How to use a credit card to save money on gas

If you pay full price at the pump now, you may be missing out on a way to fuel your family savings. That's because many rewards credit cards offer bonus points when used at gas stations.

When used correctly, these rewards are like a discount for every gallon you buy. With the average price of a gallon of gas as of May 2024 at $3.61, according to AAA, few consumers will pass up these savings.

Nowadays, it's fairly common to use a rewards card to earn triple points (3 points per dollar spent) when paying for gas. It's worth noting that some of the best gas cards don't have the names of major oil companies or the branding of their gas stations. Instead, you'll likely save the most with general rewards credit cards or cards associated with warehouse clubs and credit unions.

Keep these tips in mind as you shop around for a card that can reduce your gas budget.

Based on 3%

most profitable Waska Offer rewards equivalent to 3% or more. Even better, many cards with high rewards rates have no annual fees, so you pay nothing to earn rewards that can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, travel, and more.

Credit score is important

Typically, a reward rate of 3x and above will require at least good credit, or a FICO score of at least 670 to qualify. If you have a low credit score, your credit card options will be limited. Still, there are some credit cards that offer rewards, albeit modest ones, for people with bad, limited, or no credit.

Note the capital letters

Some cards—especially those with a 5% interest rate and no annual fee—limit the gas spend to earn bonus rewards. For example, you might get a 4% discount if you spend up to $7,000 a year on natural gas. Once the cap is reached, the return on natural gas purchases will be just 1% until the New Year. Before applying for a gas-buying card, check the rewards cap, if one is available, and determine if it's generous enough to accommodate your spending.

Beware of “penny discount” rewards

Some cards (especially gas station-branded ones) won't give you a specific discount, such as 6 cents per gallon, rather than a percentage of cash back or points for every $1 spent. But when gas costs $3 a gallon, that 6-cent discount is just a regular 2 percent discount. Plus, gas station cards often come with rewards that can only be spent at specific merchants.

Gas Stations and Gas Station Rewards

Many cards that offer bonuses on excess gas spending also reward purchases at the pump on items like snacks and wiper fluid. But some cards limit rewards to gas expenses paid at the pump, while some gas cards only offer higher rewards on in-store purchases rather than at the pump.

rewards credit card There are terms and conditions that govern their rewards program; read them carefully to see which purchases qualify for rewards and whether the list meets your expectations.

Warehouse cards have advantages and disadvantages

Warehouse clubs like Sam's and Costco are great places to get cheaper gas, and the savings add up when combined with a store's co-branded credit card, which offers high gas rewards rates. However, these cards only earn ideal cash back rates up to a certain annual cap, and the rewards redemption process can be cumbersome.

Also remember that you must be a member of these warehouse clubs, which means paying an annual membership fee.

Stack rewards with card-related offers

Many rewards cards offer digital coupons in the form of Card-linked offers Through the issuer’s application. You can “clip” coupons by adding them to your card, and once you make a qualifying purchase, you'll receive your savings, usually in the form of a statement credit. It's common to find offers on gas purchases associated with the card, so before your next fill-up, browse the card's digital coupon list to find a gas station near you. If your card earns gas rewards, you can save money with card-related offers and earn rewards on new tanks of gas.

Beyond Natural Gas Rewards

When you're shopping for a good gas credit card, consider whether the card offers rewards in other categories that match your spending habits. This way, your Gas Credit Card can turn into an everyday card that you can use to pay for things like groceries, takeout, and streaming.

Plus, you probably won't spend as much gas as you think. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household will spend $2,635 per year on gasoline in 2023. Even with the 3% rewards card, that's $79.05 in cash back per year, which works out to about $6.50 per month.

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