Gas prices change all the time, and filling up at the pump can definitely add up. Why not earn bonus points for something that most of us have to purchase on a regular basis?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that each household spends about $2,000 on gas purchases each year.¹ That amount can add up to a lot of travel rewards or cash-back!
There are plenty of credit cards that offer category spending bonuses for specific merchant types. Luckily, gas is a common bonus category for many different travel rewards credit cards and cash-back credit cards — not just gas reward cards.
We want to make sure you know which credit card will give you the best travel rewards and cash-back for each dollar you spend at the pump. If you’re only getting your basic standard reward earning rate on your gas purchases (like 1 point per dollar) then this guide is for you.
Gas Station-branded Cards vs. Rewards-earning Cards
You’ve seen advertisements for gas station-specific credit cards when you fill up at the pump. These cards can offer some enticing rewards, but often they limit you to that specific gas station brand.
Limiting yourself to a specific gas station brand to earn extra rewards isn’t necessary since many travel rewards and cash-back cards offer bonus points for gas purchases.
Gas station-specific credit card reward programs can also be much more restricting than other reward programs.
Some gas station-specific credit cards will offer you an immediate discount at the pump. Others will offer a rewards discount on a future purchase at that specific gas station brand, which could expire sooner than you think.
Travel rewards and cash-back credit cards can give you the freedom to fill up the tank at any gas station without limiting yourself to a specific brand, thus increasing the flexibility of how you redeem your rewards.
Let’s take a look at some of the best personal and small business credit cards that help you earn more flexible travel rewards and cash-back for gas purchases.
Bottom Line: You do not need a gas station-branded credit card to earn rewards. In fact, doing so could limit your ability to earn other, more flexible, rewards.
Best Credit Cards for Gas Station Purchases — Summary
Our featured cards come with a lot of earning possibilities, redemption options, and benefits. However, it’s time to focus specifically on how these cards compare when we look at rewards earned on gas station purchases.
Here’s how the cards compare:
||Benefits for Gas Station Purchases
|Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card
- 5% cash-back when gas stations are a quarterly bonus category, limit $1,500 in purchases each quarter (rewards can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points)
- 3% cash-back at drugstores that may sell gas-branded gift cards (rewards can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points)
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- 1.5% cash-back on all purchases, including gas stations (rewards can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points)
- 3% cash-back at drugstores that may sell gas-branded gift cards (rewards can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points)
|Citi Premier® Card
- 3x points on gas station purchases
- 3x points at supermarkets that may sell gas-branded gift cards
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
- 2% at U.S. gas stations
- 3% at U.S. grocery stores that may sell gas-branded gift cards, up to $6,000 in purchases per year
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- 3% cash-back on U.S. gas station purchases
- 6% cash-back at U.S. grocery stores that could sell gas-branded gift cards, up to $6,000 in purchases per year
|Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
- 4% cash-back on worldwide gas purchases, up to $7,000 in purchases each year
- 2% cash-back at Costco which may sell gas-branded gift cards
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
- 6x points on U.S. gas station purchases
- 6x points at U.S. supermarkets that may sell gas-branded gift cards
|Hilton Honors American Express Card
- 5x points on U.S. gas station purchases
- 5x points at U.S. supermarkets that may sell gas-branded gift cards
|American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
- 2% cash-back on all purchases, including gas stations, up to $50,000 in purchases each year. 1% thereafter
|American Express® Business Gold Card
- 4x Membership Rewards points on your 2 highest spent categories each statement period, including purchases at U.S. gas stations, 4x earnings are capped at $150,000 in purchases each year
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
- 2% cash-back at gas stations, up to $25,000 in purchases
- 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores that may sell gas-branded gift cards
Best Credit Cards for Flexible Travel Rewards on Gas Purchases
We love travel rewards credit cards, and we love when we earn extra bonus points on purchases we make regularly, like gas. Here are a few recommended cards that earn flexible rewards on gas station purchases.
1. Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card
While the Freedom Flex card and the Freedom Unlimited card are commonly considered cash-back cards, they initially earn rewards as flexible Ultimate Rewards points.
This is an important distinction because flexible rewards points offer redemption options that may deliver value far beyond the 1 cent per point option of redeeming Ultimate Rewards earned on the cards for cash-back.
Transferring Ultimate Rewards to premium Chase cards such as the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can result in up to 50% more value when redeemed for travel via the Chase travel portal, or potentially even greater value when transferred to travel partners and redeemed for award flights or free hotel nights.
The Freedom Flex card offers quarterly bonus categories that earn 5% on select categories, up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, that can include gas stations and merchants that may sell gas-branded credit cards.
The card also earns 5% back on travel through the Chase travel portal, 3% back on dining and at drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
2. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Freedom Unlimited card earns 5% back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
That obviously includes gas stations, because you literally earn 1.5% cash-back on any purchases not included in the bonus categories.
There is also no annual fee, making this card a good option to use anywhere that you don’t already earn a better bonus for your spending.
Check out our comparison of these 2 popular Chase cards in our article that spells out all the benefits of each card.
Hot Tip: Rewards earned on the Freedom Flex card and the Freedom Unlimited card are earned first as flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for cash-back at 1 cent each. If you have a premium Chase travel rewards credit card, however, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Freedom Flex card and Freedom Unlimited card to these premium cards and take advantage of additional travel redemptions benefits of that card resulting in the potential of far greater value.
3. Citi Premier® Card
The Citi Premier card is a great travel rewards card that offers no foreign transaction fees and a flexible rewards program for a $95 annual fee.
This card also offers plenty of opportunities for you to earn extra bonus points quickly on everyday purchases, including one of the most generous broadly defined travel categories.
You will earn 3x points on gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, air travel, and hotels. Everywhere else, you’ll get 1 point per dollar spent.
These points are part of the ThankYou Rewards program. ThankYou Points can be redeemed for travel using Citi’s travel center, but can also be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, and at select merchants for 1 cent per point.
You can also easily transfer your ThankYou Points to a growing list of airline loyalty programs to add extra flexibility and value. For even more ways to redeem your points, check out our in-depth guide on the best ways to redeem your Citi ThankYou Points.
Bottom Line: The Citi Premier card offers so many options for earning bonus points, especially with its 3x bonus categories on gas, supermarkets, air travel, hotels, and restaurants. This card makes it easy to rack up points quickly!
Best Credit Cards for Cash-back on Gas Station Purchases
Cash-back credit cards can offer instant satisfaction since they are so easy to use and understand. You don’t need to save up a bunch of points to make a redemption, and you clearly benefit from the value of every point.
There are also plenty of opportunities to earn even more cash-back on purchases like gas and other categories, so let’s see which credit cards are best for extra cash-back on gas purchases:
1. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card offers a cash-back rewards program that earns reward dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
This card provides some easy opportunities to earn extra cash-back on everyday purchases. You earn 2% cash-back on all purchases at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores with no limit.
Note: you won’t earn the extra 2% cash-back on gas purchases made at supermarkets or warehouse clubs. Selling gas must be the primary business of the gas station in the U.S. for it to count.
Bottom Line: The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is a great cash-back earning credit card that offers an unlimited 2% cash-back on U.S. gas purchases.
2. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card is basically an upgraded version of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card. It offers an identical rewards structure in the form of reward dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
The major difference is an increase in the amount of cash-back you earn in the same special bonus categories, but it does have an annual fee.
This card earns an unlimited 3% cash-back on purchases made at U.S. gas stations. It also earns 6% cash-back on up to $6,000 in purchases per year (then 1%) at U.S. supermarkets. All other purchases earn the standard 1% cash-back reward.
You can also start earning cash-back even before your card arrives! American Express sometimes provides an immediate credit card number when you are instantly approved, which can be used for digital purchases (including mobile payments and online purchases).
