There aren’t really any good gas rewards credit cards anymore. We suggest using a cash back credit card for your fuel/gas spending.
The Death of the Gas Rewards Credit Card
Working from home has it’s advantages and one of them is the infrequency in which I have to fill-up my Mustangs gas tank.
When I worked an office job, I found myself at the gas station at least once a week and these days, it’s more like once a month. Living in a big city working for myself means even when I’m outside, I have all the public transportation I need to get me around.
But these past two weeks have been spent driving around the state trying to plan my wedding and I after I filled up at a few different gas stations, I realized that gas rewards credit cards are just about dead.
A few years ago, gas stations began charging customers a higher price to use a credit card rather than if they used cash. Generally, this price was a few pennies different so whether you spent $3.50 per gallon or $3.47 per gallon was of little consequence.
Some of the best gas rewards credit cards offer discounts of up to 5%, meaning you would save close to $0.19 a gallon when the price was $3.50. But what I saw in the great state of New Jersey tells me I should stop advocating the use of a gas credit card.
On average, the difference between the cash price and credit card price across all gas stations I went to was twenty cents. Never before had I seen regular cost some consumers $3.10 and others $3.30 at the same gas station but that was how I saw it these past two weeks.
Regardless of how good your gas rewards credit card treats you, there’s no scenario where you’d save more money by using your credit card rather than cash. Total bummer.
I checked various gas stations and every single one of them had a big difference between credit card and cash prices.
Considering the cost of using credit cards to merchants, there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing a bigger spread to gas prices in your state (if you haven’t seen one already). In that case, the wise financial play may be just to use cash.
Are you noticing the widening of cash vs. credit prices at your local gas station?
About Gas Rewards Credit Cards
Spending money on gasoline is an everyday expense that most Americans simply cannot avoid.
Whether you need to drive to work everyday or simply use your automobile to run errands, the gasoline bills are going to pile up.
With gas hovering around $4 a gallon, the cost of filling up the tank seems to be increasing each and every year. One of the ways that this expense can be brought down is by using a gas rewards credit card.
Many gas rewards credit cards offer more than just the standard 1% cash back on purchases and if you look hard enough, you can find a few that go above and beyond a normal rewards program.
More About Gas Rewards Credit Cards
Gas prices go up and down and can have a huge affect on your budget. In the past few years alone gas prices have been anywhere from $2.00 per gallon to $5.00 per gallon. When prices are high you really “pay at the pump” to fill up.
I remember when prices were at their peak, it would cost us like $70-$80 just to fill up our Honda Accord. And it seems like it’s an arbitrary set of economic circumstances that bring about the rise in prices. I know supply and demand have to factor in at some level, but it just doesn’t seem rational.
If you have a heavy commute or if your job requires a lot of travel, gas expense can be a big part of your monthly budget. And if you run your own business, swings in prices can be tough on your ability to turn a profit if your margins are tight.
So what do you do? You can search for the cheapest gas prices in your area using an online gas price finder. That’s about it. There are no discounts or coupons for gas, beyond the occasional grocery store .10 cents off.
One way to cut into your high gas expense is to get cash back or rewards for the money you spend on fuel. Luckily there are plenty of credit card companies that realize the need for savings in this area and they’ve put together cards specifically designed with you in mind.
While I’m not a fan of using credit cards to finance a lavish, spend-more-than-you-make lifestyle, I am a fan of taking advantage of what credit card companies are giving away for free: reward points. And there are cards designed so that they give rewards points based on the amount of spending you do on gas and other automotive expenses.
Using a gas rewards credit card can sometimes earn you up to 5% back on your gas purchases. While this may not sound like a huge amount in savings, it can add up over time. Besides, how else are you going to save on fuel prices. Like I mentioned above there are no coupons you can use at the gas pump. See the offers below for more details about some of the better credit cards for gas rewards.