The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

10 Best Credit Cards to Use at Gas Stations in 2019

10 Best Credit Cards to Use at Gas Stations in 2019

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: November 6, 2019

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Driving is America’s great pastime. Of course, driving requires regular stops at a gas station to fill up the old chariot for its next foray. Since you have to pay for gas, you may as well reap some rewards in the process by paying with one of the best credit cards to use at gas stations.

And, if you need to pick up a container of antifreeze, a six-pack of synthetic oil, or for that matter, a six-pack of gum, even more rewards may accrue to your benefit, depending on the card you use.

Here is our list of the best credit cards to use at gas stations. One or more is sure to be a perfect match for your needs.

Best Overall
Signup BonusFlat-Rate | Rotating Rewards | Points |
Business | Students | Bad Credit | Credit Union | Station-Branded

Best “Overall” Card to Use at Gas Stations

The Discover it® Cash Back card includes gas stations as one of its quarterly reward categories that — when activated — earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases. The other quarterly rotating categories include restaurants, PayPal, grocery stores, and selected merchants. You’ll also earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases with this no-annual-fee card.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

This card, like some others from Discover, features an unlimited, first-year-only Cashback Match, but only to new cardmembers. You get a dollar-for-dollar match at the end of the first year on all the cash back you have earned, including on your gas purchases.

The card’s cash back never expires as long as you keep the account open. You can receive your cash back at any time, with no minimum redemption amount. If you prefer, you can redeem your rewards as gift cards, Amazon.com payments, or charitable donations.

Best “Signup Bonus” Card to Use at Gas Stations

Signup bonuses are a great incentive for obtaining a new credit card. We think the Chase Freedom® card offers the best signup bonus in the gas-station card category.

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74 - 25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Chase Freedom® is a no-annual-fee card that offers a modest signup bonus when you spend $500 on purchases during the first three months. But this card is no one-trick pony. You also receive a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for a limited time.

In addition, you earn a 5% cash back rate on limited purchases within the quarterly rotating bonus category (i.e. gas stations, grocery stores, department stores, etc.). All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back. You must activate the bonus category each quarter to get the high cash back rate. Cash back rewards don’t expire as long as the account remains open, and there’s no minimum redemption amount.

Best “Flat-Rate Cash Back” Card to Use at Gas Stations

If you feel like you need a math degree to figure out your credit card’s cash back rewards, consider a flat-rate cash back card that offers one simple rate on all purchases. It’s easy-peasy, and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is our top pick.

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card provides 1.5% cash back on all purchases every day. There are no quarterly categories to activate or complicated sliding scales depending on the type of merchant.

The cash back rewards don’t expire while the account is open, and you can redeem any amount at any time. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® charges no annual fee and offers several customer protection features.

Best “Rotating Cash Back” Card to Use at Gas Stations

Rotating cash back rewards offer enhanced rewards on purchases at specific merchant types, one quarter at a time. Our pick, the Discover it® Cash Back card, offers top rewards at gas stations during at least one quarter of the year.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Discover it® Cash Back offers quarterly rotating 5% cash back categories on up to a quarterly maximum of $1,500 in purchases when you activate the specific category. One quarterly category is gas stations, Uber, and Lyft. Other categories include restaurants, PayPal, grocery stores, and Amazon, Target, and Walmart. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back.

You can redeem your cash back at any time, in any amount, and the cash back never expires while the account remains open. You can also redeem your rewards in the form of Amazon.com payments, gift cards, or charitable donations. The card features a first-year Cashback Match™ for new cardmembers. This is an unlimited, dollar-for-dollar match on all cash back you earn during the first year. You’ll receive the matching funds automatically at the end of the first year.

Best “Points” Card to Use at Gas Stations

Points are flexible because you can use them in many ways, including making purchases, redeeming for cash, or transferring to a frequent traveler program. Our top choice in this category is the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card.

5. Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card offers several tiered categories of reward points. Gas stations fall into the 2X tier. Supermarket purchases of up to $6,000 per year earn 3X points, and all other purchases earn 1X points. If you make purchases with the card at least 30 times during a billing period, you’ll earn extra points on those purchases.

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

  • 2X points at U.S. gas stations
  • Earn 50% extra points when you use your card 30 or more times on purchases within a billing period
  • $95 annual fee

The card offers a broad range of benefits, including a signup bonus opportunity and a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. You can use your points in many ways, including paying your credit card balance, booking travel with American Express Travel, making purchases through the Membership Rewards® program, or transferring points to participating frequent traveler programs.

