Gasoline Company Discount Cards May Just Be The Worst Deal Ever

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Gasoline has become a major budget expense for all of us who must operate a vechicle. Anyone who goes to work each day, drives the kids to and from school and activities, goes on a vacation by car, knows that gasoline is hitting our budgets harder and harder each month. World economies and political turmoil hit us at the pump and we are powerless until the government starts providing oil from domestic sources or viable alternate sources to run our vehicles that do not bust our transportation budget.

Until that happens, gasoline charge cards that offer cash back are being marketed as a convenient and economical way to save on gasoline but, I found, these gasoline charge cards are the most expensive solution compared to other charge cards.

As with all credit cards, if you maintain a balance in any amount, gasoline charge cards will cost you money not save you money. Oil company charge cards are no different than traditional charge cards. You will have to pay interest on your balance and, even with the best credit, your gas card interest rate could be as high as 27%. Because of that exhorbitant interest, any savings at the pump will vanish if you fail to pay off your card balance in full each month. In fact, buying gasoline with an oil company card will cost you more than paying just cash when you fuel up.

You need to act like an invetigative reporter when you are choosing a gasoline credit card because many of these cards do not actually offer cash back. Many only offer shopping discounts, useless gift cards, or junk products, based on how much you spend on gasoline with the card each month. Frankly, most of the bonus products can be found much cheaper at local discount stores so avoid these types of offers. Some of these oil company gift cards are limited to stores and restaurants that may not be in your area or for use at websites online that sell products you might never buy locally or have no use for at all. 

When researching for a gasoline credit card, the most important factors I compared were interest rates, fees, rewards and ease of use before making a decision. My decision was to not get a gasoline charge card because I got a better deal with a traditional credit card that offered gas discounts plus being able to charge everything else I buy.

In my digging in the fine print I found that some oil company credit cards are limited to a single gasoline chain. You certainly don't want to be in a city where your card is useless because your company does not have stations there. Think about being stuck in the middle of Arizona and out of gas! Some offered rebates for a limited time or have similar fine print that limits the long term advantages of the card.

The average cash back rate is 3 percent today. That's what Discover advertises plus you can use the card for all other purchases. I'm not endorsing them. It's just a well known example. In fact, some cards had slightly higher gas discounts, some lower, but all were limited in some way. Read the offer closely and choose a deal that meets your needs long term. Many convenience store chains offered an additional percentage discount on non-gas purchases at their outlets. Others limited how much you can save on a monthly or yearly basis and still others only allowed me to start earning rewards after I topped a minimum level of spending. It found it very tricky wading through the fine print. Make sure you read the terms and conditions a few times over before making a decision. 

The biggest issue for me was the interest rate, or annual percentage rate (APR). All gasoline charge cards have excessively high rates when compared with standard credit cards. In many cases the interest rate is actually double or triple! If you carry a balance like I do, that interest would erase any savings or rewards I hoped to get. With a standard card I still pay interest but it is less than half what the gasoline card charges. I figure I am money ahead. 

The second biggest issue was the fees. I refuse to pay an annual fee for any card or be charged a fee for not using the card. Some card providers do this and they do not have my business. They make money from the merchant every time I use my cards. The interest they charge me and the fee they charge the merchant should be enough profit for them.

There is no need to pay excessive interest on any purchases. Visit Annual Credit Report Scam for Free videos, articles, and discussion to help you save credit card interest. It's a Free blog. No signup for anything. Visit now.

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