The bottom line: The card's ongoing rewards rate matches what you'll find on many good cash-back cards, but it lacks some of the upfront incentives that those other options offer.
Best Gas Credit Card
Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card
Recommended Credit Score
- No Annual Fee
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back on purchases everywhere Visa is accepted
- A portion of every purchase you make with the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Visa® Card helps fund wetlands conversation efforts
Pros & Cons
No annual fee
No reward caps
Minimum redemptions apply
No sign-up bonus
Alternate Pick: 2% cash back on Everything
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
No categories, just consistent rewards
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer pays 2% cash back on purchases — 1% when you buy something and another 1% when you pay the bill. If your credit card spending covers a lot more ground than gas, this card makes it simple to earn elevated rewards on all purchases.Read our review
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UPDATE April 1, 2020: The Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card has changed its rewards structure. It now pays unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Previously, it paid unlimited 5% cash back on gas and at sporting goods stores. See our roundup of the best credit cards for gas purchases for other options.
The $0-annual-fee Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card is a rare bird indeed. Issued by First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha, it offers an exceptional rewards rate — unlimited 5% cash back — on gas and at sporting goods stores.
That's a big, honking rate on gas with no strings attached — no reward limits, spending caps, fees or membership requirements. It's a boast few other cards can make, and it rightfully earns it a spot as one of NerdWallet’s best credit cards for gas. That stellar rewards rate also applies to purchases at sporting goods stores, but even those who hate the great outdoors can find something to love among the athletic wear, shoes and household items often carried by such retailers.
On all other spending, however, the card’s earnings are light as a feather and easily bested by many flat-rate cash-back cards.
Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card: Basics
Card type: Cash back.
Annual fee: $0.
Sign-up bonus: None.
5% cash back on gas purchases. (This includes businesses whose merchant category codes are either “service stations” or “automated fuel dispensers,” per the card’s terms.)
5% back on sporting goods store purchases.
1% back on everything else.
Points expire on the fifth anniversary of when they were awarded. You can redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit to your bank account or a paper check mailed to the address on the account. You can also use your earnings for merchandise, gift cards, travel or other goods and services.
Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 19.99% Variable.
Foreign transaction fee: 3%
Why the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card might be right for you
High top rewards rate
For gas rewards with no hurdles or hoops, the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card is best in class. If you're always on the road (and at the pump), it's a great card to have along for the ride. And that’s to say nothing of its generous rate at sporting goods stores. Stock up on whatever you need to pursue your outdoor passions, or just get a few pairs of yoga pants and watch nature shows from your couch. Either way, you’ll earn that same rich rewards rate of 5%.
No annual fee, NO LIMITS, No membership
This bears repeating. Other cards that offer rewards rates of 5% or above tend to either charge annual fees, place a ceiling on the amount of spending eligible for the higher rate, or carry membership requirements. (You don't have to be a member of the waterfowl advocacy group Ducks Unlimited to get this card.) Not the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card. You'll earn a consistent and unlimited 5% at service stations and sporting goods stores no matter how much you spend.
By contrast, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card earns 5 points per dollar spent on gas at the pump, but you can’t redeem points for cash back, and in many cases the points are worth less than a penny apiece. And there’s a membership requirement: You’ll have to join PenFed’s credit union to get the card. Meanwhile, cash-back cards that seemingly rival the 5% gas rate on the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card — such as the Chase Freedom®, the Discover it® Cash Back and the Sam's Club® Mastercard® — all have a cap on the amount of gas spending eligible for the top rate, along with some other limitations.
A portion of every purchase made with the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card is donated to Ducks Unlimited’s efforts to preserve and maintain wetlands and other native habitats for ducks, geese and other wildlife. The organization says its conservation and management efforts have provided over 14 million acres of habitat for waterfowl, and that the number of ducks recorded in those areas has increased as a result. As its credit card motto says: “You buy, ducks fly.”
