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Nearly 91 percent of U.S. households own at least one car, according to data from the American Census Bureau. That adds up to a lot of gas purchases – and lots of ways to save money at the pump if you know how to use gas station rewards programs.
Most gas rewards programs are free to join and offer savings on gas and on snacks in their convenience store. Some combine with partner programs allowing you to earn even more savings.
The advantage to these programs is that you don’t have to have a good credit score to get one – since they are not credit cards – and you don’t have to risk accruing debt when you use them. Anyone can get a gas loyalty card; there is no application process. You can pay by cash or debit and still earn all the benefits.
However, you can rev up those rewards by combining the gas loyalty program of your choice with one of the best credit cards for gas.
Let Bankrate guide you through it all, so you can save more money at the pump, leaving more to spend on food and fun when you reach your destination.
Best gas rewards cards nationwide
BP Driver Rewards
BP was recently ranked a “top tier” gasoline by Consumer Reports, which means it will keep your engine valves cleaner than some other brands. But that quality also comes with a higher cost.
Fortunately, you can save 10 cents per gallon for every 100 points earned with the BP Driver Rewards program, which is free to join.
Essentially, you’ll earn 10 cents per gallon off with every $100 you spend. If your average fill-up is 20 gallons, that’s $2 savings, or 2% rewards, comparable to many rewards credit cards — except the BP Driver Rewards program is not a credit card and won’t affect your credit score, so you have nothing to lose by joining.
BP has also partnered with the United Airlines MileagePlus frequent flyer program. If you prefer, you can choose to earn 3 MileagePlus miles for every gallon of BP fuel you purchase. Earn 200 bonus miles after you link a debit or credit card to the account and make your first purchase using the linked card. Rewards expire 365 days from the end of the month in which they were earned.
It’s easy to sign up for BP Driver Rewards online.
Exxon Mobil Rewards+
Exxon Mobil Rewards+ is the new program offered by Exxon and Mobil gas stations to replace the Plenti+ program. If you have been an active Plenti+ member in the past 12 months, your points will transfer directly to your new Exxon Mobile Rewards+ card.
The new program gives you three points per gallon on fuel and two points for every dollar you spend in the gas station convenience stores and car washes. For every 100 points you earn, get $1 off at the pump.
With triple points for fuel, the Exxon Mobil Rewards+ card offers a slightly higher discount than the BP Driver Rewards.
You can also earn a free movie pass from Fandango as a sign-up bonus when you fill up four times.
Link your card to your Speedpass+ account to make buying gas, earning points, and saving money even faster.
Speedway Speedy Rewards
Speedway boasts that it has paid out $45 million in rewards to 5 million members through its Speedy Rewards program. Sounds exciting, until you do the math and realize that’s only $9 per member.
Still, free is free. That $9 could buy lunch on your next trip if you redeem your points at the Speedy Cafe. Get there by earning 10 points per gallon at the pump and 20 points per dollar in the store.
Unlike many other gas programs, Speedy Rewards has a flexible redemption program. You can cash in your points for coupons for free items in the Speedy Café, earn money off at the pump, or redeem points for merchandise or gift cards online.
You can also take advantage of additional monthly perks. Use the kiosk in the Speedy Café or download the mobile app to sign up and redeem points.
Speedway Speedy Rewards is one of the more flexible programs, but because rewards vary, it’s hard to calculate the exact dollar value.
Gulf Power Points
Gulf Power Points is even more flexible than Speedy Rewards, allowing you to earn points when you shop online through your favorite retailers like Walmart, Kohl’s, The Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, and thousands of other stores using the Gulf Power Points portal and your choice of any form of payment.
The points formula is simple: Earn 1 point for every dollar spent.
Earn additional points taking surveys online or referring family and friends to Gulf PowerPoints. You can also earn points by taking online surveys and even printing free coupons through Coupons.com.
Redeem points for a Gulf Gift Card or to pay down your Gulf Credit Card if you have one. It’s easy to sign up online.
Sunoco APlus Rewards
Pick up a free Sunoco APlus rewards card in any APlus convenience store to earn savings on gasoline at Shell when you buy select items and scan your rewards card.
You can reduce your gas price to as low as 1.9 cents per gallon, for up to 20 gallons in a single vehicle. APlus Rewards discounts expire on the last day of the month, one month after they are earned.
