The best gas credit cards make it easy to earn rewards in one budget category that is entirely unavoidable in most cases- transportation. With more than 200 million licensed drivers in the U.S. traveling an average of 13,000 miles a year, there are many opportunities for drivers to cash in. But how do the best gas credit cards work?
One surprising thing I’ve learned is that the best credit cards for gas are actually cash back rewards cards. Each of these credit cards offer higher reward incentives for fuel purchases while also rewarding your for your regular spending.
The Simple Dollar’s Top Gas Credit Cards for 2019
Here are the four best gas credit cards for U.S. consumers:
- Chase Freedom®
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (currently unavailable through this site)
- Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards
The Chase Freedom® credit card is an excellent all-around shopping tool. At 5%, it offers the highest return on gas purchases when gas rewards are part of the quarterly bonus.
The Chase Freedom® also boasts a long list of additional benefits, highlighted below:
Who Should Get It
- If you want to earn 1-5% cash back without paying an annual fee
- If you’re working on, or unable to pay off your balance immediately (but you eventually should), then the 0% interest rate is a good fit.
- This card is perfect if you’re not a big spender due to the maximum purchase amounts for rewards.
- If you want to earn flexible rewards that can be redeemed for cash-back, gift cards, merchandise, or travel.
- Make sure you plan out any major purchases ahead of time. With the rotating quarterly categories, you will want to make sure to appropriately align your big purchases to take advantage of the largest rewards.
- Before making any online purchases, check the new Cash Back Booster site for additional rewards.
- Opt in each quarter to get 5% cash back. Don’t worry, Chase will remind you to sign up via text or email and you can easily do so by responding on your phone without ever having to sign in online. You can also opt in and get rewarded retroactively at the 5% cash back rate.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the best example of an everyday purchase card. It offers a healthy reward on U.S. gas purchases and on transit (3%) and an exceptional reward on grocery purchases at U.S. supermarkets (6%) on purchases up to $6,000 per year (then 1%) and 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. Because of the generous cash back categories, this card offers user the potential to earn more cash back than almost any other card.
Check with American Express to make sure the rewards will apply where you regularly shop. Most if not all major U.S. gas stations (e.g. Mobile) and U.S. supermarkets (e.g. Whole Foods) qualify; however, some smaller locally owned businesses may not.
If you’re the errand runner of the household, make sure you take advantage of these great everyday rewards:
Who Should Get It
Best Way To Use It
- Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
- New 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- New 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.74% to 25.74%
- $95 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees
- You should get the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express if you have a family. The rewards are specifically tailored to everyday purchases for the mobile family, including high return on gas and grocery spending.
- If you spend more than $50 per week on groceries, this card is the best choice. The annual fee (See Rates & Fees) will pay for itself at this rate.
- Use the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express to buy all your gas and groceries at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets.
- Pair this card with another rewards card so you can get 2x rewards once you hit the 6% earning cap for the year.
- Take full advantage of the rewards by making sure you hit the $6,000 cap for the year at U.S. supermarkets.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Similar to the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers solid rewards earning potential. Due to the lack of an annual fee (See Rates & Fees), the cash back rewards are slightly lower than its partner card and is a better fit for the smaller spender.
The Best Gas Credit Card for Poor Credit: Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards
If you’ve had some financial trouble in the past or haven’t had the opportunity to build up your credit, you can still earn rewards on everyday purchases like gas. One of the best cards on the market for those with a lower credit score is the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards.
With an annual fee between $0 and $99 depending on creditworthiness, this card is ideal for the individual who spends a lot of time on the road and has yet to take advantage of one of the best gas cards. It’s specifically tailored to the individual with a lower credit score by offering free online monthly credit-score tracking, pre-qualification without affecting your credit score, and automatic reviews for credit-line increases.
Who Should Get It
Best Way To Use It
- See if you Pre-Qualify in less than 60 seconds-without affecting your credit score. It's fast, easy, and secure.
- Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV. Terms apply.
- This is a fully functional, unsecured credit card-not a debit card, prepaid card, or secured credit card with deposit requirements.
