13 Gas Cards for Bad Credit in 2019

13 Gas Cards for Bad Credit in 2019

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Posted: February 7, 2019
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines and are updated regularly.

Like it or not, the world is going digital, and it’s getting harder to get by without digital tools like email — and credit cards. Yes, those plastic payment cards are the new cash; even at the prosaic fill-up station, digital payment rules the pump.

Unfortunately, having bad credit makes the near-reliance on credit cards an issue. In fact, a low score can make it tough to find a reliable card for everyday spending, let alone finding a good gas card for bad credit.

That doesn’t mean you’re without options, however. While you won’t find the high-dollar rewards of the best gas cards, you can still find options for paying conveniently at the pump — a number of which even offer a few rewards.

Secured | Unsecured | Prepaid | Gas Station Cards
Using Cards at the Pump | Other Ways to Save

Top Secured Cards for Buying Gas with Bad Credit

A low credit score is an indication of a high-risk credit profile, which is what makes it hard to get approved for unsecured credit. Secured credit cards are a good solution, as the required deposit reduces the risk for the issuer.

With less on the line, secured credit card issuers can offer lower rates and fees than you’ll get from an unsecured card for bad credit. In fact, with the right secured card — like some of those below — you can even earn rewards on your purchases, including earning cash back or miles on every tank of gas.

Discover it® Secured Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
3.9

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
24.99% Variable
$0
New/Rebuilding

One of the best secured cards on the market, this card offers a low minimum deposit, has no annual fee, and lets users earn unlimited cash back rewards on every purchase. Plus, earn twice the cash back at the pump with 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined gas station and restaurant purchases.

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad

This card doesn’t have rewards on gas — or anything, for that matter — but it also doesn’t have an annual fee, penalty fee, or foreign transaction fees. The minimum deposit amount varies based on your credit profile.

3. SunTrust Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards

The SunTrust Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards is a solid pick for building credit, particularly if you want to earn cash back rewards. You’ll get 2% back at the pump and the grocery store on up to $6,000 in combined category purchases, as well as unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.

SunTrust Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards

  • Earn 2% cash back on up to $6,000 in combined gas and grocery purchases each year
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Pay a $32 annual fee

The downside to this card is its annual fee, but if you spend at least $1,600 on gas and groceries in a year, you’ll break even on the fee through rewards. Additionally, your deposit will actually earn interest while your account is open and in good standing.

4. Aeromexico Visa® Secured Card

The Aeromexico Visa® Secured Card is one of only a handful of secured travel cards from U.S. Bank. In addition to unlimited 1X miles on every purchase, you’ll earn double miles at gas stations and grocery stores.

Aeromexico Visa® Secured Card

  • Earn 2X Aeromexico miles per dollar on gas and grocery store purchases
  • Earn 1X mile per dollar on eligible net purchases
  • Pay $25 annual fee

This card has an annual fee, so be sure it’s worth paying just to earn miles. Your credit limit will be equal to the amount of your deposit, with a minimum $300 deposit required. You can deposit up to $5,000 to gain access to a larger credit line.

Top Unsecured Cards for Buying Gas with Bad Credit

Overall, paying a refundable deposit for a secured card is always ideal to paying high, nonrefundable fees for a subprime unsecured credit card. That said, the initial fees to open an unsecured card can be lower than the minimum deposit for a secured card, making unsecured cards the cheaper choice up front.

If you’re looking for gas rewards from an unsecured card for bad credit, your options are supremely limited. You can, however, find a number of subprime unsecured cards with flexible credit requirements that will give you the convenience of paying at the pump.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.0

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • Find out if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Eligible purchases earn 1% cash back rewards automatically, terms apply
  • Get a credit line between $300 and $3,000 based on your credit history
  • Accounts are automatically reviewed for credit line increase opportunities
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
20.24%-26.24% Variable
$0 - $99
Bad Credit

One of only a handful of unsecured cards for bad credit that can offer purchase rewards, applicants who meet the requirements can earn 1% cash back on every purchase, including at the pump. The card has variable fees that depend on your credit profile and qualifications.

Milestone® Mastercard® - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.9/5.0
  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Protection from fraud if your card is stolen
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • *Dependent on credit worthiness
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$35 - $99
Bad, Poor Credit

This card has fairly competitive rates and fees for a subprime card, though your exact fees will vary based on your qualifications. You won’t earn rewards, but you will get a decent grace period and the standard protections offered by credit cards.

Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pre-qualify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$0 - $99
Bad, Poor Credit

Another competitive subprime card, this option also has a variable annual fee, depending on your credit profile. You won’t pay many other fees, however, making this one of the more affordable subprime unsecured cards. The card does have a penalty rate, however, so be sure to pay on time every month.

Top Prepaid Cards for Buying Gas with Bad Credit

Although credit cards are certainly one way to enjoy the convenience of paying for your gas at the pump, they aren’t the only option. Debit cards can also be used at the pump, though you may not want to use your regular bank debit card due to concerns over card skimmers and other security issues.

Instead of using your bank debit card, you can use a prepaid debit card. Prepaid cards offer much of the convenience of credit cards while giving you the ability to eliminate the safety concerns of using a debit card tied to your bank account.

Pink Netspend® Visa® Prepaid Card Review

at Netspend'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

3.5/5.0
  • With Netspend Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • Use the Netspend Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
  • Get your tax refund direct deposited to your account and no more waiting in line to cash your check!
  • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. "Apply Now" for full details.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Variable Monthly Fee
No credit check

This card offers two plan options, with the right plan depending on how many purchases you make each month. The per-transaction plan charges you a fee per each transaction, while the monthly plan charges a flat monthly fee for unlimited transactions.

9. Bluebird® by American Express

The Bluebird® by American Express is a solid, low-fee option, charging no monthly fee, no transaction fees, and no direct deposit fees.

Bluebird® by American Express

  • Add funds for free through direct deposit, mobile check capture, debit card transfer, or at Walmart
  • $0 activation fee & $0 card fee when you buy online
  • $0 Monthly Fee

Reloading is also free through direct deposit, mobile check capture, or by using cash or a debit card at Walmart. Plus, cardholders enjoy fee-free ATM access at thousands of MoneyPass® ATMs around the country.

10. Chase Liquid® Prepaid Card

The Chase Liquid® Prepaid Card allows users to make unlimited fee-free transactions by PIN or by signature, as well as online, though it does charge a small $4.95 monthly fee.

Chase Liquid® Prepaid Card

  • Add funds through direct deposit, cash loads at Chase branch, bank transfer, or check deposits
  • Pay $0 for PIN or signature transactions
  • Pay $4.95 monthly fee

The card also offers free withdrawals at thousands of Chase bank branches and bank-owned ATMs around the country. Non-Chase ATM withdrawals will charge a $2.50 fee, plus any applicable ATM-owner fees.

Are Co-Branded Gas Station Cards an Option?

If you’ve ever pumped gas, you’ve probably seen the big signs loudly touting the amazing savings capabilities of the gas station’s co-branded credit card. Gas station credit cards are rarely the best way to save on gas, but they can be worthwhile if you don’t have other rewards cards. Unfortunately, if you have bad credit, your chances of qualifying for any gas station co-branded credit cards are pretty low.

Most gas station cards prefer applicants with at least fair credit, and good credit will give you the best chance of being approved. At the same time, every applicant and issuer is different, and reviewers for some cards have reported being approved despite a low credit score. Consider carefully before you apply, of course, as each application will result in a hard credit pull.

11. Shell | Fuel Rewards® Credit Card

The Shell | Fuel Rewards® Credit Card is the new version of the old Drive for Five card. The old card has reportedly accepted people with scores in the 500 range, with the average score in the mid-600s, but your experience may vary.

Shell | Fuel Rewards® Credit Card

  • Save up to 10¢ per gallon on up to 20 gallons with Fuel Rewards® Gold Status & your card
  • 10% Shell rebates on eligible non-fuel purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

By itself, this card offers users a 5¢ per gallon discount at the pump, but those savings can be combined with Shell’s Fuel Rewards program to boost the savings up to 10¢ per gallon. You’ll be limited to savings on the first 20 gallons. Cardholders can also receive a 10% rebate on eligible non-fuel purchases. Rebates only apply to the first $1,200 in qualifying non-fuel purchases each year.

12. Valero Consumer Credit Card

The Valero Consumer Credit Card isn’t for people with particularly low scores, but some reports indicate applicants with scores in the upper 500s and low 600s may occasionally be approved.

