Valero gas stations across the country now offer a convenient credit card program that allows users to purchase gasoline on a “buy now, pay later” basis, while also saving money on the fuel they purchase. The card is a Valero Consumer Credit Card, and can be used only at Valero stations. Let’s take a look at some of the features, benefits, and possible downsides of this program.
As with most gas credit cards, the Valero credit card program itself is reasonably simple. Users save four cents per gallon purchased over fifty gallons during a single billing cycle. If more than seventy-five gallons is purchased in that billing period, the user will save eight cents per gallon after the seventy-fifth gallon, with a maximum of one hundred and ten gallons. There are no annual or monthly usage fees that must be paid in order to keep the card, and credit limits are reasonably low. The card can only be used on fuel purchases, which simplifies the program further.
So, what are the benefits of this program? The most obvious and tangible benefit is the savings on gasoline. The figures may seem very low, as savings of four or eight cents per gallon are not exactly astronomical. They can, however, add up. In order to really reap the benefit of this program, a user would need to use their Valero gas card consistently and for every fill up. The pennies of savings pile up over time, and will eventually become significant.
The remaining benefits are largely in place to facilitate the savings aspect of the program. For example, by allowing the card to be used on fuel only, the program ensures that a user will not be able to rack up a large credit balance by making additional purchases inside the station. Also towards this end, the Valero credit program allows users to set their own date of payment. While is is a common enough practice in the finance industry today, it really is a convenience to the consumer. If used sensibly, this type of flexibility can be used to prevent all of one’s bills coming in at the same time. This type of planning is especially important with a gasoline credit card, as the balance is likely to be rather large, representing as it does the entire expenditure of one month on all fuel expenses.
In addition to these convenience features, Valero offers an easy to use online interface for managing your credit account. On it, you can pay balances, check outstanding balances, and see how much your fuel rebates have saved you thus far. This makes managing and understanding the account very simple, taking away much of the complexity of larger, more general use credit cards.
Of course, all good things have their downsides. While the Valero gas card can be a useful tool for saving money and buying gasoline on a financed basis, it has its share of drawbacks. Among these is the fact that Valero gas stations are not the most common franchises in the world. While they have many locations, there are areas where they simply are not available.
Also among these drawbacks is the fact that the savings are so small. While they can pile up over time, the rewards for using Valero’s card could be greater. However, the convenience that the card presents goes a very long way toward making up for this shortcoming.
At the end of the day, there is one massively important fact to remember about a Valero credit card: it is still a credit card. Like any other such card, it can help you to better plan and lay out your finances, as well as build your credit with consistently good habits. However, it is still tied to your credit, and misuse or neglecting to pay will still impact you negatively. Like all credit cards, the Valero gas card can be an excellent tool if used wisely.