This card offers the usual benefits and protections, such as purchase protection and extended warranty, that American Express provides to safeguard your purchases, plus travel-related benefits and protections.
Bottom Line: In addition to earning cash-back on U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card also earns 6% on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% cash-back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. For more information, check out our detailed guide to the benefits of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card.
3. Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
The Costco Anywhere card is available exclusively for Costco members.
If you are not a Costco member, you can join before applying for this card. It could be worth it even if you don’t shop at Costco.
This card earns 4% cash-back on the first $7,000 in gas purchases worldwide each year, not just gas purchased at Costco. That’s up to $280 a year in earnings just on gas. Then you’ll earn the standard 1% cash-back rate.
You will also earn 3% cash-back on all restaurant and eligible travel expenses worldwide, and 2% cash-back on all Costco purchases in-store and online.
There is no annual fee — you just need to be a Costco member, which starts at just $60 annually.
The only catch? Your rewards aren’t immediately available.
Instead, your cash-back rewards will be issued annually as a cash rewards certificate when your February statement closes. You can then redeem the certificate for cash or for purchases at Costco.
Bottom Line: This is one of the best cash-back credit cards for gas purchases, earning 4% on the first $7,000 in purchases each year. The only downside is that you have to be a Costco member, and you have to wait for up to a year for your rewards.
Additional Cards With Bonus Earnings on Gas Station Purchases
1. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
The Hilton Surpass card is a great card for gas purchases, especially if you stay at Hilton properties since it comes with a lot of other Hilton-centric benefits.
This card earns 6x points for each dollar on eligible purchases made at U.S. gas stations, which is probably one of the highest category bonuses on any card for gas stations.
It also earns 6x points for eligible purchases made at U.S. grocery stores and U.S. restaurants, something a gas station-specific card won’t give you, by the way.
If you like staying at Hilton properties, this card will earn 12x points on all charges made directly with participating Hilton hotels and resorts.
All other purchases will earn 3x points, and there is no limit to the number of points you can earn!
Hot Tip: Looking for other ways to earn Hilton points? We show you plenty of ways to earn lots of Hilton Honors points in our related article.
The more points you earn, the faster you’ll be on your way to staying at some incredible Hilton properties. We’ve even found the best ways to redeem your Hilton Honors points for some incredible destinations like the Maldives and London.
This card does come with an annual fee, but it offers additional benefits for Hilton Honors members and those who like staying at Hilton hotels. For instance, Hilton Honors members who get this card will instantly become Gold members in the rewards program.
Big spenders can earn the ability to reach Hilton Honors Diamond status if they spend $40,000 on the Hilton Surpass card in a calendar year — those benefits can get you some incredible upgrades.
You will also receive a free weekend night certificate to use at Hilton hotels and resorts when you spend at least $15,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year.
2. Hilton Honors American Express Card
An alternative to the Hilton Honors Surpass card is the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors card that earns 5x points on U.S. gas station purchases and at U.S. supermarkets (which may sell gas-branded gift cards).
Bottom Line: The Hilton Surpass card earns a ton of bonus points on much more than just Hilton properties (12x points). It also earns 6x at all U.S. gas stations, supermarkets, and restaurants, so there are plenty of ways to earn a lot of points. The Hilton Honors card, with no annual fee, earns 5x points at U.S. gas stations and also at U.S. supermarkets that may sell gas-branded gift cards.
Best Small Business Credit Cards for Gas Purchases
Owning a small business can involve a lot of travel on the road, which can add up to a lot of gas expenses. Luckily, small business credit cards usually like to add bonus reward categories to common business expenses.
Here are our picks for the best small business credit cards for gas purchases:
1. American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card
The Amex Blue Business Cash card offers a huge opportunity for earning cash-back, so much so that cardholders will earn 2% cash-back on all purchases up to the first $50,000 each calendar year, amounting to $1,000 in savings! After you max out your 2% earnings, you earn a straightforward 1% cash-back.
