At a Glance

Gas credit cards are an excellent way to save money on gasoline purchases. These credit cards typically offer rewards designed to encourage you to use them for gasoline purchases. The way gas credit cards work is that you earn a certain number of points or cash back every time you use your card at a gas station. Once you have accumulated enough points or cash back, you can redeem them for rewards such as free gasoline, gift cards, or other products. One of the great benefits of gas credit cards is that they are simple to use and can save you money on an essential expense. So next time you fill up your car, consider using a gas credit card to help you save more on your fuel purchases.

In this article, you’ll learn:



Is the forecasted 2023 average cost of gas per gallon.

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What’s a gas credit card?

A gas credit card is a type of credit card specifically designed for purchasing gasoline or other fuel products. These cards are typically offered by oil companies or financial institutions in partnership with oil companies. They provide cardholders with various benefits and rewards related to fuel purchases.

Gas credit cards often offer cashback or rewards points for every dollar spent on gas, which can be redeemed for discounts, free fuel, or other rewards. Some gas credit cards also provide additional benefits, such as discounts on car maintenance services or roadside assistance.

Using a gas credit card can be convenient for frequent drivers who regularly purchase fuel, as it allows them to separate their fuel expenses from other purchases and track their fuel-related expenses more efficiently. However, using gas credit cards responsibly and paying off the balance in full each month is essential to avoid high interest charges and debt accumulation.

How do gas credit cards work?

Gas credit cards work similarly to other credit cards but are specifically designed for purchasing gasoline and fuel-related expenses. Here’s how they typically work:

  • Application: You must apply through the issuing bank or the oil company’s website to obtain a gas credit card. You’ll need to provide personal information such as your name, address, income details, and sometimes your social security number.
  • Approval: The issuer will review your application and assess your creditworthiness. They will consider factors such as your credit history, income, and debt-to-income ratio. If approved, you will receive the gas credit card in the mail.
  • Fuel purchases: Once you have your gas credit card, you can use it to make purchases at gas stations or other fuel retailers. Present your card at the payment terminal or swipe it, depending on the card type and technology.
  • Rewards and benefits: Gas credit cards often offer rewards or benefits for fuel purchases. This can include cashback on gasoline spending, rewards points that can be redeemed for discounts or free fuel, or additional perks like discounts on car maintenance or roadside assistance.
  • Billing cycle and statement: Like other credit cards, gas cards have billing cycles that usually last around 30 days. During this time, you can make purchases up to your credit limit. At the end of the billing cycle, the credit card issuer will generate a statement that details your fuel purchases and any other transactions made with the card.
  • Payment: To avoid interest charges and maintain good credit standing, it’s important to pay your gas credit card bill in full and on time each month. You can pay through various methods, such as online banking, check, or electronic transfer.
  • Interest charges: If you carry a balance on your gas credit card by not paying the total amount, the remaining balance will accumulate interest charges. The interest rate is typically higher for credit cards compared to other forms of credit, so it’s advisable to pay off the balance in full to avoid unnecessary interest expenses.

Rewards credit cards vs. oil-company gas cards

Rewards credit cards and oil-company gas cards are two different types of cards with distinct features and benefits. Here’s a comparison between the two:

Rewards credit cards:

  • Flexibility: Rewards credit cards offer rewards and benefits across various spending categories, not just gas purchases. You can earn rewards on multiple types of transactions, including groceries, dining, travel, and more.
  • Redemption options: Rewards earned on these cards can be redeemed for various options, such as cashback, gift cards, travel bookings, merchandise, or statement credits.
  • Gas rewards: Many rewards credit cards offer a certain percentage of cashback or rewards points for gas purchases, although the rewards rate may not be as high as dedicated gas cards.
  • Additional benefits: Besides gas rewards, rewards credit cards often provide extra perks like travel insurance, airport lounge access, concierge services, and extended warranty protection.
  • Wide acceptance: Rewards credit cards are generally accepted by a wide range of merchants and retailers, not limited to specific oil companies or gas stations.