Sunoco does not specify how much savings you will earn for each purchase.
Shell Fuel Rewards
While the Sunoco APlus program offerings are vague, Shell’s are intricately detailed. However, the Shell Fuel Rewards program can yield substantial savings and is easy to use once you understand it.
Just sign up online and link any credit or debit card to your Shell account to start earning.
Earning Silver status for Fuel Rewards gets you at least 3 cents savings on every gallon of gasoline. Achieve Gold status, and you’ll earn 5 cents per gallon.
You also earn 10 cents per gallon when you use your linked card at participating retailers and 20 cents per gallon when you dine out with the card.
New members start at Gold status for the first six month. To reach Gold status after the six-month introductory period, you’ll need to fill up at a Shell station six times within three months.
Which is the best gas rewards program?
Some gas rewards programs stand out from the pack with flexible rewards, more redemption options, and greater savings, like Speedy Rewards, Exxon Mobil+, and BP.
If you gravitate toward a specific gas station more than others, that’s the reward program to focus on to increase your earnings. Make sure combine your gas station loyalty card with a rewards credit card to earn even more.
Best gas credit cards to earn even more
One of the benefits to gas credit cards is you can usually get one even if your credit is only “fair,” which means you have a FICO score of at least 580.
As with any rewards credit card, though, better credit will enable you to qualify for the best gas cards available.
Best gas cards for bad credit
The Discover it® Secured credit card requires $200 to open your account. It’s one of only a few secured credit cards that offers rewards and has no annual fee.
Discover it® Secured gives you 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter and 1 percent everywhere else.
If you’re looking for an unsecured credit card but have poor credit, consider the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®. You can receive 1 percent cash back on every purchase, including gasoline.
Best gas cards for fair credit
There are plenty of options in the fair credit category to earn more savings at the pump.
Rev up your gas savings at Sunoco with the Sunoco Rewards Credit Card. You’ll save 5 cents on every gallon with no limit to the number of gallons.
The Shell Fuel Rewards® cards offered by Citi also provide excellent fuel savings. You’ll earn an extra 5 cents per gallon savings on top of your regular Shell Fuel Rewards. You can also earn Shell rebates on merchandise purchases in the Shell store.
If you choose the Mastercard version of the card, you can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted and earn 2 percent Shell rebates on your first $10,000 Dining and Groceries purchases per year and 1 percent everywhere else.
Best gas card for good credit
The best gas credit card for people with good to excellent credit is not a gas credit card at all.
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card offers 3% cash back on choice category (some including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, etc.) and 2% on grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter, and an unlimited 1% cash back on every other purchase
Earn an additional $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
You may also qualify for a low-interest rate of 16.24% – 26.24% variable with excellent credit.
Tips to save even more
Some programs, like BP Driver Rewards and Shell Fuel Rewards, allow you to link a credit or debit card of your choice to your gas loyalty rewards account. If you prefer not to use a gas credit card, link the loyalty accounts to your favorite cashback credit card, like Chase Freedom or Discover it® Cash Back, to increase your points earnings.
The biggest secret to saving money at the pump? Sign up for the loyalty programs at any gas station you visit regularly and remember to use your gas rewards card or your linked credit card every time you fill up.
|BP Driver Rewards||1 pt. per gal.||10 cents savings per gallon for every 100 points||Earn 200 bonus miles when you link a credit or debit card||United Airlines MileagePlus|
|Exxon Mobil Rewards+||2 pts. per gal., 3 pts per $1||$1 in savings (fuel or merchandise) for every 100 points||100 pt. sign-up bonus||Fandango|
|Speedway||10 pts. per gal., 20 pts. per $1||For café discounts, fuel discounts, gift cards||Buy your favorite Speedy Café items and earn more||points.com, NRG, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, ParkRideFly USA, netspend|
|Gulf Power Points||1 pt. per $1||For a Gulf Gift Card or to pay your Gulf credit card||Earn more when you print coupons or take surveys online||Thousands of partners|
|Sunoco APlus Rewards||points for shopping in the Sunoco convenience store||Fuel savings||Monthly bonus points on select items||None indicated|
|Shell Fuel Rewards||Between 3 and 20 cents per gallon when you fuel up, shop, or dine out||For fuel savings||Instant Gold Status for 6 months||Thousands of partners|
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