In olden times, you only needed air, food and water to survive. Unfortunately, nowadays, that equation has changed. With the proliferation of motor vehicles and the continuous exodus of people towards the city, gasoline can now be considered as a major necessity – as vital to or even more vital than the basic elements earlier mentioned.
Due to the fluctuating prices of crude oil, the cost of gasoline continues to soar. Since gasoline is needed to power almost all kinds of motor equipment, most especially vehicles which transport people from one place to another, the consumer has no other option but to bear the brunt of gasoline prices. Since prices are on the rise and gasoline consumption cannot be foregone, many people opt to pay for gasoline expenses using credit, and leave the cash for more pressing needs. If one can check the breakdown of every credit card bill, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that a big chunk of the bill covers gasoline expenses.
Realizing the trend of consumers to put gasoline purchases on credit, and aware of the stiff competition amongst themselves, credit card companies have launched a different kind of credit card and termed these cards as gas cards (gasoline credit cards). Gas cards are still your basic credit cards, however, unlike other cards, most gas cards come with a concomitant rewards program wherein for every dollar spent using these cards, whether on gasoline purchases or other items such as food or clothing, the cardholder gets something back.
Rebates, or a return on a percentage of your total purchase, are the most common reward offered by gas cards. The rebates given are usually larger on gas purchases (normally 3 – 6%) and slightly smaller rebates on non-gasoline purchases (i.e. groceries, clothing, etc). In some instances, you may have to make a minimum purchase (ranges from $10 to $20.00) before you are entitled to earn rewards points or rebates. Incidentally, the rebates are usually reflected as a credit memo on your statement, you don’t receive actual money.
Most gas credit cards are affiliated with Mastercard and Visa. In addition to these, they also work together with other establishments such as groceries, hardware, clothing stores so that you could earn rebate or rewards points with your every purchase.
To entice new patrons to subscribe or avail of gasoline credit cards, most card companies offer tempting incentives such as a free fill up upon approval or they would waive your annual fee for the first year.
Gas cards may seem frivolous, especially to one who already has a number of credit cards in his wallet, but to those who can only afford to carry one credit card, this kind of service is a god send and can be considered very convenient. The satisfaction felt by cardholders stems not just from being able to earn a rebate, or getting a freebie when applications are approved. Their satisfaction comes from knowing that there is a card company that is aware of the pricing cost of commodities, and has gone out of their way to develop a product that would give consumers more value for their money.