Best Credit Cards for Gas in November 2020: Compare Rewards and Sign-Up Bonuses

Maximize your rewards on this everyday spending category with these top rewards credit cards.

Advertiser Disclosure: At Slickdeals, we work hard to help you find the best deals. To do this, some of the products featured here are from our partners, who may provide us with compensation. However, this doesn’t influence our opinions. Our views are our own.
Card Issuer Gas Rewards Rate Bonus Bonus Offer
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi 4% Back None None
Chase Freedom Unlimited® card 1.5% Back Up to $800 Earn $200 after spending $500 during the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, earn a one-time 5% back at grocery stores, up to $600 total, during the first year
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card 2% Back $750 Spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature®Card 5X Points $100 Spend $1,500 in the first 90 days of account opening
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 3% Back $300 Spend $3,000 in the first 6 months of Card Membership
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express 2% Back $200 Spend $1,000 in the first three months of Card Membership
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card 3X Points 30,000 points Spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening

*Review the methodology our credit card experts use to evaluate credit products and determine the best-in-class cards in various categories.

**Skip to frequently asked questions about the best credit cards for gas purchases.

On average, Americans spent $1,968 on gasoline and other fuels in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you own a vehicle and spend that much or more on gas every year, it may make sense to get a cash rewards credit card for buying gas.

No, we’re not talking about the gas cards offered by gasoline companies like Shell and BP. The best gas credit cards offer accelerated rewards at gas stations, as well as great rewards on other everyday purchases you make. With the right card in your wallet, you can maximize the cash back, points or miles you earn at the pump.

Depending on what else you spend your money on, our top gas credit card choices will do a lot more than that.

The Best Credit Cards for Gas in November 2020

There’s no single credit card out there that’s best for everyone, so it’s important to consider your spending habits and preferences when deciding which card to pick. Also, keep in mind that most rewards credit cards typically require that you have good or excellent credit to qualify. That means having a credit score of 670 or above, according to FICO.

With all that in mind, here are our top choices to compare.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

If you have a Costco membership, you should know about the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card, from our partner Citi. This cash-back rewards card has no annual fee and is only available if you are a Costco member. The Costco Anywhere Visa Card is among the best credit cards for gas purchases. With a 4% cash-back rate on up to $7,000 in annual gas purchases, including Costco gas stations, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card saves me more money on fuel spending than any other. Read our full review of the Costco Anywhere Visa Card.

Purchase Category Rewards Rate Annual Limit
Gas 4% Back $7,000
Restaurants and Travel 3% Back No limit
Costco and Costco.com 2% Back No limit
Other Purchases 1% Back No limit

With competitive rewards-earning rates in popular gas, restaurant and travel categories, this card is among the best cash-back cards for fuel spending. After factoring in additional bonus rewards for regular Costco shoppers (both in-store and online) and no annual fee, this card is a clear winner. Even if it isn’t your primary card, adding the Costco Anywhere Visa to your wallet can help you earn higher rewards on gas purchases where you may have earned less with another card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is great for simple, general-purpose cash rewards. On the surface, it’s not a card that many people consider best for gas purchases, but the Freedom Unlimited is especially valuable for travel when you play your cards right. If you have one of the travel credit cards in the Ultimate Rewards program, you can transfer your points-earning rewards with the Freedom Unlimited to one of those cards to take advantage of their better redemption options. This effectively transforms your fuel spending into discount travel. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Purchase Category Rewards Rate Annual Limit
Gas Stations 1.5 % Back No limit
Grocery Stores 5% Back Limit of $12,000 spent ($600 total cash back) during your first year only
Travel booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards 5% Back No limit
Drugstores 3% Back No limit
Restaurants and Eligible Delivery Services 3% Back No limit
Other Purchases 1.5% Back No limit

While the Chase Freedom Unlimited only offers 1.5% flat-rate cash rewards on gas purchases, the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points makes up for that. And now, with bonus categories for grocery stores, restaurants and drugstores — the card is perfect for on-the-go households.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

While legendary for its offer of 5% cash back for purchases at office supply stores and on many telecommunications services, the Ink Business Cash℠ Card is a great option for entrepreneurs and small businesses that spend a lot of money fueling up company vehicles. Even though the 2% cash back at gas stations sounds great, like the Freedom Unlimited, these rewards can be much more valuable when paired with another Chase credit card that allows transfers to airline miles or hotel points. Read our full review of the Ink Business Cash to learn how it can fit your small business needs.

