Credit Cards

Tips, news, reviews, caveats, trends, updates and analysis related to consumer and business credit cards, and prepaid debit cards. From the interest rate specialists @

Saturday, August 16, 2008

So, Which Is The Best Gas Rewards Card Anyway?

If you look at our pages listing the best consumer gas rewards credit card and the best business gas rewards card, you will notice that we list a Chase and an American Express card for business, while on the consumer side we list a Discover card together with an American Express card. We do this because, for each category, these cards are tied for first place.

Reason for the tie on the business card side: American Express is a highly reputable bank which offers truly excellent customer service. The TrueEarnings® Business Card from Costco and American Express offers a generous 5% cash back on automobile gas purchases. However, with the Amex TrueEarnings card, you claim your earned rewards annually, which some cardholders find restrictive. Here's a snippet from the TrueEarnings terms and conditions:

"...Rebate is awarded annually in the form of an in-store coupon redeemable for cash or merchandise at any U.S. Costco Warehouse..."

With the Chase Business Rebate Card, you get 3% cash back on gas purchases, which is great. As a bonus, you can claim your rebate whenever you want. Once you've accumulated enough points, you can log onto Chase's rebate center website and browse their catalog. Among the items you can get with your rebate dollars is a statement credit, and a statement credit is as good as cash.

On the consumer side: The Discover® Open Road Card offers a 5% Cashback Bonus on gas and auto maintenance purchases. But there's a catch. From the terms and conditions:

"...Earn unlimited cash rewards on all purchases. Earn a full 5% Cashback Bonus on your first $100 in combined gas and auto maintenance purchases each billing period - up to $1,200 annually. In addition, earn a full 1% unlimited Cashback Bonus on all other purchases after your total annual purchases exceed $3,000; other purchases that are part of your first $1,500 earn .25% and other purchases that are part of your second $1,500 earn .50%. Combined gas and auto maintenance purchases in excess of $100 each billing period earn Cashback Bonus at the same rate as other purchases..."
We all know how pricey gas is these days. Getting 5% cashback on the first $100 in gas purchases each month is nice, but for folks who do a lot of driving, this may be a significant buzzkill.

With The TrueEarnings® Credit Card from Costco and American Express, which is a "personal" or "consumer" credit card, you get 3% cash back on gasoline purchases. You can also transfer a credit card balance at 1.99% intro APR for 6 months, and pay no balance transfer transaction fee.

With all other credit card categories in this site, there's a clear winner, and that' why we list only one card on these pages. As for the best consumer and business gas rewards credit card, we'll let you decide between the finalists.

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Anonymous tina said...

Gas cards seem ot be a good idea. I currently use a travel reward card myself which gives me air miles everytime I make a purchase. It is important however to be aware that these types of credit card are fantastic providing that you control your spending and keep on top of the monthly balance, otherwise the charges will more than offset the benefits you originally took out the card for.

Friday, August 29, 2008 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Gas Rewards said...

> keep on top of the monthly
> balance...

Absolutely. Once you start paying interest with any credit card, any benefits from the card's rewards program go up in smoke. Interest payments change the entire relationship: you go from having the bank work for you to you working for the bank. Yup.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 2:03:00 PM  

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