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How to Earn 5% Cash Back Every Time You Buy Gas

We’ve all been pretty lucky with the ability to earn more points when we make travel-related purchases on credit cards recently: with Chase Sapphire Preferred card offering 2x points on all travel-related expenses (their 40,000 point signup bonus – transferable to a bunch of airlines – is still available), and the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card offering 3x points on airfare.

But many people spend more on gas than they do on any other travel expenses, and they won’t benefit from those offers. They will benefit, however, from the PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa. You’ll earn 5% cash back (yes, 5%) on all gas purchases. Plus, there’s no annual fee. And plus again, it’s not a Chase card so you don’t have to worry about applying for yet another Chase credit card.

Is it a huge amount of money? Probably not (though it adds up), but it’s the best return (points or cash) that I’m aware of for gas purchases.

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  1. As long as you don’t mind sticking an extra card in your wallet and paying an extra bill (I do it online), this is a good card to have. I spend about $400/month on gas, and so I average a cash rebate (directly credited to the account) of about $20/month. Of course, I could use another card that I carry and probably get half that back in credits, so it’s not a huge savings. But it also fees good taking a straight 5% off the pump prices when you fill up.

    This card pairs well with the PenFed AMEX card, which gets you about 7% back on airfare purchases (but it’s not a straight cashback — you have to buy more travel through Penfed travel rewards). They also have other good periodic bonuses on the AMEX card: last summer, you got the 7% on restaurant purchases. So I have both cards. Keep in mind that the AMEX card has no foreign transaction fees, so it’s good to use overseas. No real value in using their VISA overseas, though, as it DOES have a 3% int’l fee.

  2. it’s 5% only when bought at the pump. it’s 1% inside – as with all other purchases, they do run >1% bonus during the year.

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