— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you sign up for a credit card after clicking one of our links, we may earn a small fee for referring you. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA TODAY’s newsroom and any business incentives.
Now that the price of regular gas has soared nationwide, you could be spending more money than ever at the pump. One way to offset those rising costs is by using a payment method that pays you back. The right gas rewards card could help you earn cash back or points each time you fill up—or even when you’re spending money elsewhere.
There’s a lot more where this came from. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get all our reviews, expert advice, deals and more.
When you’re watching the gas meter tally up your bill, knowing you may be able to redeem those points or cash back for statement credits, gift cards, and more could be a relief. While rewards rates can vary, cards on this list offer as much as 5% cash back when you spend money at gas stations. These are top cards to consider adding to your wallet for gas rewards:
Things to know before choosing a gas card
- Check your current cards for perks. Before shopping for a new card, check your wallet. The cards you already have may offer gas rewards when you fill up, and this could save you the trouble of signing up for a new one.
- Check for annual fees. Some gas rewards cards have annual fees, but that doesn’t mean you should automatically rule them out. If the value you get from the card perks and rewards is greater than the annual fee, it could be worthwhile. But if the value of rewards you earn doesn’t surpass the cost, a fee-free credit card could be a better pick.
- Be mindful of rewards caps. Certain gas cards have a spending cap for the highest rewards categories. In essence, you earn cash back up to a certain amount of spending each month or year. Estimate how much you spend on gas each month and compare spending limits before choosing an offer.
- Try to pay off your card in full each month. If you revolve a balance from one month to the next, you’ll be charged interest on the balance. Interest charges that rack up could end up costing you more than the rewards you earn. To get the most value from a rewards card, you should pay your statement off in full each month.
How we evaluated the best gas cards
My name is Taylor, and I’m a personal finance writer who’s been digging into credit cards and rewards programs since 2015. For this roundup, I took a look at 17 popular credit cards that offer rewards for gas and ranked them, taking into account the rewards opportunity, annual cost and redemption options. These six choices are the best options for your specific needs.
The Citi Custom Cash Card could be a perfect sidekick if you spend a lot of time on the road. It offers a nice 5% cash back on the first $500 you spend each month in your highest spending category. If gas is consistently your top spending category, that’s a potential to earn up to $300 in cash back for the year.
Cardholders can redeem cash back earned for statement credits, direct deposits, checks, gift cards, travel and more. You also don’t need to enroll in the rewards program to start earning rewards—the cash back will start racking up automatically.
- Gas Points: 5% cash back on the first $500 you spend in your highest spending category and 1% after that. Besides gas, eligible 5% categories include restaurants, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.
- Perks: Spend $750 within the first three months of account opening and you’ll earn $200 in bonus cash back; 0% APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
- Annual fee: None
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is the first card with an annual fee to make the list, but big grocery shoppers and commuters could easily earn enough value to compensate for that cost. Plus, the first year’s fee is waived, so you have an entire year to rack up cash back for free.
Cardholders earn up an unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent on groceries for the year. The Blue Cash Preferred can also be a good all-around pick for families because of the rewards categories outside of gas and groceries. Does your teen use public transportation or rideshares to get around? That qualifies for 3% cash back. If anyone in the house is a binge-watcher, there’s 6% cash back on streaming services as well. You get cash back in Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
- Gas Points: 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations.
- Additional Points: 6% cash back on groceries ($6,000 limit per year), 6% cash back on streaming, 3% cash back on transit and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Perks: $300 in a statement credit if you spend $3,000 on the card within six months of opening the account; 0% APR for the first 12 months on purchases. Ongoing APR is 14.24%-24.24%.
- Annual fee: $95, but waived the first year.
Terms apply to all offers and benefits. See rates and fees.
Costco already has some of the cheapest gas prices around for members. Members also get the option to sign up for the Costco Anywhere Visa Card, which gives 4% cash back on the first $7,000 spent on gas purchased at Costco or any other eligible gas station. (Eligible gas stations exclude gas stations at other superstores, warehouses or grocery stores.)
