There are so many credit cards out there, and choosing the credit card that is best for your spending habits can be a real challenge. There is one of the areas that consumers explore most closely in making their determination. It is the type of rewards that they may earn on their purchases with a credit card.
Rewards programs have become the hottest perk in the industry. That is because consumers can earn points, miles, and cash back on their purchases with that credit card. No, this is not a new idea in attracting potential cardholders to an issuer’s card. Instead, it is grown into a lucrative proposition for both credit card issuers and the buying public.
After all, people love getting rewarded just for making purchases on the things they have already planned on buying. Yet, with a credit card letting you earn rewards on those transactions, are able to get a percentage of your spend reimbursed. Thus, it ends up being less expensive to buy certain items over time.
There are other great rewards programs. These include points and airline miles let you apply those earned rewards towards travel and future purchases. Some offer prizes from the issuing company’s catalog. There are many others, as well. Nowadays your credit card may not be giving you something back for using it. In that case, you’re probably using the wrong credit card.
However, earning those rewards does come with some rules and restrictions. With most of these credit cards, you receive the maximum amount of points or a cash back percentage. That is achieved when you make purchases within a certain category. The most popular of these include department stores, restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations. It is the latter of these that we will focus on in this article. Here we spotlight the seven best credit cards that offer the highest rewards on purchases.
Picking Your Credit Card
Perhaps the majority of your credit card purchases take place at gas stations. Then, you’re obviously going to want a credit card that rewards you the most for those purchases. Many people make a living behind the wheel or travel by car for business.
They are going to be in the market for a credit card that offers the highest points perks in the gas station category. That way they actually save money on gas with the right credit card. Luckily, there are plenty of credit cards to choose from. When you start comparison shopping you will want to check the ways you can benefit from purchases.
First and foremost, start with the annual percentage rate (APR). See how much you could be charged in interest for carrying a balance on the credit card. The higher it is, the more you could be paying each month. You want to be careful not to saddle yourself with paying off credit card debt for years to come due to a rate that is too high.
When it comes to the APR, many rewards credit cards will offer an introductory 0% APR. This can last for as little as six months to as long as a year or more in some cases. We’re talking about rewards for buying gas. Thus, you will also want to check out how you can redeem those rewards. Do you get cash back for your rewards and in what form? Is that money deposited into your checking account?
Is it applied to your credit card statement each month? If you receive points or miles, how are those redeemed? Are there minimums on each redemption and, if so, how many do you need to accrue before they can be redeemed?
Fees are also a big concern. That is because some credit cards come with an annual fee. This is certainly less preferable to a credit card that does not cost you anything to own it. There are also fees for a variety of other transactions. These include balance transfers, cash advances, and foreign transactions, among others. It is smart to get an idea of what you could be paying when you use the credit card in specific instances. Therefore, there are no surprises later.
Finally, many there are many really good rewards credit cards. They come with certain approval criteria. This could make it tough for consumers without good or excellent credit. Be sure you have a credit score high enough for you to meet the issuers’ standards. Otherwise, you will be putting a hard inquiry on your credit report for no good reason. Then, you will get denied.
Credit Cards vs. Gas Cards
Maybe you are in the market for a credit card providing real savings on your gas purchases. Thus, your choices range from credit cards like MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. These offer rewards programs and credit cards that are issued in conjunction with any of the major gas stations. This facet of comparison shopping might seem worth your time.
Conversely, there is one major distinction between the two that should play a large role in your decision. Keep one of the major credit cards in your wallet. It allows you to enjoy the benefit of savings and rewards when shopping at every gas station. Let’s say you have one gasoline company’s credit card in your wallet. In that case, you can really only enjoy the benefits when shopping at that particular company.
Therefore, perhaps you own a credit card issued by Shell or Texaco (or even a Visa branded with a certain company such as BP). They only allow you to get the most rewards when you shop at that company’s stations. Do not expect to get a significant reward at an Exxon with a credit card that has a competitor’s branding on it.
In some cases, you are loyal to one gas station and shop there almost exclusively. That company’s credit card may still not be as rewarding as one of the rewards credit cards on our list. Therefore, keep that in mind, we have not included any of the various gas station credit cards on this list. Maybe you’re looking for a Sunoco Gas Card review. You will have to look elsewhere. We’ve determined it wouldn’t provide you with the best benefits for savings and rewards on your purchases.
Now, without further ado, the best seven gas credit cards available on the market right now:
1. Citi ThankYou Premier Credit Card
Citi’s credit card is one of the better travel rewards out there at the moment. For the purposes of our list, it is an ideal choice for consumers looking to benefit from gas purchases. However, if you make a lot of purchases on airfare and hotels you can also reap big rewards on your spending.
