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When finding the cheapest gas, you can’t just look at prices. You have to factor in price, and the gas rebate you could potentially get with various gas credit cards.
You can then come up with an “after rebate” price that you can compare, on an apples to apples basis, across all gas stations.
Challenge #1: Which gas stations accept which gas bonus credit cards?
This is trickier than it sounds at first blush, because you have to figure out which gas stations exclude which gas credit cards.
The most important exceptions to take note of are, (i) which discount gas stations don’t accept credit cards at all, or charge extra, and (ii) Costco only accepts American Express, and only pays out “bonus” gas rebate rates for the TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express.
Challenge #2: Monthly limits and exclusions
See our huge table where we outline this topic in detail, our tips on choosing the best gas credit card. Many cards may offer 3-4% back, but have a ~$250 per month limit. Some even have rotating categories, so gas cards only get their bonus refund rate value 1 quarter a year.
Challenge #3: The best gas cards are hard to qualify for
For purposes of this article, we’re going to assume you can qualify for the 5% cards. If you can’t, rerun the numbers using the best gas credit card you can get.
Doing The Math – Finding the Cheapest Place To Buy Gas
- Try out the gas buddy tool below, and pick out the best current prices at a few local gas stations.
- Calculate the price, after rebates, at the cheapest station you can get 5% back on. This should be every station except for Costco & other wholesale clubs, and “cash only” or “debit only” stations. Note that you also get 5% back with the BP Credit Card and the Shell Credit Card with their respective credit cards, which might be relevant if you qualify for those 2 cards, but not the others.
- Calculate the lowest price you can get at a wholesaler gas station, like Costco, while using their card. For example, take 3% off of the price of Costco gas with the TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express.
- Compare #2 and #3 to the cheapest “cash / debit only” gas station, ARCO for instance.
|Atlanta Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com|
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