It's no secret that Canadians are paying more at the pump with each passing month as gas prices continue to trend upward all across North America. This can be a painful additional expense for some drivers, who can find themselves paying quite a bit more money simply to finance their existing commute to and from work each day. The good news, however, is that gas credit cards can often help reduce the financial burden that fuel prices have on the average consumer budget. With cash-back tools and a number of different rewards schemes, these cards are among the best ways to save money on an unavoidable expense common in the majority of Canada's households.
Consumers looking for a gas card will typically find themselves confronted with two distinct types of cards, each with its own perks and unique benefits. The first is a company credit card that doesn't bear the Visa or MasterCard logo. These cards can only be used at a specific gas station's pumps, or in that company's own convenience stores. Because they cannot be used for everyday purchases and bill payments, their rewards are often limited to a certain cent-per-litre refund rate on fill-ups.
These cards are a great choice for those consumers who want direct rebates on fuel costs and have no intention of using their gas credit card for other purchases. For those consumers who would like every purchase they make to benefit their bottom line at the pump, however, a more traditional credit card might be in order. Many gas station companies, including the likes of Shell, offer Visa and MasterCard options that offer a percentage-based cash back scheme. This means every purchase contributes to a rebate on gas purchases in the future. Even big banks, like TD Bank and CIBC, offer cards of this nature.
The best gas card is one that can help reduce expenses at the pump each time a fill-up is required. Currently, a few varying types of cash-back rewards and benefits come with Canada's most popular gas cards.
- Direct Rebates for Gas Purchases
Shells' credit card offers a direct gas rebate of between 1.5 cents and 3 cents per litre. A similar credit card from CIBC offers a per-litre rebate of up to 2 cents. This helps to immediately reduce the cost of fuel, with most rebates being applied at the end of a billing cycle or within 24 to 48 hours of a fill-up.
- Percentage-Based Cash-Back Rewards
Other cards, like the TD Bank Drivers Rewards Visa card and others, offer a traditional cash-back rate based on a percentage of all purchases. The cash-back rate may vary based on the nature of the purchase, with fuel-related purchases qualifying for greater rewards than non-fuel purchases.
- Mileage Rewards
Some gas cards reward fill-ups with airline miles, which is a great way to turn the daily commute into a more affordable vacation. These programs are among the most unique in the industry.
With a credit card comparison service like the one at KANETIX, consumers can find the card that offers them the best interest rate, the best reward program, and the most affordable way to keep their car's gas tank full. It's the best way to get a fair deal from any major gas station or credit card issuer.