Purchase Category Rewards Rate Annual Limit
Gas Stations 2% Back Up to $25,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations each account anniversary year
Restaurants 2% Back Up to $25,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations each account anniversary year
Select Business Spending 5% Back Up to $25,000 in combined purchases at office supply stores and on phone, cable and internet services.
Other Purchases 1% Back No limit

In addition to 2% back at gas stations, new cardholders can earn $500 in bonus cash back when you make $3,000 worth of purchases within the first three months your account is open.

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature®Card

Annual Fee $0
Sign-Up Bonus $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days of account opening
Intro APR 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months
Foreign Transaction Fees No
Apply Secure Website

If your goal is to rack up as many rewards as possible on gas purchases, consider the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card. You’ll earn 5x points per dollar on gas at the pump, 3x points per dollar on groceries and 1x point per dollar spent everywhere else. Points are worth 1 cent apiece, so you’re getting about as high of a rewards rate on gas as possible.

Purchase Category Rewards Rate Annual Limit
Gas Stations 5X Points  No limit
Grocery Stores 3X Points No limit
Other Purchases 1X Points No limit

We like the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card because it focuses on giving you the best value at the pump. The only thing to keep in mind is that you need to join PenFed Credit Union in order to apply for the card. Fortunately, that can be as easy as a $17 donation to join one of the credit union’s participating organizations. Bottom line: the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature is the highest-earning card for gas purchases.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Annual Fee $95 (waived for the first year)
Welcome Bonus $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first six months of Card Membership
Intro APR 0% APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening
Foreign Transaction Fees Yes
Apply Secure Website

For the average on-the-go household, the Blue Cash Preferred Card is a lucrative choice. It rewards individuals, couples and families who typically spend at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, or who subscribe to various U.S.-based streaming services. It also offers a complimentary ShopRunner membership, offering free two-day shipping from all network retailers. Read our full review of the Blue Cash Preferred Card.

Purchase Category Rewards Rate Annual Limit
U.S. Gas Stations 3% Back No limit
U.S. Supermarkets 6% Back Limit of $6,000 spent per year (then 1% back)
Select U.S. Streaming Services 6% Back No limit
Transit† 3% Back No limit
Other Purchases 1% Back No limit

† Transit includes taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.

It’s easy to see why the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is often referred to as the best family credit card. With high rewards rates for bonus categories like groceries and gas, nearly every household can benefit from it. While it does charge an annual fee, its introductory APR offers and 6% cash back make it certainly worth considering.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Annual Fee $0
Welcome Bonus $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months of Card Membership
Intro APR 0% APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening
Foreign Transaction Fees Yes
Apply Secure Website

For a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee, the Blue Cash Everyday Card offers valuable cash-back rewards for those who plan on using it for U.S. gas station and U.S. supermarket purchases. If you’re someone who spends a lot at the grocery store (perhaps you have a bunch of teenage boys who can’t seem to get enough food?), it’s hard to beat the Blue Cash Everyday’s supermarket rewards rate without paying an annual fee. Plus, the long-term introductory 0% APR is extraordinary and is perfect for carrying a balance on large ticket items. Read our full review of the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.

