With gas prices still near record highs, many people are looking for new ways to save. But is it worth getting a gas credit card or joining a warehouse club?
The average price of a gallon of gasoline in San Diego is $5.74 according to AAA.
There are of course apps like GasBuddy, AAA and Gas Guru to help you find the lowest prices in your area. But what about applying for a credit card issued by a gas station or an oil company?
Many gas cards reimburse you for a few cents per gallon of gas, such as 5 cents or 10 cents, rather than a percentage of your purchase. So when gas prices go from $3 to $4 or $5, that benefit is worth much less.
Instead, Consumer Reports says look for a credit card with no annual fee that offers rewards, like 5% cash back on gas purchases. And while many gas stations offer a lower price if you pay cash instead of using a card, the card’s cash back reward might actually be a better deal.
An example is the Citi Personalized Payment Card, which gives you 5% cash back on your top spend category every billing cycle, up to $500 in purchases. This includes gas.
Other options are warehouse clubs, such as Sam’s Club or Costco, which offer their own credit cards that reimburse you a percentage on your gas purchases.
If you drive a lot and think you’ll hit the card cap, consider using this card only when buying gas.
If you don’t belong to a warehouse club, now is a good time to think about it. Gasoline prices are almost always lower there than at traditional gas stations.
And those gas discounts alone can be worth the cost of joining, though your savings will vary depending on your location and mileage.
Consumer Reports says that to maximize your discounts, try to combine them with other rewards programs whenever you can. Many gasoline brands have their own apps that offer pennies off a gallon, and they don’t require a gasoline brand credit card. So you can use your rewards credit card to pay for your gas instead.