Best “Business” Card to Use at Gas Stations

Gas station rewards are a great fit for business credit cards, especially when employees drive for business reasons. We recommend the GM BuyPower Business Card™ from Capital One® as our top choice.

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.3/5.0
  • 3% Earnings on purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and office supply stores; 1% Earnings on all other purchases; plus, 5% Earnings on purchases of GM parts, accessories and service at authorized GM dealers - all of which can be exclusively redeemed toward the purchase or lease of an eligible, new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle
  • No annual fee, no limit to how much you can earn and redeem, and your Earnings don't expire on an open Account; plus, a 0% Intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months and a variable APR of 18.74% after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
N/A
18.74% Variable APR
$0.00
Excellent

The GM BuyPower Business Card™ from Capital One® offers three tiers of rewards. You get 3% earnings on purchases from gas stations, office supply stores, and restaurants. The top tier, 5%, applies to purchases of GM parts, service, and accessories at authorized GM dealers. All other purchases earn 1%. Earnings are unlimited, don’t expire while the account is open, and you can redeem them toward the purchase or lease of a new GM vehicle.

You can add employee cards and link them to your earnings account to accumulate earnings faster. The card allows you to combine your earnings with discounts for GM employees and suppliers, as well as GM Rewards. You also can access exclusive savings for purchases at participating merchants.

Best “Student” Card to Use at Gas Stations

Many students live on a tight budget, so rewards for an expense like gas are especially welcome. We name the Discover it® Chrome for Students as the best-educated choice.

Discover it® chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Discover it® Chrome for Students card provides 2% cash back rewards on purchases made at gas stations and restaurants up to a quarterly limit of $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Bonus categories must be activated, and all other purchases will earn an unlimited 1% cash back. The card charges no annual fee, and, if you misplace the card, you can freeze the card in seconds via the mobile app or website.

Students can earn a $20 statement credit per school year for up to five years when they achieve a GPA of 3.0 or higher. New cardmembers get an unlimited, dollar-for-dollar Cashback Match on all cashback rewards earned during the first year. You receive the match automatically at the end of the first year. Your cash back rewards don’t expire while the account remains open, and you can redeem your rewards at any time, in any amount.

Best “Bad Credit” Card to Use at Gas Stations

It can be hard for a consumer with bad credit to get a credit card. A secured card, like the Discover it® Secured card, is much easier to obtain.

Discover it® Secured Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% for 6 months
24.49% Variable
$0
New/Rebuilding

The Discover it® Secured card pays 2% cash back on purchases of up to $1,000 per quarter at gas stations and restaurants. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back. To obtain this card, you make a refundable deposit up to the approved credit line. The card reports your payments to the three credit bureaus, which can help you build your credit.

New members receive a Cashback Match at the end of the first year. You earn an unlimited, dollar-for-dollar match on all cash back for the first year after opening the account. Starting at eight months, Discover will evaluate the return of your deposit, converting the card to unsecured.

Best “Credit Union” Card to Use at Gas Stations

Credit unions are like banks, but they are not-for-profit, and their customers are the owners. The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card is our favorite for use at gas stations.

9. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers unlimited 5X points for gas purchases at the pump, 3X on groceries, and 1X on all other purchases, including fuel purchases for boats and airplanes. Note that the top reward rate applies only to gas purchases and excludes other gas station purchases.

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

  • 5X points on fuel purchases
  • $100 statement credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days
  • Must be a member of PenFed Credit Union to apply
  • No annual fee

The minimum redemption is 1,000 points, which you can use for merchandise, gift cards, and travel. Unredeemed points expire in five years or sooner if you close your account. The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card charges no annual or foreign transaction fees and offers a 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months (fees apply).

Best “Station-Branded” Card to use at Gas Stations

Station-branded cards offer discounts on gas purchases at the issuer’s gas stations. The Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® offers one of the better discount programs among station-branded cards.

10. Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®

The Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard provides a 10-cents-per-gallon discount on all fuel purchases at participating Shell locations. Where available, the discount immediately posts at the pump when you insert the card. You’ll also receive 10% off your first $1,200 spent annually on non-fuel purchases at Shell locations, which is applied as a statement credit.

Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®

  • 10 cents off every gallon, up to 20 gallons
  • 2% rebate applied to dining and grocery purchases, 1% rebate on everything else
  • No annual fee

For accounts opened during specified periods, the card may offer an additional discount for an initial period after opening the account. For example, new cardholders currently receive 30 cents off every gallon (up to 20 gallons) for the first five fill-ups using the card. Your account must be open and in good standing to receive discounts.

