One of the biggest expenses for most working adults is the cost of gas for their cars. With gas at a national average of $3.60 most people are looking for any way possible to save a few bucks when they fill up. With that in mind we put together a blog about some of the best gas credit cards that are available today, a bit about how they work and some advice about which ones to use. Enjoy.
First, having the correct gas rewards credit card can definitely decrease your gasoline costs. There are basically two types; cards that are tied to a particular gas station only and cards that give you cash back, points or rebates no matter which gas station you decide to use. Unless you are going to exclusively use a specific station and never any other kind, the latter is definitely the best.
Cash-back cards, the kind that give you a specific percentage of your total back every time you get your monthly statement, are the most straightforward and usually offer the most value. Whatever card you choose however, focusing on getting the card that gives you the best rewards for your lifestyle is most important.
One of the most essential things to consider before getting any gas rewards card is that you should have at least above-average credit and have the financial means to pay off your bill in full at the end of every single month. If you don’t, a gas card that comes with no annual fee or a 0% interest offer might actually be better for you.
The card that you pick depends on your personal preference more than any other factor since most of them will offer rewards that are relatively attractive. For example, a Costco gas reward card (True Earnings Card) offers a combination of convenience and value if you are already a Costco shopper while the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express might be more preferable to you if you want a card that not only gives you rewards for gas but also on other everyday purchases. If you’re simply looking for gas rewards and nothing else the PenFed Card (Pentagon Federal Credit Union) is probably your best choice.
For a lot of people the idea of using a credit card for only one specific type of expense might not seem financially astute but, if you use the “island approach” strategy, you’ll find that it actually does make sense. The idea behind this approach is that you get the best possible collection of terms and rewards by using different cards for specific different expenses as if they are individual “islands”. This might entail, for example, using one card for gas, another for airline miles and a 0% credit card to save on interest for other purchases. If you’re the type of person that values simplicity in their financial plans the “island approach” is probably not for you but, if you can handle a little bit of extra paperwork, it will definitely help you to get better rewards, better rates and save more money than using a single card to purchase everything.
No matter which approach you take, using an app on your smart phone like “Gas Buddy” to find the lowest gas prices in your city or town is a must. Knowing which of the supermarket chains in your town have partnerships with gas stations to offer rewards is also key and can help you save money on both gas and groceries.
The fact is that the cost of the gallon of gas isn’t going to go down anytime soon and, more than likely, will rise (and rise, and rise). If you drive a lot you definitely should take the time to research all of the available cash rewards credit cards that are out there on the market, compare what their rewards, interest and other rates are and pick the one that seems best to you. It won’t do anything to lower the cost per gallon but, if used correctly, it will help you to save money overall on gasoline.