Best Credit Cards for Gas & Fuel in 2020

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Looking for the best return on gas and fuel?

Americans consume a whopping 140+ billion gallons of fuel per year. Along with food and housing, fuel ranks as one of the most significant spending categories for many families in the U.S. and accounts for a substantial share of credit card spending. If you swipe the right card at the gas station, you can receive as much as 5% back on your fuel bill in the form of rewards points or cash back.

Around half the cards listed are no annual fee cash back cards, perfect if you're looking to keep your costs to a minimum. The remainder charge an annual fee, but earn points in an array of rewards programs with the chance of higher returns, and typically provide a bunch of ancillary benefits too.

Best credit card for gas and fuel purchases

Our Pick – The Best Credit Card for Gas & Fuel

Citi Premier℠ Card
Citi Premier Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Offer Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
The Citi Premier card offers some of the top earning rates of any rewards card with an annual fee under $100. This card is best-in-class for rewards on travel spending, and it tops our list of the best cards for gas & fuel purchases with a generous 3X ThankYou® Points.
  • 60,000 point signup bonus worth $750 towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
  • 3X points per $1 on travel, including gas stations, plus 2X points at restaurants and on entertainment
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • 3X points per $1 spent on on travel including gas stations, as well as airfare, hotels, car rental agencies, public transportation, tolls, and parking
  • 2X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including many cafes, bars and lounges
  • 2X points per $1 spent on entertainment, including sporting events, movie theaters, concerts and more
  • 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases

The Citi Premier slides into first place earning 3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations for gas and fuel spend. Securing such a fantastic return is somewhat of a bonus for Citi Premier cardholders, with the perk classed as a travel benefit (the only card to feature gas stations in the travel category). While the PenFed Platinum Rewards card earns more points, five for every dollar spent at the pump as opposed to three on the Citi card; we value Citi Premier at roughly double PenFed rewards points, which are worth a maximum 0.85¢ per point.

Best Rewards Credit Cards for Gas & Fuel

Credit CardPoints Earned on Gas & FuelOther Bonus CategoriesAnnual Fee
Citi Premier Card3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations3X points on travel
2X points on dining & entertainment
$95
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express2X points at US gas stations + make 30 or more purchases in a billing period and earn 50% extra points3x at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year$95
American Express® Business Gold Card4x points on 2 of 6 categories with the highest monthly spend including U.S. purchases at gas stationsUp to 4x points on the remaining 5 categories including:
Airfare purchased directly from airlines
U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
U.S. purchases for shipping
U.S. purchases at restaurants
U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
$295 - Rates & Fees
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card5X points on gas at the pump (points are worth 0.85¢ for a 4.25% return) 3X points on groceries$0
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi4% cash back on gas for the first $7,000 per year3% cash back on travel & dining
2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com
$0 with a paid Costco membership (min $60 per year)
Discover it® Chrome Gas & Restaurant Card2% cash back on gas up to $1,000 per quarter (Cashback Match for first year takes it to 4%)2% back on gas and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter$0
AARP® Credit Card from Chase3% cash back at gas stations3% cash back at restaurants$0
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card3X points at gas stations3X points on travel purchases, dining, streaming services$0
Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card3x points at U.S. gas stations2x points at U.S. restaurants$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $45.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter$0
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
6X at U.S. supermarkets12X at Hilton properties
6X at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets
3X on all other purchases
$95 - Rates & Fees
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
6X points at U.S. gas stations12X at Hilton properties
6X on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, on U.S. purchases for shipping, at U.S. restaurants, on flights booked directly with airlines or with AmexTravel.com,
on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
3X on all other purchases
$95 - Rates & Fees
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express2X Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners (applies to first $50,000 spent each year, then 1X)N/ANo annual fee - Rates & Fees
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
6% back on select US streaming services
3% back on transit, including trains, taxi cabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways
$0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95 - Rates & Fees

While Citi takes the top spot, it is a fairly even race with the Amex EveryDay Preferred which earns an effective 3X Membership Rewards points on gas if you put 30+ transactions on the card per billing cycle; the rest is a bit of a mixed bag.

The dark horse in the table above is the American Express® Business Gold Card, which earns 4x points on 2 of 6 categories with the highest spend each month including U.S. purchases at gas stations. But, only if that is one of the 2 biggest spending categories you have for that month. If not, you'll only earn 1 point per dollar spent. If U.S. gas station purchases make up the bulk of your spending each month, this is without a doubt the best rewards card for purchasing gas and fuel.

The PenFed Platinum Rewards provides a high return on paper but has less redemption flexibility than other programs, and PenFed is a credit union with specific signup requirements, so you’ll need to jump through some hoops before you can apply for a PenFed credit card.

