The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Thursday, October 22, 2020

10 Best Credit Cards to Use at Gas Stations in 2020

Best Credit Cards To Use At Gas Stations

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Updated: September 28, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

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 bonus cash back, up to the quarterly limit.

1. Discover it® Cash Back

This card is currently not available.

Gas Rebate Rating

★★★★★

N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

This card, like some others from Discover, features an impressive cash back rewards system with rotating bonus rewards categories each quarter. Because one of the common categories is gas stations, you could elect to earn the most bang for your buck back in cash rewards. You’ll also enjoy Discover’s unmatched year-end bonus rewards if you’re a new cardholder.

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 Unlimited® offers the best signup bonus in the gas-station card category.

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® 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 for a limited time.

In addition, you earn a 5% cash back rate on grocery store purchases and travel purchases through Chase, 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, and an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. 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 Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is our top pick.

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card 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 card 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.

4. Discover it® Cash Back

This card is currently not available.

Gas Rebate Rating

★★★★★

N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

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.

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 Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – a $200 cash redemption value
  • Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in; gas stations, rideshares, and transit; flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals; and popular streaming services - all other purchases earn 1X points
  • Introductory 0% APR offers on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from account opening (balance transfer fee applies)
  • No limit to points you can earn, and points don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Cell phone protection helps protect your cell phone from damage or theft
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
14.49% - 24.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

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. There’s no limit to the points you can earn, and you can even change your points category monthly to match your spending and maximize your return.

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 American Express® Business Gold Card.

American Express® Business Gold Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of card membership
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle, including airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio), U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions, and U.S. purchases at gas stations, restaurants, or for shipping. Applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year.
  • Earn 1X Membership Rewards® points on other purchases
  • Book your flight with American Express Travel using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points and get 25% of those points back
  • $295 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
14.24% - 22.24% Variable
$295
Excellent

This is a premier business card offer (with an annual fee to match) that earns an industry-leading rate on gas purchases. There’s also a signup bonus opportunity and several included business perks.

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.

7. Discover it® chrome

This card is currently not available.

Gas Rebate Rating

★★★★★

N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

The Discover it® chrome for Students provides elevated cash back rewards on purchases made at gas stations and restaurants up to a quarterly limit of combined purchases each quarter. If you misplace the card, you can freeze the card in seconds via the mobile app or website.

Students can earn a small statement credit each school year for a set number of years when they maintain a minimum GPA. 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 Bank of America® Cash Back Secured Credit Card, is much easier to obtain.

This card actually pays out cash back rewards for gas station purchases, something rather unheard of from a secured credit card.

Bank of America® Cash Back Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • A minimum refundable security deposit of $300 (maximum of $4,900) is required to open this account
  • Access your FICO® Score updated monthly for free, within your Mobile Banking app or in Online Banking
  • Optional overdraft protection option helps prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America® checking account to your credit card. Transfer fees may apply.
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99% Variable
$0
Bad/Limited

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.

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 bonus cash back rewards for purchases in different categories each quarter when activated, one of which is gas stations.

Other quarterly categories include restaurants, groceries, and selected merchants. All other purchases earn cash back at a reduced standard rate. You must activate the new category each quarter to receive the bonus cash back rate.

We love the card’s first-year bonus offer for new cardmembers, and that is what effectively makes it our top-rated card. In addition, the card ranked as our top “rotating cash back” card, and Discover is ranked very highly in customer service.

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 Discover’s first-year bonus for new cardholders, check out these cards: Discover it® Cash Back, Discover it® Student Cash Back, and Discover it® Secured. All three provide new cardmembers with Discover’s unique year-end bonus. 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.

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