Purchase Category Rewards Rate Annual Limit
U.S. Gas Stations 2% Back No limit
Select U.S Department Stores 2% Back No limit
U.S. Supermarkets 3% Back Limit of $6,000 spent per year (then 1% back)
Other Purchases 1% Back No limit

The Blue Cash Everyday Card is a pretty sweet deal for all the frugal people out there. It’s targeted to help people save money on some of their biggest variable expenses: gas and groceries. Considering how much families can spend each month on both these line items in their budget, there’s nothing wrong with getting all the help you can get.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Annual Fee $0
Sign-Up Bonus 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of account opening
Intro APR Introductory interest-free APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
Foreign Transaction Fees No
Apply Secure Website

If you’re looking for a card that offers a lot of value and flexible redemption options — think cash back, gift cards, travel and more — consider the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card. There’s no cap on how much you can earn in bonus rewards!

Purchase Category Rewards Rate Annual Limit
Gas Stations 3X Points No limit
Travel† 3X Points No limit
Restaurants and Eligible Delivery Services 3X Points No limit
Streaming Services 3X Points No limit
Other Purchases 1X Points No limit

† Travel is defined as flights, hotels, homestays (Airbnb) rideshares, transit and car rentals.

We like the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card because it offers the potential for a lot of value for a card with no annual fee. Also, while the card offers points instead of straight cash back, you can use them to get cash back, book travel, buy gift cards and more — all at the same redemption rates. Some cards that allow you to use points to book travel will give you a lower redemption rate when you choose cash back.

Methodology: How We Chose the Top Gas Credit Cards

There are a lot of credit cards out there that offer bonus rewards on gas purchases or simply high rewards rates on every purchase you make. We picked our top five based on the overall value they can provide. We looked at the other bonus rewards rates the cards offer and focused on cards that provide extra cash back or points on purchases you’re likely going to make regularly.

In general, we focused on credit cards with no annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about figuring out how to make the card worth it every year. But in the case of the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, we chose it because it makes it easy to recoup the annual fee every year.

guy uses a gas pump
Credit: iStock.com /Adene Sanchez

Frequently Asked Questions About Gas Credit Cards

What Is a Gas Credit Card?

A gas-branded credit card is one issued by the oil companies, usually in partnership with a bank. Many gas-branded cards can only be used at that fuel station, but research each fuel companies’ offerings for exact rules. For example, Shell offers a Fuel Rewards Credit Card and a Fuel Rewards Mastercard. The latter can be used on non-Shell purchases and earns rebates on dining and select expenditures.

Gas credit cards usually do not have any fees and allow you to save a set amount of cents off of each gallon of gas purchased. Some cards come with rewards on non-fuel purchases made at the fuel station too.

How Do Gas Credit Cards Work?

Gas credit cards work similarly to a store credit card. For example, if you have a Kohl’s or JCPenney credit card, you know that your card is only useful at those stores. Like all other credit cards, you will be required to pay a monthly minimum and any amount that is carried over to the next month will earn interest. Gas credit cards generally have a higher interest rate than average rewards cards.

Here are some of the most popular gas credit cards available:

  • Shell Fuel Rewards Credit Card
  • Techron Advantage Credit Card
  • ExxonMobil Smart Card
  • Sunoco Rewards Credit Card

Since oil-company cards are limited, individuals with fair credit have an easier time being approved. Gas cards are a good option for those who have fair credit or those who are looking to rebuild their credit. Since you can only use the card for gas, it will be harder to rack up the bill, making it easier to keep track of.

Rewards Credit Cards Versus Oil-Company Gas Cards

So, you know you want to be rewarded at the pump, but you still aren’t sure if you should go for a rewards card with gas perks or an oil-company card? We’ll help you do the math.

Many rewards cards will allow you to earn points or cash back on the amount you spend on fuel. You will earn the same percentage back on any U.S. gas station you use, so you don’t have to be a company loyalist. Even better, cash rewards credit cards come with other perks, as well as more opportunities to earn points or cash back on other spending. You can choose a card based on your spending habits to reap the most rewards.

Co-branded oil-company cards typically offer cents off per gallon or cents per gallon rebates. Gas credit cards that are more than just loyalty rewards credit cards tied specifically to the gas station will allow cardholders to earn cents per gallon per dollar spent elsewhere. For example, the Techron Advantage Visa card allows cardholders to earn 20 cents per gallon at Chevron and Texaco for the 90 days after opening an account.

