If you have a serious commute or find yourself hitting the road often, then you’re familiar with just how quickly gas expenses add up. Even back in 2017, when gas prices were relatively steady at $2.50 per gallon, the average person still spent nearly $2,000 annually on gas.
Call us biased, but we think that’s a lot to spend without earning a cent back. Which is why we’re bringing you our list of the top five cards every traveler and commuting warrior should consider. Keep reading to find out which of these gas reward cards might be best for you and how you can get the most out of your points.
How to choose a gas rewards card
The true value of credit card points is anything but straightforward, especially since each card counts them slightly differently and sometimes has additional requirements that limit how and when you can earn. This is why you’ll want to take the time to understand exactly how points will work on your particular card before signing up — that way, you can get the most out of them later on.
For many cards, one point equals one cent when redeemed for travel or merchandise. In addition to the value of points and how you’ll earn them, you also want to consider how complicated the redemption process will be with your new card, plus the value of things like welcome offers, annual fees, and if you’re required to join a credit union to get the card.
It’s also important to note that some cards limit the number of points you can earn or have a welcome bonus that allows you to earn extra points for a limited time before returning to a more standard rate of rewards. Before signing up for any card, you should take the time to consider all of these things and how they relate to your goals and spending habits.
But before we get into all that, let’s take a peek at what you came for — the best credit cards for gas rewards.
The 5 best cards for earning cash back on gas
|Card||Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card||5X points on gas purchases, 3X points on groceries, and 1X points on all other purchases||$0|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card||3X points on eligible dining, transportation, travel, and streaming service purchases; and 1X points on other purchases||$0|
|Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi||4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (up to $7,000), 3% on restaurant and travel purchases, 2% on all other Costco purchases, and 1% on everything else||$0|
|Citi Premier Card||3X points on travel, including gas; 2X points on restaurants and entertainment; and 1X points on all other purchases||$95|
|Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express||6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year) and U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases||$95|
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card
Remember when we mentioned that certain cards require you to join a credit union? This is one of them, but fortunately, the requirements to join aren’t that strict. Primarily for active and retired military members, this credit union is also for government employees or members of government-affiliated associations. It’s worth noting that the eligibility page for this card also includes an option for those who would like to join but don’t meet any of the above-mentioned eligibility criteria — so it might be worth trying your luck.
Besides membership in the PenFed Credit Union, you’ll also need excellent credit to qualify for this card. This might sound like a lot to go through, but there’s a reason this card made the top of our list. When you use this card, you can earn 5X points on gas purchases, 3X points on groceries, and 1X points on all other purchases. Receive a $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days.
With no annual fee, this card is a great choice for someone who has excellent credit and can use the card primarily toward gas and grocery expenses in order to reap the biggest rewards.
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
There’s no credit union membership required for this one, but you’ll still need good-to-excellent credit to qualify. Which isn’t surprising considering that you can earn 3X points on eligible dining, transportation, travel, and streaming service purchases; and 1X points on other purchases. Qualifying travel category purchases include gas as well as flights, hotels, dining out, homestays, rideshares, and car rentals.
Earn 20,000 points when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. And you can also enjoy the 0% introductory APR (annual percentage rate) for the first 12 months, plus a lower introductory balance transfer fee during the first 120 days.
The only possible downside of this card is that as an Amex, it won’t be as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard. That being said, the gas rewards make it worthwhile for anyone who has a good credit score and wants a card with serious cash back on gas — without having to pay an annual fee.
Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
As might be expected, this card is exclusively for Costco members, and you must have excellent credit. Also unsurprisingly, it’s one of the best credit cards for Costco purchases. So if you’re already paying for the membership (or were considering signing up), the generous 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (on up to $7,000 per year) makes this card worth considering.
This card also offers 3% cash back on eligible restaurant and travel purchases, as well as 2% cash back on Costco purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The card is free (with your Costco membership) and has no foreign transaction fees.
The only thing we don’t love is the redemption system, which happens only once per year in February — which is when you’ll receive your rewards certificates for the previous year’s points in the mail.
Citi Premier Card
This card is one of two on our list with an annual fee — in this case, $95. But, if you have the required excellent credit and don’t mind fronting the annual cost, it could very well be your gas rewards card of choice. With this card, you’ll earn 3X points on travel, including gas; 2X points on restaurants and entertainment; and 1X points on all other purchases.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, and since points are worth 25% more when redeemed for airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, these points amount to $750 in flight purchases.
Although this travel program allows you to redeem points at any time, it only works with qualifying airlines, almost all of which (besides TrueBlue, aka JetBlue) fly mostly international. Other forms of redemption — like statement credits and cash back — are worth less, so in order to make this card worthwhile, you’ll want to use it to book flights through the Travel Center.
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
The final card on our list, this one also comes with an annual fee ($95) and some serious travel rewards — to the tune of 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year) and U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases up to $6,000 annually.
This is a simple card with big rewards and is great for anyone who has the required good-to-excellent credit and can focus their card spending on the categories that give back the most, like gas and groceries. Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months for even more benefit.
Something to note is that this card is less than ideal for those who plan to use it while traveling abroad (since it does have a 2.7% foreign transaction fee) or for those who won’t be able to max out the grocery-related rewards, which are an even bigger perk than the earning potential on gas.
Cards with rotating gas categories
Besides the above five cards, there are plenty of others that offer rotating gas reward categories. Two examples of this would be the Chase Freedom and the Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Card.
When it comes to earning Chase rewards with the Chase Freedom card, you’ll get 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. In 2019, two quarters saw “gas stations” as one of the bonus categories.
The Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Card also currently offers a gas-friendly category with unlimited 5% cash back on all gas purchases and no annual fee. Don’t let the name fool you — anyone willing to pay the $5 to join the American Consumer Council / Kentucky is eligible to apply.
Category cards can be great as long as you’re willing to keep track of when it’s time to use them. To earn the most points on gas purchases, you might consider combining a category card with one that allows you to get rewards for your gas purchases all year long.
Best business cards for companies buying gas
If you’re looking for the best business cards with gas rewards, we like the Ink Business Cash Credit Card, which offers 5% cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable, or phone services (up to $25,000 combined annually); 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $25,000 combined annually); 1% cash back on everything else, and the U.S. Bank Business Edge Cash Rewards World Elite Mastercard, which offers unlimited 3% cash back on gas, cellular, and office supply purchases.
How we compared these cards
These credit cards were chosen because they offered the highest gas rewards. We tried to be inclusive with choosing a variety of cards, including those for people with good-to-excellent credit as well as those without any annual fees.
The bottom line on the best credit card for buying gas
When shopping around for the best rewards credit cards, keep in mind that not all points and miles are equal. Some cards will give you more value for your points by redeeming them through their specific travel portal (as is the case with the Citi Premier Card) or by pooling points — a benefit specific to Chase Ultimate Rewards customers.
You can choose a card that keeps it simple or squeeze every last bit of value out of a card that allows you to maximize on quarterly categories. Just keep in mind that you’ll likely earn the most gas rewards by using multiple cards rather than just one.