May 10th, 2011Gas Credit Cards to Alleviate the Pains of $4 Gas
Gas prices are hovering at $4 per gallon. If you must drive your car, a gas credit card is one way to cut costs at the pump.
The cost of fueling up the tank is causing widespread financial distress for millions of Americans who are facing $4 gas prices when filling up the tank.
Some are adapting by using less costly measures such as carpooling or taking public transportation. Those willing to suck it up are cutting back in their discretionary spending to offset the higher costs of fueling up.
Savvy consumers can reduce the net fuel cost by using a credit card that pays cash back on gasoline purchases. Since drivers are generally sensitive to small gas price fluctuations, even a small percentage of cash back will result in substantial savings – especially if the current gas prices remain in the same range.
Here are some gas credit cards to consider:
TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express allows cardmembers to get 3% cash back on the first $3,000 spent on gasoline purchases (1% thereafter). The card comes with no annual fee but a Costco membership is required, which starts at $50 per year. Cardholders also get 3% cash back at restaurants, 2% for travel, and 1% on everything else.
Blue Cash Everyday from American Express cardmembers earn 2% cash back on all gasoline purchases with no cash back limits or annual fee. Additionally, the card earns 3% cash back at supermarkets, 2% at department stores, and 1% on everything else.
Discover Open Road offers 2% cash back on the first $250 spent per month at gas stations and restaurants. Also, cardmembers earn 0.25% cash back on all other purchases (increases to 1% after spending $3,000 for the year).
While gas credit cards will help cut the rising costs of gas, there is a downside to the higher cash back rates: higher regular APRs. It would be unwise to sign up for a small percentage of cash back on gas when it wouldn’t compensate for the relatively high interest charges.
Therefore, gas credit cards are ideal for frequent commuters who pay off their balance in full after every month.