Gas rebate cards can be a great tool for helping you save money on gas. For diligent card users, gas rebate cards allow you to keep track of your gas purchases. It also gives you a rebate based on your gasoline use or overall spending. Here are the major characteristics of a gas rebate card.
The average cash back rebate on a gas rebate card is 3%, but it can be as high as 10% or as low as 1%. The average savings is $3.00 per tank fill up. If you fill your tank weekly, you will save over $150.00 a year.
Most gas rebate cards do not have annual charges. If your gas rebate card offer mentions an annual fee, you should look for another card offer.
Some gas rebate cards are offered by specific gas stations. They are in essence store credit cards very much like a JC Penny or Sears cards. You cannot use them anywhere else. This can prevent you from shopping for the best gas price. If you have a favorite gas station, or chain of stations, this may not bother you. If you want to reserve your gas rebate card just for gas, and nothing else, this may actually be a good idea, especially if the card is for your teenage or young adult child.
Some gas rebate cards can be used anywhere and have a major credit card logo. You can get cash back on just about anything you purchase; however, you will get a bigger discount when you purchase gasoline. In some cases you will get a bigger discount if you use a specific gas station. The problem with this is you may use up the credit you reserved for gas on other purchases.
Gas rebate cards are credit cards. You therefore need a good credit rating to obtain these cards and should shop around in the same way you would shop for other credit cards. Do not be afraid to negotiate and ask for a lower interest rate.
Gas rebate cards give the holder a rebate on money spent on gas (and other items if it is not gas station specific). This rebate is issued as a credit on the credit card (gas rebate card) bill.
Things you need to be aware of when using a gas rebate card:
Gas rebate cards generally have higher interest rates than normal credit cards. The interest on your carried over balance will outweigh any potential savings if you do not pay your bill in full each month.
Your gas rebate cards may have a cap on the rebate amount. This cap may be between $300.00 and $600.00 a year. One way to get around this is to have more than one card if you use them heavily. When one card has reached its cap, use the other one. (This is only a good idea if you pay your bill in full and are a responsible shopper.)
Read the fine print on your gas rebate card. There may be restrictions that prevent you from getting a rebate if you do not use the pay-at-the-pump service or specific gas stations, even if your card has a major credit card logo.
You may actually have to request your rebate to receive it. Many people assume the rebate has been deducted from their bill, when there is a stipulation that you must request it.
Some cards have teaser rebate amounts that drop dramatically after the introductory period. You may think you are getting a 12% rebate when in actuality after 3 months; your rebate has dropped to 3 %. Still some rebate is better then none!
Credit card companies may change your rate without warning, so after a year, you may receive a letter that your rebate amount has dropped. You can give them a phone call and negotiate a better rate at this time.
Now that you have learned a lot about gas rebate cards, you can make an educated decision about what card or cards to secure. You also know how to maximize your savings with your gas rebate card. After you have applied for your gas rebate card, and received it in the mail, do not forget to read the fine print!