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Credit Cards

The best gas rewards credit cards of February 2023

We reviewed dozens of gas credit cards using an average American's annual spending budget and dug into each card's perks and drawbacks to find the best choices for fueling up based on your consumer habits.

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If you spend a lot of time in your car, a credit card that gives you bonus rewards on gas station spending is a smart way to save a little money every time you fill up.

The average American spends about $2,218 a year, or roughly $185 a month, on gas, according to a sample budget based on the latest spending data available from the location intelligence firm Esri. And that number will likely go up with the national average for a gallon of gas now at almost $4. Choosing to use a gas rewards credit card can help offset some of the costs associated with driving to work, taking a road trip or running errands.

In order to find the best card for your next trip to the gas station, we analyzed 31 popular rewards cards that offer gas station rewards using an average American's annual spending budget and dug into each card's perks and drawbacks. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best cards.)

Picking the right gas card can be tricky. There are often restrictions on what qualifies as a gas station. For example, most cards exclude gas purchased from superstores, supermarkets and wholesale clubs, such as Costco and BJ's. Additionally, some cards might cap the amount of bonus rewards you can earn on gas in a year.

Before signing up for a gas rewards card, take the time to consider how to maximize the points you earn. If you have to go out of the way to buy gas from a qualifying station, or you can fill up for significantly less using your Costco membership, you might be better off going with a different rewards card.

None of the cards on our best-of list are connected with a specific gas station brand and most of them also offer strong rewards in other categories, including supermarkets and restaurants. We recognize that most people don't spend exclusively in one category and take that into consideration when recommending cards.

Here are Select's top picks for credit cards with bonus points on gas station spending.

Best gas rewards credit cards

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Winner

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

On PenFed's secure site
  • Rewards

    5X points on gas purchases at the pump and electrical vehicle charging stations, 3X points on supermarket purchases, 1X point on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    15,000 points when you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% introductory APR for 12 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days after account opening.*

  • Regular APR

    17.99% variable on purchases; 17.99% non-variable on balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    3%

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • High 5X points on gas at the pump and 3X on supermarket purchases
  • No bonus category activations
  • Good special financing offer on balance transfers

Cons

  • 3% balance transfer fee
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $513
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,167

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus.

*0% introductory APR for 12 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days after account opening. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be a non-variable rate of 17.99%. 3% balance transfer fee per transaction. Subject to credit approval. If you take advantage of this balance transfer, you will immediately be charged interest on all purchases made with your credit card unless you pay the entire account balance, including balance transfers, in full each month by the payment due date.

Who's this for? Among the cards we analyzed, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card currently offers the highest rewards rate at gas stations with 5X points per dollar spent for gas purchases at the pump. If you want to maximize rewards at gas stations, this card can earn the average American $111 annually. And if you drive an electric vehicle, you'll get this same return at EV charging stations.

This card has no annual fee, so road warriors can maximize their savings. In addition to earning high rewards at gas stations, cardholders also benefit from unlimited 3X points for supermarket purchases.

PenFed is a credit union, so membership is required to open the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card. Anyone can join by completing a few extra steps: You need to apply, open a savings account with a $5 deposit and maintain a $5 account balance.

Best for rotating categories

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

On Citi's secure site
  • Rewards

    5% cash back on purchases in top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (then 1%); unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for first 15 months

  • Regular APR

    18.24% - 28.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent, Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • 5% cash back in eligible spend categories like restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment
  • $200 cash back welcome bonus if meet spending threshold

Cons

  • 5% cash back is limited to top spend category, up to the first $500 spent
  • 3% foreign transaction fee when traveling outside the U.S.

Who's this for? If gas is usually your biggest monthly expense (but not always), you should consider the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card. As with the PenFed card, the Citi Custom Cash Card offers up to 5% cash back on gas purchases, meaning the average American can earn $111 back annually. And if you spend less on gas one month, its 5% bonus category will automatically adjust to your biggest spending category.

So as you spend on the card, you'll earn:

  • 5% cash back on purchases in the top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (then 1%)
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

Eligible 5% spending categories include gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.

The card has no annual fee and offers introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months from date of account opening on purchases and from date of first transfer for balance transfers (after, 18.24% - 28.24% variable APR). All transfers must be completed in the first 4 months of account opening. 

Best for groceries and gas stations

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. 

  • Annual fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    18.49% - 29.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Pros

  • High 6% cash back at U.S. supermarket spending (up to $6,000 a year, then 1%)
  • Unlimited 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • Unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit

Cons

  • 2.7% fee on purchases made abroad
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $679
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,397

Rewards totals incorporate the cash back earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this for? The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers a competitive unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. This rewards rate earns the average American $67 a year on purchases made at U.S. gas stations. Cardholders also get 3% cash back for transit purchases, including taxis, parking tolls and more, making it ideal for commuters.

Frequent food shoppers will like this card because it offers the highest cash-back rate at U.S. supermarkets — 6% (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Plus, there's an unlimited 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 1% cash back on everything else.

Beyond cash back, this card comes with money-saving Amex Offers where you can earn a statement credit or additional points at select retailers. These limited-time offers are location-based and additional terms apply.

