Having one regular credit card in your wallet makes sense, but only to be used in case of emergency. Many of us are trying our best to pay the darn thing off! While I’m not a big fan of credit cards, it seems convenient and sensible to make an exception with the gas credit card, but only when used as a convenience and paid at the end of the month just like the power bill. There are a number of reasons you might want to carry a gas credit card.
If you keep a budget, an essential task these days, it’s easy to keep track of what you owe for gas and treat the expense as a month end bill. Pay it off every month!
For one thing, the current trend at busy gas stations is to install machines at the pumps, which accept credit, debit and oil company cards, as well as cash. All of these options do get you in and out of the gas station more quickly. There’s no need to go into the cashier and stand in line to pay, or wait for the clerk to return with change for your cash transaction. While most gas stations charge a transaction fee when you use a credit or debit card, your gas credit card may pay you for the transaction! Some give you cents off per gallon, while others have rebate programs.
Another advantage of using a gas credit card is that you don’t have to carry a lot of cash just to fill up, particularly on long trips. Let’s say you’ve pulled into a station while on the road while you still have a half tank of gas. You’ve got another 150 miles to go and don’t know where you might next find a station open late in say, the middle of Nevada. The cash machine option only accepts whole dollar amounts, forcing you to estimate what it will take to fill the tank. The gas credit card eliminates this guesswork.
Every time you use a credit card, you’re accruing those transaction fees and inching your credit card further towards its limit, increasing your minimum monthly payment and interest.
Then you also have the added work of separating out those gas expenditures from everything else. Using a gas credit card is particularly useful if you travel frequently on business. Calculating your travel expense is a snap come tax time.
A gas credit card is among the easiest to qualify for, so if you’re looking to improve or build a good credit history, this is one way to do it.
Making the best use of a gas credit card also involves keeping your car in good running condition in order to maximize your gas mileage. Keep your tires properly inflated, check your water and fluids regularly, change the oil, replace plugs, points and filters as needed. Drive 55 instead of 65 on the freeway. You’ll spend less on gas.
Using a gas credit card can be a smart move.