How to Get Paid for Buying Gas

A lot of gas credit cards tout big rewards, but which ones really help you save?

Summer often means higher gas prices coupled with an uptick in driving. And the result for most Americans is a much higher monthly gas bill.

One way to make going to the pump a little less painful is to use a credit card that offers cash back or rewards on gas purchases. While most consumers are aware that these reward credit cards exist, many feel overwhelmed by all the options on the market today. So, we did a little research and found the top 3 gas cards, along with some additional information about the rewards they offer. Let the savings begin!

Pentagon Federal Platinum Rewards Card

Offered by Pentagon Federal Credit Union, this card carries no annual fee, places no cap on rewards, and provides users with 5 PenFed Points for every $1 spent on gas (and 3 PenFed Points for every $1 spent on groceries if you’re an existing PenFed customer). These PenFed Points are their version of rewards points, which can be redeemed for gift cards and other items.

Good to know: Every PenFed point equals one cent, so you’re getting 5 cents back for each $1 spent at the pump, which is one of the best gas rewards programs out there.

One potential drawback is PenFed’s lending standards, which are unusually strict. If you don’t have truly excellent credit, you may not qualify for the card. Also, be aware that PenFed is a credit union, so you’ll have to join. And if you’re not a member of the military, you’ll need to give a onetime donation to a charity that benefits military families.

Chase Freedom

The rewards for this card aren’t as straightforward as PenFed’s, but could be more attractive in the end. This card carries no annual fee and provides an annual average of 3 percent cash back on gas, as well as rotating 5 percent bonus cash back offers. In 2013, for example, the rotating bonus from April through June was 5 percent back at restaurants and movie theaters. While you can’t choose any random store for your cash back offers, their selections do include broad (and frequently shopped) options, meaning these will be rewards you can actually earn.

Good to know: The card offers one percent back on all purchases and provides customers with a $100 cash back bonus if they make $500 in purchases during the first 3 months of ownership.

And, like the PenFed card, only those with very good credit will qualify.

American Express Blue Cash

This card’s rewards program is undeniably straightforward: customers earn an unlimited 2 percent cash back on gas and select department store purchases along with 3 percent cash back on groceries (up to $6,000 annually). There’s no annual fee, and rewards are paid out in the form of a statement credit.

Good to know: This card offers an introductory APR of zero percent for the first year and a $100 bonus reward if you charge $1,000 during the first 3 months of ownership.

Other options for reward credit cards

If none of the cards above strike your fancy, here are 4 more cards that offer more than one percent back on gas with no annual fee:

  • Discover More
  • American Express Hilton Honors Surpass
  • Chase Ink Cash and Classic
  • American Express Blue Cash Preferred

Today’s post comes from our friends at NerdWallet, who deliver financial tips and info to consumers in a clear, complete, and unbiased way.

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One Response to “How to Get Paid for Buying Gas”

  1. Mark Caron
    August 13, 2013 #

    The question I ask is who is paying for this free stuff? You know the card company is not. the anwser is we are. The card company charges the merchant an additional fee when you swipe the card the merchant then adds that fee to the cost of everything they sell. there is no free lunch, or plane tickets.

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