This card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year (then $95), but it can be offset by the cash back you earn and discounts you can get through the Amex Offers. (See rates and fees)

Best for dining out and gas stations

PNC Cash Rewards® Visa®

Information about the PNC Cash Rewards® Visa® has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    4% cash back at gas stations, 3% cash back on dining, and 2% cash back at grocery stores, for the first $8,000 in combined purchases in these categories annually, 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $100 bonus after you make $1,000 or more in purchases during the first 3 billing cycles following account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 billing cycles on balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    16.24% to 27.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3%, $5 minimum, within the first 90 days from account opening, then 4%, $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • High 4% cash back at gas stations

Cons

  • Bonus gas, dining and grocery rewards are limited to the first $8,000 in combined purchases per year
  • Minimum $25 required to redeem rewards
  • No special financing offer for new purchases
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Estimated cash back earned after 1 year: $482
  • Estimated cash back earned after 5 years: $2,012

Rewards totals incorporate the points earned from the welcome bonus

Who's this for? The PNC Cash Rewards® Visa® gives cardholders 4% cash back at gas stations, making it one of the highest cash-back rates at gas stations. This allows the average American to earn $89 a year at gas stations alone. Dining purchases also earn a competitive 3% cash back.

However, the gas station, dining and grocery store bonus cashback is limited to the first $8,000 in combined purchases annually. Once you spend more than $8,000 in those three categories, the cash-back rate drops to 1%.

Beyond rewards, this card is fairly basic, but it doesn't have an annual fee and comes with a year of no interest on balance transfers made within the first 90 days from account opening (after, 17.74% to 28.24% variable APR). There's a 3% ($5 minimum) balance transfer fee for the first 90 days following account opening. After that, it is either $5 or 4% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater.

Cardholders can start redeeming rewards once they have at least $25 in their PNC Cash Rewards account. Rewards can be applied as statement credits or deposited into a qualifying PNC account.

Best for transferable points

Citi Premier® Card

On Citi's secure site
  • Rewards

    3X points per $1 spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and on hotels and air travel, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    20.24% - 28.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer, $5 minimum

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Good/Excellent

See our methodology, terms apply.

Pros

  • Unlimited 3 points per $1 spent at gas stations
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No special financing offers

Who's this for? If you're saving up to book your next vacation, the Citi Premier® Card might be for you. This card offers 3X points per $1 spent on air travel and hotels and at gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants.

Although ThankYou® Points can be redeemed through Citi's travel portal at a rate of 1 cent per point, you can often get much better value by transferring them to one of Citi's airline or hotel partners, such as Turkish Miles & Smiles to book United Airline award flights or Etihad Guest to book American Airlines awards.

This card does have a $95 annual fee. That's fairly reasonable, though there are other cards on this list offering the same gas rewards without an annual fee.

Best for travelers (who love a road trip)

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card

Information about the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
  • Rewards

    5X points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center, 4X points on travel, gas stations, and EV charging stations, 2X points on streaming services, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, and dining, 1X point on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening ($500 value)

  • Annual fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    20.49% - 28.49% (Variable)

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees and our methodology, terms apply.

Who's this for? The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card is a good option for frequent travelers, especially those who drive. It offers a very respectable 4X points on travel and at gas stations and EV charging stations (with no caps on how many points you can earn on gas and travel purchases), as well as 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining and streaming services. The average American can earn $89 a year on gas station purchases. These points are worth 1 cent apiece, meaning earning 4X points is similar to earning 4% cash back.

Plus, the card comes with a hefty welcome bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening, that's a $500 value redeemable toward merchandise, gift cards, cash back, travel and more.

It has a $95 annual fee, but it's waived for the first year and there are some perks that can help offset it, such as a $30 credit for annual streaming service purchases and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

Find the best credit card for you by reviewing offers in our credit card marketplace or get personalized offers via CardMatch™.

FAQs

When will gas prices go down?

Gas prices are currently so high for two main reasons: The war in Ukraine and the decline in oil production during the pandemic. Although gas prices have dropped from when they peaked in summer 2022, experts predict that it will be a while before they really go down.

How to save money on gas?

There are a few ways that consumers can save money on gas. The first is paying with a rewards credit card that offers extra points or cash-back on gas purchases. You can also save on gas by using an app to find the cheapest gas stations and joining a gas loyalty program.

What is the best credit card for gas?

There are rewards credit cards that offer as much as 5x bonus points or 5% cash back on gas purchases. The best card for you will ultimately depend on your personal spending habits and goals, but some of our top picks with no annual fee include the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card, PNC Cash Rewards® Visa® and the Citi Premier® Card.

Our methodology

To determine which cards offer the best value for dining out, Select analyzed 31 of the most popular credit cards offered by the biggest banks, financial companies and credit unions that allow anyone to join and offer bonus rewards at gas stations. Bonus rewards means a cardholder earns 2% or 2 points per dollar in a given category. In this case, gas stations.

We compared each card on a range of features, including cash-back rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit score and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri's data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

It's important to note the value of a point or mile varies from card to card and based on how you redeem them. When we calculated the estimated returns, we assumed that cardholders are redeeming points/miles for a typical maximum value of 1 cent per point or mile. (Extreme optimizers might be able to achieve more value.)

Our final picks are weighted heavily toward the highest five-year returns, since it's generally wise to hold onto a credit card for years. This method also avoids giving an unfair advantage to cards with large welcome bonuses.

While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your spending habits.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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