Rewards, rewards, rewards.
Why rely on debit cards when credit cards can rake in some fabulous rewards? From cash back to free hotel nights to airline miles to gas and grocery discounts, you can make money by spending money, as long as you’re careful about staying out of credit card debt and avoiding credit card fees.
Of all the rewards you can earn on credit card purchases, gas discounts aren’t always the best deal. However, if you do a lot of driving, especially in a car that’s not fuel-efficient, focusing on gas-related rewards might make sense.
There are two types of rewards credit cards when it comes to saving on gas: gas station branded credit cards, and cash back credit cards that offer extra cash back on gas purchases.
The latter, cash back credit cards, almost always offer a better deal. Gas station branded credit cards have unimpressive rewards, and they’ve only gotten worse over the years. Plus, they’re only good for discounts at one gas station chain.
However, there are still a few that are worth looking into if you’re loyal to one specific station. Here are several of the best gas station branded credit cards, followed by cash back credit cards that offer some serious rewards on gas purchases.
Best Gas Station Credit Cards
Rebate offer: 15 cents per gallon rebates for every $100 spent at BP stations, 5 cents per gallon rebates on purchases elsewhere, excluding non-BP gas stations
Sign-on bonus: 25 cents per gallon rebates for every $100 spent at BP stations for the first 60 days
Conditions: You can cash in your rebates at any time, but your price per gallon can never drop below 10.9 cents, and you can’t use rebates to fill up more than 20 gallons at a time. You must use rebates within 12 months of earning them.
This card is a decent deal if you can make at least $1,000 in purchases every month and a good deal if you can spend over $2,500/month on the card.
Rebate offer: 10 to 20 cents per gallon in rebates for use at Shell stations, conditions apply
Conditions: You must make at least $500/month in purchases to get a 10 cent/gallon rebate on Shell gas. If you spend more than $1,000/month, you get a 15 cent/gallon rebate, and if you spend $2,500/month or more using your Shell Mastercard, you get a 20 cent/gallon rebate. Rebates are capped at 100 gallons per month.
Chevron and Texaco Technron Advantage Visa
Rebate offer: Unlimited 3 cents off per gallon, plus up to 10-20 cents per gallon in rebates for use at Chevron and Texaco stations, conditions apply
Conditions: You must make at least $1,000/month in purchases in order to qualify for the 20 cents/gallon rebate. If you make at least $300/month in purchases but less than $1,000/month, you qualify for a 10 cents/gallon rebate. There are no caps on rebates.
Hess Visa Platinum
Rebate Offer: 3% back on Hess purchases, 1% back on all other purchases excluding non-Hess gas stations
Sign-on bonus: 10% credit back on your first two statements on up to $400 in purchases made at Hess stations
Best Cash Back Credit Cards with Gas Rewards
Best for Moderate Spenders: Bank of America BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Cash back rewards: 3% cash on gas, 2% cash back on supermarkets and wholesale clubs
Cash back rewards cap: You can earn 2-3% cash back on $2,500 of spending on gas and supermarkets per quarter after which you earn 1% cash back on all purchases
Other perks: $100 back if you spend $500 in the first 90 days, 10% bonus on cash back if deposited into a Bank of America account
Annual fee: $0
Best for High Spenders: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
Cash back rewards: Unlimited 3% cash back on gas, 6% on your first $6,000 in spending at supermarkets
Cash back rewards cap: After your first $6,000 on supermarket spending, cash back rewards goes down to 1% on supermarket purchases
Other perks: $150 cash back after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
Annual fee: $95
Best Overall (with Eligibility Requirements): PenFed Ultimate Cash Rewards Visa Card Plus
This card offers the best cash back deals by far, but it comes with some eligibility requirements.
Cash back rewards: 5% cash back on gas, 3% on supermarkets
Cash back rewards cap: Unlimited
Annual fee: $0
Eligibility requirements: You must be a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, but it’s easy to join. If you are not affiliated with the military or government, you can make a small (less than $20) donation to the National Military Family Association or volunteer for the Red Cross. You must maintain an active account to be eligible for this card.
Best for Costco Members: Costco Anywhere Visa
Cash back rewards: 4% cash back on gas on up to $7,000 per year, 3% cash back on restaurant and travel spending, 2% cash back at Costco
Restrictions: You can earn 4% cash back on gas purchases at any gas station except other wholesale retailers. You must have a Costco membership.
Annual fee: $0
Best Sign-On Bonus: Chase Freedom
Cash back rewards: This card offers rotating rewards, with a bonus category that earns you 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spending on that category, but it changes each quarter. Typically, gas is included as a category for one quarter each year. The card offers 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.
Other bonuses: $150 cash back after you spend $500 in the first 3 months. There’s a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months as well.
Annual fee: $0.
Best for Bad Credit: Discover it Secured Card
Secured credit cards are the way to go if you have bad credit and are ready to start using credit cards to rebuild your credit, and this is one of the few secured cards that offer rewards.
Cash back rewards: 2% cash back on the first $1,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each quarter, 1% on all other purchases
Other perks: On your card anniversary, they will double all of the cash back rewards you received in your first year.
Annual fee: $0. There is no annual fee, but you do have to put down a $200 refundable security deposit, as this is a secured credit card.