Top 3 Credit Cards for Gas Stations


Filling up the gas tank these days is getting more and more expensive, and for most of us, it’s an unavoidable cost.

Each trip to the gas station takes a notable toll on our wallet as we use our cars to get to and from work, to get the family to appointments and lessons, and maybe even to get out of town for the weekend.

Luckily, whether you gas up weekly or just once in a while, there’s a way to extract extra value from this expense by using the right credit card and the right gas station.

In this article, we share the best credit cards to use at gas stations to earn you rewards towards travel, statement credits, and more.

The Players and The Programs

In Canada, there are a handful of popular gas station brands that make up most of the market share. These brands are Shell, Esso, Petro-Canada, Ultramar, and Costco Gas.

You may also be familiar with smaller brands, private gas companies, and the sister brands of these bigger names.

Many gas stations offer rewards programs to entice brand loyalty, and while we don’t have the space to go over every single brand in Canada, let’s explore the five main gas station brands and their rewards programs.

Shell

Shell gas stations participate in the Air Miles rewards program, which allows you to earn Air Miles Dream Miles or Cash Miles.

Screenshot 2024 05 27 at 6.35.31 PM

Air Miles Dream Miles can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, and more, while Cash Miles can be redeemed at retailers for money off your purchases at a rate of 95 Cash Miles = $10 (all figures in CAD).

At Shell gas stations, you earn 1 Air Mile per 20 litres of regular fuel (or per 10 litres of Shell V-Power Fuels) purchased, and for every $5 you spend on car washes and eligible non-fuel products.

Additionally, if you choose to collect Cash Miles, you can redeem these for at Shell for fuel, car washes, and more.

Esso

Esso gas stations (and its sister brand Mobil) use the PC Optimum rewards program, offering customers the chance to earn PC Optimum points.

img 6654bd5745696

With the PC Optimum program, you can earn 10 points per litre purchased and 10 points per dollar spent at the gas station convenience store.

PC Optimum points can also be earned at Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaws brand grocery stores (including No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, value-mart, Zehrs, The Independent Grocer, Fortinos, and Wholesale Club).

The points can be redeemed for credit at participating stores, and online at beatyboutique.ca, JoeFresh.ca, and PC Express websites at a rate of 1,000 points = $1.

Petro-Canada

Petro-Canada uses an in-house points program called Petro-Points Rewards.

Screenshot 2024 05 27 at 6.48.38 PM

You can earn 10 points per litre of fuel purchased and 10 points per dollar spent at the convenience store.

Petro-Points can be redeemed for discounts on fuel, car washes, and more at a rate of 1,000 points = $1.

The points can also be redeemed for e-gift cards for many popular brands (e.g., Apple, Walmart, Uber, Tim Hortons).

Ultramar

Ultramar and its sister brands Pioneer, Fast Gas Plus, and Chevron-branded stations in Alberta and BC use a points program called Journie Rewards.

Screenshot 2024 05 27 at 6.52.08 PM

Journie Rewards are earned at a rate of 1 point per litre purchased and 2 points per dollar spent in the gas station convenience store.

As you earn Journie Rewards points, you’ll access free snacks and a savings of seven cents off gas once you accumulate 300 Journie Rewards points.

Journie Rewards are also partnered with Aeroplan, allowing you to earn Aeroplan points on fuel purchases when you link your accounts.

Costco Gas

Costco consistently has some of the cheapest gas among the big brands, but you do need to purchase a Costco membership to access it. Also, Costco’s gas station doesn’t have a points program.

Screenshot 2024 05 27 at 6.58.07 PM

In lieu of a points program, Costco has the CIBC Costco Mastercard that offers 3% cash back on spending at Costco gas stations and restaurants, 2% cash back at other gas stations and on Costco.ca, and 1% cash back everywhere else.

The cash back earned with this card comes in the form of cash back gift certificates that can be used exclusively at Canadian Costco Warehouses.

Should You Use a Gas Station Reward Program?

As you can see from the brief program descriptions above, gas station reward programs don’t provide overwhelming value or rewards.

That said, there is zero downside to signing up for one, or all, of the programs we’ve mentioned since each one does provide some sort of rewards return.

By simply signing up for the available rewards programs, you’re setting yourself up to save on gas purchases, earn gift cards, or enjoy a free snack every so often.

