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What is the best gas rebate card? I've read that PenFed offers a 5 percent rebate.

By , CardRatings contributor
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Q: What is the best gas rebate card? I've read that PenFed offers a 5 percent rebate, but I am not familiar with this card.

Editor's Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available.

A: One of the best gas credit cards you've never heard of comes from an ambitious credit union with some lofty goals: to honor our nation's military by rewriting the financial industry's playbook.

Gas rebate cards have captured consumers' attention as prices at the pump keep rising. Historically, banks and oil companies partnered to offer some of the best gas credit cards, requiring consumers to maintain loyalty to a particular brand over time.

More recently, credit card issuers have bundled "pay at the pump" purchases into their bonus cash back reward offers. Chase and Discover both rotate gas station purchases through their seasonal bonus offers. On the other hand, the TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express you can earn 3% Cash back at US gas stations and on gasoline at Costco up to $4,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.  Note that your cash back is earned on eligible purchases only and you will receive your cash back in the form of an annual reward coupon. Spend cap and other restrictions apply. Terms and conditions apply.

The Holy Grail of gas rebate cards, however, would have to be the PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa® Card. The Plus version of this card offers 5 percent cash back on gas purchases paid at the pump. In order to be eligible for the Plus version you would need to have a qualifying PenFed product, for example an active checking account with direct deposit ($250 min), personal line of credit, money market savings account to name a few. The Plus card carries no annual fee. The Standard Card still offers a healthy 3 percent cash back on purchases paid at the pump and an introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year then an annual fee of $25. Note that for both versions of this card fuel purchases for airplanes and boats do not receive cash back rewards. Be sure to review any terms, conditions or restrictions that pertain to this offer before you apply.

Not only for military families Pentagon Federal Credit Union designed this card to help military families cope with the challenges and expenses of living abroad or working through a family member's extended leave. With over a million members, PenFed knows a lot about how to care for veterans and active service personnel. Since PenFed works to improve the lives of its members instead of worrying about Wall Street, the credit union can extend some powerful perks.

Any U.S. citizen with family connections to active or retired military personnel can join PenFed by opening a modest savings account. Consumers with no direct military connections can make a one-time donation to one of two membership associations to be considered for membership to PenFed. Although almost anyone can open a savings account with PenFed, only applicants with excellent credit will qualify for the PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card. Bring a less than stellar credit report, and you may have to settle for a traditional credit card with fewer perks while you improve your track record.

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