Gephardt Busts Inflation: Are branded gas station credit cards the best way to bring the price down?

Apr 15, 2022, 10:10 AM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:54 pm

One way to bring down the price of gas is with a gas station credit card. Most offer some sort of flat discount between $0.05 and $0.10 per gallon. But is that the best way to go? Ted Rossman of Creditcards.com does not think so.

“In my experience, gas station branded credit cards are not worth it,” he told the KSL Investigators.

Here’s why: A year ago, gas was averaging $2.42 per gallon. A $0.06 per gallon discount would knock the price down by 2.4%. But with prices today north of $4.50, that $0.06-per-gallon discount slashes the percentage you save to 1.3%.

“The more prices rise, the less meaningful that discount is,” Rossman said.

Rossman says to instead consider a credit card that pays you back a percentage on gas purchased.

“The cards that I do like are the ones that give 5% or so cashback,” Rossman said.

Cashback, and on fuel purchased at just about ANY gas station — not the one specifically tied to a branded gas station card.

If you have a shorter commute or a fuel-efficient car, you probably don’t spend that much on gas so Rossman would recommend a card that gives cashback on ALL purchases over a card designed to help with the price of gas.

No matter what card you use, the discounts are all undone if you don’t pay the card off every month. And Rossman says gas station cards are notoriously expensive.

“That’s really true of any the rewards credit card, but it’s especially true with the gas-branded cards. Their average interest rate is a whopping 26%.”

Another way to save on gas: sign up for the gas station’s app. A lot of these apps will give you $0.05 or $0.10 cents off per gallon. Scan the app, but pay with your credit card you’ve compounded your savings.

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Gephardt Busts Inflation: Are branded gas station credit cards the best way to bring the price down?