Best Gas Reward Credit Cards
With today’s high gas prices, gas reward credit cards are a great way to save money at the pump. Many credit cards will return a base 1% on your spending, but there are some that will give anywhere from 2% to 5% cash back on your gas purchases. Outlined below are some of the better ones, and afterwards a discussion will follow on which one might be the best card for you.
|Annual Fee||Sign Up Bonus||Ongoing Rewards||Foreign Transaction Fee||Other Notables|
PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards
|$0||$100 after spending $500 within the first 3 months of acct. opening||
AmEx Blue Cash
|$75||$150 after spending $1000 within first 3 months of acct. opening.||
US Bank Cash+
||2% and 3%||$25 bonus each time you redeem $100 or more in a single redemption.|
The Pentagon Federal Platinum Cash Rewards has the highest yield for gas purchases at 5%, but there are two significant caveats. To qualify for the card you will need to be a member of the credit union and you will need excellent credit. You can join the credit union by making a small one-time donation to either Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association. Pentagon Federal also has a similar card, the Platinum Rewards card, which gives out 5 points per dollar spent at the pump (as well as 3 points on supermarket purchases). But points can vary in value depending on how they are redeemed. If you are looking solely for a good return rate on gas purchases, the Platinum Cash Rewards would be the way to go.
If you don’t want the hassle of joining a credit union just to apply for a credit card, the Chase Freedom offers a good option. Historically, 2 of the 4 quarters of each year Chase has offered 5% cash back on fuel purchases (for 2013 the two quarters are Jan.- Mar. and Jul. - Sep.). Between these two quarters, you can average out to about a 3% return.
If you don’t want to have to remember to enroll in new categories each quarter and would like cash back in other categories, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred offers a good reward rate. It does have an annual fee of $75, but with 6% back on groceries, and 3% back on gas and department stores, you can easily make up for it. American Express does offer a no annual fee version that yields 3% cash back on groceries and 2% cash back on gas and department stores, but your overall return will probably not be as high as the Preferred, even after accounting for the annual fee.
US Bank came out with a card that really shook up the credit card industry, and might have the highest potential overall yield of all the credit cards that give cash back in fuel, groceries, department stores, and many other categories. Card holders have a chance to choose two new 5% reward categories each quarter, as well as one 2% category (one of which is always gas). If you choose your categories wisely each quarter you could get a real bang for your buck. However, US Bank takes it a step further. If you redeem $100 in a single redemption, they’ll kick in a $25 bonus (it should be noted that this extra $25 is in the form of a prepaid card). Thus, your 5% categories become 6.25%, your 2% categories become 2.5%, and your 1% becomes 1.25%! And there’s one last way you can really vamp up your return rate with this card. If you sign up for US Bank’s Gold Checking account, your base rates become 1.25%/2.25%/5.25%, and if you sign up for their Platinum Checking account the base rates become 1.5%/2.5%/5.5%, so your overall return rates after the $25 bonus all become significantly higher!