Update: This post displays the Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards as of August 2011. Check out the latest Best Gas Credit Cards.
Many Americans simply feel helpless watching the numbers on the pump climb higher and higher as their cars gorge on gas and their bank accounts shrink before their eyes. As the price of gas continues to climb, that feeling will unfortunately become more pronounced as the spring turns into summer. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration projections, regular gas will average $3.86 this summer, up 40% from the same time last year. Because of this price increase, the EIA estimates that the average American family will spend about $825 more on vehicle fuel in 2011 than it did in 2010.
Luckily, there are a few steps consumers can take to minimize the financial impact of gas without taking drastic or unfeasible measures such as not driving or buying a more fuel-efficient car. These money-savings tricks include:
Opening a gas station credit card
Credit cards tied to particular gas station chains provide savings up to 5%. Among the best cards in this category are:
- The Shell Credit Card – 5% rebate on gas purchases made at Shell stations
- The BP Credit Card – 5% rebate on gas purchases made at BP stations
- The Exxon Mobile Credit Card – 15 cents per gallon rebate on gas purchases made at Exxon Mobile stations (amounts to 3.75% off on a $4 gal.)
Getting a cash back credit card
Some cash back credit cards offer particularly high rewards earning rates on gas purchases made at any gas station, in addition to generous rewards on all other purchases. These cards include:
- The Blue Cash Preferred from American Express – 3% on gas purchased anywhere; $75 annual fee
- The TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express – 3% on gas purchased anywhere up to $3,000 in annual gas purchases; 1% thereafter; no annual fee for Costco members
- The Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards – 2% cash back on gas purchases made anywhere and no annual fee
Consumers looking to save even more may also consider using one of the many smart phone applications, like GasBuddy, that help find the cheapest gas station in the neighborhood. Shopping at Giant can also bring out considerable savings because for every $100 they spend, consumers get a 10 cent/gal. discount on their next fill up at a Shell gas station.