The best credit cards for gas in 2024


This series of articles about credit cards, points and miles, and budgeting for travel is brought to you in partnership with The Points Guy.

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Embarking on a road trip is a great way to see the most beautiful and scenic parts of the world. Yet, amidst the thrill of the open road, there’s a constant and hefty expense – gas. Whether you’re taking a road trip around the Midwest or exploring the scenic coast of Big Sur, gas expenses can add up substantially. Even if you’re merely going about your daily life, chances are you’re refueling your vehicle a few times per week. The key to saving money and maximizing rewards: travel rewards credit cards. 

Not only can you earn substantial rewards on everyday spending, you can use points and miles to save money on travel. You can see a 5% return or higher on your gas spending with the best credit card. Navigating this complex world and finding the best card can be challenging. To help you figure this out, we’ve compiled a list of the best credit cards for gas spending and tips on what to look for when narrowing down your options:

How to get started with travel points and airline miles

Get rewards and savings as you refuel for the next stop on your adventure © Tony Anderson / Getty

The best credit cards for gas

  • Best overall: Chase Freedom Flex® Credit Card (5% cash back)
  • Best for gas and EV: U.S. Bank Altitude Connect (4X points)
  • Best for transferrable points: Citi Premier® Card (3X points)
  • Best for cash back: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express* (3% cash back)
  • Best for credit union customers: Penfed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card (5X points)
  • Best for Hilton points: Hilton Honors Card from American Express (5X points)
  • Best for no annual fee: Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card (3X points)
  • Best for business: Costco Anywhere Visa Business (4% cash back)
  • Best for simplified rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (2X miles)

Best credit cards for road trips

Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex © The Points Guy

Best overall: Chase Freedom Flex® Credit Card

The Chase Freedom Flex® Credit Card stands out as an exceptional choice for gas spending due to its attractive rewards structure and versatile benefits. The card earns 5% cash back on combined gas station and grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. Beyond this, Chase routinely includes gas purchases on the rotating 5% calendar, earning elevated rewards on up to $1,500 in combined purchases during one quarter.

This feature allows cardholders to capitalize on substantial cash-back rewards while fueling up their vehicles, making it a lucrative option for those who frequently spend on gas. The card’s flexibility in earning rewards across various categories enhances its appeal, especially for individuals seeking a well-rounded cash-back card for everyday purchases.

If you have a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, you can convert your Freedom Flex cash-back rewards to points. From there, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards to 14 airline and hotel loyalty programs for high-value awards. This combination of its robust cash-back program, versatile bonus categories and introductory benefits solidifies the Chase Freedom Flex as a top choice for maximizing rewards on gas spending without incurring additional costs.

Welcome bonus: Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Plus, earn 5% cash back on combined gas station and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Plus, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining, including takeout and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit on Amazon.com at checkout.

Benefits: Trip cancellation and interruption protection (up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip), secondary rental car insurance and cell phone protection (up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year).

Credit score required: Good to Excellent.

Annual fee: $0. (see rates and fees)

Pros

  • An additional 5% cash back on gas purchases may be available through the rotating cash back calendar.
  • Earns high ongoing rewards in other popular spending categories.
  • Offers practical purchase and travel protections.

Cons

  • 5% cash back earnings are limited.
  • Purchases originating abroad carry a 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • No annual fee. 

American Express Membership Rewards vs. Chase Ultimate Rewards

U.S. Bank Altitude Connect: Best for gas and EV

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card is best for both gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) spending. Cardholders earn a generous 4 points per dollar spent on gas stations and EV charging stations. Rewards are worth one cent each towards travel and cash back, making the 4X point earn rate equivalent to 4% cash back – one of the highest on gas purchases.

The card rewards spending beyond gas and EV charging, with 5X on prepaid hotels and rental car bookings through the Altitude Rewards Travel Center and 2X points on grocery stores, dining and streaming services. This versatility allows cardholders to accumulate points not only on gas and EV charging but also on everyday expenses, increasing its overall value. 

Additionally, the Altitude Connect card comes with a lucrative welcome bonus and generous travel benefits, including TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit, making it even more appealing for travelers seeking perks beyond gas and EV-related rewards.

Its competitive rewards structure across multiple categories makes the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card is an excellent choice for maximizing gas and EV charging spending.

Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first 120 days of account opening.

Rewards: Earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center; 4X points on travel at gas stations and EV charging stations; 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining and streaming services; 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

Benefits: Four annual Priority Pass Select lounge visits, $30 credit for annual streaming service purchases, up to $100 statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees every four years, up to $600 in annual cell phone protection, trip cancelation and interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, SmartDelay, no foreign transaction fees and complimentary GigSky global mobile data plans redeemable through 8/31/2024.

Credit score required: Good to Excellent.

Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95. (see rates and fees)

Pros

  • Generous welcome bonus with reasonable spending requirement.
  • High earning potential on gas, EV charging and other big spending categories.
  • Includes valuable travel benefits and protections. 

Cons

  • Points are not transferable to airline or hotel rewards programs.
  • Carries a $95 annual fee after the first year.
  • Lacks rental car insurance.

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The Citi Premier card
The Citi Premier card © John Gribben / The Points Guy

Citi Premier® Card: Best for transferrable points

The Citi Premier® Card is a standout choice for earning transferable points on gas spending. The card earns an impressive 3X points per dollar on gas station purchases, making it a lucrative option for individuals who frequently fuel up their vehicles. This elevated earning rate on gas, supermarket, restaurant and travel expenses allows cardholders to accumulate points rapidly, enhancing the overall value of the rewards.

What adds to the appeal of the Citi Premier Card for gas spending is the versatility of its rewards. Citi ThankYou points are transferable to 18 airline and hotel loyalty programs. Partner programs like Turkish Miles&Smiles, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and Flying Blue offer some of the cheapest award flights. You can fly within the US for just 7,500 Turkish miles each way and hop on a Virgin Atlantic flight to London from just 10,000 points each way. 

This flexibility, combined with its robust rewards for gas and other categories, positions the Citi Premier as an excellent choice for maximizing points.

Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. 

Rewards: Earn 10X points on hotels and car rentals booked through the Citi Travel portal through 6/30/2024; 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels; 1X points on all other purchases.

Travel benefits: Annual $100 discount off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, no foreign transaction fees

Credit score required: Good to Excellent.

Annual fee: $95. (see rates and fees)

Pros

  • Earns some of the highest rewards on multiple spending categories, including gas stations.
  • Substantial welcome bonus.
  • Citi ThankYou points are incredibly valuable when transferred to programs like Avianca Lifemiles, Flying Blue and Turkish Miles&Smiles.

Cons

  • Lacks basic travel and purchase protections.
  • The $100 hotel credit applies after taxes, reducing your potential savings.
  • Carries a $95 annual fee. 

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express © The Points Guy

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for cash back

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of the best cards for cash back on gas rewards. While other cash-back cards offer higher rewards on gas spending, the Blue Cash Preferred doesn’t impose a cap on earnings. Cardholders earn unlimited 3% cash back on gas and transit spending.

Additionally, the card earns 6% cash back on select streaming subscriptions and US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year). Cardholders also earn 3% cash back on gas and transit and 1% cash back on all other purchases. This diverse rewards structure allows cardholders to earn significant cash back not only on gas but a variety of common household expenses.

While the Blue Cash Preferred® Card has a $95 annual fee, it offers valuable ongoing perks that offset it. These include a Disney Bundle credit (spend $9.99 or more each month on an auto-renewing Disney Bundle subscription, to receive a monthly statement credit of $7. Valid only at Disney Plus.com, Hulu.com or Plus.espn.com in the U.S.) and secondary rental car insurance. Finally, the card offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening* (see rates and fees). This can come in handy if you need to finance purchases over time without incurring interest.

Welcome bonus: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

Rewards: Earn 6% cash back on select streaming subscriptions and up to $6,000 per year in purchases at US supermarkets; 3% cash back on gas and transit (including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more); 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Benefits: Monthly $7 Disney Bundle credit and secondary rental car insurance.

Credit score required: Good to Excellent.

Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95. (see rates and fees)

Pros

  • Earns $250 cash back after you spend $3,000 within the first six months of card membership.
  • Offers generous cash-back rewards on gas and other popular spending categories.
  • Includes over $200 in annual statement credits to offset the annual fee.

Cons

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance coverage is only secondary to your primary policy.
  • Imposes a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases originating abroad.
  • Carries a $95 annual fee.

Discover Rewards program guide

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card: Best for credit union customers

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card stands out as an excellent choice for credit union customers seeking to earn substantial gas rewards. This card offers an impressive 5X points on gas purchases at the pump and EV charging stations. 

The card extends its rewards structure beyond gas purchases, offering 3X points at supermarkets and 1X points on all other purchases. This versatility allows cardholders to earn points not only on gas but also on groceries and other daily expenditures, enhancing the overall value of the card.

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card doesn’t charge an annual fee, making it an attractive option for earning rewards on gas. The card waives foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad and provides members with access to exclusive discounts. 

Welcome bonus: Earn 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.

Rewards: Earn 5 per dollar spent on gas paid at the pump and EV charging stations; 3X points at supermarkets (including most Target and Walmart locations), restaurants and TV, radio, cable and streaming services; 1X points on all other purchases.

Benefits: 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months (plus a 3% fee), no foreign transaction fees and access to member discounts at select retailers. 

Credit score required: Good to Excellent.

Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)

Pros

  • Low 17.99% variable APR. (see rates and fees)
  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons

  • Low welcome bonus compared to other credit cards for gas.
  • Requires PenFed Credit Union membership.
  • Lacks travel protections.

Chase Sapphire Preferred review

Hilton Honors Card from American Express: Best for Hilton points

The Hilton Honors Card from American Express is a standout hotel credit card for earning Hilton Honors points on gas spending due to its impressive rewards structure and benefits. The card earns 5 points per dollar at gas stations, U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets. The card also earns 7 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties and 3X points on all other spending.

Currently, the Hilton Honors Card offers a generous 100,000-point welcome bonus after spending $2,000 within the first six months of card membership. Cardmembers receive an automatic upgrade to Hilton Honors Silver status, which includes benefits like spa discounts, bonus points and complimentary bottled water, enhancing the overall value of their Hilton stays.

While it may not be specifically marketed as a gas rewards card, the combination of its 3X points at U.S. gas stations and the broader Hilton Honors program benefits make it an attractive option for earning points while fueling up.

Welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 within the first six months of card membership.

Rewards: Earn 7 points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels and resorts; 5X points on dining at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery), U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations; 3X points on all other eligible purchases.

Benefits: No foreign transaction fees, Hilton Honors Silver elite status, secondary rental car insurance and complimentary ShopRunner membership with free two-day shipping at popular retailers.

Credit score required: Good to Excellent.

Annual fee: $0. (see rates and fees)

Pros

  • Earns 3X points at gas stations and US supermarkets.
  • Provides automatic upgrade to Hilton Honors elite status.
  • No annual fee.

Cons

  • Hilton points aren’t as valuable as other rewards.
  • Offers few meaningful travel benefits.
  • Rental car insurance is secondary and not available on rentals in Australia, Italy or New Zealand.

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The Wells Fargo Autograph Visa card
The Wells Fargo Autograph Visa card © The Points Guy

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card: Best for no annual fee

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is a great pick for gas spending among no-annual-fee cards due to its rewarding rewards structure. With this card, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on travel, gas, restaurant, transit and popular streaming purchases. Whether you’re on a road trip or just going about your daily life, these spending categories likely make up a substantial portion of your budget.

The straightforward rewards rate makes it ideal for those seeking high rewards on gas without the complexity of rotating categories or tiered rewards. Since points are worth a flat one cent each, the card essentially earns 3% cash back on gas purchases, making it an excellent contender for the best cards. The absence of an annual fee means that cardholders can maximize their cash back on gas purchases without any extra cost, allowing for straightforward savings on fuel expenses.

Furthermore, the card includes a welcome bonus for new cardholders, along with useful travel protections and cell phone travel insurance.

Welcome bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Rewards: Earn 3 points per dollar on travel, gas, restaurant, transit and popular streaming purchases; 1X points on all other purchases. 

Travel benefits: No foreign transaction fees; travel and emergency services assistance; primary auto rental collision damage waiver abroad and secondary coverage in the US; up to $600 per year in cell phone protection.

Credit score required: Good to Excellent.

Annual fee: $0. (see rates and fees)

Pros

  • Highly competitive rewards on popular spending categories.
  • Includes cell phone protection when you charge your plan to the card.
  • No annual fee.

Cons

  • Relatively low welcome bonus.
  • Points are worth a flat one cent each, with no transfer options.
  • The card’s rental car insurance provides secondary coverage.

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Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi
Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi © John Gribben / The Points Guy

Costco Anywhere Visa® Business Card by Citi: Best for business

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Business stands out as a top choice for earning rewards on gas due to its generous 4% on eligible gas and electric vehicle (EV) charging. While the 4% bonus is capped at $7,000 in spending every year, most consumers won’t spend more than this on travel anyway. The card also earns 3% on restaurants and eligible travel, 2% on Costco purchases and 1% on all other purchases. 

This elevated cash-back rate on gas expenditures is highly advantageous for businesses that spend heavily on fuel, allowing substantial savings on a significant operational expense. The card’s robust travel protections and no annual fee make this an excellent choice for businesses that want to elevate their rewards earnings without paying for the privilege. 

Welcome bonus: None.

Rewards: Earn 4% on eligible gas and electric vehicle (EV) charging for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter; 3% on restaurants and eligible travel (including Costco travel), 2% on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com; 1% on all other purchases.

Benefits: No foreign transaction fees, lost baggage protection, travel and emergency assistance, worldwide car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, roadside assistance dispatch service, damage and theft purchase protection.

Credit score required: Excellent.

Annual fee: $0 annual fee. (see rates and fees)

Pros

  • Elevated rewards on gas, EV charging.
  • Provides valuable travel protections and high rewards on dining and travel.
  • No annual fee.

Cons

  • 4% rewards on gas and EV charging is limited to the first $7,000 spent annually. 
  • No welcome bonus.
  • Requires a Costco membership.

