Should I Apply for a Gas Station Credit Card?

Should I Apply for a Gas Station Credit Card?

February 19, 2018         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.

In a recent study, Scientific American found that drivers in the United States had driven 3.15 trillion miles in 2015, which is equal to “around 337 round trips from Earth to Pluto.”

If you are one of these drivers, you have likely seen offers for gas station credit cards and wondered if it would be worth applying. There are a number of benefits to owning a gas station credit card, but you will want to weigh the pros and cons before opening an account.

Enjoy Discounted Fuel and Other Rewards

Gas station credit cards often offer you discounts or cash back when you buy fuel or other items.

Build or Rebuild Your Credit

If you have less-than-stellar credit, you may have a difficult time qualifying for a rewards credit card. However, store-branded credit cards, including gas station cards, are easier to get. While they generally carry a very high interest rate, if you use them intelligently, you may be able to build or rebuild your credit.

To improve your credit, charge your fuel to your gas station credit card and then pay off the balance in full, on time every month. After a year of doing this, your credit will likely have increased enough to obtain an even better rewards credit card.

Low Limit = Little Trouble

Since gas station credit cards generally have low limits and can only be used at specific filling stations, it is unlikely that you will rack up debt that you’re unable to pay back. This means you will be able to build your credit with minimal risk. Additionally, since you should have room in your budget for weekly fuel costs, you will be using the credit card for an expense for which you have already planned.

Con: You May Earn Better Rewards with Another Credit Card

If you already have excellent credit, you may be better off with a cash back credit card than a gas station credit card. If, for example, your rewards credit card offers 3% back on gas purchases, you’ll earn 9 cents when gas costs $3 per gallon, which is better than the 5 or 6 cents offered on a gas station credit card. Additionally, with a general rewards credit card, you will not be limited to making purchases at specific gas stations.

Things to Consider

Before applying for a card, make sure you are choosing one with no annual fee. You will also want to make sure the credit card issuer reports information to the three credit bureaus. Nearly all do, but it is worth checking, especially if you want to use the card to improve your credit. Finally, choose a card from a gas station where you regularly fill-up. If a company is offering an attractive deal, but there is no station near you, the card will be of little use.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 19, 2018. 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.

Review LowCards.com Editor’s Top Cards!

2020 Top Credit Cards by Category
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: All credit types welcome to apply!

Featured Low Interest Card
ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard®
EDITOR RATING
Featured Low Interest Card
ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard®

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No annual fee; $150 statement credit after spending $1,200 in first 90 days; 0% on Purchases for 12 months

Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Reports to all three credit bureaus, perfect credit not required for approval

Featured Good Credit Card
Petal® Visa® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Good Credit Card
Petal® Visa® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No fees whatsoever. No late fee, international fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee


bill-hardekopf

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.