“Identifying the worst gas credit cards is important for two reasons,” said Card Hub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou. “Not only does it deter consumers from selecting the wrong card, but it also alerts those of us who already have the wrong card to the fact that we are leaving free money on the table. There’s just too much value in the credit card market these days to be content with an inferior offer, and when you consider that peak driving season will soon be upon us, time wasted is certainly money lost.”
Gas credit cards are indeed an important consideration for consumers these days given that the national average price for regular gas is nearly $3.80 per gallon and rising steadily. According to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, gas prices are now roughly 1.3% higher than they were just last week, about 8.2% higher than last month, and 7.3% higher than this time last year. We are obviously on pace to spend more on gas this year than we spent last year – a record in its own right.
Ways to save are therefore in order and while making significant lifestyle changes like buying a more fuel-efficient car, carpooling to work, or biking and walking more places can obviously lower your fuel consumption significantly, one of the best options for people who require less drastic measures is a gas rewards credit card. Simply adding the right credit card to your wallet can decrease your gas expenditures by over 5% and, at a minimum, will save you 3%. CardHub compared more than 1,000 card offers (some of which originate from CardHub advertising partners) in order to identify the Worst Gas Credit Cards, and you can find our picks below.
This card offers savings at the pump of up to $0.20 per gallon, which is the equivalent of 10.78% cash back based on the national average price for a gallon of regular ($1.856) as of January 25, 2016. However, you have to spend more than $1,000 on gas each month to get that earning rate. Your earning power gets cut in half when you spend $300 to $1,000 per month, with the card yielding just $0.10 per gallon (~5.39% cash back). And if you spend less than $300 per month on gas, as the average American does, the card will yield savings of just $0.03 per gallon (~1.62% cash back). When you further consider that this card can only be used at Chevron and Texaco stations and limits your earnings to $300 per calendar year, it’s clear that it shouldn’t be among your top options, especially with gas prices bound to rebound, thus making its percentage returns less appealing.
This card has the potential to be good, but for the vast majority of people, this potential will go unrealized. You see, the amount you save on Shell fuel is tied to the amount of overall charges you make with the card. If you spend less than $500 per month, you get absolutely nothing. If you spend $500 - $999.99 in a given month, you get $0.10/gal. off Shell gas purchased the next month. You’d have to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $2,499.99 to get a $0.15/gal. discount and $2,500 or more to save $0.20/gal.