The spiraling costs of oil prices worldwide has left consumers struggling to absorb the resulting upswing in prices at the gas pump. This is a far reaching problem because car ownership is such a basic aspect of American life. It means that ways must be found to obtain whatever savings and discounts one can for this major expense (see The Fuel Gauge Report for an Updated Rundown of average gas prices across US states).
Gas cards have therefore experienced a growth in popularity. They come in different types, though and its necessary to distinguish gas rebate credit cards from other types of plastic. Gas gift cards, for example are prepaid cards which can be bought in tiered cost denominations. SVM Cards is the best known online source for these and offers a good selection of gift card from the major Gas companies. The advantage here is the convenience of a prepaid card and the ability to send these as gifts (SVM Cards offers this service) to friends and family. The company does add a 3.5% processing fee surcharge as well as the cost of shipping.
For standard cards, one interesting recent development is the broadening of rewards programs of many issuers to include gas savings. Because of these, one needs to look beyond explicitly branded gas rebate credit cards to more general rewards cards which sometimes also offer significant savings at the pump. These cards include:
As a general rule, cash rewards are preferable to points rewards. In the case fo the former, you know exactly what you're getting and what it's worth. But if you are already familiar with a particular issuer's rewards points program, offers of the latter can be immediately judged for their worthiness as well.
Other cards may not offer quite the same high percentages as the above, but combined with their other benefits, are worth considering as well. Some of these are:
The Chase Freedom Credit Card, whch gives 3% Cash Back in your top 3 everyday spending categories. Thes possible categories, naturaly include gas.
The Citi® ProfessionalSM Cash Card, which provides 3% cash back on purchases made at restaurants, gas stations, certain office supply merchants, and for auto rentals. The versatility it offers includes earning 1% cash back on other purchases.
The Chase PerfectCardTM MasterCard®: You get a high 6% rebate on all eligible gas purchases at any gas station. However, it is important to note the restriction that this is for the first 90 days
As can be expected, however, some of the most rewarding offers available are cards specifically branded and tailored towards gas purchases. Rebates here are some of the best available. Two of the most popular cards of this sort are:
The Discover® Open RoadSM Card: Offers 5% Cashback Bonus® on gas and also on auto maintenance purchases. This can however be increased if redeemed using gift cards from a number of DiscoverCard's retail partners.
What does all this mean on the bottom line, however? Savings of 5% are of note, particularly when combined with other rewards a particular card offers. It depends on your lifestyle. By judiciously examining the perks on offer and putting these up against your anticipated expenses, it is possible to tailor your own personal inflation rate, as it were, to fall significantly below the national average for specific expenses.