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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spent $1,968 on gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil in 2017—a number likely to be even higher with the recent price increases at the pump. So having a credit card that offers good rewards for your gas purchases can help you rack up some serious rewards. But, if you'll be on the road a lot, these cards can offer more benefits than just savings. For example, if you occasionally rent cars, some of these cards offer additional insurance coverage that can save you even more.
If you want a credit card that offers great rewards for your gas purchases, one of these six choices could be the best credit card for you:
The best gas cards of 2021
Best overall: Wells Fargo Propel American Express®
Citi Premier Card
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
Sam’s Club Mastercard
Costco Anywhere Visa Card
Things to know about credit cards
Most of these cards come with an annual fee, but some cards offer perks each year that are worth more than the fee total. The Citi Premier Card is probably the best example of this.
APR rates and credit limits vary based on your individual credit. Credit limits and interest rates for each card are determined based on each cardholder's personal situation, so we did not take that information into account when evaluating these cards. One thing to remember is that if you pay your card off in full every month, you will not be charged interest.
Banks have final say on who they accept for a credit card. These recommendations were put together with the assumption that applicants would have average credit or above. That being said, banks decide who they will issue credit cards to using criteria including, but not always limited to, an individual's credit score when evaluating each applicant.
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How we evaluated
I’m a travel writer who has been covering credit cards for the last six years and studying card benefits for many years longer, so I know what benefits travelers need and use. To examine cards for gas purchases, I looked at major credit cards that offer the best returns for purchases made at gas stations. The top cards were chosen based on the value of rewards (both points and perks), fees, and other driving-related benefits. While many of the more well-known credit cards don’t offer great rewards for gas purchases, there are some worthwhile options out there.
Best overall: Wells Fargo Propel
The Wells Fargo Propel is the best option for buying gas—and many other everyday purchases—because it earns strong rewards in a large variety of categories. The points that Propel cardholders earn are worth a fixed amount toward a cash redemption, making it simple to see your benefits add up. One aspect that makes this card our best value, in addition to our best overall: There’s no annual fee, so everything you earn is extra money from the get-go.
Points: You’ll get 3 points per dollar spent on gas, plus eating out and ordering in, rideshares like Uber and Lyft, transit, and travel expenses like car rentals, flights, and hotels. That top rate also applies to popular streaming services such as Apple Music, Audible, Disney+, Headspace, Netflix and more. You’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Each point is worth 1 cent ($0.01), so the card effectively earns 3% back on all of the bonus categories and 1% back on all other purchases.
Perks: You won’t be charged foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad (though American Express isn’t always accepted in other countries). Additionally, if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Propel card, you benefit from up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection to protect your phone from both damage and theft, subject to a $25 deductible.
Experts and consumers alike talk about the Citi Premier fairly regularly as a good travel card, but it is also a good gas card. It earns flexible rewards called ThankYou points that can be redeemed for cash back, used to book travel directly through Citi, or transferred to Citi’s airline partners, including JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic. This card has a $95 annual fee.
Points: The Citi Premier earns 3 ThankYou points per dollar spent at gas stations and on airline travel and hotel stays. You'll also earn that top rate at restaurants and supermarkets, and 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
If you redeem your ThankYou points for cash back, they are worth one cent each ($0.01). If you transfer your points to Citi’s partners, the value you get from your points can be significantly more or less, depending on the current dollar cost of the flight (the mile cost for flights booked with travel partners is generally static, so if the dollar cost is up, you could save with transferred miles).
Perks: The Citi Premier also has other great benefits. For one, you’ll never be charged foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad. And once a year, you can receive $100 off an eligible hotel stay that's booked through Citi. Cardholders can also earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within three months of opening their account.
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is a great cash rewards credit card with the same return for gas purchases as the Wells Fargo Propel. However, it earns a lower rate on most other categories and has a $95 annual fee—which is waived for the first year.
Points: The Blue Cash Preferred gives you 3% cash back on any money spent at U.S. gas stations, plus some transit-related expenses like tolls and parking. Its best benefit is the 6% cash back on the first $6,000 per year spent at U.S. supermarkets (and then 1% after reaching the spending cap), but it offers just 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can redeem your cash back as an account credit.
Perks: Blue Cash Preferred cardholders receive secondary car rental insurance coverage in most places in the world, except in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand.
You’ll also have access to the Roadside Assistance Hotline to quickly connect you with help if you ever get stranded on the side of the road, but additional costs are your responsibility. This card also charges a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, so you may want to reach for another one in your wallet for purchases you make abroad.
Amex EveryDay Preferred
The Amex EveryDay Preferred card offers good bonus categories and gives you an additional bonus if you use your card at least 30 times per month, making it a good option for an everyday credit card. This card has a $95 annual fee.
Points: The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card offers 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at supermarkets (on the first $6,000 in annual spend, after that 1 ThankYou point per dollar), 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar at gas stations, and 1 Membership Reward point per dollar on all other purchases.
If you make at least 30 purchases on your card each month, you’ll get a 50% bonus on the number of points you earn. That means you can really earn 4.5 points per dollar at supermarkets, 3 points per dollar at gas stations, and 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases.
These points can be redeemed for gift cards, redeemed for a statement credit, used to book travel through Amex Travel, or transferred to American Express’ hotel and airline partners.
Perks: The Amex EveryDay Preferred doesn’t have many additional perks, but it does offer secondary car rental insurance coverage around the globe, except in Australia, Italy, and New Zealand. You’ll also have access to the Roadside Assistance Hotline if you ever get stranded on the side of the road, but additional costs are your responsibility.
Sam's Club Mastercard
The Sam’s Club Mastercard is a great option for gas purchases, offering a category-leading 5% return up to your first $6,000. While this card doesn’t have an annual fee, you have to be a Sam’s Club Member to get it. Sam’s Club Memberships start at $45 per year.
Points: The Sam’s Club Mastercard gives you 5% back on gas purchases (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1% back), 3% back on travel and dining, and 1% back on all other purchases. You can earn a maximum of $5,000 in cash back during each calendar year (which would require spending $100,000 annually if you only use it for gas purchases—a self-selecting group to be sure).
The rewards from the year will be automatically loaded to your Sam’s Club Membership in February. (If you earn less than $5 in cash back rewards, they will be forfeited.)
Perks: The Sam’s Club Mastercard doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Unlike many of the other cards on this list, the Sam’s Club Mastercard does not offer car rental insurance coverage.
Costco Anywhere Visa
Similar to the Sam’s Club Card, the Costco card is a great option for Costco members. It offers a generous 4% back on gas purchases, up to $7,000. Costco Memberships start at $60 per year.
Points: The Costco Anywhere Visa earns 4% back on gas purchases (up to $7,000 in purchases per year, then 1%), 3% back at restaurants and on travel, 2% back on all other purchases from Costco, and 1% back on all other purchases. Cash back is awarded once per year credit card reward certificate in February. (If you earn less than $1 in rewards in a calendar year, they will be forfeited.)
Perks: The Costco Anywhere Visa offers car rental insurance coverage worldwide when you pay for your rental with your card. There are also no foreign transaction fees.
Please note: The offers mentioned above are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.
Reviewed has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Reviewed and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Other top credit card options
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: The best gas cards of 2021: Reviewed