Beyond the gas perks, the Costco Anywhere Card gives cash back for restaurant and travel spending and spending you do at Costco or Costco.com. While there is no annual fee, you need a Costco membership to qualify for the card (you can sign up for a membership here), and that’ll set you back $60 per year, plus tax if applicable.
Cash back earned with the Costco Anywhere Visa is given to you in a rewards certificate each year, which can be redeemed for cash or used at Costco to buy merchandise.
- Gas Points: 4% cash back at eligible gas stations worldwide (up to $7,000 per year) with limitations.
- Additional Points: 3% cash back on restaurants and travel, 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com and 1% cash back on everything else.
- Perks: Rewards can be redeemed for cash and not just purchases at Costco.
- Annual fee: None, but you must be a Costco member to qualify, which costs $60 per year.
If you’re a commuter who has an electric or plug-in hybrid car (or you’re strongly considering one), this card offers 4X points for spending at gas stations and EV charging stations. Plus, you can earn rewards points in other areas, including dining, streaming and grocery shopping.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature also offers some nice perks for travelers. Each year, you can get up to $100 in a statement credit to cover your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application. In addition, there’s a $30 annual credit for streaming services, such as Netflix, Apple+, Spotify and Amazon Music. Those alone can help offset the $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. Cardholders can redeem points for merchandise, gift cards, statement credits, travel and more.
- Gas Points: 4X points on travel and at gas stations and EV charging stations.
- Additional Points: 5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked through the Altitude Rewards Center; 2X points on groceries in-store, grocery delivery, dining and streaming; 1X point on all other purchases.
- Perks: 50,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 within the first four months of opening the account.
- Annual fee: $95, waived the first year.
The PNC Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card is a no-annual-fee gas rewards card that can offer high value to people who like dining out but also throw down in the kitchen a few nights a week.
You can earn 4% cash back on gas, 3% cash back on dining and 2% cash back on grocery shopping. But watch out for the limit: You’re capped at $8,000 in combined purchases annually for those three rewards categories. Every other purchase earns 1% cash back.
Terms of this rewards offer are also straightforward. The cash back never expires if you keep the account open. You can redeem cash back once your rewards balance is worth $25 by taking a statement credit or depositing cash back earned into a PNC account.
- Gas Points: 4% cash back on gas station purchases, but there’s an $8,000 combined annual cap with the rewards categories below.
- Additional Points: 3% cash back on dining at restaurants (including fast food), 2% cash back on grocery store purchases and 1% on everything else. For the grocery, dining and gas categories, you earn 2% to 4% on the first $8,000 spent annually.
- Perks: $200 bonus if you spend $1,000 or more during the first three billing cycles; 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months.
- Annual fee: None
For people who plan to travel locally or abroad, the Citi Premier card offers 3X points on gas stations, plus 3X points on dining, grocery shopping, air travel and hotel stays. Spending $4,000 within the first three months of signing will also earn you a 60,000 bonus point windfall. This is redeemable for a $600 gift card, which could be enough to cover gas for several months.
However, the Citi Premier comes with a $95 fee, which isn’t waived for the first year like some other cards. If you’re looking for a no-fee card, the Citi Rewards+® Card could be a better alternative. It offers 2X points on the first $6,000 you spend in gas for the year and 1X point on everything else with no annual fee.
Citi ThankYou® Points you rack up can be redeemed for gift cards or used to pay for travel or merchandise. You can also cash in points for statement credits or cash deposits.
- Gas Points: 3X points at gas stations.
- Additional Points: 3X points at restaurants, 3X points at supermarkets, 3X points on air travel and hotels and 1X on all other purchases.
- Perks: 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 within the first three months; $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more once per year that’s booked through thankyou.com.
- Annual fee: $95
Please note: The offers mentioned above are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.
Reviewed has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Reviewed and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
How many credit cards should you have in your wallet?
We hate to break it to you, but there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. The right number for you depends on what you can responsibly manage.