The AARP Credit Card from Chase is a straightforward option, without any cash back caps or special requirements, but perhaps the most underrated pair on the list would be the Hilton duo. If you can wrangle more than 0.5¢ per point in value for your Hilton points, 6X points at U.S. gas stations could potentially return as much as 3-6¢ per dollar spent on fuel.

While we've included the Discover it® Cash Back above, we haven’t included the Chase Freedom®, which often features gas as a revolving quarterly bonus category, and you’ll get between 5% and 10% back on your gas spend when it's highlighted. But for everyday gas purchases, when gas is removed as a bonus category, you’ll only receive 1% back on every dollar.

What Purchases are Included in the Gas & Fuel Category?

Gas purchases, from a terms and conditions perspective, are fairly straightforward. Provided the purchase codes in the correct merchant category, you receive the bonus points or cash back.

Citi

Citi doesn’t specify any inclusions outside of ‘gas stations’ in terms of the Citi Premier. The Costco Anywhere offers more specific terms:

“4% cash back on eligible gas worldwide, including gas at Costco, for the first $7,000 per year in gas purchases and then 1% thereafter.”

PenFed

“…earn 5 Points per $1 for Net New Gasoline Purchases you make with the card, when paid for at the pump (based on Visa Merchant Category Codes 5542).”

Discover

“…Gas… purchases are those made at merchants classified as gas stations.”

Chase

Outside of merchant category codes, Chase doesn’t list any specifics. If the purchase codes as a gas station, you get bonus points.

Wells Fargo

“…at U.S. retailers whose merchant code for American Express is classified as a gas station and automated fuel dispensers…”

Bank of America

“…Net Purchases made at eligible gas and fuel merchants, which include merchants whose primary line of business is the sale of automotive gasoline that can be purchased inside the service station or at the automated fuel pump and gasoline purchased at boat marinas, as well as fuel dealers whose primary line of business is the sale of heating oil, propane and other fuels, such as kerosene.”

American Express

“…on gasoline at gas stations located in the U.S.”

Are Any Purchases Excluded from the Gas & Fuel Category?

Purchases made within the gas and fuel category have few conditions imposed, with the exceptions being spending caps, location restrictions, the ever-present merchant category codes, and the peculiar limitation from Discovery on NFC and similar tech.

Citi

Citi Premier:

“…fuel used for non–automobile purposes… Gas purchases made at warehouse clubs, discount stores, department stores and convenience stores do not qualify for 3X Points.”

Costco Anywhere:

“You will only earn 1% cash back, not 4%, for gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco or for fuel used for non-automobile purposes.”

Discover

“Purchases made using Near Field Communication (NFC), virtual wallets, or similar technology may not be eligible.”

Chase

Outside of merchant category codes, Chase doesn’t list any specifics. If the purchase codes as a gas station, you get bonus points.

Wells Fargo

“…gas purchases at warehouse/membership clubs, grocery stores, car washes, auto repair stores, and superstores that sell gasoline may not earn bonus points.”

Bank of America

“Purchases made at merchants whose primary line of business is not the sale of automotive gasoline or fuel, like superstores, supermarkets and truck stops will not earn bonus cash rewards.”

American Express

Outside of merchant category codes and location restrictions, Amex doesn’t list any specifics. If the purchase codes as a gas station and it’s in the U.S., you get bonus points.

Final Thoughts

The Citi Premier Card is positioned as a clear winner in the gas and fuel category, earning an unrestricted 3X ThankYou Rewards on purchases at gas stations. If you’re already a Costco member, 4% cash back on the Costco Anywhere from Citi provides great value up to the $7,000 cap, and the AARP Credit Card from Chase is another standout card earning an unlimited 3% on gas purchases without charging an annual fee.

Hilton fans also reap the benefits of bonus points on U.S. gas purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and Hilton Business Card. And small business owners can take advantage of the Blue Business Plus card’s 2x points on everyday business purchases up to the first $50K each year (then 1x), including gas and fuel purchases; an excellent fallback card if you don’t carry a card offering bonus points on gas.

If you have a card that returns top value on gas purchases and we haven’t got it on the list, get in touch via the comments below. We love the feedback from our AwardWallet community.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Rates & Fees), Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (Rates & Fees), and American Express® Business Gold Card (Rates & Fees)

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Comments

  • Avatar

    I haven’t quite figured out how they calculate fuel rewards. I usually get 3 cents and the other day I got 18 cents. I have no idea how to gauge what you get

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    I use the Kroger rewards Mastercard to purchase my fuel. I thought it said there was a 25 cent discount when I used this card for fuel. I have not gotten it yet.

