An excerpt from How YOU Can Profit from Credit Cards: Using Credit to Improve Your Financial Life and Bottom Line.
Are you feeling a little light in the wallet? Suddenly regretting the decision to go for that V-8 engine? Vowing to look into one of those hybrid cars? Chances are you’ve just been to the gas station.
With gasoline prices so high, many people are searching for ways to cut costs at the pump. If you’re one of them, you might be interested in credit cards that offer rebates on gas purchases.
Traditionally, gas cards have been affiliated with a particular oil company—Shell, Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, and so on. These cards are great if you habitually purchase your gas from a specific company, but they’re not so handy if you’re not particular about where you fill up, or you might find it aggravating to have to search for a certain gas station.
Newer gas cards are more versatile and offer rebates regardless of where you fill your tank. As Ira Stroller explains on the CardRatings.com forum:
“Ten years ago, credit cards charged consumers a premium for using their credit cards at the pump. Now these same companies have recognized that the pay-at-the-pump business is huge, and they’re engaging in a ‘semi-battle’ competing for that business by offering increasing better rewards and rebates.”
Here’s how to take the maximum advantage of the available gas cards:
- Most gas rebate cards don’t charge an annual fee. Most that do will waive that charge with a minimum number of purchases. Ask!
- Plan to pay off your gas card every month. Gas rebate cards generally offer higher APRs than other rebate cards, thus you’ll end up losing most of your reward if you carry a monthly balance and pay interest.
- Pick a card that gives rewards in the way you prefer. Usually, the gas rebate is given as a monthly credit on your statement. Sometimes, however, a gift card for a particular vendor is issued.
- Some offers come with an incredible introductory rebate rates that will decrease in just a few months. Find out when the starting rebate expires and what the new rebate will be.
- Most cards have rebate restrictions on gas purchases made at wholesale clubs, grocery stores and discount stores. As always, read the fine print carefully!
With skyrocketing gasoline prices, there has never been a better time to check into a credit card that gives cash rebates for you gasoline purchases. You’ll certainly remember this tip the next time you hit the pump for a fill-up.
Visit the "Gas Rebates" section to find out about the current offerings and ratings of different rebate cards, and to look over the applications.
For more tips on gas rebate credit cards, and other valuable credit card tips, check out Curtis' new book, How YOU Can Profit from Credit Cards: Using Credit to Improve Your Financial Life and Bottom Line.