Does having a piece of shiny plastic an arm’s length away often encourage you to spend money you don’t have? Be honest. You may want to think twice before applying for more credit. Carrying a balance you can’t afford contributes to interest charges, and in the long run costs you more money—cash that you could’ve used for that air fryer you’ve been eyeing.
If you’re financially responsible and stick to making purchases that you can pay off, there may be some upsides to adding another card to your arsenal. If you’re a jet-setter without a card that rewards you for hitting the road, or one that skips foreign transaction fees, a travel credit card may make sense for you.
There are a few other things to consider before opening a new account, like adding a different payment processing network or taking note of any annual fees.
What is a good APR for a credit card?
Credit card annual percentage rates range from 13% to 25%, with the national average in January 2022 around 16%. Credit cards marketed for applicants with bad credit tend to be on the higher side, as do credit cards with rewards programs.
Before you submit an application, you can see this range in the cardmember agreement. You won’t know the rate until you’re approved, as it’s determined by the issuer based on your creditworthiness. The higher your credit score, the lower the rate you can expect. Remember that with a variable rate, an issuer can change the interest it charges at any time—and, per your cardmember agreement, it may not have to notify you.
An issuer may charge a different APR for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. It may even offer an introductory rate that includes zero interest for a period of 12 to 18 to 21 months. Lastly, a penalty APR may kick in if you’re late for a payment, exceed your credit limit or break other terms and conditions laid out by the issuer.
We’ll say it till we’re blue in the face: Pay off your balance each month, and you won’t have to think about interest.
How does credit card interest work?
Despite the term “annual percentage rate,” credit card issuers calculate interest daily. The daily periodic rate is determined by dividing your APR by 365 days, which is then applied to your average daily balance. Crunch this number by adding up the total you carry each and every day of the billing cycle, then dividing that by the number of days in the billing cycle.
Let’s say your APR is 16%, and this month you carried an average daily balance of $2,000. The issuer first calculates the daily periodic rate (0.16 divided by 365). That rate (0.00043) is applied to your average balance (0.00043 x $2,000), which brings us to 0.87. Over the course of the 30-day billing cycle (0.87 x 30), you’ll pay $26.30 in interest.
If crunching numbers isn’t really your thing, some issuers include tools that calculate how much interest you’ll owe based on your monthly payment. Petal, for example, shares this information in a mobile app for its two credit cards.
Remember: You won’t be charged interest if you pay off your balance in full and on time each billing cycle. We get that life happens. So if on occasion that’s not possible, consider paying more than the minimum amount to lessen the interest you’ll pay over time, or make more than one payment during the billing cycle to lower your average balance.
Why should you check your credit score?
Some of us may deal with our credit score the way we deal with our bank statements. Ignorance can be bliss—but we don’t recommend avoiding either, for the record.
Keeping tabs on your credit score will let you know if something needs attention. A sudden drop might mean you missed a payment, or maybe someone else got ahold of your personal information.
You can get monthly updates from issuers—even ones you’re not a cardholder with—and there are a few other ways to stay in the loop, too.
Don’t neglect your credit report either, as mistakes can arise there. In fact, as many as one in four have an error that can affect your score. The best news? Staying on top of these details doesn’t cost you any money.
What else should you know about credit cards?
Long introductory-period APR rates are only a short-term incentive. Potentially high-APR rates snap into effect after the intro period ends, which could cost you a lot in interest if you’ve left your balance unpaid. It’s really important—especially when getting a card for a big purchase—to keep an eye on your finances and keep an eye on the calendar.
APR rates and credit limits vary based on your creditworthiness.Credit limits and interest rates are determined based on each cardholder’s personal situation, so we did not take that information into account when evaluating. Remember to pay your balance in full every month so you will not be charged interest.
Banks have final say on who they accept for a credit card. These recommendations were put together with the assumption that applicants would have average or excellent credit. That being said, banks decide who they will issue credit cards to using criteria including but not always limited to an individual’s credit score when evaluating each applicant.