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    Not only do the Hilton cards get 6X on fuel purchases, but you also get the free weekend night certificate for $15,000 spend on the card in a year. I’d value the free night plus the 6X points at about 4.5 cents per dollar assuming that you spend the $15,000.

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    The Amex Gold Open card let’s you pick a 3x category, and one of the choices is gas. No AF for the first year, and a 50k signup bonus.

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    It’s also important to consider the cost of the gasoline. In my area, Costco gas is usually $0.15 to $0.20 cheaper per gallon then the next lowest priced source. So choosing a card that isn’t accepted by Costco, I could end up paying more out of pocket for the gas then the extra rewards would be worth to me.

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    Great list of the best cards to use at gas stations.

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    Sam’s club 5% on gas is the best that comes (up to 6k) only excluding warehouses other than Sam’s club. No AF also.

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    I think the best cards for fuel savings combine both the grocery and gas catergories, e.g. Blue Cash Preferred and Penfed Cash rewards card. For example at Kroger, I can do my regular shopping and get 5% cashback as well as earn fuel points. Once I accumulate at least 1000 fuel points, I would then be able to save up to $1 per gallon of gas in addition to getting 5% cashback at the pump.

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    I love my chase cards. I just got the freedom unlimited. Even tho these other cards look good, I will do the 5x on the freedom, then switch to the freedom unlimited until they have it as a bonus again. I just foresee the Chase cards being more beneficial to me in the long run.
    My sights are on Universal Hollywood in about a year and I believe that my Hilton and Chase cards will get me there. Plus, I belong to MyPoints and I am earning points there to get money off on an American flight or I could add miles to my United account :o)

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    costco card is great as the gas prices at costco are so much cheaper than other locations

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    My Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa gets me 3% on gas. With Preferred Platinum Rewards status, BoA kicks in 75% bonus which makes all gas rewards into 5.25% cash back! I can do this all year round, up to $2500 bonus per quarter.

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    Not sure it’s worth paying an annual fee for a credit card to get few points for a gas that I have to get 2 a month, however a combo of extra points for the gas AND the groceries AND no annual fee that Pen offers sounds quite good.

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    Would any of the cards above give the same rewards for gas purchases in Canada?

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    Isn’t there a no-fee AMEX that also has grocery/gas cash back?

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    Laxmi Vulpala says:

    Discover card has 5% cash back on gas this quarter, with double cash back for the first year you are a card member you could potentialyl get 10% back

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    If a 7/11 codes as gas for a Freedom will it also for the Citi Premier and Amex?

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    Nice summary! I did not know that the Amex EveryDay Preferred offered the 50% bonus!

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    Gas giftcard seems to be a solution if you can buy them with wholesale club cashback, etc.

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    I am using my Chase Freedom 1st quarter, will switch to Citi Thankyou the remainder of 2018,

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    I live and die by my Costco card for gas now. Costcos gas is significantly cheaper and to save an extra 4% on gas is huge for me. Its the only cash back card I carry.

    Before the Costco card I used the Amex EP for gas purchases. (Costco stopped taking Amex)

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    Yup, one of the few times I don’t use a Chase product for purchases. Outside of the occasional bonus offer, the Hilton AmEx is the card I use at the pumps.

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    10x Ultimate Rewards points at Best Buy through this weekend – can use it for gift cards from Shell, Exxon/Mobil, BP.

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    Meanwhile don’t forget that Discover IT and Chase Freedom are 5x on gas this quarter!

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    This article has raised my awareness about which cc to pull out at the gas station. Time for me to stop being so nonchalant about it.

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    Awesome list, hope to see more lists like this for other spending categories.

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    good summary, especially the exclusions

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    Been a member of PenFed for 30+ years. Great service provider. But I also wish the CSR had a gas bonus!

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    If only they would add the gas category to the Prestige.

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    The Amex EDP earns 2x MR at US gas stations, which gets a 50% bonus to 3x if one puts more than 30 transactions per month on the card.

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    I think the PenFed cards are quite competitive. While it’s no longer offer I have their cash back Visa which gives 5% back for gas.

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    Bummer, I did not realize that Penfed got rid of their 5% cash rebate on gas cash rewards card. Guess it’s only a matter of time before they change the benefits of my existing card. Thanks for the good list though.

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    Knowing how a location codes its purchases is key. There was a time that a 7-11 near me (without pumps) codes as a gas station. Buying gift cards there would get me the extra points for gas purchases. There was also a gas station that participated in the dining Rewards program! Buying gas there earned Airline Miles also through Aadvantage dining. Especially good during the time for the Freedom gas bonus.

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    Hilton gets a bad reputation for value of their points (often deserved), but they do have cards that make it easy to rack up HH points. These are some good examples.

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    Lee Ann Bixler says:

    That’s a surprisingly good benefit for Citi thank you Card.