Why you might want a different card
You might not spend that much on gas
The Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card is a world-class gas card, but consider whether that's actually what you need. The truth is, most families simply don’t spend all that much on gas compared with other areas of their budget. If your household were to spend $2,000 a year on gas — which is around average, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration — you'd get a nice $100 back from the card. But on purchases that make up a bigger portion of many family budgets — groceries, restaurants, clothing, household goods, utilities and so on — you'll earn a mundane 1% back.
For people who don't mind carrying multiple cards and using them strategically or who simply want a just-for-gas card, this product is peerless. But if you're more of a one-card-for-everything person, it may fall short of other options.
Redemption can be cumbersome
You can take your rewards as a statement credit, a deposit into a checking or savings account, or a mailed check — but it must be in set denominations of $25, $50, $100, $250 or $1,000. In other words, if you’ve got $99 worth of rewards stored up, you’re going to get your hands on only $75 of it (a $50 redemption and a $25 redemption) at cash-in time.
There are no 'extras'
Unlike a lot of other cash-back options, this card offers no sign-up bonus, nor will you get any kind of intro APR rate on purchases or balance transfers. For those who travel a lot by car and are looking for the kind of perks that have become increasingly popular on other cards aimed at frequent travelers, you won't find any on the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card.
Ongoing APR is high
If you typically carry a balance from month to month, this card will cost you a bundle. The ongoing APR is 19.99% Variable, which means that in spite of that 5% rewards rate on gas and sporting good stores, those savings will be far outweighed by what you'll pay in interest. Consider a card with a 0% APR offer on purchases if you need some extra breathing room on a big buy.
ties to hunting may be an issue for some
Ducks Unlimited was founded by sportsmen and waterfowl hunters who recognized that habitat conservation would help promote a healthy population of native birds, and the organization says 90% of its members are hunters. The organization is upfront in its mission statement that it supports waterfowl hunting when it’s done in an “ethical and sustainable manner,” and its website has an entire section devoted to hunting — migration alerts, hunting tips, duck calling, decoy strategies, shooting tips, waterfowl gear, dog training and so on. For many people, the group's close relationship with hunting isn't going to be an issue, but others might not be comfortable with it.
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
If you're looking for strong rewards beyond just filling up at the pump, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card earns elevated rewards across a wide swath of spending categories. With this card, you'll earn 3 Go Far Rewards points for every dollar spent on dining (which includes restaurants, takeout and bars), riding and driving (which includes gas stations, rideshares and transit), travel (which includes flights, hotels, homestays) and eligible streaming services. You'll likely find that earning a slightly lower 3% for gas stations vs. the 5% on the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card is outweighed by the overall rewards in so many other areas.
Sam's Club® Mastercard®
To be sure, 5% back on gas isn’t unheard of. The Sam's Club® Mastercard®, for example, offers that rate — but only up to $6,000 spent on gas per year. After that, you’ll drop down to 1% back on gas. It also earns 3% back at restaurants and travel, and 1% on all other spending. And while the card’s annual fee is technically $0, you must join Sam’s Club to get it. Membership there costs at least $45 a year. But, if your gas spending is in line with the average household and you tend to buy in bulk, the Sam's Club® Mastercard® might save you more money overall.
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
If you're seeking solid and consistent rewards every time you use your card, you'll find that with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. With this card, you'll earn a total of 2% cash back on every purchase — you'll get 1% when you make it and another 1% when you pay the bill. That means you'll get the same rich rate across the board on everything whether you're buying hunting gear for a trip or a rubber duckie for the tub.
Should you get the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card?
If you drop a lot of money at gas stations, sporting goods stores or both and are looking for a card to maximize your return on that spending, you won't find a more rewarding option than the Ducks Unlimited Rewards Platinum Edition® Visa® Card. But unless you're an extreme road warrior, you may not spend nearly as much on gas as you think you do. In that case, a card offering elevated rewards across multiple categories might be a better fit in your wallet.
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