmericard cash rewards card gives 2 percent at grocery stores and 3 percent on gas, but only up to $1,500 for the combined earning of the two. That will go quickly between both gas and groceries.
Credit cards with quarterly bonuses usually have caps as well. The Chase Freedom caps quarterly spending bonuses at $1,500 per quarter. This amount is usually a combination of spending on whatever is in the category that quarter. This year, for instance, gas and local commuter transportation were lumped together. The Discover it card also has a $1,500 quarterly bonus spending limit.
When you think of saving on gas, you may automatically think of gas credit cards, quarterly bonuses and cashback cards. However, don’t underestimate travel cards. This may sound unconventional, but driving is a major form of traveling too, so they actually go hand in hand.
For example, by using the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express you can earn six Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar on gas, restaurants and supermarkets. Not to mention this card has a 100,000 points sign-up bonus and a free weekend night award after your first year of membership. To get the sign-up bonus you have to spend $3,000 on the card within the first three months.
It is a good idea to double dip whenever possible. As far as gas rewards go, this means joining loyalty programs at gas stations where you may purchase gas and groceries. This is simple, and you can usually join on the spot and they are free. You can get these cards with any type of credit, and they do not require a credit check. They usually require little personal information, but sometimes you can get away with not providing anything at all. Some of may allow you to link a credit card to the loyalty account for easy instant rewards. Many gas stations have an app that will make it easy to earn and redeem points, as well as to keep up with their promotions.
Going out of your way for slightly cheaper gas wastes gas and time. We all know time is money, so you need to use your common sense when it comes to this. However, you don’t always need to gas up at the station nearest to your house either.
Know what you are earning and paying. Keep an eye on fluctuating gas prices. There is plenty of technology out there to help you get the lowest prices. Apps like Gas Buddy allow you to easily find the lowest gas prices near you. You can also find which gas stations charge the same for credit purchases as they do for cash.
Using a gas loyalty program in conjunction with your rewards credit card is known as double dipping. It is a quick and easy way to increase your gas rewards. You can get rewarded on two sides of the equation from both the gas station loyalty program and your credit card.
If your gas loyalty program is associated with other outlets, become familiar with them and use the loyalty card everywhere it is accepted. For instance, the Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, which is the reward earner for Exxon and Mobil, can also be used at several other stores, such as Macy’s and Rite Aid.
Trust me, these points add up fast. These cards don’t require a credit check, and you can get them with any type of credit. You can usually get them on the spot at the gas station or by downloading an app. Many of them require little or no personal information.
Although this chain isn’t as widespread as some of the better known national brands, its loyalty program is very rewarding and popular. Cardholders will earn 20 points per dollar on purchases made in the store and 10 points per gallon of gas. Points can be redeemed for free items, for coupons via the mobile app or the in-store kiosk or for purchases from the Speedy Rewards online store.
If you want to cash these rewards in for gas, you can either get a $10 Speedy gift card for 10,450 points or redeem for coupons toward gas discounts. A 50 cent per gallon discount would cost 8,750 points and is good for one tank filling of up to 25 gallons.
Being a member of this program will allow you to save at least five cents per gallon with Gold status. You may also earn gas rewards for shopping at certain retailers, restaurants, supermarkets and more. You can get a 10 cent per gallon discount after spending $50 on dining at over 11,000 restaurants, bars and clubs. Save five cents a gallon for every $50 spent on travel, including airfare, hotels, rental cars and vacations. Get another five cents off per gallon for every $50 spent shopping online.
There are also other special card-linked offers that allow you to get five cents off per gallon. Paying with a linked MasterCard can help you get additional savings, too. You can easily redeem your rewards by swiping the Fuel Rewards card when making your gas purchase.
This rewards program allows members to earn 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 spent on BP fuel. I love this program because you can link your BP Driver Rewards account to your rewards credit card. With this card, you can get up to $600 a year in savings.
You must provide a valid e-mail address to sign up for this rewards program. This will also allow you to receive information on promotions and keep up with the status of your account. To receive your savings, you can enter your mobile phone number linked to your account. Simply press the cancel key, enter your phone number then press the enter key and follow the prompts on the screen. If you have a credit card linked to your account, you’ll automatically receive your rewards when you swipe it at a BP pump.
Exxon and Mobil are a part of the Plenti rewards program. This program works with several partners and the rewards can be earned and redeemed at any of them. Plenti partners include Macy’s, Rite Aid and more.
There are also additional opportunities to acquire points quickly on promotions offered by their partner stores. Members will get one point for every gallon of fuel purchased and two points for every dollar in other eligible purchases. To get these rewards you can simply swipe at the pump or enter the telephone number attached to your Plenti rewards card.
This is a loyalty program by Safeway and allows you to earn and redeem at several gas stations. You can earn up to 20 cents off per gallon at Sunoco or up to a dollar off per gallon at Safeway gas stations. Participating stores under the Safeway umbrella include Carrs, Tom Thumb, Randall’s, Vons and Albertsons gas stations.
Members will earn one point for every dollar spent on groceries and pharmacy items and two points for every dollar spent on qualifying gift cards. When you redeem your rewards, you can get between 10 cents and up to a dollar off per gallon of gas. Spending $100 will get you 10 cents per gallon savings, $200 gets 20 cents off per gallon and $1,000 can get a dollar off per gallon. The dollar discount is only redeemable at Safeway fuel stations.
As a member of Club Citgo, you can receive discounts and promotions. This program runs random check-in promotions. With these promotions, you may get a notification that says, “check-in today and receive $5 off gas and food or $2 off Tri-Clean gas.”
Members earn 10 points per gallon or 20 points for every dollar spent on eligible products. You can trade 2,000 points for an equivalent of $2. You can sign up for this program online or use the mobile app. This program is very straightforward and extremely easy to use. With your membership, you also get access to offers and promotions, as well as the ability to enter sweepstakes.
This loyalty program is good for use at both Fred Meyers and Kroger. For every $100 spent, you can get 10 cents off per gallon for up to 35 gallons. These points expire monthly, so don’t hold onto them. It is easy for your rewards to add up as the spending isn’t only on gas. This discount is applied based on what you spend on groceries as well as gas. The savings can add up fast. You can save $1.25 per gallon if you have 1,000 points to cash in.