Two types of credit cards can help you save on gas

Are gas credit cards better than regular credit cards?

With gas prices on the rise once again, drivers are looking for any way they can save money at the pump.

One option is to obtain a credit card that can actually help you earn some money back when you pay for gas. Some regular credit card programs offer cash back options, and there are also gas company branded credit cards that claim to do the same. Which option can help you save more money?

Gas cards, like the ones offered by Shell and Exxon, typically offer between 5-10 cents off per gallon. With the national average gas price at $3.92 per gallon, filling up a 15-gallon tank using a gas brand credit card could save you about $1.50.

A regular cash-back credit card will save you even more, however.

A rewards card that pays you 5% back on purchases could mean a savings of about $2.90 on that 15-gallon tank -- more than twice as much as that traditional gas card.

It’s also important to note that because gas credit cards pay you back in cents rather than a percentage of the total, you actually get less of a benefit when gas prices are going up.

To help you save, experts say that consumers should look for a rewards card that pays 5% back, and doesn’t have an annual fee. However, be aware that there may be a limit on the discounts you can receive with the card. These cards are also easily obtainable by people with above-average credit scores, but lower credit scores may be less likely to get approved.

Gas credit cards are typically more willing to issue cards to those with bad credit, and most don’t charge an annual fee. But keep in mind, the interest rate could be as high as 20%.

BP’s credit card takes off 5 cents per gallon. A Speedway credit card offers rewards in gas. Stores like Meijer, Kroger, Costco and Sam’s Club offer discounted gas, but customers are required to be a loyalty member or have a membership.

Average gas prices have surpassed $4 per gallon in Michigan, with some counties closer to an average of $4.50 per gallon. See a map of average gas prices by Michigan county right here.

About the Author:

Hank Winchester is Local 4’s Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV’s “Help Me Hank” Consumer Unit. Hank works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off people in our community.