With the ever-increasing gas prices, many people make saving money on gas a priority. It is possible to save some money on your gasoline purchases through the careful use of gas rewards credit cards. As with any rewards credit card, you will need to understand how the rewards are earned in order to get the most benefit from the card; and be disciplined with making your payments on time to ensure you aren’t paying more interest and late fees than you earn through the rewards program.
There are two types of gas rewards credit cards. Here is what you need to know about each type, so you can pick the one that will reward you the most based on your financial situation:
Store Specific Gas Rewards
A gasoline credit card without a Visa or MasterCard logo will only allow you to purchase gas from a specific station; or a chain of gas stations. If you are someone who routinely gets gas from the same gas station or from the same brand of stations, a store specific gas card may be a good option for building rewards earnings. Just keep in mind that if you should get fuel anywhere else, your card will not work to pay for the purchase and you won’t receive rewards from that gas purchase.
Most gas cards affiliated with a particular gas station or brand of station will offer 1 to 2% higher rewards than a traditional gas rewards credit card, but the only way to earn rewards is through gasoline purchases. If you aren’t already filling your vehicle at the same gas station every time you need gas, you may find your ability to earn gas rewards is too limited to really benefit from this type of rewards program.
Gas Credit Cards
If you choose a gas credit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo, it can be used anywhere Visa or MasterCard is accepted. Not only can you pay at the pump for your gas purchases, but the card can also be used for your everyday purchases, as well – and all purchases will generate rewards, not just gasoline. The amount of rewards offered through gas rewards programs on a Visa or MasterCard tends to be lower than the station-specific gas card, but you have more opportunities to accumulate rewards by using the card to make other purchases.
Get the Most out of Your Gas Rewards Card
As with any type of rewards program, in order to gain the most benefit, you need to use the card as frequently as possible while not carrying a balance from one month to the next. Each time you fail to pay your full balance results in having to pay interest on your purchases. Depending on the interest rate of your card and the rate you earn gas rewards, you are very likely to pay more in interest than you earn with rewards if you don’t pay your balance in full each month.