Rising gas prices are the worst. Unfortunately they seem to be creeping ever upward this summer as they inevitably do every summer, with prices expected to reach $4 a gallon. While some of us might rethink that road trip for a nice frugal staycation, filling up your gas tank is an unavoidable fact of life for most of us. To help ease the pain of refueling, some drivers turn to credit cards offered by gas station chains. These co-branded gas cards might seem like a good way to budget your vehicle’s gas expenses, but a new report claims that these cards can end up costing drivers far more than they should.
The report was published by Forbes this week, claiming that gas credit cards co-branded between gas station chains and credit card companies charge far more interest than regular credit cards. Even though these cards lure customers in with rewards or discounts on fuel prices, those benefits can be outweighed by the exorbitant interest rates many of these gas credit cards charge.
According to the report, the average credit card interest rate among all non-gas credit cards is somewhere between 13.63% and 15.32%. Meanwhile, the rates on many of the most popular gas station chains’ fuel credit cards can be more than twice that. Below are some of the most popular gas credit card brands and their APR as of May, 2018:
- Chevron 28.49%
- CITGO 28.49%
- BP 28.49%
- ExxonMobil 26.49%
- Shell 26.49%
- Kroger 25.49%
Of course, as with all credit cards, those interest rates don’t matter much if you pay off the balance in full every month. But come on: who actually does that? The best way to save on gas is to pay with cash, since gas stations often charge an extra fee for credit cards, and use gas station apps like AAA or Fuel Finder to locate the best prices in your area.