High gas prices got you down? Best gas rewards cards

Written by Geoff Williams
Posted On: March 16, 2012

Could this article save you some money at the gas pump? It just might. And so here we go, our latest weekly look at credit cards appearing in the news.

Fighting the high cost of gas

The New York Times' Bucks blog recently published an article about credit cards that offer cash back rewards to consumers pumping gas. As blogger Ann Carrns observed, "With gas prices edging toward an average of $4 gallon, it may be time to consider a credit card that gives you cash back rewards at the pump."

The article mentioned several gas rebate cards including the Chase Freedom, activate your bonus each quarter to earn 5 percent cash back in categories that change every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants and more on up to $1,500 in combined purchases. Unlimited 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.

If that seems a little too complicated, consider one of CardRatings.com's top gas rewards cards, the TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express, which offers 3 percent cash back on gasoline at U.S. gas stations, including at Costco, for purchases up to $4,000 per year (1% thereafter). With this offer you can also earn 2 percent cash back at U.S. restaurants, 2 percent cash back on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco, and 1 percent cash back on other purchases, including at Costco. Your cash back is earned on eligible purchases. There's no annual fee with your paid Costco membership. Keep in mind spend cap, terms and other restrictions apply.

Bottom line: If you have a gas credit card that offers rewards when you pump gas, and you haven't been using it, this may be the time. And if you don't have a credit card that does that -- well, this may be a good time to start looking for one, as long as it makes sense financially (for example, the annual fee isn't so high that the card costs more than your expected rewards).

TV on your credit card?

Don't get too excited. I'm just wildly speculating.

The tech website, Gizmodo.com, is reporting that NEC Corporation, a major provider of Internet and broadband network services, has just developed a battery that is 0.3 millimeters thick. The thinking at NEC, according to Gizmodo, is that the batteries might someday be used in "enhanced debit and credit cards. Imagine how convenient a Visa with a built-in display showing your current balance would be."

So I'm going one logical step farther and imagining that one day far off in the future perhaps we'll see commercials on a screen embedded on our credit card, with tiny pitchmen trying to convince us what we should be buying with our plastic.

LivingSocial to offer credit card for daily deals

If you're familiar with Groupon, the popular daily deal coupon company, then you probably know about LivingSocial, the second largest such company out there. Well, LivingSocial is going to be launching its first credit card in the coming months, Reuters reports. It will be a Chase Visa credit card and available to all American LivingSocial subscribers. Basically, it works like this. If the consumer makes 10 purchases a month, they'll get 10 credits called Deal Bucks, which can then be used to pay for LivingSocial daily deals.

LivingSocial chief financial officer John Bax told Reuters that the credit card will also be used as a way to get consumers to return to the businesses after they visit for their daily deal. There's been a lot of criticism of LivingSocial, Groupon and the other daily deal sites because often, after consumers get some great deal for 50 percent off, they don't return. Not sure how that's really LivingSocial or Groupon's fault, but it's nice that LivingSocial is at least considering trying to do something to rectify that.

Posted in Gas Rebate Cards
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