Gas Rebate Credit Cards �� What Do Consumers Think? (Part 2 of a 2-part series)

Written by Curtis Arnold
Posted On: December 13, 2006

This is Part 2 of an article series revealing results from the CardRatings.com Gas Rebate Credit Card Survey. Part 1 of this series covered the growing popularity of gas rebate credit cards, and how they can sometimes be a better deal for cardholders than a typical rebate credit card. In this follow-up, we discuss frequency of use, terms that cardholders value the most, and other trends in gas rebate programs.

Of over 1300 respondents to the CardRatings.com Gas Rebate Credit Card Survey, only 34 percent said that they currently have a credit card with a gas rebate program. When asked how often they used their gas rebate credit cards, 78 percent of those respondents said “Frequently.” In a follow-up question, 79.2 percent of respondents said they planned on using their gas rebate credit card more frequently during this past summer to help offset the cost of gas prices. So clearly those who use gas cards feel that they’re an effective way to save a little money at the pump.

Of those holding gas rebate cards, over half (52%) replied that CitiBank was the issuer of their card. Chase/Bank One/First USA, and Discover Bank were in the next two top spots.

orangecard So why do people choose the cards that they do? CitiBank was one of the first to offer the aggressive 5% rebate program and has obviously earned fans and loyalty because of it (please note that Citibank recently scaled back their gas rebate percentage on many of their cards). Among the other factors that influence cardholders are the typical suspects: annual fee, interest rate, amount of rebate/reward, and card acceptance.

While the interest rate of a card is usually a large factor, the survey revealed that the presence of an annual fee and the actual amount of the rebate ranked highest of importance to respondents when shopping for a gas rebate credit card, at 81 percent and 75 percent respectively. How widely the card is accepted came in third at 65 percent. Less important were the interest rate (46%) and other rebates and benefits (other than gas rebates) offered (42%).

High concern regarding annual fees and less concern for interest rates might imply prudent use of gas rebate cards: cardholders are more concerned about getting the most reward for their money and effort and we could guess that they use these cards for common, everyday purchases to earn rewards and then pay off the balance each month. (Which by the way, is the best way to use any credit card!)

Curtis Arnold, founder of CardRatings.com, recognizes the timeliness of the gas rebate credit card survey and surmises that it could be a way for some to be introduced to the usefulness of this type of credit card.


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“Once a consumer analyzes their spending, they may find that they can realize significant savings by using a gas rebate credit card or other type of rebate card.”


You can comparison shop for the best rated reward credit cards, including gas rebate cards, by visiting the Card Reports section of our site. Here's to saving us all a few bucks during this holiday season!

We welcome your comments about credit card and other money issues in our popular credit forum!

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