Gas is one of those expenses that is difficult to budget for, primarily because prices fluctuate frequently and you never really know how much you will need to spend. During periods of economic and market turmoil, prices can climb significantly and cause financial strain for workers, students and other individuals who drive frequently. As a result, you may be considering turning to a gas credit card to help you earn discounts, rebates and cash-back deals each time you fill up the pump.
These types of credit cards can help you keep more of your money in the bank, and the amount you save may depend on which type of credit card you obtain.
Regular Rewards Card
If you are not partial to one particular gas station, you might be interested in a rewards card that offers benefits for not only gas purchases, but groceries, entertainment and other spending categories. These types of rewards cards typically extend cash-back deals and are available through a number of different lenders.
Rewards Card Tied to a Particular Gas Chain
If you are loyal to one gas station in particular, consider obtaining a gas card that is specific to that brand. There are cards available for BP, Exxon Mobil and others, so shop around for the best deals. Some cards also provide you points when you shop at certain grocery stores and food chains that will give you a percentage or dollar-amount discount off your next gas purchase.
Pros and Cons
Deciding which type of card is right for you requires you to take a look at your spending style. If you are loyal to one station, but another gas dealer has cheaper prices, a loyalty rewards card may not help you. However, cards tied to a particular station tend to offer the greatest cash-back and discount percentages, which may run up to 5 percent or higher. In contrast, regular rewards cards only offer discounts and benefits in the range of 2 to 3 percent, but you may have greater flexibility regarding your spending and how you use your rewards.
Also, make sure you understand how your particular rewards card works, as there may be special stipulations, promotions, restrictions and other conditions that will impact your decision.