Top Gas Rewards Credit Cards in 2020

Top Gas Rewards Credit Cards in 2020

December 23, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

LowCards is a Citi partner. These offers, valid when the article was written, may have expired. View our full editorial disclaimer here.

Whenever you stop to fuel up your car, you probably see an ad at the pump offering a gas credit card. If the price per gallon is particularly high, you may be tempted to fill out the application right on the spot. However, it is important to research the different gas credit cards before you apply. Whenever you fill out an application for a card, the issuer will make a hard pull on your credit, and if you have too many of these in a short period of time, your credit score will suffer.

A majority of credit cards come with some type of rewards, and this can earn the cardholder some significant amounts of cash if used properly. Smart credit cardholders analyze their spending patterns to determine the card they need in order to maximize their earnings. If you find that you drive quite a bit, a gas rewards card may be a good fit for you.

How Do They Work?

It seems gas prices fluctuate from year to year with some years experiencing high prices while others not so much. If gas prices or high or you simply drive more than the average person you may have thought about getting a gas rewards credit card. You may be wondering how they work.

In short, gas station credit cards offer you rewards—usually in the form of a statement credit—on your fuel purchases. Every time you fuel up, your card issuer will give back a certain amount in points, cash back, or in another form of reward.

The advantage of many credit cards offered through gas stations is they often carry no annual fee—unlike airline credit cards—and you can qualify for a card with less-than-stellar credit. Since you can have fair credit and still be approved for a card, gas station credit cards could be an excellent way to build or rebuild your credit. You are only using the card for a purchase you would make anyway—filling up your tank. Thus, as long as you pay off the balance each month, you will be building a positive credit history without accumulating a lot of debt.

The downside of a gas station credit card is they can only be used at certain gas stations. For instance, you can only use your Shell card at Shell stations. If you do not have a Shell station nearby, the card will not do you much good.

There are, however, more traditional credit cards that also offer fuel rewards. Cards not affiliated with a particular gas station work slightly differently. Instead of receiving pennies off your fill-up, you will receive a percentage of the amount you spend back or points that can be spent on everything from products to airline miles to statement credits. For example, the Citi Premier℠ card offers 3X points on travel, which includes purchases at gas stations as well as 2X points on dining out and entertainment.

Before applying for a gas rewards card, make sure you read the fine print. While these types of cards rarely carry an annual fee, make sure the card for which you are applying does not. After all, a hefty annual fee will eat up any gas savings you may be enjoying.

You will also want to make sure the APR is similar to the interest rate you will be offered on other cards. If the gas rewards credit card is charging a high interest rate, you may be better off with a more traditional credit card that offers a lower interest rate—even if you are not enjoying cash back rewards on fuel. This is especially important if you will carry a balance each month.

Different Types of Gas Credit Cards

Gasoline Company Credit Cards
Credit cards issued by specific gas companies like BP/Amoco, Shell, and Texaco offer large discounts for gas purchased from their stations. However, these cards typically have a much higher APR than bank-issued cards. Pay attention to the details of the offer because some companies give attractive incentives for the first few months, then change to a much lower rebate. Offers vary by card so read the fine print to see if the incentive is cash back or fuel credits. Some companies will credit your account monthly, but some only redeem annually.

Gasoline Rewards from Credit Card Companies
Gasoline rewards from cards issued by credit card companies usually offer a wider range of benefits. These cards don’t require purchases at a specific gas station, and give cash back on purchases other than gasoline. But these cards usually have some confusing terms and conditions that should be understood before applying for the card.

Some cards offer rotating programs that give higher gas rewards for only a specific time during the year. The rewards rotate by quarter and enrollment is not automatic. Many of these programs require you to sign up each quarter to receive the rewards, making rotating rewards programs harder to navigate.

A number of programs have a maximum benefit amount that you can earn per billing cycle. They may also have purchasing tiers, and full benefits may not begin until you reach the designated spending limit; rewards are smaller until you reach the tier.