The ThankYou Premier Card works on a points system. Thus, you can earn a certain amount of points for every dollar you spend. The credit card is part of this list. That means gas purchases can yield the highest benefits. That includes purchases made at the pump as well as inside the store. Therefore, if you need to fill up and grab a coffee or some snacks for that road trip, you can get 3x the points.
- Rewards: Earn three points for every dollar you spend on travel, including gas, airfare, hotels and rental cars. Gas station purchases made at the pump and in stores are eligible at any location in the United States. Two points are earned on each dollar for purchases made at restaurants and other entertainment transactions. One point per dollar on all other purchases.
- Redemption: You can redeem your Citi points through the company’s ThankYou portal. It offers purchase options on booking travel reservations, gift cards, electronics, and clothing. You can even apply them to paying your bill each month. There are flexible minimums dependent upon the form of redemption you choose.
- Fees: $95 annual fee which is waived in your first year. No foreign transaction fees. Late payments and returned payment fees $35. Balance transfer fees are $5 or 3%, whichever is higher. Cash advance fees are $10 or 5%, whichever is higher.
- APR: Purchase and balance transfer APR is a variable rate from 14.24% and 23.24%. It depends on factors such as current rates and cardholder creditworthiness. Cash advance APR is 25.49%, penalty APR is 29.99%.
- Sign-Up Bonus: None.
2. Discover IT
This credit card has become incredibly popular with consumers. That is because of the cash back you can earn on a variety of purchases. The categories that can earn you the most on your rewards changes every quarter. One of these rewards is gas purchases. When that category becomes active, you can get up to 5% back up to a maximum of $1500. Though, there are some months when gas purchases are not the featured transaction for the most potential earnings.
You can still claim 1% on all gas transactions. The credit card also comes with good fraud protection including the company’s “Freeze IT” feature. This lets you turn the credit card “off” in the event it is lost or stolen. If you merely misplaced it or left it at the bar and you retrieve it, you can turn it back “on” again. That way no one can use the credit card until it is in your possession once more.
- Rewards: 5% cash back on qualifying purchases. There is a maximum of $1500 per quarter in rotating categories. This includes gas purchases. Categories switch each quarter. All other purchases yield 1% unlimited cash back.
- Redemption: You can redeem your rewards at any time for any amount. Redemptions can be received in the form of a check, direct deposit, or a credit toward your statement, or credit on Amazon.com
- Fees: $0 annual fee. $0 foreign transaction fee. 3% balance transfer fee after 12 months.
- APR: 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for one year. Then, it rises to an 11.24%-23.24% variable based on your credit score.
- Sign-Up Bonus: Discover will match all cash back rewards that are earned in your first year for double the earnings.
This credit card from Chase works in a similar fashion as the Discover IT credit card above. The categories rotate every quarter. Gas purchases are among those that can bring you big rewards. You can get up to 5% cash back as a matter of fact. When another category is eligible for additional earnings, you can still get 1% back on your gas station spend.
That is in addition to all other purchases. There are no restrictions other than the cap of $1,500 in spend per quarter. However, you must opt-in for getting increased cash back quarterly. Another great thing about this credit card is that you do not need excellent credit in order to be approved.
- Rewards: 5% back on combined purchases in that the qualifying category for that quarter up to $1,500 in spend. 1% on all other purchases. Cardholder must opt in for maximum rewards at the start of each quarter.
- Redemption: Chase lets you redeem through the use of Rewards Points. You get one dollar for every five points that are earned. Plus, you can begin claiming your redemption at a minimum of 2,000 points. You can take a direct deposit, credits toward your statement, gift cards. Similarly, the points can be used toward purchases.
- Fees: $0 annual fee. 5% balance transfer fee after 15 months. 3% foreign transaction fee.
- APR: 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for an initial 15 month period. From there, it increases to a variable rate of 14.24%, 19.24%, or 23.24%
- Sign-Up Bonus: Chase offers two ways to earn your bonus. You can get a $150 bonus after spending $500 on 90 days. Additionally, after signing up and Chase will give you $25 if you add another authorized user to your account. You must make your first purchase during that same 90 days.
4. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred is the perfect credit card for anyone who spends a lot of money on groceries and gas purchases. That is because you can earn 6% and 3% respectively on all of those transactions. American Express also puts an annual limit on the amount of spend.
Thus, you can earn your rewards, coming in at $6,000 but only at supermarkets. That breaks down to $500 per month. It is about equal to the limit imposed on the Chase Freedom card. However, unlike the Freedom, this American Express card comes with an annual fee.
- Rewards: 3% back on all purchases made at gas stations as well as certain department stores. There is no spending limit applied on these transactions, making it a great credit card for consumers looking to get the most for gas. 6% at supermarkets but that comes with an annual $6,000 limit. 1% on all other purchases and supermarkets after $6,000 threshold has been surpassed.
