Monday, March 7, 2011

Sticker Shock at the Gas Pump?? Here's Some Help

With gas prices starting to approach $4.00 a gallon, I thought it would be timely to talk about how to save a little on your gas purchases.

Many credit cards offer cash back on fuel purchases, ranging from 1% to 5%.  Some of these cash back rebates are available only for a certain period of time. The better cards offer a fixed cash back percentage for fuel purchases, irrespective of the day or month that you purchased it.

The best credit card that I have found for fuel cash back rebates is from the Pentagon Federal Credit Union.  Their Platinum Rewards Visa offers 5% cash back all year long on fuel purchases at the pump, up to $3000.00, then it drops to 1%. One must be a member of the Credit Union, but they make it relatively easy to belong.  Credit standards for the card are strict.  There is no annual fee, and they offer 1% cash back on all other purchases as well.

The next best card is the American Express/Costco card, which offers 3% cash back on all fuel purchases, 2% on restaurants and travel, and 1% on all other purchases. There is no annual fee if you have a Costco membership.

The next 2 cards are similar in their features, in that they offer 5% cash back during prescribed time periods for their members.  These cards are the Discover More card and the Chase Freedom Visa card.  The Discover card has maximum cash back caps, while the Chase Freedom Visa card does not.

Now 3-5% cash back is not a lot of money, but every little bit helps in this day and age.  Know what card gives you the best cash back, and use it. 

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