How do gas credit cards work?
Gas rewards credit cards work like other credit cards in the fact they let you charge purchases and repay the money you borrow later on.
While you can carry a balance on your gas credit card if you prefer, you’ll be charged credit card interest if you do.
The best credit card for gas offers generous rewards on gas as well as non-gas purchases you make, and some offer consumer protections and perks that make them even more valuable.
Note that some gas credit cards are affiliated with gas stations or global gas brands, but that these gas cards are generally limited in scope and overall value. If you want to earn rewards on gas and all your other bills, your best bet is to pick a gas card from a major issuer.
Types of gas credit cards
There are several types of gas credit cards, but they don’t all work the same.
Cards in this niche tend to fall into one of three categories:
Gas rewards cards
Gas rewards cards include the type of cards we recommend in this ranking. With this type of card, you can earn rewards on gas and everything else you buy.
Gas loyalty cards
Gas loyalty cards are affiliated with specific gas brands, and they may offer per-gallon discounts on gas as well as in-store perks. Note that these cards are typically store-branded, so you can’t use them for regular spending and bills.
Fleet fuel cards
Fleet fuel cards are for businesses that spend a lot of money on gas. These cards are often store-branded, meaning you can only use them within a brand of gas stations nationwide. Some fleet fuel cards are for gas only, but others let users charge on other items as well.
Pros and cons of gas credit cards
- Rewards and discounts when charging gas purchases.
- $0 fraud protection benefits.
- Sign-up bonuses are common.
- Higher interest rates.
- Earning caps.
Choosing the best gas credit card for you
As you compare gas cards, you’ll want to look at all the factors that matter the most to you.
The following tips can help you pick the best credit card for your needs:
Consider the approval odds.
The best credit cards for gas typically require good, very good, or excellent credit to qualify. If you have bad credit, you should strive to improve your score before you apply.
Look for rewards that align with your spending.
Consider gas cards that offer generous gas rewards as well as bonus points in other categories you spend a lot in.
Consider cards with a big sign-up bonus.
Also look for credit cards that reward you with bonus cash within the first few months. However, you should also make sure you can meet the minimum spending requirement to qualify.
Look at how you can redeem your rewards.
Find out if you can redeem your rewards for a statement credit only, or if you can redeem for other options like gift cards, travel, merchandise, and more.
Look beyond the intro APR.
If your card offers an intro APR, make sure you are happy with the regular APR as well. After all, balances you carry after the promotional period will be charged interest at this rate.
Does a gas credit card help build credit?
All gas credit cards help you build credit, even store-branded credit cards. This is due to the fact that they report your balances and payments to the three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
How we selected the best gas rewards cards
The best gas rewards cards that made our ranking offer exceptional bonus rewards on gas as well as other types of spending. We looked for cards with the highest rewards rate on gas purchases specifically, but we also compared hundreds of cards to look for bonus category rewards, intro APR offers, and other cardholder perks.