Valero Consumer Credit Card

  • Earn up to 8¢ per gallon depending on how much gas you pump each billing cycle
  • Use at more than 5,600 locations
  • Pay no annual fee

The rewards program of this card is a little different than that of others, as it works on a tiered basis. So, you’ll earn 4¢ per gallon if you pump between 50 and 74.9 gallons in a single billing cycle. But you’ll earn 8¢ per gallon if you pump more than 75 gallons, up to a maximum of 110 gallons.

13. Chevron/Texaco Techron Advantage Card

The Chevron/Texaco Techron Advantage Card reportedly accepts applicants with scores around 600, with the occasional report of a score in the upper 500s. Of course, your full credit profile will be used to make the decision.

Chevron/Texaco Techron Advantage Card

  • Earn 3¢ per gallon in fuel credits when you use your card at Chevron and Texaco gas stations
  • Receive exclusive cardholder offers and discounts
  • Pay no annual fee

If you’re approved for the card and use it to fill up at Chevron or Texaco stations, you’ll earn 3¢ per gallon in fuel credits. Your credits will add up over a billing period and be automatically applied to your account as a statement credit at the end of the billing period.

How to Use a Credit Card at the Pump

If you’ve long been a proponent of paying with cash instead of using a card at the pump, it can be intimidating to try and navigate the pump-side payment process for the first time. Never fear, however, as using your credit card to pay for gas right at the pump is not only convenient — it’s easy, too!

In general, all you need to do to use your credit card to pay for gas at the pump is to follow the on-screen prompts. You’ll insert your card into the card slot — you don’t need to leave it in, just insert then remove.

Once the pump’s computer reads your card, you’ll typically be asked to verify your right to use the card by either providing your billing ZIP code or, if you have a chip-and-PIN card, your four-digit PIN number.

Using a Credit Card at the Gas Pump

You can use your credit card to pay at the pump simply by inserting your card then providing your billing ZIP code or four-digit PIN number.

So long as you enter the correct number, the machine should authorize your purchase and instruct you to select your nozzle and start pumping. When you finish pumping gas, the screen should ask if you want a receipt, which will usually print right from a printer next to the screen. Take your receipt and go!

One important thing to note about using a credit card at the gas pump is that some gas stations may require a temporary authorization for $75 to $100, depending on the station. This is a fraud-prevention measure used to make sure the card has the funds to cover however much you decide to pump. However, the final transaction will be for the actual amount you pumped.

Other Ways to Save on Gas Purchases

For most people, using credit cards at the pump has two main benefits: the convenience and the rewards. When you have bad credit, however, it’s often easier to get a credit card without gas rewards than one with them.

Thankfully, you may not need credit card rewards to save money at the pump, which means you can use any card you want and still enjoy the benefits of paying less for gas. Here are a few ways to reduce your gas costs:

  • Join a Gas Rewards Program: Many gas station brands offer their own free loyalty programs that will let you save on each gallon of gas. Additionally, some grocery store chains will offer gas rewards programs or discounted gas cards.
  • Use a Gas Savings App: You can find a variety of mobile apps that can help you save. Examples include GasBuddy, which shows you local gas prices and offers gas discounts, and TruNow, which provides after-you-pump rebates.
  • Pump Strategically: Find the cheapest gas on your regular route and try to refill there (hint: stations attached to wholesale clubs often have lower prices). Also, gas prices tend to be higher closer to the weekend, so fill up at the beginning of the week.
  • Master the Mechanics: How you drive and the condition of your car both impact how much gas you use. Driving less aggressively and ensuring your tires and engine are in good shape can help to reduce your fuel usage.

If you’re looking for additional tips, a quick web search will offer literally dozens of ways to save on fuel. And, of course, if you do have a rewards card, pair your credit card rewards with these savings methods for even more savings!

Keep Your Tank Full with the Right Card

Digital payments are the way of the day, making a good credit card a powerful tool everywhere from the restaurant to the gas station. Bad credit can make it more difficult to find a good card, particularly if you want something specific like a gas credit card. But, options exist — if you’re willing to compromise a little.

Of course, no matter what kind of card you use for your gas purchases, all of the core credit card rules apply. This includes the golden rule of credit: always, always, always pay on time. You should also keep an eye on your utilization rate (especially with low-limit store cards) and make sure you pay in full every month to avoid interest fees.