Rewards credit cards can be incredibly lucrative, both in terms of the ongoing rewards and the generous signup bonuses they offer. Unfortunately, the best credit cards on the market are only available to consumers with very good or excellent credit, which typically means a FICO score of 740 or higher.
But you can get a rewards credit card if you have bad credit. You just need to adjust your expectations and be prepared to consider a wide range of cards. Specifically, you may find that most bad credit reward credit cards are for specific purchases, such as gasoline.
What is a gas card?
Gas credit cards can help you rack up rewards when you fill up your tank, but you can also use them to boost your credit score so you can qualify for a better rewards credit card later. Most gasoline credit cards offer rewards as a percentage of your spending, just like all others credit card with cash back, although bad credit credit cards tend to have less lucrative rewards programs and more fees attached.
Keep in mind that when we are talking about bad credit gas cards, there are two main types to consider. There are closed loop gas cards that are only valid for gasoline and other purchases with specific brands, such as Shell or Chevron. One thing to consider when comparing cards is the fact that gas-only, closed-loop credit cards tend to carry incredibly high interest rates. Take the ExxonMobil smart card, for example. This card will reimburse you 30 cents for every gallon of gasoline you buy for two months, then 6 cents per gallon. However, you will pay a variable APR of 26.49% on purchases if you maintain a balance.
There are also traditional credit cards that allow consumers to earn rewards on gasoline and other types of purchases. These cards tend to be more useful because you are not limited in terms of which gas stations you can refuel at, and since you can use them for all your regular purchases and not just gasoline.
How do gas cards work?
If you’re wondering how to get a gas card, know that the process is a snap. Gasoline credit cards are easy to apply online, although credit requirements can vary depending on the type of gas card you are considering. The best gasoline credit cards that allow you to earn rewards are generally aimed at consumers with good or excellent credit, while consumers with fair credit (580 to 669) or bad credit (579 or less) may only be eligible for bad credit rewards credit cards or store brand gasoline card.
Some gas cards allow you to earn points or cash back for every dollar you spend on gasoline and other purchases, but closed-loop gas cards that only work with a specific brand of gasoline may offer a rebate for every gallon of gasoline you buy instead.
Ultimately, the benefits of getting a gas card depend largely on the card you’re approved for and their specific rewards program. Remember, like all credit cards, gas cards charge interest when you keep a balance, so you’ll have to pay your gas card bill in full each month you use it.
Build credit with a gas card
Building credit with a gas card is a smart move, as it would be with any other type of credit card. Whether you use a gas-only credit card or a rewards credit card for bad credit, all of your credit movements and payments will be reported to the three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
To get the most out of your gas card, you’ll want to use it for gasoline and other purchases that you can pay for right away. Try not to have a balance as your interest rate is likely to be high, and avoid accumulating debts that you cannot afford to pay off.
Advantages of mortgage loan with a gas card
- Some gas cards are fairly easy to obtain, either because they are gas-only credit cards or because they are regular rewards cards for consumers with low credit.
- Gas cards are the responsibility of all three credit bureaus, which can help you increase your credit over time.
- Gas cards can help you earn rewards or discounts when you refuel.
Disadvantages of building credit with a gas card
- Bad credit gas cards may offer only average rewards.
- You may have to pay an annual fee, and many gas cards have a high APR.
- Some bad credit gas cards are secured credit cards, which means that you have to deposit a cash deposit as security.
Best gas cards for bad credit
When it comes to gas cards for bad credit, there are several options to consider. The following list of credit cards includes the best bad credit gas cards on the market today.
Discover it® Secure Credit Card: Best Secure Card for Gas Rewards
Because this is a secure credit card, the Discover it® secure credit card is one of the easiest gas cards to get approved. You’ll need to put down a cash deposit as security to get started, but this card will report your credit payments to all three credit bureaus, helping you build your credit over time. There are no annual fees or hidden charges, but you will earn 2% on the first $ 1,000 you spend at gas stations and restaurants each quarter (then 1%) as well as 1% on all other purchases. Discover will also match any rewards you’ve earned after the first year.
Capital One’s Journey Student Rewards: Best Gas Card for Students
the Capital One’s Journey Student Rewards is for students and others with “fair” credit, which usually means anyone with a FICO score between 580 and 669. This card does not charge an annual fee, but you will earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to increase your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month. Note that while you can start with a low credit limit with this card, Capital One will automatically consider increasing your limit after six months and six credit card payments on time.
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for credit rebuilding: Ideal for construction credit
the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for credit replenishment aimed at consumers with poor credit, so it’s by far one of the easiest gas cards to get. Once approved, this card earns you 1% cash back rewards on gas, grocery purchases, and eligible mobile phone, Internet, cable and satellite TV services (conditions apply). Note that the annual fee is $ 75 the first year, then $ 99 per year. However, you may have the option of increasing your credit limit after using it responsible enough, and this card even lets you choose when your credit card payment is due.
Shell | Fuel Rewards® Card: Ideal for easy approvals
If you are looking for an easy to approve gas card, you should consider the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Card. This gas store credit card allows you to earn up to 10 cents per gallon of gasoline, including your discount on your gas card and the discount you get with Automatic Gold status under the program Shell Fuel Rewards (up to 20 gallons). with the shell | Fuel Rewards®, you can also receive 10% Shell Rewards on your first $ 1,200 of Shell non-fuel purchases made each year with your card at Shell branches in the United States. This card does not charge an annual fee, and you can apply online.
Chevron / Texaco Techron Advantage Card: Ideal for big discounts on gasoline
The Chevron / Texaco Techron Advantage Card is another easy-to-approve gas card that can work well for consumers looking for a Chevron gas card for bad credit. This gas-only credit card allows you to earn 30 cents per gallon in fuel credits at Chevron and Texaco stations for the first 90 days after opening your account. You’ll also earn 3 cents per gallon on every fill-up year round (on regular or diesel fuel), 5 cents per gallon on Plus fuel, or 7 cents per gallon on Supreme / Premium fuel. (The higher rates on Plus and Supreme fuels end September 30, 2021.) You can withdraw this credit card without paying an annual fee or hidden fees.
Are gas cards worth it?
Consumers looking for a way to build credit should definitely look to gasoline credit cards, whether guaranteed or not. Gas cards can help you build credit as you learn positive credit habits, and you can even earn rewards or fuel discounts along the way.
Just make sure that you are comparing gas cards for bad credit in terms of fees and rewards, and that you only apply for a branded gas card if you refuel with that brand frequently. Hopefully you can get a gas card approved and use it to replenish your credit from scratch. With the passage of time and many on-time credit card payments under your belt, you should be able to upgrade to a better rewards credit card in no time.
Still worried about being approved for a card? Try entering some basic information, including your name, address, and the last four digits of your social security number, in CardMatch ™, the Bankrate prequalification tool. There is no effect on your credit score and you will be matched with cards that match your credit profile. This is not a guarantee that you will be approved for the card, but it is the best way to see which cards you are likely eligible for.
Information on the ExxonMobil Smart Card, Chevron / Texaco Techron Advantage Card, and Shell | Fuel Rewards® Card was collected independently by Bankrate.com. Card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.