Save Money With the Best Gas Credit Cards of January 2020: Reviews, Rewards and Sign-Up Bonuses

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

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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 gas credit card.

No, we’re not talking about the credit 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 Gas Credit Cards of January 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.

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

Jump to the most frequently asked questions about gas credit cards.

1. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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

If you spend a lot on gas and groceries, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express can provide some lucrative rewards.

Apply for Blue Cash Preferred Today

Rewards Rate: The card offers the following rewards rates:

  • 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets annually (then 1%)
  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, such as Netflix, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music Unlimited and many more
  • 3% cash back on gas at U.S. gas stations and on transit, including taxis and rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • 1% cash back on everything else

Sign-Up Bonus:$250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. This welcome offer covers the cost of the card’s $95 annual fee for more than two years, giving you plenty of time to use the card and determine whether it’s the best fit for the long run.

Why We Like It: We like the card because it packs a heavy rewards punch on several everyday spending categories. If you can max out the U.S. supermarket bonus alone — that’s $500 per month — you’ll earn $360 in cash back every year. Just keep in mind that superstores like Walmart and Target and wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club don’t fall under the supermarket category.

Who Should Use This Card? Families who spend a lot on gas and groceries.

Annual Fee: $95

2. Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

costco gas station
Credit: Twenty20

If you have a Costco membership, the Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi may be a no-brainer.

Apply for Costco Anywhere Visa Today

Rewards Rate: The card offers the following rewards rates:

  • 4% cash back on the first $7,000 spent each year on eligible gas worldwide
  • 3% back on restaurant and travel purchases worldwide
  • 2% back on all non-gas and travel purchases through Costco and Costco.com
  • 1% back on all other purchases

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Why We Like It: We like the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi because it has one of the best cash-back rewards rates you can get on gas purchases. It also makes it easy to rack up rewards on other common expenditures, including travel, restaurants and all other purchases made with Costco. If you’re already a Costco member or you’ve been meaning to join, the card should be on your radar.

Who Should Use This Card? Costco members

Annual Fee: $0. However, you do need a Costco membership to qualify, which costs $60 or $120 annually, depending on which level you choose. If you’re already paying that fee, the annual cost of the card is truly zero. But if you’re getting a membership just for the card, it’ll be harder to make it worth the cost.

3. Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

gas pumps
Credit: iStock.com /jpgfactory

If you like the idea of earning bonus rewards on gas purchases but want the chance to pick something else now and then, the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card is the one for you. The card offers 3% cash back on a category of your choice from a list that includes gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement and furnishings.

You’ll also earn 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% back on everything else. The only catch is that both the 3% and 2% bonus categories are capped at $2,500 spent across all those categories each quarter. After that, you’ll earn just 1% back on everything. If you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, though, you can earn up to 75% more rewards on every purchase you make.

Apply for Cash Rewards Today

Rewards Rate:

  • 3% cash back on gas (once you’ve selected the gas category)
  • 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • 1% back on all other purchases

Sign-Up Bonus: $200 cash bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days with the account. It also provides new cardholders with an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles, which is about the same as months.

Why We Like It: We like the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card because it provides value in so many ways: two welcome offers, bonus rewards on everyday spending categories, and the opportunity to pick your own 3% category. Note that you can change it every month, which can come in handy if you know you’re going to have a large expense in one of the categories in the near future.

Who Should Use This Card? People who want flexibility.

Annual Fee: $0

4. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature®Card

buying gas at the gas station
Credit: Twenty20

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 5 points per dollar on gas at the pump, 3 points per dollar on groceries and 1 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.

Rewards Rate:  The card offers the following rewards rates:

  • 5x points per $1 on gas
  • 3x points per $1 on groceries
  • 1x point per $1 on all other purchases

Sign-Up Bonus: $100 statement credit after you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days. Also, an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months.

Why We Like It: 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.

Who Should Use This Card? Households that bank with credit unions.

Annual Fee: $0

5. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

buying gas at the gas station
Credit: Twenty20

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.

Rewards Rate: 3x points per dollar on several common spending categories, including:

  • Dining out and ordering in
  • Gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Popular streaming services

There’s no cap on how much you can earn in bonus rewards, and you’ll get 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Sign-Up Bonus: 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Plus, you’ll get an introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.

Why We Like It: 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.

Who Should Use This Card? Travelers

Annual Fee: $0

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.

pumping gas into the car
Credit: iStock.com /Natnan Srisuwan

Frequently Asked Questions About Gas Credit Cards

Table of Contents

Click the links below to quickly navigate the topics in this article.

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.

buying gas at the gas station
Credit: Twenty20

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 gas station you use, so you don’t have to be a company loyalist. Even better, a rewards credit card comes 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

Reward Credit Card Pros:

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

Reward Card Cons:

  • Stricter credit approval
  • Many cards come with an annual fee
gas in the evening
Credit: iStock.com /aydinmutlu

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 rewards 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.

NEXT: Best Credit Cards for Groceries: Compare Rewards, Offers and Sign-Up Bonuses

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.

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.

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