How to Select the Right Gas Rebate Credit Card

by Ann Wilson on September 11, 2008

It is no secret that the price of fuel is continuously on the rise. Consumers, particularly vehicle owners are the most affected ones. In response to the demands of the market, credit card companies offer cards with gas rebates or gas rewards programs. By offering card holders the chance to save money from their gasoline purchases, credit card issuers are hoping to win loyalty from their clients. But which gas rebate credit card is the best one for you? With the long list of gas credit cards available in the market, how do you pick out the perfect card?

Consumers have different needs and the perfect gas rebate credit card is the one that fits your lifestyle. Let’s check out these tips when looking for a gas rebate card:

Visit credit card review websites. Reading reviews would give you a better idea on which cards have the most potential. For instance, if you want a gas rebate card, you can immediately look under the gas credit cards’ section of the web site. Here, both the strongest and weakest features of different credit cards would be discussed. Thus, narrowing down your choices would be much simpler and easier.

Compare the interest rate. The first thing you’ll probably consider is the interest rate of the card. Most reward credit cards have higher interest than non-reward cards. However, you’ll want to make sure that the gas rebate card you’re considering has a reasonable interest charge. Watch out for cards that offer very low introductory rates. When the introductory period ends, how much would the regular interest rate be? The card may also have more than one APR, so you’ll want to be clear about which APR applies to your purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.

Check the rest of the fees. Aside from the interest rate, how much are the fees on the card? How much annual fee would you need to pay to keep your card active? How much are the transaction fees and late penalty charges? Remember, some credit cards may make up for the low interest rate offer by charging expensive maintenance fees.

Understand what “UP TO” means. Some consumers may be tricked into signing up for credit cards that seem to offer big rewards without realizing that there is a catch to the offer. For instance, a gas rebate offer of “UP TO 5%” doesn’t mean you’ll instantly get a 5% rebate each time you purchase gas.

The words “UP TO” implies that you “CAN” earn as much as 5% but that is still subjected to specific conditions. The 5% rebate may only be limited to gas purchases from selected gas stations or it may only be available after you’ve reached a certain number of points. If you don’t read the find print, you may be surprised to find that you actually have a very slim chance of enjoying the maximum 5% rebate after all.

Read the fine print. If you’re down to only two or three choices, the best way to compare credit cards is by completely reading the fine print. Check out the Terms and Conditions of each gas rebate card to see which one is best. Make sure that you are clear about the rules of the card’s reward program. See to it that there are no hidden charges or “vague clauses” included in the contract. In case there are statements that you don’t understand, call up the credit card company and ask for a more detailed explanation.

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