While there is no escaping having to spend money, why not get something back on all the things you have to buy? This is the idea many people have in mind when they look into getting reward credit cards.
With the price of gas these days, one of the obvious places to look is a gas rebate credit card. The savings can be substantial, especially if your job involves a lot of driving and fueling up.
Most gas rebate credit card programs offer you a percentage discount when you fuel up at the pump. Some go above and beyond that, offering money back for your fuel spending. It’s can be a double savings.
But before you jump at the next gas rebate credit card offer you see, you need to make sure it is a sound economic decision.
Read the Fine Print
All credit cards have it, the fine print that lets you see the ‘not as great parts’ of the deal. There could be a lot of things hidden in there that will eat up any rewards the credit card offers.
Interest rates – Check the interest rates. Many of these cards will offer a great introductory interest rate, and discounts, to get you to sign up. After a few months you may see your interest rates creep up and end up paying more in interest on purchases than you get back from the reward.
Annual fees – How much are you paying to be given this great reward? Some reward credit cards charge $50, $85, or more annually to be enrolled in their program. You should take the time to calculate the amount you will save using a gas rebate credit card and see if that total is more than the annual feel you will be paying. If not, look elsewhere.
Rebate limits – Another way some companies make sure they make more than you do on reward credit cards is to limit the rewards you can receive. This may come in the form of a limit of how often you can use their rewards or a total dollar amount you can redeem annually.
Getting Your Rebate – While some gas rebate credit card plans knock money off at the pump, they may also amass rebates in your account. Some companies send out an annual rebate check, with no work to be done on your part. Others want you to let them know to send it to you. Find out what the process is to get your rebate and make sure it isn’t too difficult to the money they promised.
Usage restrictions – How many gas stations will take your gas rebate credit card? Some cards are limited to specific stations. If those stations aren’t in your normal travel path, you likely will end up giving up on the rebate and going to the gas station that is more convenient.