Saving at the Pump
Yet again credit card companies have discovered a way to reach out to the hungriest people. Today prices of gasoline are unbearable and they are really chipping away at our disposable income. Don’t fret. The credit card issuers have a solution for that. There are some downsides to this type of card, but if you are someone who likes to pay off your balance in full each month you will really enjoy some great relief from the pinch at the pump.
To start, let’s discover how they work,. Unlike most rewards cards where you can only redeem your points or get your cash back annually, gas cards apply your rewards to your statement every month. They make these a breeze by cutting out all of the confusing forms, phone numbers to automated machines and requests.
Another thing is the percentage back is actually a decent rate. Your average return is 3%, but you could earn even more while shopping around and if you take advantage of the special bonuses your card holder offers. Some cards will give you a double point’s offer for a set time of months and most cards let you get 1% on your average purchases.
The best way to determine what kind of rewards you are going to be looking at is simply to do the math. Below I will work out some figures just to give you an example of what you could potentially earn. Let’s say you spend $1,000 on regular purchases, $1,500 in gasoline and $1,000 at bonus merchants. You are going to earn 1% for your regular purchases, and 3% for both your gas and bonus merchants. That means you are going to end up with $10 on regular, $45 in gas and $30 on bonuses for a grand total of $85. That may not seem like a lot, but that could be a free tank of gas or two a month, if you’re a serious spender.
But that’s not all of the information you need to know. There are actually two different types of gas rewards cards. The first one to consider is the gas card offered by a Credit card companies. These cards are not directly tied to the gas stations and they provide you with an outstanding layer of flexibility. The big bonus with this type of card is that you not only earn back reward points for shopping at gas stations but you can also rack up points everywhere else you can shop. These also give you the flexibility to shop and earn at any gas station, this way you are not just tied to one brand.
On the other hand you have the cards offered directly by Gas companies. These cards usually come about when gas corporations team up with the big credit card companies to not only further their profits, but to offer some pretty good rebates on their product. These cards will have both your credit label, like a visa or MasterCard, and then they will have the corporation logo like BP or Marathon. These cards are very good for people who favor a particular brand of gas but with these types of cards you can generally only earn you points at the brand stations.
There are a few things to know when you are looking into getting one of these cards though. Some of them will try to put earning limits on your cards and they are usually pretty low. Make sure that you try to find one that doesn’t limit your potential. Also these cards generally have a higher interest rate so they aren’t the best for carrying a month-to-month balance. Also be sure to read the fine print. Sometimes credit cards like these can only earn you points for pay at the pump or inside, make sure you figure out which one you will earn points for. But the choice is ultimately yours. As you may have seen here before .... choose wisely.