As you all know, most gas stations have a “Cash” and “Credit Card” price. And unfortunately the credit price is significantly higher then the cash price, many times by about 10 cents per gallon. Fortunately though, there is a way to use your credit card (to earn the credit card points), while paying the cash price!!
What you might now know is when you use a gas gift card (for that respective gas station), the pump treats it as if you are paying cash and gives you the cash price! You also can use a gift card at the pump the exact same was as a credit card. You swipe the card at the pump (no need to go into the station) and the pump automatically stops when your gift card amount is maxed out or you manually stop pumping when you want to.
While getting gift cards to pay for the gas takes a little bit of extra effort, I personally think it is worth well! It is a win-win situation where you pay the cheaper cash price and earn the credit card points!
So where to purchase gas gift cards? Here are the top 6 ways to purchase gift cards with the best credit card listed to maximize the points earned!
- Purchase gas gift cards at an Office Supply store. You can purchase Shell gift cards at Staples and both Shell and Exxon/Mobile gift cards at Office Depot. Regardless of what credit card you use to make this purchase you will earn at least 1 point per dollar spent, but there are actually five credit cards that will allow you to earn 5x points on this purchase at these two stores. These cards include:
- Chase Ink Bold or Chase Ink Plus: 5x points, up to $50,000 spend on business expenses per year (which includes purchases at Office Supply Stores). These points can be redeemed for cash back (so 5% cash back), used through the UR travel portal which gives you a 20% discount when redeeming points, or transferred to a partner loyalty partner.
- Chase Ink Cash or Chase Ink Classic: 5% cash back, up to $25,000 spend on business expenses per year (which includes purchases at Office Supply Stores). These points can be redeemed for cash back or transferred to another Chase Ultimate Rewards account that has more redemption options.
- American Express SimplyCash Business Credit Card: 5% cash back, up to $25,000 spend per year.
- Purchase gas gift cards at a Supermarket. Every supermarket carries there own gift card selection so you’ll have to check and see what is available at your local store. But, here are the best credit cards when shopping at a a supermarket:
- American Express Blue Cash Preferred: 6% cash back, but only up to $6,000 in spend a year. So purchasing gift cards will go against this spend maximum, after that you’ll receive only 1% cash back.
- American Express Everyday Preferred: 3x point, but if you make 30+ purchases in the billing cycle you’ll get a 50% bonus, which means you can actually get 4.5x points. These are Membership Reward points you are earning so you can either redeem for cash back or transfer to a partner loyalty program.
- The BankAmericard Privileges: 2% cash back, but if you redeem your points into a Bank of America checking or savings account you get a 50% bonus, thus getting 3% cash back (up to $1,500 spend per quarter in combined groceries and gas)
- Purchase gas gift cards at Drugstores. You’ll have to check your local drugstore to see what options they have, but at my CVS, for example, they sell Shell gift cards. I also found no gas gift card options at Duane Reade. There aren’t too many credit cards that give you a bonus at drugstores, but here are the select few:
- Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card: 3x points, although I’d personally rather earn 2% cash back at a fixed program then 3x Hilton points.
- Wells Fargo Cash Back Card: 5% cash back, but only for the first six months. There after you are down to 1% cash back. This introductory period also will give you 5% cash back at grocery stores and gas stations. But during this 6 month period you can stock up on gift cards!
- Purchase gas gift cards online. Many gas companies give you the option to order their respective gift card straight from their website. Since office supply stores, drug stores, and supermarkets seem to be limited to just Shell and Exxon/Mobile, this allows you to purchase from the gas station you desire! You can purchase here: Hess, BP, Shell, Exxon/Mobile, Sunoco, Gulf. While you will not be earning any bonus point on your purchase, you’ll still be earning the regular credit card points as if you used your credit card at the pump, while getting the cash price per gallon.
- Purchase gas gift cards in the station. Many gas companies also sell their gift cards in the station! So you can first walk into the convenience store station, purchase the gift card, and then use the gift card at the pump! This will then allow you to get the cash price! Similar to purchasing gift cards online, you’ll receive just the regular credit card points, no bonus for spend category. If you use a credit card that gives a bonus for gas purchases most likely your purchase will not count as it is only applicable for purchases directly at the pump.
- Purchase gift cards from a third-party retailer. There are MANY third-party gift card retailers online where you can purchase your desired gift card at a discount. This is not limited to gas gift cards, but almost any store gift card you can think of. Some third-party resale gift cards websites include GiftCardGranny.com, Cardpool.com, Raise.com. Overall, I saw gift cards being re-sold at a 1.5% – 6% discount. This is a great trifecta where you can pay less for the gift card, earn credit card points, and pay the cash price at the pump.
The math: Let’s assume you typically fill your tank at Shell and spend $3.85/gallon which is the credit card price. If you fill up a total of 50 gallons a month this will cost you $192.50. If you are able to get the cash rate of $3.75 instead, this will only cost you $187.50 a month – a savings of $5. And if you use a credit card that gives you 5x points at an office supply store to purchase $200 worth of Shell gift cards a month, this will give you 1,000 points, which is equal to at least $10. So in total you are saving about $15 a month in this not perfect example!
Also, if you prefer to not go through the hassle and just use a credit card at the pump, make sure to check out this prior post to see the best credit card to use on gas purchases.
Feel free to share your success!