There are pros and cons to both cards and the right card depends on your unique spending situation and credit score.

Gas Card Pros:

  • Better chance of approval: Individuals who are working to rebuild their credit or who have been rejected from popular rewards credit cards are more likely to be approved for a gas card.
  • Card limit: If you are afraid of overspending, gas cards come with smaller credit limits, so there is a less likely chance you will get yourself into unbearable debt.
  • Comes with limited protection: Most gas cards come with some level of fraud protection which makes it a better choice than using a debit card at the pump.
  • Cents off each gallon: Gas cards give you the opportunity to save money on what you are already spending. You might only earn an additional $50 to $100 per year, but that is more than if you were to pay with your debit card.

Gas Card Cons:

  • High APRs (interest rates): You don’t want to hold a balance on these cards because the interest rates are high and will cost you more than any cents per gallon saved or earned.
  • Limited rewards
  • Reward caps

Cash Rewards Credit Cards Pros:

  • Earn more back on a variety of spending
  • Redeem rewards on what you want, not just gas
  • Better APRs (interest rates)

Cash Rewards Credit Cards Reward Card Cons:

  • Stricter credit approval
  • Many cards come with an annual fee

How To Choose a Credit Card for Gas Rewards

When choosing the right card for your gas rewards, don’t just look at how much you earn for spending. You want to compare these important factors too:

  • Rewards cap: Is there a limit to how much you can earn on your annual gas spending? Some cards might offer 5% cash back on gas for one quarter’s spending (usually three months) and then drop it down to 1%.
  • Annual fee: Annual fees are not an automatic deal-breaker, but you need to weigh the card’s perks against the fee.
  • Redemption value: How can you spend your gas rewards? Cards with redemption flexibility will allow you to use your rewards to benefit your budget rather than being wasted on programs that use points for magazine subscriptions.
  • Membership requirements: Some credit cards have warehouse membership fees and rules attached to it. For example, the Costco Citi card requires a $60 annual Costco membership, but you can earn 4% on gas purchases at other fuel stations.

How Much Money Can a Gas Credit Card Save You?

On average, Americans spend $2,109 per year on gas. Your number might be higher if you are a regular commuter or drive a large vehicle. With an average gas price of $2.50 per gallon, that comes out to almost 844 gallons per year. Using those stats, here’s how much you would save with a gas credit card versus a rewards credit card:

  • A gas card that saves 5 cents per gallon: $42.20
  • A rewards card that earns 2% back: $42.18
  • A rewards card that earns 3% back: $63.27
  • A rewards card that earns 5% back: $105.45

Choosing a cash rewards credit card that earns 2% or more cash back on gas will save you more on your gas purchases. While gas spending is pricey, there is probably another spending category (such as groceries or dining out) that you spend more on. Look for a card that will reward you both for gas purchases and your other frequent purchases.

What Is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

A foreign transaction fee is what your credit card issuer — such as Chase or American Express — charges when a transaction you make with your card processes in a foreign currency or passes through a foreign bank. To process these foreign transactions, your card issuer charges you a percentage of the amount of this transaction, typically 3%. You’ll commonly see foreign transaction fees listed on your card statement as a separate charge.

What Is a Statement Credit?

A statement credit is money paid to your account by your card issuer. It essentially works the same as a cash payment to your account. Some rewards card issuers like American Express often offer statement credits as a payout for cash rewards or other point redemption. Statement credit can be used to pay down your card balance or they can remain on your statement as a positive account balance for future purchases.

We want to make sure you get the best deal! Our editors strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate as of the date published, but please keep in mind that offers can change. We encourage you to verify all terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply. Also, please remember this content wasn't provided, reviewed or endorsed by any company mentioned in this article.


Any product or service prices/offers that appear in this article are accurate at time of publish, and are subject to change without notice. Please verify the actual selling price and offer details on the merchant's site before making a purchase.
Tags

Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close