Best credit card deals for summer road trips

It's happened to all of us: You drive by your neighborhood gas station, take a cursory glance at the prices, swerving slightly as you do a double take. Then you spend the next 10 miles cursing the high prices that will deprive you of your summer road trip.

Not so fast, though. High gas prices are painful, but a smart choice of plastic will not only take away some of the sting, it will actually help you get more out of your summer adventures. Compare credit cards to find the perfect deal for you.

Gas card perks for PenFed members

How does 5 percent cash back on gas purchases sound? It's a reality if you're eligible for membership with the Pentagon Federal Credit Union--a credit union for members of groups related to the U.S. Department of Defense. The PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa® Card is perfect for these times of high prices at the pump. Plus Card offers 5 percent cash back on gas purchases paid at the pump if you have a qualifying PenFed product such as a money market savings account. And no annual fee and no limit on rewards earned. While the Standard Card offers 3 percent cash back on gas purchases paid at the pump and an introductory annual fee of $0 the first year then a $25 annual fee.

    The card is for those with excellent credit. PenFed cards frequently offer low-cost balance transfer promotions.

    Costco shoppers: Two cards in one

    If Costco is your favorite store for everything from birthday cakes to patio furniture to a six-month supply of paper towels, this card will fit your life. The TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express serves as both your Costco membership card and a working American Express card all in one with no annual fee with your paid Costco membership. You can earn:

    • 3 percent cash back at US gas stations and on gasoline at Costco up to $4,000 per year in purchases, then 1%
    • 2 percent cash back at US restaurants
    • 2 percent cash back on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco
    • 1 percent cash back on other purchases, including at Costco

    Terms and limitations apply. You will receive your cash back in the form of an annual reward coupon. The Two-In-One Card: it's an American Express® Card and Costco membership card, with no annual fee for Costco members.

    You'll need an excellent credit score to qualify for the card.

    Spend big on gas and groceries? Another American Express offer for you

    Here's another American Express card that offers cash back--and a good choice if you don't have a Costco nearby. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers great cash-back rewards on your purchases:

    • Get 6 percent cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases
    • 3 percent cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores
    • 1 percent cash back on other purchases

    Terms and limitations apply. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Terms and Restrictions Apply.

    The card has a $75 annual fee.

    Face it: This summer's gas prices are bound to make you cringe. But keep your eyes on the road, your foot on the gas and the best rewards credit card in the passenger seat!