Is It Worth It to Get a Gas Credit Card?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Americans consumed almost 392 million gallons of gas per day in 2018. That’s a lot of gas, meaning gas rewards cards can provide plenty of value.

Drivers spend thousands of dollars each year on gas, so for them, a gas credit card can be well worth it. Most of the cards reviewed here are co-branded with Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover, which means you can use them everywhere that accepts these payment networks.

The distinguishing feature of the reviewed cards is that they offer rewards on purchases of gas and, in most cases, other items at gas stations.

You can use the co-branded cards to get rewards on all types of purchases, including the purchase of any brand of fuel. If gasoline is a significant expense in your monthly budget, a gas credit card will reward you well for your fuel purchases.

How to Maximize Credit Card Rewards

The considerations are different for station-branded gas cards issued by oil companies. These may not be co-branded, making them useful only at participating gas stations.

For example, the Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® offers discounts on fuel purchased only at participating Shell locations. You may find this card worthwhile if you want to pay less at the pump without dealing with cash back or points.

Also, the card makes sense if you want to limit your use of credit to specific types of purchases. These cards usually have no annual fees, so owning one won’t necessarily cost you any money.

However, the non-co-branded, oil-company gas cards present certain problems. They are useful only at one brand of gas station, so you may need to own multiple cards. You may not be able to use them for general purchases, and they may charge relatively high APRs on unpaid balances.

Moreover, by using these cards, you are sacrificing rewards (sometimes, more generous rewards) from your other credit cards. It’s up to you to decide whether you prefer fuel discounts to general rewards for the money you spend on gas.

Do Gas Cards Build Credit?

The general-purpose credit cards reviewed here report your card payments to one or more of the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). This allows you to build your credit by paying your credit card bills on time, especially if you pay more than the minimum amount. On the other hand, if you miss payments, your credit score will suffer.

The story is different for non-co-branded oil company gas cards. Some don’t report your payments to the credit bureaus, and those can’t help you improve your credit. However, these cards could hurt your credit if you are delinquent on your payments and the card issuer turns your account over to a collection agency.

However, in some situations, you could use an oil company card as part of an overall strategy to improve your credit. One metric that affects your credit score is your credit utilization rate, which is the amount of credit you use divided by the amount of credit available to you.

Example Utilization Rates

You can picture a scenario where you have a high credit utilization rate and choose to reduce your credit balances. Accordingly, you use cash for most of your new purchases so your credit card balances shrink over time.

If you use gas station credit cards that don’t send reports to the credit bureaus, you can take advantage of gas discounts without increasing your reported credit utilization rate. In this way, your oil-company gas card can help you in your efforts to reduce your credit utilization ratio and boost your credit score.

Who Has the Best Fuel Rewards Program?

Our top overall choice for the best fuel rewards program is the Discover it® Cash Back card. It offers a 5% cash back reward on up to $1,500 in purchases in a different category each quarter when activated, one of which is gas stations.

Other quarterly categories include restaurants, groceries, and selected merchants. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. You must activate the new category each quarter to receive the 5% cash back rate.

Discover it® Cash Back Card

The Discover it® Cash Back card is our best overall gas card.

We love the card’s first-year Cashback Match for new cardmembers, and that is what effectively makes it our top-rated card. Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically, without limit. In addition, the card ranked as our top “rotating cash back” card. It features no annual fee and a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers (fee applies) for a limited period after opening the account.

Our top choice among station-branded credit cards is the Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®. The card provides a 10-cent-per-gallon discount on fuel purchases (up to 20 gallons) at participating Shell locations. This discount appears automatically at the pump when available. Rebates on other purchases appear as statement credits.

If you are a fan of a first-year Cashback Match for new cardmembers, check out the cards from Discover: Discover it® Cash Back, Discover it® Student Cash Back, and Discover it® Secured. All three provide new cardmembers a dollar-for-dollar match of cash back earned during the first year after opening the account. Also, all three offer enhanced rewards for purchases at gas stations.

Pump Up the Rewards with a Good Gas Card

All the cards in this review provide enhanced rewards for gas purchases. With them, drivers can reap rewards every time they fill up.

The cards are especially valuable to drivers who log many miles every year. Whether your credit is good, bad, or non-existent, there is a gas card that will fit your needs well.