What are the Best Credit Cards for Gas?

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Save Money at the Pump with these Gas Cards

Save Money at the Pump with these Gas CardsDid you know that the average car uses over 750 gallons of gas each year? When you multiply each of those gallons by our current rate of around $4, you’re talking about a lot of money at the pump! Because of this, it might be time to think about using a gas card. But do they really save you money? Are some better than others? What should you look for?

In general, you want to make sure that whatever card you get meets three criteria: 1) It doesn’t tie you to a single brand of gas. 2) It doesn’t have a spending cap that prevents you from earning benefits after you reach a certain amount. 3) It offers a high rebate. Read on to learn about the best credit cards for gas savings.

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American Express Blue Cash Everyday

Why is this card amazing? First off, it’s completely free. Some other cards offer a higher rebate amount, but this card can be used by anyone who passes the regular credit check. You’ll earn 2 percent back all year at any gas station you use, and there are no caps on rewards, no tiers, and no gimmicks. You’ll even get a bonus of $100 cash if you put a thousand dollars on the card in the first three months. Not bad at all.

Chase Freedom

Another no-fee card, Chase Freedom typically offers only 1 percent back, which doesn’t seem all that great. But it also uses a rotating bonus system where certain items get a 5 percent bonus for an entire quarter. If you’d signed up for this card at the beginning of the year, it would have been a no brainer since gas was at the 5 percent return rate January-March and July-September. Now that the first bonus has passed, it’s not quite as attractive, but you still receive 5 percent back on other items, as well as $200 just for signing up for the card!

Pentagon Federal Platinum Rewards

No, you don’t have to work at the Pentagon to get one – though it does help. This card, hands down, has the highest gas rewards program out there. Cardholders receive 5 percent back on all gas purchases made anywhere on a year-round basis. Why, then, is it not higher on the list? Surprisingly, it’s not because of a fee, although you may have to pay one (just $15!) if you, a relative, or a housemate aren’t directly affiliated with a branch of the U.S. government or military that’s eligible, or if you don’t belong to one of a number of qualifying organizations. No, the far bigger downside of this card for too many of us is that you have to have ridiculously good credit to qualify. People with scores in the high 700s have even reported being denied.

American Express TrueEarnings Costco Card

Once again, the drawback is a potential fee. But this time, the “fee” is tied in to having a Costco membership. Basically, you can only get this card if you are a Costco member, which costs $50 annually. If you’re already a Costco member or have been wanting to join, this is a no-brainer. You get 3 percent back annually on gas purchases up to $3,000, which is a high enough limit for most people. It also offers 2 percent back on travel and restaurants, and 1 percent back on everything else.

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No matter which card you decide to go with, be sure to keep up with any changes in their policies. A few years ago Discover had the most popular gas card, with 5 percent back on all gas purchases. But after gas prices started to soar in 2008, they quickly altered their rewards program to lower the bonus people got. Pay attention, or you could end up losing out.