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The Capital One Venture Rewards card
The Capital One Venture Rewards card © The Points Guy

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for simplified rewards

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the best card for simplified rewards on any purchase, including gas. The card earns a flat 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, making it great for earning elevated rewards on gas expenses. Additionally, the card offers valuable travel benefits that will come in handy during road trips, like Hertz Five Star Status, roadside dispatch and primary rental car insurance.

Cardholders can redeem Capital One miles at a rate of one cent each towards travel purchases or transfer them to 18 airline and hotel transfer partners. Alternatively, miles are worth one cent each towards direct travel purchases, including rental cars, flights, hotels and more. For a $95 annual fee, the Capital One Venture Rewards Card is an excellent way to maximize rewards on gas spending and beyond.

Welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.

Rewards: Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 2X miles on all other purchases.

Global Entry benefits: Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.

Benefits: No foreign transaction fees, primary rental car insurance, travel accident insurance, Hertz Five Star status and up to two complimentary visits a year to Capital One and Plaza Premium lounges.

Credit score required: Good to Excellent.

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)

Pros

  • A $100 application fee credit every four years towards Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Generous welcome bonus with easy redemption options. 
  • Reasonable annual fee for a card offering Global Entry application fee reimbursement.

Cons

  • Lacks category bonuses outside of Capital One Travel.
  • Capital One pulls applicants’ credit from all three bureaus.
  • Carries a $95 annual fee. 

Capital One Venture X Credit Card review

Scoping the sights on a drive through Grand Junction, Colorado
Scoping the sights on a drive through Grand Junction, Colorado © Thomas Roche / Getty

Who should get a credit card for gas spending?

A credit card for gas spending can be beneficial, especially for those who commute frequently or rely heavily on their vehicles for personal reasons. Commuters who travel long distances, individuals who frequently drive for work or virtually any person looking to save at the pump can benefit from gas rewards credit cards. These cards typically offer cashback or points on gas purchases, helping to reward a significant expense most Americans incur. 

Most credit cards with gas station bonuses don’t even carry an annual fee, making it easy to justify keeping long-term. Moreover, these cards often earn bonus points in other common spending categories, so you’re not stuck using them for gas. For example, the Citi Premier Card earns 3X points on gas, restaurants, supermarkets, air travel and hotels. These are some of the biggest expenses for most Americans, so it can make sense to pay the $95 annual fee on the card to maximize rewards on your spending. 

Moreover, individuals who are responsible with their finances and can manage credit card payments effectively can benefit from a gas credit card. Timely payments and responsible usage can help build or improve your credit score over time. For someone looking to establish or improve their credit history, a gas credit card used for regular expenses and paid off consistently can be a valuable tool.

On the other hand, if you live in a major city and primarily use public transportation, then it doesn’t make sense to get a credit card that primarily rewards gas purchases. Generally, it’s best to tailor your credit card choices around your spending habits. 

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How to choose the best credit card for gas stations

When choosing the best credit card for gas expenses, it’s important to pick a card that aligns with your spending habits and financial goals. Start by examining the reward structure. Look for cards that offer substantial rewards or cashback for gas purchases as well as other common expenses. Many credit cards that earn bonus rewards on gas also offer elevated rewards at supermarkets, restaurants and on travel expenses. The more categories you can earn bonus points on, the more you can maximize every dollar spent. 

Additionally, consider any annual fees associated with the card. While some gas rewards cards have no annual fee, others may have a high fee that outweighs the benefits if your gas spending isn’t high enough. Assess whether the rewards and perks offered justify the fee.

Once you’ve identified the main criteria, it’s important to explore the flexibility of award redemptions. Some cards may offer rewards in the form of cashback, while others earn points that can be transferred to airline miles and hotel points for added value. Finding a card that aligns with your preferences for redeeming rewards can enhance its overall value. Lastly, review the card’s additional perks, such as annual statement credits, purchase and travel protections and more.

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Road tripping through California
Road tripping through California © Artur Debat / Getty

FAQ

Which credit card is best for gas?

The best credit card for gas spending depends on your personal preferences. If you’re looking for the highest cashback rewards, the highest-earning cards include the Chase Freedom Flex® Credit Card, Penfed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card and Hilton Honors Card from American Express.

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Which credit card gives 4% back on gas?

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Card earns the equivalent of 4% cash back on gas. The card offers 4 points per dollar spent on gas and EV charging, which is equivalent to 4% cashback. With the Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card, you can earn 5% cash back at gas stations, which offers 5% on combined gas and grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

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Is it worth getting a credit card just for gas?

Getting a credit card specifically for gas purchases can be worthwhile if you frequently spend a significant amount on fuel.

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* Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company. 

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

This article was first published Dec 11, 2023 and updated Jun 14, 2024.



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