Gas Reward Credit Card: Pros and Cons
With record high gasoline prices, people are looking for ways to reduce the pain at the pump. One way to do that is to get a gas reward card; a credit card that gives you cash back every time you fill up.
The gas reward credit card may be more convenient for those who like to shop around for the best priced gasoline. Aside from the grocery store, your single largest weekly expense is more than likely what you put into your gas tank. You might consider switching to a gas rewards credit card offering cash back. Most popular gas rebate credit cards include other products in their rebate programs as well, allowing a consumer to maximize their earnings power. Many gas rebate cards do not limit your rebates to one particular brand of gas. Once a consumer analyzes their spending, they may find that they can realize significant savings by using a gas rebate credit card or other type of rebate card.
Gas reward credit cards are similar to cash back reward credit cards with some enhancements directed at those looking to save money on gas. Most gas rebate credit cards offer a higher percentage rebate for gas purchases and a lower percentage reward for other types of purchases. The rebates on the gas reward credit cards are usually issued monthly (as opposed to cash back reward cards that usually payout once a year) as a credit in your account.
There are two different types of gas-rebate credit cards. Credit cards offering gas rebates should not be confused with the gas credit cards issued by the gas companies and that can be used only to purchase gas at their stations. The best bet is to get a card that can be used anywhere.
The best use of this gas reward credit card is to pay your balance in full each month after the expiration of the introductory rate. If the cardholder carries a balance on their card, it is unlikely they will see significant savings from rebates on a credit card. it does not make sense to acquire more debt in an effort to save a few dollars at the pump. Even those individuals who pay off their credit cards every month can get hit by annual fees, and if something happens one month and a balance is carried forward, the card holder can get a very nasty surprise, as high as 23 percent, if they aren not careful which card they apply for.
The gas rebate is either added as a credit to your statement, or a check you get in the mail. Some gas rebate cards may even give you an introductory period where you can save as much as 10 percent in the first two months, however most rebates range from 3 to 5 percent once the introductory rate is over. Most cards limit how much a cardholder can get back to between $300 and $600. That is why you want to look for a card that has no limits or the highest limit you can find.
About 50 percent of the time, your rebate will not be automatically be deposited into your account. You will have to contact your issuer in order to redeem your rebate. In some cases, you may only have 6 months before your rebate expires. Look for a card without a fee. There is no reason to pay an annual fee that will eat-up part of your rebate.
Here is a several major factors to consider when comparing cards:
The interest rate and annual fee.
Is there a limit on the rebate?
Expiration date. How long do you have to collect the rebate you earned?
Are rebates given only on purchases made at the pump?
Will the rebate be automatically deposited in the account of cardholder ?
Are rebates calculated only on fuel purchases or purchase made at gas stations?
Are all gas purchases eligible for the full rebate or just those made at standalone stations?
Whatever card you choose, you will need to be on the lookout for changes to the terms and conditions. Credit card companies can change their rules whenever they want. It is very important to read the notices you get from your credit card company. While most are advertisements, some are important.
If you use gas reward credit cards in a savvy manner, they can be a great way to get a break on gas prices. It is also important to consider all the pros and cons of gas reward credit cards. You need to find a rebate card that fits your lifestyle and spending habits. Choosing a credit card is like making any other consumer purchase. You need to be skeptical of the advertising hype and find out what you are really getting.. Use the the internet to compare credit card offers and pick the card that will work best for you.