Update: This offer for The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express has expired. Learn more about the current offers 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.
With that in mind, here are my top picks:
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
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: The sign-up bonus can vary dramatically
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
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
Reward on gas spend: 2x Ultimate Rewards points, up to $25,000 per year
My valuation: 3.4% (I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each)
Annual fee: none
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
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
Reward on gas spend: 2x American AAdvantage miles
My valuation: 3% (I value American miles at 1.3 cents each)
Annual fee: $99, 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
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.
Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the AmEx Everyday Preferred has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.