- Credit One Bank evaluates every account for credit line increase opportunities. We'll let you know as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit line.
- Take advantage of free online access to your Experian credit score and credit report summary so you can track the key factors impacting your credit health. Terms apply.
- Zero Fraud Liability protects you if your card is ever lost or stolen. Rest easy knowing you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges.
- Access your account easily from your computer, smartphone, or tablet at CreditOneBank.com or the Credit One Bank Mobile App. You can make payments, see recent transactions, and update your account preferences all at the click of a button.
- Carry a card that makes you smile by choosing from over 20 unique card designs in Credit One Bank's card gallery. A fee may apply.
- Individuals who cannot obtain a higher rewards card.
- Those who frequently drive and are trying to build their credit score.
- Use the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards to purchase all gas.
- Make sure to make all payments by their due date in order to improve your credit score over time.
- Keep an eye on your credit information with free online monthly credit-score tracking.
- Increase your credit limit with each opportunity without increasing your spending. This in turn will help your credit by lowering your utilization rate.
Why Is Using a Gas Credit Card Important?
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over 143.37 billions of gallons of gas were purchased in the U.S. in 2016. If the average gas price was just over $3.50 per gallon, that would equate to over $5.6 billion in potential rewards if all buyers had used the card that quarter.
Even though gas prices go up and down over time, we could all benefit if we earned a solid stream of cash-back on our gas purchases year-round! And since earning gas rewards takes virtually no effort on your part, you’re simply leaving money on the table if you don’t take advantage of one of these offers.
What Should I Consider When Selecting a Gas Credit Card?
- Ratio of rewards on gas purchases: the higher the rate of reward, the more money is returned to your pocket.
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR): If you do not pay your balance off in full each month, which we strongly recommended, you could easily negate any rewards you earn. As a general rule of thumb, always try to secure the lowest interest rate possible when getting a line of credit.
- Annual fee, or lack thereof: Make sure you determine the amount of rewards you anticipate receiving each year. If it is less than your annual fee, it’s best to choose a different reward card that will prove profitable in terms of rewards.
- How much gas you purchase: For high-mileage drivers, a cap on earning potential can be a real deterrent. Calculate the amount you spend on gas annually before committing to a card. Also consider getting more than one card if you want to maximize your earnings.
- Other rewards (cash back on other spending, sign-up bonuses, etc.): These rewards can drastically increase your rewards earning potential. Determine which card most closely aligns with your spending habits.
- Other benefits (FICO score, travel assistance, etc.): These additional perks should be taken into less consideration than those listed above; however, they can easily help if you’re on the fence between two cards. If you need to monitor your credit score but don’t have the budget to pay for a monitoring service, or if you frequently travel, specific cards will be a better fit for you.
Gas Credit Cards for the Mobile Employee
As the economy continues to slowly bounce back, employees may not be willing to attempt to put their home on the market just yet, but are willing to travel longer distances to secure employment. The Worldwide ERC® Foundation reported:
“No longer are long-distance commuters considered a rare breed.” — It’s time you get cash back rewards for the hours you spend in the car.
More than 61 billion commute trips are taken annually, with an ever-increasing number of mega-commuters. Beyond commuting, driving is a necessary responsibility for many employees. As organizations move away from company-provided vehicles and corporate cards, it leaves more and more employees footing the bill for their gas until later reimbursement or writing off their business vehicle expenses on their tax return at the end of the year.
If you’re an employee who gets a cent-per-mile reimbursement or are on a vehicle reimbursement program, make sure you’re using one of the best gas credit cards to maximum your earning potential.
If you own and operate a car on a regular basis, it’s in your best interest to have one of the best gas credit cards. Getting rewards for everyday spending allows you to work within a strict budget without having to commit to big purchases in order to see a return.
And since many gas rewards cards offer cash back on everyday purchases, you could be missing out on hundreds of dollars of free money each year if you fail to take advantage. If you don’t want to miss the boat, compare these offers and choose the best gas card for your unique situation. Once you start earning these lucrative rewards, you’ll be glad you did.
Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our rankings and recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.