Top 5 Credit Cards for Earning Gas Rewards
Gas rewards cards are an easy way to earn free gas in the form of rebates and discounts. When choosing a good gas credit card, keep in mind there are two main options: general rewards cards that offer a high cash back rate on gasoline and gas station credit cards, which typically only earn rebates toward gas purchases at branded stations.
Here’s a look at the five best credit cards that earn gas rewards.
Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi
In 2016, Costco ditched its long relationship with American Express and unveiled the new Costco branded card with an even better rewards program. The new Costco Anywhere Visa is hard to beat if you’re a Costco member with the ability to earn rewards on Costco purchases and everything else.
The Costco Anywhere card has the best cash back rate on gas among nationwide credit cards. You’ll earn:
- 4% cash back on gasoline, including gas purchased at Costco, on the first $7,000 per year (then 1%)
- 3% back on travel and restaurant purchases
- 2% back on Costco purchases
- 1% back on everything else
Along with earning a very high 4% back on gasoline, it’s important to note that you actually earn the same high rewards rate on discount gasoline purchased at Costco. Many other gas cards, by comparison, specifically exclude warehouse purchases from their boosted rewards rate, meaning you need to buy gas at a stand-alone gas station with most rewards cards.
The Costco Anywhere Visa has no annual fee, but it does require a paid Costco membership of $55. The main downside of the card is your rewards are redeemed as an annual credit card reward certificate on your February statement that can be redeemed for cash or merchandise at Costco. While this does remove a great deal of flexibility, the high rewards rate makes up for the disadvantage.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card is one of the most popular gas credit cards that also rewards you for other common household spending categories. With the Blue Cash Preferred, you will earn:
- 6% cash back at supermarkets on the first $6,000 per year (1% afterward)
- 3% back at U.S. gas stations and department stores
- 1% cash back on all other spending
- 10% back on Amazon.com purchases during the first 6 months (up to $200)
The Blue Cash Preferred card has a fairly decent signup bonus worth up to $350. You can earn up to $200 cash back on Amazon spending during your first 6 months and earn a $150 cash back statement credit after spending $1,000 during the first three months.
The Blue Cash Preferred card has a $95 annual fee, although it’s worth it if you use the card for grocery, gas, and department store spending. If you hit the $6,000 cap on supermarket spending, for example, by spending an average of $500 a month, you can earn $360 back a month. The gas reward rate is also unlimited.
PenFed Ultimate Cash Rewards Visa
The PenFed Ultimate Cash Rewards card has the very best gas rewards rate in the industry, although the card is only available to active Pentagon Federal Credit Union members.
To qualify, you will need to become a member by making a $20 or more donation to an eligible charity or qualify based on government work or military affiliations. You also need to maintain an active account with the credit union to avoid paying an annual fee and keep the excellent rewards rate.
The PenFed Ultimate Cash Rewards card offers an impressive rewards rate:
- 5% unlimited cash back on gas
- 3% unlimited cash back at supermarkets
- 1% back on everything else
The card has no annual fee as long as you maintain eligibility. If you don’t, you will automatically be dropped down to the standard Visa card with a reduced 3% rewards rate on gas and a $25 annual fee.
BP Visa Credit Card
The BP Visa is one of the best all-around gas station credit cards that earns gas points redeemable for rebates on BP gas. Issued by Synchrony Bank, the BP earns 5% rewards on BP charges plus 3% back on dining, travel, and groceries. You earn a flat 1% back on all other spending.
The BP Visa rewards program is a bit confusing at first glance because you don’t actually earn cash back but rebates on gas:
- $0.25 off per gallon for every $100 you spend at BP
- $0.15 off per gallon for every $100 spent on eligible travel, dining, and groceries
- $0.05 off per gallon for every $100 spent everywhere else, except non-BP gas stations
During the first 90 days, the reward rate is boosted to $0.25 off per gallon for every $100 you spend everywhere, with the exception of non-BP gas stations which earn no rewards. You can also earn a $20 cash back statement credit after making a purchase within 60 days.
The BP Visa has no annual fee and it’s a good choice if you often fill up at BP. Your rewards can be redeemed directly at BP gas pumps and you can choose which type of rebate ($0.25, $0.15, or $0.05 off) to use at each fill-up.
Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to the program. When you want to use your rebates, you can only apply them to one fill-up and your rebates will only apply to the first 20 gallons of any fill-up.
The Chase Freedom isn’t strictly a gas credit card as it doesn’t always earn a boosted reward rate for gas purchases. Still, you have the potential to earn 5% cash back on gas. The Chase Freedom card has rotating bonus categories that change every quarter and often include popular spending categories like gasoline, wholesale clubs, department stores, and groceries. Spending in bonus categories is capped at 5% on the first $1,500 in combined spending each quarter. All other spending earns 1% back.
The Chase Freedom has no annual fee and a $150 cash back signup bonus once you spend $500 during the first 3 months. While it doesn’t always offer gasoline at a boosted cash back rate, it’s still an excellent card for earning gas discounts. One downside to keep in mind is you need to activate bonus categories every month by the deadline if you want to earn 5% cash back on your eligible purchases.