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Your local gas station probably isn’t the friendliest of places these days. Just look at all the frowns on customers’ faces as they fill their cars with gasoline that costs nearly $4 a gallon. Yes, the days of $4 gas seem to be inevitable. And it makes filling up all those SUVs and mini-vans an extremely expensive proposition. It’s not much fun when it costs $50 to fuel up. But the news surrounding higher gas prices isn’t all bad. It should be a boon to those credit card companies that issue gas rewards credit cards.
Think about this: These cards give you higher rewards when you use them to buy gas at the fuel pump. When gas is more expensive, consumers who use these cards will earn more rewards points. That at least softens the blow at the pump. And that should boost the number of consumers who apply for these credit cards.
Most gas rewards credit cards provide you with rewards on every purchase you make. They usually, though, provide you with a higher number of rewards, or a greater cash-back percentage, when you use your card to fill up at the pump.
For instance, a card might provide you with one rewards point for the majority of the dollars that you charge with it. But it might provide you with three rewards points for every dollar that you charge for gasoline. Another card might give you a 5 percent cash-back bonus every time you use it to pay for gas at the pump, but only a 1 percent cash-back bonus when you use your card to buy supplies at the local office supply store.
Depending on how much you travel, you can quickly earn rewards points with a gas card. Just think of how many miles you travel to work each week. How often does that commute alone send you to the gas pump? It might make financial sense to have a credit card in your wallet that lets you at least earn a few pennies back from every gallon you pump.
Before you apply for a gas credit card, though, make sure to read the fine print that comes in you credit card agreement. You don’t want to take out a card that provides generous rewards points for gasoline purchases if it also comes with a sky-high purchase interest rate. You might do better to skip a gas card if it charges you a hefty annual fee.
You should also look at your own lifestyle. If you don’t drive to work every day, you might not spend much time at the gas station. In such cases, you might earn more rewards points or a greater amount of cash back if you apply for a credit card that provides greater rewards when you shop at supermarkets or eat out at restaurants.
The truth is, there isn’t much that we can do about rising gas prices. In fact, there’s nothing we can do abut it. But we can at least do everything in our power to lessen the pain at the pump. For some that might mean riding their bikes to work or walking to the neighborhood store instead of driving. For others it might mean applying for a credit card that provides them with a bit of a financial bonus whenever they have to fill up their cars.