Best Gas Credit Cards of 2016
Filling your car’s gas tank is a constant. You’ll spend plenty of time at the gas pump each year.
You might as well as make that time pay off. Fortunately, you can rack up a lot of cash-back rewards quickly with the right gas credit card. Plenty of banks offer cash back credit cards that solid rewards and money back for refueling your car.
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MyBankTracker looked at the many cards available that do provide rewards for filling your tank. Here are some that we consider to be the best.
Best For All-Around Cash-Back Bonuses
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is notable for its generous cash-back bonus of 3% at U.S. gas stations. But the card also provides an even more impressive 3% cash-back bonus at U.S. grocery stores and supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). That's a pretty powerful one-two punch. You'll also earn a cash-back bonus of 1% on all other purchases. You will also be able to earn 5% cash back on eligible travel purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200.
Benefits of Blue Cash Preferred® Card
If you sign up now for the Blue Cash Preferred® card, you'll also be eligible for some valuable sign-up bonuses. You'll get $150 back if you charge at least $1,000 on your card during the first three months you own it.
This card also offers an introductory interest rate of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. After this introductory period ends, the card's interest rate will rise to 13.24% to 23.24% based on your credit.
Drawbacks of Blue Cash Preferred® Card
Be careful when you use your credit card at a supermarket. You want to make sure that your card recognizes the store you are shopping at as a supermarket and not some other type of retailer. If it doesn't, you might lose a significant amount of your cash-back rewards. To learn more about this potential problem, read this story by MyBankTracker.
The only downside to this card? It does come with an annual fee of $95.
Best For Building Rewards Points At The Pump
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card: You can rack up reward points quickly with the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card offered by PenFed Credit Union. In fact, you'll earn five rewards points for every dollar that you charge at the pump with this card. You can then cash in these rewards points for gift certificates, hotel stays, merchandise and other perks.
Benefits of PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
You might think that you have to be in the U.S. Military to take advantage of this credit card. But that's not true. Though many members of the PenFed Credit Union are military members, many others are not. So consider joining this credit union to gain access to the Platinum Rewards card.
The PenFed card is a valuable one at the pump. But it's pretty useful in other locations, too. You'll earn three reward points for every dollar that you charge at supermarkets and one reward point for every dollar you charge on all other purchases.
PenFed gives a good example of how quickly your reward points can add up: If you charge $500 a month at gas stations, $500 a month at supermarkets and $1,500 a month on all other purchases, you'll earn 5,500 reward points for that month. If you continued to charge at that pace, you'd earn 66,000 reward points for an entire year. Just remember to not charge more than you can afford to pay off at the end of every month. You don't want to pay high interest on your credit card's balance just to rack up reward points.
The PenFed Platinum Rewards card comes with an introductory interest rate of 0% on balance transfers for 12 months. The card's normal interest rate ranges from 10.24% to 17.99%, again depending on your credit score. There is no annual fee.
Drawbacks of PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
This is a solid card. But if you don’t drive much, it might not be your best option. You only earn three rewards points for every dollar you charge at a supermarket and one for every dollar on other purchases. Those are OK rewards, but they’re not outstanding. If you’re not a frequent driver, you might investigate cards that provide higher rewards for grocery or restaurant purchases.
Best For Shoppers Who Spend Plenty in Groceries, Gas
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card: If you spend a lot at the pump and at grocery stores each month, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card might be a smart one to own.
Benefits of BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
This card provides you with 3% cash-back at gas stations and 2% cash-back at grocery stores. The only catch? You will only qualify for these cash-back bonuses on up to the first $1,500 you charge each quarter at gas stations and supermarkets.
The card also provides a cash-back bonus of 1% on all other purchases. There is no annual fee with the Cash Rewards card.
New users can qualify for a $100 cash-back bonus if they charge at least $500 on their card within the first 90 days of opening their accounts.
This is an especially valuable card, though, if you happen to be a customer of Bank of America. You'll earn a customer bonus of 10% every time you redeem your cash-back bonus into a Bank of America checking or savings account.
If you're a Preferred Rewards client of Bank of America, you can earn an even bigger cash-back bonus of 25% or more by redeeming your cash-back rewards into a bank savings or checking account.
This card offers an introductory interest rate of 0% for 12 billing cycles on all balance transfers and purchases made within 60 days of opening your account. After this period ends, the card's interest rate will jump to 13.24% to 23.24%. This card charges no annual fee.
Drawbacks of BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
Like all credit cards, you can get into trouble with this card if you maintain a monthly balance. That’s because, depending on your credit score, your final interest rate could be as high as 23.24%. If you carry a balance each month, this high interest rate will cost you.
Best For The Frequent Driver
Chase Freedom® card: Depending on the time of year, the Chase Freedom® card is one of the stronger cards when it comes to gas rewards. From January through March, you'll earn 5% cash-back on the first $1,500 you charge at gas stations.
Benefits of Chase Freedom® card
Throughout the rest of the year, that 5% cash-back bonus offer applies to other spending categories. From April through June, you'll earn the cash-back rewards at grocery stores. From July through September, restaurants will generate this reward. And from October through December, you'll earn 5% cash-back when you use your Chase Freedom® card for holiday shopping. Just make sure to activate your 5% cash-back bonus for these quarters. If you forget, you won't qualify for that quarter's bonus.
All other purchases made with this card during each quarter generate a cash-back bonus of 1%. So you'll still earn cash-back at the pump all year long, just not as much as you'll earn during the first quarter of the year.
The Chase Freedom® card comes with a sign-up bonus of $150. You will, though, have to charge at least $500 with your card during the first three months after opening your account.
Like the other cards on this list, the Chase Freedom® comes with an introductory interest rate of 0% on purchases and balance transfers. After the introductory rate ends, the interest rate will adjust to 14.24%, 19.24% or 23.24%. The Chase Freedom® card charges no annual fee.
Drawbacks of Chase Freedom® card
To get the most out of this card, you’ll need to pay close attention to the bonus categories that change throughout the year. If you forget to activate these bonuses, you could lose plenty of cash-back bonus money. And if a quarterly bonus category isn’t a good fit for your shopping needs, you might not generate much cash-back at all. Maybe you don’t eat out much. When the enhanced cash-back bonus switches to restaurants for an entire quarter, your Chase Freedom® card might not look as valuable.