- Redemption: You can only redeem your rewards for credit toward your statement.
- Fees: $75 annual fee. 3% balance transfer fee. 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
- APR: 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first year. After that, your rate rises to a variable of 13.24%Â to 23.24% based on credit score and other determinants.
- Sign-Up Bonus: You can earn up to $350 in a combination of ways. Earn $150 after spending $1,000 in the first three months of card ownership and 10% cash back up to $200 on purchases made with certain wireless cell phone partner companies.
5. BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bank of America customers can really clean up with this credit card. It makes purchases at gas stations and grocery stores the most valuable for earning rewards. Yet, you do not have to be a BofA customer to benefit from this credit card. All you need to do is sign up. Once you’re approved you will have ninety days to spend $500 to earn a bonus of $100 in online cash rewards. You will not have to pay an annual fee with this credit card either.
- Rewards: 3% rewards at gas stations, 2% at supermarkets. There is a spending limit of up to $1,500 on combined purchases in each category. Unlimited 1% rewards on all other purchases.
- Redemption: You can redeem your rewards for cold hard cash. Additionally, if you are a Bank of America customers you have the opportunity to earn an extra 10% on those rewards when your money is deposited into a BofA checking or savings account.
- Fees: $0 annual fee. 3% balance transfer fee.
- APR: 0% Introductory APR on purchases for the first year. 0% APR rate on balance transfers made within the first 60 days of ownership. APR increases to a variable rate of 13.24% to 23.24% based on credit.
- Sign-Up Bonus: BankAmericard offers $100 in online cash rewards after the first $500 spent within the first three months.
6. Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
The second credit card from Chase is on our list. This business credit card gives the most rewards on gas purchases. The annual spending limit caters to those business owners and managers who are always filling up. Restaurant purchases earn you significant rewards as well as purchases made on office supplies and communications. There’s even a generous signing bonus. Unlike many other credit cards designed for business users, there is no annual fee.
- Rewards: 2% cash back rewards on gas stations and restaurants with a $25,000 annual spending limit. 5% back on multiple other categories from office supplies to communications purchases.
- Redemption: Chase offers redemption options through direct deposit, check, credit toward your statement, or Ultimate Rewards purchases. Redeeming your rewards comes with a $20 minimum.
- Fees: No annual fee. 3% fee on foreign transactions. The higher of $5 or 5% on balance transfers. The higher of $15 or 5% on cash advances. Late payments of $15 to $39 based on your balance.
- APR: 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for your first year. After that period, the rate increases to a variable 13.74% to 19.74%, based on current rates. 25.49% APR on cash advances.
- Sign-Up Bonus: $300 bonus cash back on $3,000 in eligible purchases over the initial three months of card ownership.
This credit card is issued by the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. Conversely, it is unlike the Navy Federal Credit Union. That is because you do not have to be a member of the Armed Forces or be employed by the Pentagon to own the credit card. Join the Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Families Association to be eligible for a PenFed account.
As for the rewards you can earn, you will get unlimited 3% cash back when you run the card at the pump. Though, you will not get the cash back if you make purchases in the store. However, all gas stations in the United States will let you earn your rewards when you fill up. That is it. This credit card is ONLY for gas station rewards.
- Rewards: 3% cash back at all U.S. gas stations when you run the card at the pump. There are no spending limits or earning caps.
- Redemption: You may only redeem your rewards as a credit toward your monthly statement. No minimums for redemption.
- Fees: No annual fee during the initial year, then $25 each following year. No fees for cash advances or foreign transactions. 3% fee on balance transfers. $10 to $25 late payment fees.
- APR: 0% introductory APR on balance transfers only for one year, not applicable for purchases or cash advances. After the initial introductory period, APR raises to 10.24% to 17.99% on all transactions.
The penalty APR is 17.99%.
- Sign-Up Bonus: $100 credit towards your statement after spending $1,500 in the first three months of credit card ownership.
Our Final Thoughts
Consumers and business owners rely heavily on their automobiles. This means making frequent gas purchases throughout the year. That is why one of the most popular categories for earning credit card rewards is gas station transactions. Do you find yourself pulling up to the pump on a routine basis? In that case, applying for one of the options on our list may be a wise decision.
Yet, even though you can earn substantial rewards, you must use gas credit cards wisely. That is because irresponsible spending can lead to serious credit card debt. Owning a gas card can also be a useful tool in helping you make a budget for auto maintenance.
It is important to remember, before you apply, to be sure to compare and contrast all of the important factors that relate to your APR. These include fees and other obligatory components of using one of these credit cards. Earning rewards is always great. However, you do not want to pay more just to keep a rewards credit card in your wallet.