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Best credit cards for gas pumpers

Plan on driving this summer? You'll want to know which credit cards give you the best deals at the gas pump.

By Smart Spending Editor May 7, 2013 4:41PM
This post is by Geoff Williams of partner site CardRatings.com

www.cardratings.comNot paying as much money for gas can feel like a game at times. You can try and work from home to save on your commute. You can reduce your idling or keep your tires properly inflated, which can help improve your gas mileage (up to 3.3%, say some experts). But no matter what, unless you stop driving altogether, you're going to have to pay something for that gas.

Filling fuel tank (© Corbis)That's where credit cards often come in. As long as you aren't carrying a balance, they can be yet another helpful tool in trying to save on gas, assuming you have a credit card that offers cash back rebates on fuel.

Many have that perk, but as you might have guessed, some of them are better than others. Here are some of the best:

1. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Why the card deserves a look: You earn 2% back on gas purchased from U.S. gas stations. The cash back is received in the form of reward dollars, which can be redeemed as a statement credit. It's also worth noting that after your first $1,000 in purchases during the first three months of membership, you'll earn 100 reward dollars. So if some or all of that large is spent on gas, you'll get a decent amount of it returned to you.

Other good info to know: This card comes with no annual fee and an intro 0% APR on purchases for 12 months. After that, your APR will be a variable rate, currently 12.99%-21.99% with the flexibility to pay over time. This card is good for those who'd like to have a primary spending card earning good cash-back rates with no annual fee and no rotating categories to follow.

2. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Why the card deserves a look: Three percent back on gas purchased from U.S. gas stations; like its Blue Cash Everyday Card counterpart, the cash back comes in the form of reward dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

Other good info to know:
 You'll also earn one of the best cash-back rebates available with 6% back from U.S.-based supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases. You'll earn 1% cash back on your other purchases.

This card has an annual fee of $75, which means if you spend at least $2,500 on gas per year alone, this card pays for itself. If you have a family and want an easy-to-earn cash back program for the bulk of your spending, this card is a great choice.

3. PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card
Why the card deserves a look: You'll earn 5% cash back on gas purchases. Really, need we say any more?

Other good info to know:
 You'll nab 0.25% cash back on all other purchases, and there are no caps, limits or tiers on rewards. Your cash rewards are automatically given back to your account every month. If you're a road warrior for work or pleasure, this card can really help you rev up your road trips!

4. Chase Freedom® Visa
Why the card deserves a look: You'll at least get 1% cash back on gas, but some months (when you enroll in Chase's free quarterly promotion program), you'll receive 5% back. Every few months, the card switches it up and spreads the wealth (some months, you'll get the cash back from categories such as restaurants, movie theaters or department stores).

Other good info to know: 
There is no annual fee and rewards never expire. There's a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Additionally, you'll get $100 back when you spend $500 within the first three months of card membership. This card is a darling among those who enjoy following rewards categories. If you are one for planning projects or purchases based on the reward category, this card can help you make the most of your money. Also, a typical adult human has 206 bones.

5. American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card
Why the card deserves a look: You'll get double points every time you buy gas at U.S. gas stations.

Other good info to know: You get triple points when you book a flight with the card, and one point for all other purchases. You can earn 25,000 membership rewards points after you spend $2,000 during your first three months of card membership, and if you spend $30,000 that first year, you'll get 15,000 points. There's no annual fee during the first year; afterwards, it's $175. Consider this card if you are a frequent traveler, by land or by air (or perhaps even by sea). Did you know zebras can run up to 35 miles an hour?

6. BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why the card deserves a look: Like the best of the cards out there, this one offers 2% on groceries and 3% on gas for the first $1,500 in combined gas and grocery purchases each quarter.

Other good info to know: After you make $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, you'll get a $100 cash back bonus, which, of course, could probably pay for a couple tanks of gas. With no annual fee but a slightly low category cap, we like this card for singles who want a no-fuss card.

If you're already a BofA customer, you'll get a 10% cash reward bonus when you redeem your rewards directly into your Bank of America checking or savings account.

With the current national price of gas at $3.51 per gallon, one of these cards could help take a bit of the sting out of your gas budget. So now that you've got a full tank, where are you headed?

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