Most cards advertise that rewards don’t expire, but rewards can be forfeited for late payments, inactive accounts or closed accounts. Some redemptions aren’t available until they reach a specified reward amount.

General Cash Back Credit Cards

You may find that a general cash back credit card works best for you. Many offer a percentage of your spending in all categories, including gas. You might be better off getting a card that offers 2% cash back for all purchases than one that may offer 3% cash back specifically for gas purchases. You will need to assess your own specific needs to determine which type of card is best for your spending habits.

Things to Consider With Gas Rewards Cards

Cash rebates on gas credit cards can actually add up to some significant savings. Some issuers give up to 5% cash back on your purchases, so it can be financially prudent to use these cards. But there are several pitfalls that consumers need to know before applying for these cards.

The most important tip for consumers is to read the Terms and Conditions of any credit card you might be considering.

Credit card issuers are brilliant marketers and can make any card sound very appealing. Many cards that advertise outstanding rebates for gas actually have “teaser” amounts that are only good for a short period of time. Others have a limitation on the amount of cash you will actually receive. Still other cards don’t begin the significant rebate until you have made a certain amount of purchases on that card. It is important to read the fine print to understand what your rebate will actually be.

Most credit cards also have restrictions on where you buy gas to qualify for the rebate. In most cases, gas must be purchased at an eligible gas station. These are typically defined as stand-alone gas stations and not gas pumps at discount stores or warehouse clubs.

If you do a significant amount of driving, you may want to have a credit card that has a good payout on gas purchases. Here are some of the top credit cards with gas rewards:

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers a wonderful 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases worldwide, including gas purchased at Costco. These rewards apply to your first $7,000 spent on gas purchases made each year, and you’ll receive 1% cash back on all additional gas. In addition, 3% cash back is earned on all restaurant and eligible travel purchases worldwide, and 2% cash back from all Costco and Costco.com purchases. 1% cash back is earned on all other purchases. Rewards are earned in the form of a coupon that cardholders receive once a year in February, so long as their account is open and in good standing. The coupon can be redeemed at any Costco store by the end of the year for merchandise or cash. The standard variable interest rate of 15.24% (Variable). There is no annual fee for this card with your paid Costco membership, and no foreign transaction fee.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer offers you the chance to earn cash back twice, once when you make a purchase and again when you pay. You earn 1% cash back on all purchases at the time of the transaction and another 1% when payment is made for a total of 2% cash back. This card also offers 18 months of 0% APR introductory financing on balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. The balance transfer has to be made in the first four months of being a cardholder. Once the promotional financing rate expires, a standard interest rate of 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) will apply to the remaining balance, which is a variable rate based on the Prime Rate.

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

The Citi Rewards+℠ Card is a unique rewards card. Citi rounds up the ThankYou points earned with each purchase to the nearest 10. For instance, if a purchase qualifies for 15 ThankYou Points, that reward will be rounded up to 20 points. This occurs for every transaction, no matter how small. The card features a 15,000 ThankYou Point sign-up bonus. To earn the extra rewards, cardholders must spend $1,000 on the card during the first three months of card membership. The card earns two points per $1 spent at gas stations and supermarkets, for the first $6,000 in annual purchases made in those categories. All other transactions earn one point per $1. Cardholders will also get back 10% of their rewards on the first 100,000 points they redeem each year. The Citi Rewards+℠ Card has an introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers of 0% for the first 15 months but the balance transfer has to be made within the first four months of being a cardholder. The standard APR is 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable), depending on credit worthiness. There is no annual fee on this card.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers customers the same rewards on all purchases with no limits, 1.5% cash back. Rewards never expire, and you can redeem your rewards in any amount and at any time. New applicants also receive a $150 cash bonus when they use their card to spend $500 on new purchases within the first three months of account opening. This card also offers new applicants 15 months of 0% APR promotional financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. After the promotional financing period expires, the standard interest rate of 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable) for purchases will apply, and the rate you receive will be based on your creditworthiness when you applied.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of December 23, 2019. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.