BEST OF

Best Gas Credit Cards of January 2021

NerdWalletJanuary 14, 2021
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Gas isn’t a huge part of the typical household budget. So for most people, the trick to choosing a great gas credit card is picking one that rewards you well not just on gas station purchases, but also for other spending. Still, especially for heavy drivers, getting outsized rewards on gas can be key. Aim to earn at least 3% back on every dollar spent at the pump.

Gas-station-branded cards might be tempting, but you’re likely to get more value overall with a general rewards credit card — and you won’t be tied to a single brand of service station.

NerdWallet's Best Gas Credit Cards of January 2021

Best Gas Credit Cards From Our Partners

Our pick for

Overall spending

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Credit Card

on Wells Fargo's website

Rates & Fees

4.9

NerdWallet rating 

on Wells Fargo's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

20,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card lacks some of the premium perks that other travel credit cards offer. But it pays great rewards at gas stations while giving you a reason to use it on other spending, too.

Pros

  • This card offers 3 points per dollar in a slew of popular categories, including gas stations, restaurants, travel and popular streaming services. All other spending earns 1 point per dollar. Points are worth a penny apiece and are redeemable for cash, travel and more. There's a rich welcome offer for new cardholders, and you even get a 0% introductory APR period, all with an annual fee of $0.

Cons

  • There are some limitations on redemption. For cash back, the minimum redemption amount is $25, or $20 when redeeming at a Wells Fargo ATM. Travel redemptions are available only by booking through Wells Fargo.

  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign currency conversion fee
  • Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points on popular streaming services
  • Earn 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit
  • Earn 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • Earn 1X points on other purchases
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Families

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

1%-6%

Cashback

Intro offer

$250

Recommended Credit Score

The rewards structure of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is unusually generous to people who spend a lot on gas, transit and groceries, such as those with families and long commutes. No cap on gas rewards means that even if you’re a salesperson with a multistate territory, you'll be able to fill your tank all year long without getting bumped to a lower rewards rate.

Pros

  • Earning 3% back on U.S. gas station purchases year-round is excellent when there are other lucrative bonus categories, too. Large households especially will appreciate what the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can earn on other expenses: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%); 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% cash back on transit (including such things as taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains and buses); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms apply.

Cons

  • Make sure what you'll earn in rewards will outstrip the card's $95 annual fee — grocery shopping can likely get you there faster than gas guzzling.

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • $95 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Smaller spenders

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

on Bank of America's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-3%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is already a good card for certain purchases, but if you’re a Bank of America® customer and can qualify for Preferred Rewards, this card becomes exceptional for use at the pump. But mind the quarterly spending cap.

Pros

  • You earn 3% cash back on your chosen spending category, which can be gas, and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined spending each quarter. Earn 1% cash back on other purchases. (Other 3% choices: online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement and furniture stores. You can update your choice category once each calendar month.) If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can get bonuses of 25% to 75% of the rewards you earn.

Cons

  • The spending cap on the 3% and 2% rewards can be complicated to manage and might be too low for larger households. Earning more than 3% back on purchases requires a high loyalty to Bank of America®.

  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap

Our picks for

Strategic quarterly use

Chase Freedom Flex

on Chase's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

Chase has traditionally offered gas purchases as a bonus category at least one quarter a year (and two quarters in some years). Earning 5% back at the pump with an annual fee of $0 is hard to beat. Still, this card does require some maintenance.

Pros

  • You earn 5% back on rotating bonus categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter. Gas is usually among the 5% categories one or two quarters per year. This card also earns 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 3% back at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on everything else. There's a terrific offer for new cardholders, too.

Cons

  • The card is great for bonus-category spending but earns a low 1% back outside those categories. You have to keep track of the 5% categories and activate them each quarter, which some consider a hassle.

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Chase:

Discover it® Cash Back

on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees

4.8

NerdWallet rating 

on Discover's website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Recommended Credit Score

The Discover it® Cash Back pays 5% cash back in rotating categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending, and 1% cash back on other purchases. Every year going back to at least 2014, gas stations have been among the 5% categories.

Pros

  • Bonus categories in recent years have included not just gas stations but also grocery stores, restaurants and Amazon.com (among other merchants), making this a card worth carrying year-round. You also get Discover's signature cash-back match bonus and an annual fee of $0.

Cons

  • The rewards rate is low outside the bonus categories. You have to keep track of the categories and activate them each quarter, which some consider a hassle. Bonus earnings are capped.

