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Author: Bankrate Staff | Last Updated: September 7, 2018
Whether you commute a fair distance to work or constantly burn fuel driving kids all over town, the price of filling up can wreak havoc on your budget — especially when gas prices are high. Fortunately, several rewards cards offer superior earning structures for gas station spending as well as other purchases.
Before you sign up for a card to earn cash back on gas, make sure to compare offers so you can see how they stack up. Consider attributes like the welcome bonus, or if the card charges no foreign transaction fees if you frequently travel abroad. If you plan on using this card for all your purchases, make sure it offers good rewards rates in other categories you spend highly on.
We reviewed rewards cards across categories to find the top offers that earn at the pump. We evaluated each card on factors like our proprietary Bankrate score, rewards rate, perks, and fees to find the right gas card for all types of drivers.
This Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express is ideal for grocery, gas, and department store spending due to its superior bonus categories. While it does charge an annual fee, the fee is more than offset by both the initial signup bonus and the cash back returns on grocery spending. If you have a large family (or grocery bill), this card is an excellent choice because it earns a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%); spending just $60 a week could earn over $180 cash back per year. Additionally, you can earn an unlimited 3 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. (Most gas cards only earns 1.5 percent back.)
If you don’t want to pay an annual fee ($95), the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is a great alternative. It also earns on groceries (2 percent at wholesale clubs and grocery stores) and gets 3 percent back at gas stations on up to $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter — all with no annual fee.
If you’re looking for a high-rate, flexible gas rewards card, consider the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card. It earns 3X rewards points for several transactions including purchases made at gas stations, rideshares, transit, travel (including hotels and homestays), eating out, and select streaming services. On top of that, this card comes with a competitive sign-up bonus, an introductory 0% purchase APR for 12-months (then a 14.24% – 26.74% variable rate), and no annual fee.
With this card, you can earn rewards that you can redeem through Wells Fargo. However, if you are a consumer that prefers cash back, consider the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, which offers 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets(on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1% ), and also boasts no annual fee.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Card is great if you want to use your card everywhere without thinking about it. It has a flat 1.5 percent rewards rate on all purchases, no annual or foreign transaction fee, and a $150 bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months. Unlike some gas cards, you can redeem your rewards for any amount. (Some cards have a minimum redemption requirement.)
If you’re working to build or improve your credit, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card might be a better choice. It doesn’t have a signup bonus or intro APR, but it’s easier to qualify for and earns the same exact rate: 1.5 percent cash back on everything (that includes gas).
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card gets 3 percent cash back on gasoline on up to $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter — one of the highest gas rewards rates we’ve seen. You’ll also enjoy a $200 signup bonus (redeemable for a statement credit) if you spend $500 in the first 90 days of opening the account. We like this card because it offers more than the standard rate of return on gas, plus wholesale clubs and grocery stores. The signup bonus is another welcome perk that helps this card stand out.
If you’re a Bank of America customer, you’ll get a 10% bonus if you deposit your cash back rewards back into your bank account. Preferred Rewards customers can get an even bigger bonus — up to 75% depending on your status.
This card has a $2,500 earning cap. So if you need to earn rewards on more than $800-ish a month, consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. It earns an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases and has more flexible redemption options.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has no annual fee and a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (then a variable APR of 16.74- 25.49 percent) will apply. So if you have already an outstanding balance on another credit card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can help you save on interest and earn 1.5% on everything you buy at the same time.
If you’re planning to use your card primarily for gas purchases, you many be able to earn more rewards with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express; it earns twice as much on gas (unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores). As long as you don’t mind paying a $95 annual fee, of course.
If you like to travel in style, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express earns high-rate rewards (2 percent) at U.S. gas stations and U.S. restaurants. Plus, you’ll get a few cool perks including a $100 airline fee credit (at qualifying airlines) and 3X points on flights booked directly at airlines.
After year one, you’ll have to pay a $195 annual fee. If you’d rather not, consider the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card. It earns 3X points on gas without an annual fee.
Gas rewards cards offer rebates, points or cash-back for fuel purchases. Whether you call the highway your home, have a long commute or just want to save some cash, gas cards can keep more money in your wallet at the pump. Earn rewards and rebates on fuel and other everyday purchases.
Some people may not think of gas as a purchase that should always be put on a credit card, but there are a lot of benefits to using a credit card at the pump.
First and foremost, it’s an added protection measure against identity theft. Card skimmers placed on gas station self-serve pumps are one of the easiest ways for someone to steal your identity. If your debit card information is compromised, it could take days, weeks, or even months for you to catch on. By then, there’s almost nothing you can do to get your money back from any fraudulent purchases.
Many credit cards have ID protection, whether in the form of theft monitoring or alerts when there is a suspicious charge on your card. This can help alert you to any theft so you can dispute any fraudulent charges, freeze the credit card affected, and ensure none of your other financial or information is jeopardized.
At the very least, using a credit card to pay for gas gives you a grace period before funds are taken out of your bank account. Using a debit card to pay at the pump can put a hold of up to $100 on your account, even if you’re only getting $20 worth of gas. Plus, that $20 comes out of your account immediately. When you use a gas credit card, that money won’t come out of your account until you pay your bill.
Gas credit cards can also give you rewards. Depending on what type of card you have, you can get anywhere between 1% and 5% in cash back or rewards on gas purchases.
If you log a lot of miles on the road, you can effectively reduce your overall fuel costs with gas credit cards. The more gas you buy, the more you save. That’s a plus. But outside of fuel rewards, perks for non-gas purchases typically aren’t as good as other rewards cards.
Rotating category cash back
These gas cards give users a higher percentage cash back on certain categories that rotate throughout the year. Most rotating category cards also offer a low percentage cash back on all purchases, with the higher percentage categories rotating every three months. Gas is a common rotating category, allowing you to get more cash back when you use a gas card at the pump.
Flat rate cash back
Flat rate gas cards give you a set percentage of cash back on every purchase. While the rate of cash back you can earn is typically lower than on rotating category card purchases, this type of card allows you to earn steady rewards on your gas purchases year-round.
Rewards cards offer miles or points for purchases that can be converted to pay for flights, travel expenses, and more, depending on the card. Some specific travel rewards cards earn double the points on certain travel purchases like gas.
Co-branded gas cards
These are cards issued by banks in partnership with gas companies. Typically, these cards can earn decent rewards at and away from the pump, but they come with more restrictions on how users can redeem their rewards.
Everyone who drives can benefit from a gas card, but some people can maximize their rewards if they tend to spend more on gas. These are ideal cards for individuals who commute long distances, who drive frequently for work, or do a lot of city driving. With gas rewards cards, you can earn better-than-average rebates on fuel purchases at most gas stations. They can also be beneficial for parents who frequently taxi children to and from activities.
Like most rewards cards, these are designed for and offered to those with excellent credit. You may not qualify for one of these cards if your credit is lacking.
Compare cards thoroughly and think about where you purchase fuel. If you frequently buy from a single brand, a credit card sponsored by a gas company might be most beneficial. Otherwise, look for credit cards that offer a bigger reward for gasoline purchases in general.
In addition, look for cards with no annual fee, perks for non-gas purchases, and make sure to pay off your balance each month to avoid negating your earned rewards.
No matter who you are or what you do, using a gas card at the pump can help you earn rewards while protecting your financial information. Choose the card that works best for you, and start earning rewards for those everyday gas purchases.
* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.