Choosing the Best Gas Card

Mary Hunt

Gas rewards cards are terrific tools that allow consumers to save money on a necessary purchase: fuel.

“For cost-conscious consumers, gas rewards cards offer a simple way to enjoy substantial savings,” said Mary Hunt, founder of budgeting and debt-management resource Debt-Proof Living. We’re all looking to save cash wherever we can. Gas cards offer us a ready-made, instant ‘savings account,’ allowing us to earn money back on something we have to buy: gas to keep our cars moving.

“Finding the best card for you isn’t just a matter of looking at the initial rebate offering, though. Smart consumers look to see if there are strings attached. We don’t like strings!”

Take a look at the comparison chart below to understand the differences between the major fuel-company gas cards.

Fuel Brand Card What's the discount? Is it immediate? What's the fine print?
Sunoco Credit CardSunoco Rewards 5 cents per gallon Yes

None. Sunoco Rewards discounts are ongoing and have no minimum or maximum requirements.

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BP 5 cents per gallon Yes, you can choose this option at particpating locations You must spend $100 to earn a rebate. Rebates expire after 12 months if they are not used.
BP Visa 15 cents per gallon at BP; 5 cents per gallon elsewhere Yes, you can choose this option at participating locations You must spend $100 at BP to earn a 15 cents per gallon discount or $100 everywhere else to earn a 5 cents per gallon discount. Rebates expire after 12 months if they are not used.
Chevron Texaco Visa 10 or 20 cents per gallon No You must spend $300/month to earn a 10 cents per gallon discount, or $1000/month to earn a 20 cents per gallon discount.
Citgo 5 cents per gallon No None
Conoco Philips 5 cents per gallon No You must purchase at least 45 gallons to earn a 5 cents per gallon discount; the rebate applies only up to 110 gallons.
ExxonMobil 6 cents per gallon No You must purchase at least 45 gallons to earn a 6 cents per gallon discount. The rebate applies only to purchases up to 100 gallons.
Gulf None N/A N/A
Gulf MasterCard 3% cash back at Gulf locations; 1% everywhere else No You must accumulate a $20 rebate in order to get a statement credit.
Hess Visa 3% cash back on Hess purchases; 1% cash back on non-Hess purchases (except fuel) No You are limited to $12 cash back per month on Hess purchases.
Marathon 2 cents per gallon No You must accumulate a $10 rebate in order to get a statement credit.
Shell 5 cents per gallon No You must purchase at least 45 gallons in a single month to earn a 5 cents per gallon discount. The rebate applies only to purchases up to 100 gallons.
Shell MasterCard 10, 15, or 20 cents per gallon No Discounts only apply to the first 100 gallons purchased. Earn 10 cents when you spend $500, earn 15 cents when you spend $1,000, and earn 20 cents when you spend $2,500 in qualifying purchases.
Valero None N/A N/A

 

For more money-saving tips, download Mary Hunt’s free eBook Family Road Trip Survival Guide

Sources: Gas card Web properties. This information is updated on a quarterly basis. Information is current as of 1/30/2015. The table only includes fuel-company branded cards that have more than 1,000 retail locations.