You don’t need to remember to redeem your rewards with the Amex Blue Business Cash card — the cash-back you earn is automatically issued as a statement credit.
The Amex Blue Business Cash card also comes with great benefits and protections for your purchases and helps you easily add and manage additional employee cards as well.
Hot Tip: You may receive bonus earnings on purchases made inside the gas station’s convenience store. Additionally, you may be able to purchase gas-branded gift cards at other bonus category merchants such as office supply stores, supermarkets, or drugstores.
2. American Express® Business Gold Card
The Amex Business Gold card is a travel rewards-earning card that earns 4x Membership Rewards points on the 2 select categories where your business spent the most each month — and gas stations are one of those options.
There are 6 business expense categories that are eligible to earn 4 points per $1 spent:
- Airfare purchased from airlines directly
- Online, TV, and radio advertising purchased from U.S. media
- Select technology purchases of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions from U.S. providers
- Purchases at U.S. gas stations
- Purchases at U.S. restaurants
- Purchases for U.S. shipping
You will earn 1x points on all other purchases and for purchases made over the $150,000 cap on the 4x bonus.
The Amex Business Gold card earns Membership Rewards points that offer plenty of options and flexibility to redeem your rewards.
Your Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for your business travel expenses by booking directly with Amex Travel or by transferring your points directly to participating airline and hotel loyalty programs.
Don’t be afraid to take this card with you on your international business trips, as the card does not charge foreign transaction fees.
We’ve composed the ultimate guide to the Membership Rewards program to help you understand how to make the most out of your points.
3. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash card is a dynamic cash-back earning no-annual-fee small business credit card.
This card earns 5% on the first $25,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services.
Your small business will also earn 2% on the first $25,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year at gas stations and restaurants. That’s up to $500 a year!
Learn more about the perks offered by this card in our piece outlining the most valuable Ink Business Cash card benefits.
Hot Tip: Your card anniversary year is different from the calendar year and starts on your card approval date. This will continue to be your anniversary date as long as you have that specific card.
All other purchases and purchases made over the anniversary year limit will earn 1% cash-back.
There are several opportunities to redeem points for great value since you are actually earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
In addition to cash-back, you can redeem your points for gift cards, travel, and more options via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Basically, each point is worth 1 cent.
If you currently have a premium Chase card, you could receive up to 50% more in value after transferring points to these cards and redeeming for travel via the Chase travel portal.
Using these cards, you can also combine your Ink Business Cash card points with one of the premium Chase cards to take advantage of the ability to transfer to airline and hotel loyalty programs and receive even greater potential value.
Bottom Line: This $0 annual fee credit card offers 2% cash-back at gas stations on the first $25,000 per anniversary year. By earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you’ll also have the opportunity to take advantage of Chase’s rewards transfer program if you have a Chase premium card.
Do be aware that all Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards (personal and business) fall under the Chase 5/24 rule.
Overall, there are plenty of travel rewards and cash-back credit cards that can earn lots of bonus points on gas purchases. These cards can offer more earnings and flexible redemption options that gas-station branded cards don’t offer.
And don’t forget that bonus-category merchants may offer gas-branded gift cards that could result in elevated earnings for those purchases. It can be easy to add a gas gift card to your weekly grocery purchase or when picking up a prescription at the drugstore.
Earning flexible rewards for your gas purchases, whether Membership Rewards, Ultimate Rewards, or ThankYou Points, can also result in a far better return for your rewards at redemption time.
Additionally, cash-back rewards earnings could directly offset the cost of gas. Earning just 3% cash-back on gas reduces the price of $3.00 a gallon gas to just $2.91 — and that can add up.
The bottom line is that you can’t go wrong earning rewards on everyday purchases such as gas.
The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express® Business Gold Card, click here.