Related: Best Rewards Credit Cards

Oil-company gas cards:

  • Enhanced rewards for gas: Oil-company gas cards typically offer higher reward rates than general rewards credit cards for gas purchases. These rewards can be cashback, discounts, or rewards points for fuel purchases.
  • Exclusive discounts: Gas cards from oil companies may provide additional discounts on fuel prices when you use the card at their branded gas stations.
  • Limited acceptance: Oil-company gas cards are generally accepted at the specific oil company’s gas stations or affiliated partners. Their usability might be limited compared to rewards credit cards, which are accepted by a broader range of merchants.
  • Additional benefits: Some oil-company gas cards may offer specific benefits such as discounts on car maintenance, roadside assistance, or exclusive promotions related to fuel purchases.

Choosing between a rewards credit card and an oil-company gas card depends on your spending habits and preferences. A rewards credit card may be more suitable if you primarily want to maximize rewards across different spending categories. However, an oil-company gas card might be a better option if you frequently purchase gas and want to maximize rewards and discounts specifically for fuel purchases.

How to choose a credit card for gas rewards

When choosing a credit card specifically for gas rewards, consider the following factors to find the card that best suits your needs:

  • Rewards structure: Look for credit cards that offer attractive rewards specifically for gas purchases. Compare the cashback percentage or rewards points earning rate dedicated to fuel spending. Some cards may offer higher rewards for gas purchases than others, so choose one that maximizes your benefits.
  • Redemption options: Consider how you prefer to redeem your rewards. Some cards offer cash back or statement credits, while others provide the option to redeem points for gas discounts or gift cards. Ensure the redemption options align with your preferences and provide value for your rewards.
  • Gas station acceptance: Check the acceptance network of the card. If you have a preferred gas station or chain, ensure the card is accepted there. Some cards are tied to specific oil companies and may offer better rewards or discounts when used at affiliated stations.
  • Annual fees: Determine if the gas rewards card charges an annual fee. Compare the annual fee to the potential benefits you’ll receive from the card. If the rewards and perks outweigh the fee, it may still be worthwhile, but if the fees outweigh the benefits, you may want to consider a no-annual-fee card instead.
  • Additional benefits: Look beyond gas rewards and consider any additional benefits the credit card offers. These may include travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranties, or other perks that can enhance the card’s overall value.
  • Interest rates and fees: While it’s ideal to pay off your credit card balance in full each month to avoid interest charges, it’s important to consider the interest rates and fees associated with the card. Choose a card with competitive interest rates and minimal fees to minimize your costs if you ever carry a balance.
  • Creditworthiness: Some gas rewards credit cards have specific credit score requirements. Check if you meet the creditworthiness criteria for the card you’re considering to increase your chances of approval.
  • Reviews and reputation: Before applying for a gas rewards credit card, read reviews and check the card issuer’s reputation for customer service and reliability. It’s helpful to choose a card from a reputable issuer with a track record of excellent customer satisfaction.

How much money can a gas credit card save you?

The amount of money a gas credit card can save you depends on various factors, including your fuel consumption, the rewards structure of the card, and your spending habits. Here are some key considerations:

  • Rewards rate: Gas credit cards typically offer a certain percentage of cashback or rewards points for gas purchases. For example, a card may provide 3% cash back on gas spending. If you spend $200 per month on gasoline, you will earn $6 in cashback rewards.
  • Fuel consumption: The more you spend on gas, the more you can potentially save with a gas credit card. If you have a long commute or frequently travel by car, fuel expenses are likely higher, resulting in more significant potential savings.
  • Rewards caps or limits: Some gas credit cards impose limits or caps on the rewards you can earn. For example, there may be a maximum cashback limit of $500 per year on gas purchases. Be aware of any such limitations when assessing potential savings.
  • Other spending categories: Gas credit cards may offer rewards on different categories such as groceries, dining, or travel. Your overall savings can be higher if you earn rewards on these additional categories and frequently spend in them.
  • Redemption options: Consider how you can redeem the rewards earned with your gas credit card. If the rewards can be used for statement credits or applied directly to fuel purchases, you’ll reduce fuel expenses effectively. The flexibility and value of redemption options can impact your savings potential.
  • Annual fee: If the gas credit card has an annual fee, subtract that cost from your potential savings. Ensure that your rewards outweigh the annual fee to make the card financially worthwhile.
  • Interest charges: It’s crucial to pay off your gas credit card balance in full each month to avoid interest charges. Accumulating interest can negate the savings from rewards, so responsible credit card usage is essential.

