Ducks Unlimited Card Shoots Down Its 5% Gas Rewards

Paul SoucyApril 1, 2020

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One of the best gas credit cards on the market is no longer particularly valuable for gas.

The Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card, which had earned accolades including NerdWallet's choice as the best gas credit card of 2020, has radically altered its rewards structure. The highlight (or lowlight) of the changes is that it no longer pays 5% cash back on gas.

  • Previously: Unlimited 5% cash back on gas purchases and at sporting goods stores; unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Now: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

The former 5% rate on gas purchases was noteworthy not just because it was so high but also because there was no cap on how much gas spending qualified for it and because the card had no annual fee and no membership requirements, such as with a credit union or wholesale club. Ducks Unlimited is a wetlands conservation group made up primarily of hunters, but you don't have to be a member to get the card.

The new structure might actually produce more net rewards for many people if they use the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card as an everyday card. The average household doesn't spend much on gas — less than $2,000 a year, according to the Energy Information Administration. If you put, say, $15,000 a year on your card, and $1,500 of that is gas, you would earn $225 a year in rewards under the new structure, compared with $210 under the old one. (This is not taking into account sporting goods purchases.)

But this card was especially appealing to people whose gas expenses were higher than average. If you put $15,000 a year on the card and $3,000 of that was gas, you'd have earned $270 a year under the old rewards model, versus $225 with the new one.

People with high gas expenses still have a number of options that pay more than 1.5% at the pump.

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