Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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How to Maximize Your Gas Credit Card Rewards

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Gas rewards credit cards can help you cut your transportation cost – a benefit you’ll especially enjoy if you have a long commute to work or you take frequent road trips. If you have a gas credit card or you’re considering getting one, here are some ways to maximize the rewards you earn on your card.

Choose a branded gas credit card. Some gas credit cards are closed-loop, meaning they can only be used at a specific brand of gas stations. You’ll only earn rewards on gas and purchases you make from that specific gas station. Branded gas credit cards, on the other hand, have a Visa or MasterCard logo and can be used at more places, allowing you to earn rewards on other purchases, too.

Pick a card that pays higher rewards on all gas purchases. Some gas credit cards pay higher rewards only on gas purchases from a specific gas brand. It may not always be ideal or convenient for you to use these gas stations. But, if you choose a card that pays rewards on all gas purchases, you have more flexibility in the gas stations you can go to.

Note, however, that many gas rewards credit cards only pay higher rewards on gas purchases from standalone gas stations. That means purchases made from gas stations connected to a warehouse store or grocery store won’t earn rewards at the higher rate.

Always use your rewards card for gas. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you want to be completely sure you’re using your gas credit card each time you purchase gas. It’s easy to forget. Your gas credit card will pay higher rewards on gas purchases, so maximizing your rewards hinges on you making lots of gas purchases.

Use your credit card at more places. Since a branded gas credit cards lets you earn more rewards at more places, take advantage of it. Make your gas credit card your primary way of paying for purchases. The more purchases you make with your credit card, the more rewards you earn. Granted, your non-gas purchases may earn rewards at a lower rate. As long as they’re helping you earn, it’s better than nothing.

Avoid buying gas from places that charge more for credit card purchases. Merchants aren’t technically allowed to charge more for credit card transactions. They can, however, offer a discount to customers to use cash. The higher gas price cancels out the benefit you receive from earning rewards on your purchase. It might be more beneficial to directly save money by paying cash.

Depending on the card you choose, you’ll either earn cash back rewards or a discount on your gas purchases. Either way, using your gas credit card as much as possible is the best way to maximize the rewards you earn.

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Comments 1

Frank on Thursday, 26 October 2017 09:27

latoyairby, do you think it is worth getting a specific gas credit card, something like a Shell credit card?

latoyairby, do you think it is worth getting a specific gas credit card, something like a Shell credit card?
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Thursday, 17 October 2019

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