How to pay with a gas card?

To pay with a gas card, follow these general steps:

  1. Approach the pump: Drive up to the gas pump at the station of your choice.
  2. Insert or swipe the card: Depending on the type of gas card and the technology supported by the gas station, you may need to insert the card into the card reader slot or swipe it through the designated slot. Alternatively, if the gas card supports contactless payments, you can tap or wave it near the card reader if it has contactless capabilities.
  3. Follow instructions: The gas pump or the card reader will provide instructions on the screen. It may prompt you to select the type of fuel you want, such as regular, premium, or diesel.
  4. Authorization process: The card reader will communicate with the gas card issuer to authorize the transaction. This process usually takes a few moments.
  5. Pump fuel: The gas pump will be activated once the transaction is authorized. Remove the nozzle from the pump and select the appropriate fuel grade you desire. Insert the nozzle into your vehicle’s fuel tank and squeeze the handle to start pumping fuel. Monitor the pump display to keep track of the amount and cost of the fuel you’re dispensing.
  6. Complete fueling: Once you have finished fueling your vehicle, release the handle to stop the flow of fuel. Allow excess fuel to drain from the nozzle before returning it to the pump.
  7. Collect receipt (optional): If you require a receipt for your records or reimbursement, you can print it from the gas pump. Some pumps also offer the option to receive a digital receipt via email or text message.

Is a gas credit card right for you?

Gas credit cards can be a great way to save money on fuel expenses, but they are not for everyone. It is important to evaluate your driving habits and needs before deciding if a gas credit card is right for you. If you frequently drive long distances or have a long commute, a gas credit card may be worth considering as it can offer discounts or rewards on your gas purchases.

However, if you rarely drive or use public transportation, a gas credit card may not provide much benefit. Additionally, it is important to consider the interest rates and fees associated with these cards, as they can add up quickly if you carry a balance.


Yes, it is possible to apply for a gas credit card online. Many credit card issuers and financial institutions offer the option to apply for a gas credit card through their websites. These gas credit cards are specifically designed for use at gas stations and often provide rewards or cashback for fuel purchases.

To apply for a gas credit card online, you typically need to visit the website of the credit card issuer or financial institution offering the card. From there, you can navigate to the credit card section or search for gas credit cards specifically. Once you find the desired gas credit card, you can usually fill out an online application form with your personal and financial information. The issuer will then review your application, and if approved, you will receive the credit card by mail.

Yes, gas cards can help build credit when used responsibly. Gas cards are typically credit cards, and like any credit card, they report your payment history and credit utilization to credit bureaus. Here’s how gas cards can contribute to building credit:

  • Payment history: Making on-time payments for your gas card each month demonstrates responsible credit behavior. Timely payments positively impact your credit score and show lenders that you are a reliable borrower.
  • Credit utilization: Gas cards have a credit limit, the maximum amount you can charge on the card. You can positively impact your credit score by keeping your credit utilization ratio low (the percentage of available credit you use). Keeping your gas card balances low relative to the credit limit shows responsible credit usage.
  • Length of credit history: Gas cards can contribute to the length of your credit history. The longer you have a gas card and use it responsibly, the more positive impact it can have on your credit score over time.
  • A mix of credit: A diverse mix of credit accounts, including credit cards, can positively impact your credit score. Adding a gas card to your credit portfolio can help diversify your credit mix and potentially improve your creditworthiness.