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor’s Business Daily.
  • No annual fee.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Credit union fans

Pentagon Federal Credit Union Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card

on Pentagon Federal Credit Union's website

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

on Pentagon Federal Credit Union's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1x-5x

Points

Intro offer

$100

Recommended Credit Score

For some, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card won’t be an easy card to apply for, and redeeming points might be a hassle. But if you need a sky-high return on your gas spending, it may be the card for you.

Pros

  • If you’re willing to endure a little hassle in joining this credit union and using its points, it’s hard to beat the return in points on the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card, which has an annual fee of $0. Each $1 spent on gas earns the equivalent of 4.25 cents when redeemed for gift cards, which is a superb return. It also helps at the supermarket. The card is also our only choice that isn’t issued by a megabank, if that appeals to you.

Cons

  • To apply, you need to become a member of Pentagon Federal Credit Union, an organization that caters to military and government employees. Everyone is eligible to join. There is no cash-back option; just merchandise, gift cards and travel. Also, points aren’t worth the traditional penny per point. You'll typically get a value of 0.85 cents each, although they can be worth more than a penny when used for travel. Finally, gas rewards are for pay-at-the-pump purchases only, so snacks, wiper fluid and car washes bought at the service station checkout counter won’t count for bonus rewards.

  • Rate and offers current as of January 1, 2021 and subject to change.
  • $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 in purchase transactions within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 5 points on gas purchases at the pump.
  • Fuel purchases for airplanes and boats and made via inside store attendant receive 1 point per dollar spent.
  • Earn 3 points on supermarket purchases (3 points/dollar spent)
  • Earn 1 point on all other purchases (1 point/dollar spent)
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No cash advance fee
  • Chip and Contactless ‘Tap to Pay’ enabled for added security, ease and convenience at the point of sale
  • Click and Pay eligible, via Secure Remote Commerce, so you can enjoy easy and secure online buying checkout
  • Digital wallet capable
  • Purchase variable rate as low as 13.49% APR
  • 0% promotional rate for 12 months on balance transfers made between now and March 31, 2021. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new balance transfers will be a non-variable rate of 17.99%. 3% balance transfer fee per transaction. Subject to credit approval. If you take advantage of this balance transfer, you will immediately be charged interest on all purchases made with your credit card unless you pay the entire account balance, including balance transfers, in full each month by the payment due date.
  • Cash Advance APR 17.99%

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

Our pick for: Overall spending 

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card offers so much value, it's hard to believe there's no annual fee. Start with a great bonus offer, then earn extra rewards in a host of common spending categories — restaurants, gas stations, transit, travel, streaming and more. Read our review.

Our pick for: Families

If your household spends a lot on groceries, gas, transit and streaming services, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is for you. The rewards it pays in those categories — particularly at U.S. supermarkets and on select streaming services — are among the richest of any card. There's a nice bonus offer for new cardholders and an introductory 0% APR period, too. The generous benefits come at a cost, though: Unlike most cash-back cards, this one charges an annual fee. Read our review.

Our pick for: Smaller spenders

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card gives you a little more control over your credit card rewards by letting you choose which category earns the highest cash-back rate, from a list that includes gas stations, restaurants, travel and others. You also get bonus rewards at grocery stores and supermarkets, plus a great new-cardholder bonus offer. Read our review.

Our pick for: Strategic quarterly use

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers bonus cash back in quarterly categories that you activate, as well as on travel booked through Chase, at restaurants and at drugstores. Category activation can be a hassle, but if your spending matches the categories — and for a lot of people, it will — you can rack up hundreds of dollars a year. There's a fantastic bonus offer for new cardholders and a 0% intro APR period, too. Read our review.

Our pick for: Strategic quarterly use

The Discover it® Cash Back earns bonus cash back in quarterly categories that you activate. In past years, those categories have included common spending areas like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and Amazon.com. Category activation can be a hassle, but if your spending aligns with those categories (and for most households, it probably will), you can rake in serious rewards. You also get the issuer's signature "cash-back match" bonus in your first year. Read our review.

Our pick for: Wholesale club members

The Sam's Club® Mastercard® delivers terrific cash back on gas, restaurant dining and travel, but you earn only the base rewards rate at Sam's Club itself. So think of it less as a card to use at Sam's and more as a card that turns other spending into rewards you redeem at Sam's. There's no annual fee for the card, but you have to be a Sam's Club member, and that does involve a fee. Read our review.

Our pick for: Credit union fans

For some, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card won’t be an easy card to apply for, and redeeming points might be a hassle. But if you need a sky-high return on your gas spending, it may be the card for you. Read our review.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this page.

Last updated on January 14, 2021

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.