The 8 Best Credit Cards For Gas Purchases

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Update: This offer for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

Update: This offer for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN is expired, but there’s currently an opportunity to earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Learn more about the special offer here.

Update: This offer for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.


With summer officially underway, lots of Americans are planning road trips over the coming weeks. For those of us who are miles & points obsessed, it’s always important to maximize your credit card spend, and gas purchases are no exception. So I figured I’d compile a list of the best credit cards for gas purchases in 2016.

I’ll be looking at both cashback and points-based cards, and for the points-based cards will be using my valuation of points to determine the value. Everyone values miles & points differently, so of course apply your own numbers when deciding what works best for you.

Gas-Station

With that in mind, here are my top picks:

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Reward on U.S. gas spend: 3x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent (you really only earn 2x points at US gas stations, but if you make 30 transactions per billing cycle on the card you get a 50% points bonus, for a total of 3x points)
My valuation: 5.1% (I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each)
Annual fee: $95

Pros: Membership Rewards points are extremely valuable and versatile
Cons: This card only offers bonus points on purchases at U.S. gas stations, and you have to make 30 transactions per billing cycle to earn 3x points

Amex-EDP

Citi ThankYou Premier Card

Reward on gas spend: 3x ThankYou points per dollar spent
My valuation: 5.1% (I value ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each)
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Pros: This card offers 3x points worldwide on gas with no strings attached
Cons: If you don’t yet have the card, it doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus at the moment

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Reward on U.S. gas spend: Up to 3x Membership Rewards points (the card offers 3x points in your preferred category of choice, including airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, U.S. purchases at gas stations, U.S. purchases for shipping, U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers; then you can earn 2x points in the remaining categories)
My valuation: 5.1%
Annual fee: $175, waived the first year

Pros: This is the business card which potentially offers the biggest return on gas purchases, in my opinion
Cons: You have to specifically select gas as the category for which you want to earn 3x points, so there’s a potential opportunity cost to that

Amex-BGR

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi & Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi

Reward on gas spend: 4% cash back, up to $7,000 per year
My valuation: 4%
Annual fee: none (though you need a Costco membership to apply)

Pros: This card offers the biggest cashback on gas spend, and it even works at Costco
Cons: You need to be a Costco member to get this card, and the gas bonus is capped at $7,000

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Reward on U.S. gas spend: 2x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
My valuation: 3.4% (I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each)
Annual fee: $195 (but you get a $100 annual airline credit on the card, which I value at close to face value)

Pros: Membership Rewards points are extremely versatile
Cons: This card only offers bonus points on purchases at U.S. gas stations

Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

Reward on gas spend: 2x Ultimate Rewards points, up to $50,000 per year
My valuation: 3.4% (I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each)
Annual fee: $95

Pros: Ultimate Rewards points are versatile
Cons: This is only available on a business card accruing Ultimate Rewards points, while no personal Ultimate Rewards accruing card offers bonus points on gas purchases

Chase-Ink

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Reward on U.S. gas spend: 3% cash back
My valuation: 3%
Annual fee: $95

Pros: This card earns cash back, and there’s no limit to how much cash back you can get at gas stations
Cons: This card only offers bonus points on purchases at U.S. gas stations

Amex-BCP

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Reward on gas spend: 2x American AAdvantage miles
My valuation: 3% (I value American miles at 1.5 cents each)
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Pros: This is one of the only airline credit cards which offers bonus points on gas purchases
Cons: You’re earning a specific airline mileage currency, while it’s generally better to earn flexible points when possible

Citi-AAdvantage-Business-Card

Bottom line

There are a lot of credit cards which offer bonuses on gas purchases. The best choice for you depends on what kind of a reward you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for transferrable points, airline miles, or cash back, there are plenty of options.

Personally I use the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card for my gas purchases in the US, as I earn 3x Membership Rewards points, which I value greatly. However, I also don’t spend that much on gas, given that I don’t have a car, so I only really have to use it when renting a car.


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Comments

  1. Another worthy option is The Bank of America Cash Rewards card which pays 3% cash back plus a relationship bonus of up to 75% or up to 5.25% back for all gas purchases.

  2. An alternative is use Mileageplus X to buy ebay gift card, which gives 2X united miles. Then use the ebay gift card to buy discounted gas gift card on ebay, (another 1% from shopping portals), which regularly has 5%~10% off.

  3. Why do you value all 3 of the major bank points at $1.7 cent?

    I normally use my ink card at office store to buy Shell gift card so I can earn 5x

  4. The Costco card states ‘gas stations worldwide’ but then charges 3% FTF. So, not really ;p

  5. Lets not forget to use your Chase Freedom for the 1/4 when gas is 5 percent. Assuming you have Sapphire preferred that’s 8.5 percent. @Tony you can search for Lucky’s reasoning on this blog but the basic idea is that those points can in turn be transferred to a partner for miles or points and have a higher redemption value. So you could transfer them to United and redeem them in a way that gets you more value than a straight 1 point is 1 cent. The value is of course subjective and that is Lucky’a value. You could get a lot better value than even 1.7 or less value.

  6. For those eligible for USAA membership, their cash back Amex card offers 5% back on gas (up to $3,000 in annual gas spend) with no annual fee.

    The remaining rewards on the card are not great (2% on supermarket purchases up to $3,000/year and 1% on all other purchases). But a good card to use just for the no-fee gas discount.

  7. Thanks, @Storm! I’ve been using my SallieMae Mastercard (Barclay) for 5% back on gas, but I believe that card is now no longer available for new applications, and if it is ever phased out completely, I’ll go for the USAA Amex you mentioned.

  8. Interesting that from all cards you listed the only Visa one if the Costco Visa. Since I only fill up the tank at Costco I don’t have many choices to use there. Again, I really don’t get the deal between Citi and Costco.

  9. $7000 cap on gas on Costco card doesn’t seem likely to affect most. If gas costs average of $3 and you get average of 21 miles per gallon, cap doesn’t kick in until you’ve put 49,000 miles on your car in a year. And lower gas prices and/or better gas mileage only makes the number higher than 49,000.

  10. You can buy gas cards at a grocery-coded store (I buy at Ralph’s or Food4Less/Kroger in CA) for 6% cash back on the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card. Just need to be sure the store you purchase at will be coded as Grocery. (Walmart Neighborhood Markets will NOT work.)

  11. I use mileage plus x to
    But $25-50 at games told. Gives me 4 miles per dollar to AA, an extra one depending on what CC I use, and another 25% bonus since I have a UA card linked to it.

  12. so many options that it becomes confusing…as an entry level person to this hobby I realize that I carry too many cards and need to consolidate if I want miles… I use Delta sky Miles card (Amer Xpress) when I fly but takes forever to accumulate miles +$95 fee…so I will continue to explore..thanks

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