[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
America’s love affair with its cars seems likely to continue for a long time. Between vehicle purchases, fuel and maintenance, drivers can spend a substantial portion of their income on private transportation. Fortunately for them, the banks offer a variety of credit cards designed to meet their needs and offer rewards tailored to drivers.
How Credit Cards Can Reward Drivers
Cars and credit cards intersect in a number of ways. First, there are several automobile manufacturers that offer credit cards that earn rewards toward the purchase or lease of new vehicles, as well as maintenance and accessories. Next, there are many cards that offer bonus rewards for gasoline purchases. Finally, the American Automobile Association features its own credit card that allows members to earn cash back or vouchers for AAA services.
Here are some of the top credit cards for drivers.
AAA Member Rewards Visa Signature Card from Bank of America
This card, offered by the American Automobile Association, offers reward points on all purchases. Three points per dollar are offered on all AAA purchases including luggage, attraction tickets and qualifying travel. Double points are offered at gas stations, drugstores and grocery stores, while one point per dollar is earned from all other purchases. Rewards points are worth a penny each, or more toward AAA vouchers. There is no annual fee for this card.
The GM Card From Capital One
From the new Corvette Stingray to its best-selling pickup trucks, General Motors remains one of the most popular manufacturers in America. With the GM credit card from Capital One, cardholders receive a 5% return on their first $5,000 of annual purchases in rewards dollars that can be applied to any new GM vehicle (that’s $250).
After the first $5,000, cardholders earn 2% back with no limit. Furthermore, the GM card is a World Elite MasterCard, which offers access to MasterCard Travel Services. This bonus includes travel advisers who are available 24/7 to address cardholders’ specific interests and provide complimentary travel planning. There is no annual fee for this card, and new cardholders receive 12 months of interest-free financing on new purchases.
Costco True Earnings Card From Costco and American Express
This warehouse store’s card offers 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations including Costco, but excluding other warehouse stores and supermarkets. Since some gas rewards credit cards exclude all supermarket and warehouse stores, this card offers savings on gas prices that are already highly discounted.
The rewards are valid only on the cardholder’s first $4,000 in gasoline purchases each year, and cardholders receive 1% back after that. Rewards are distributed once a year after the close of the cardholder’s February billing cycle in the form of a reward check that can be redeemed at stores for either cash or merchandise. There is no annual fee for this card with a paid Costco membership.
Platinum Card from American Express for Mercedes-Benz
The Mercedes-Benz version of American Express’s vaunted Platinum Card offers all of the benefits normally found in the standard Platinum Card, plus a host of benefits for Mercedes-Benz drivers.
Each year that customers spend at least $5,000 in purchases, they will receive a $1,000 certificate toward the future purchase or lease of a new Mercedes-Benz. In addition, those who lease their cars will receive up to 2,000 excess miles waived at lease-end on leases through Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Cardholders also receive a $100 certificate at renewal of their account, good toward Genuine Mercedes-Benz Accessories.
New cardholders receive 50,000 membership rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months of opening an account. These points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise and travel reservations or transferred to miles with several airlines. There is an annual fee of $475 for this card.
More on Credit Cards:
- The Credit.com Credit Card Learning Center
- How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rates
- 6 Smart Credit Card Strategies
- How Secured Cards Can Help Build Credit
- Tips for Paying Off Credit Card Debt
- How to Get a Credit Card With Bad Credit
At publishing time, the Costco True Earnings Card From American Express and the GM Card From Capital One are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com may be compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.