Screenshot 2024 05 27 at 7.02.53 PM

However, if you really want to increase the value of your gas station spending, you need to consider which credit card will provide the best return at which gas station.

With gas being a large and consistent expense, finding the right credit card and using it at the right gas station can help you earn rewards quickly.

The 3 Best Credit Cards for Gas Rewards in Canada

Earning rewards by spending on specific credit cards is an excellent way to access bonus value from your day-to-day spending.

Credit card reward programs can earn you cash back, airline and hotel loyalty points for free flights and stays, and other rewards points/miles that can be used for travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more.

Screenshot 2024 05 27 at 7.31.17 PM

In the sections below, we share our top three picks for credit cards to use at gas stations in Canada and which gas stations you can choose to take advantage of partnerships and extra rewards.

CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite

The first credit card we’d like to highlight is the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card.

As a Visa, this card is widely accepted, and we recommend using it at Ultramar (and sister brands Pioneer, Fast Gas Plus, and Chevron-branded stations in Alberta and BC).

With the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card, you earn a strong cash back rate in key spending categories, including 4% cash back on gas purchases.

The complete earning rates for the card are as follows:

  • 4% cash back on gas, groceries, and EV charging
  • 2% back on dining, recurring payments, and transportation
  • 1% back on everything else

Additionally, when you link your CIBC Dividend Visa Card to your Journie Rewards account, you save 3 cents per litre at Ultramar, Pioneer, Fast Gas Plus, and eligible Chevron stations.

As a bonus, you can also earn up to 300 bonus Journie Rewards Points by completing the following steps:

  • Get 150 bonus Journie points when you link your eligible card
  • Get 75 points for registering with Journie Rewards
  • Get 75 points for registering via the Journie Rewards mobile app

Once you’ve earned 300 Journie Rewards points, you can redeem them for a savings of 7 cents per litre, up to 100 litres (equalling up to $7 in savings).

The CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card has an annual fee of $120, though the card often comes with a first-year fee waiver and a welcome bonus of elevated cash back rates.

We picked the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card as one of our top choices for gas station spend because it offers the best cash back for gas, plus you can link the card with Journie Rewards to save up to an extra 10 cents per litre.

As a cash back card, the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite earns cash back that is accumulated monthly. Your accumulated cash back can be redeemed for a statement credit at any time, with a minimum redemption amount of $25.

To sign up for this card, or to learn more about its perks and benefits, you can check out our full guide.

American Express Cobalt Card

The next card we recommend is the American Express Cobalt Card. This is a great all-around card that can be used at any gas station that accepts American Express.

The American Express Cobalt Card earns Membership Rewards (MR) points instead of the cash back earned by the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite.

The Cobalt Card earns MR points at the following rates:

  • 5 MR points per dollar spent on groceries and dining
  • 3 MR points per dollar spent on streaming services
  • 2 MR points per dollar spent on gas, public transit, and travel purchases
  • 1 MR point per dollar spent on all other purchases

MR points offer the most value when transferred to partnered loyalty programs. By transferring your MR points to programs like Aeroplan and Marriott Bonvoy, you can enjoy business class or First Class travel and luxury hotels for only a fraction of the full price.

We recommend all Canadians have this card in their wallet for the excellent earn rates and the valuable transfer partners.

This card is best for someone who is looking to earn a valuable and flexible travel-focused reward currency. For example, if you’d like to earn towards free flights and hotel stays, the American Express Cobalt card is considerably more useful than a cash back card like the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite.

However, if you prefer the simplicity of cash back, you can always stick with the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite to earn statement credits and/or gift cards.

You can learn even more about the American Express Cobalt Card and MR points by reading our full guide here.

CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card

Our third credit card recommendation for gas station spend is the CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card.

Since CIBC is partnered with Journie Rewards, we once again recommend using this card at Ultramar stations and its sister brands Pioneer, Fast Gas Plus, and Chevron-branded stations in Alberta and BC to enjoy extra savings and rewards.

We chose a second CIBC credit card because it earns Aeroplan points directly, which are one of the most valuable and useful rewards currencies in Canada.

With the CIBC Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, you earn Aeroplan directly rather than by transferring American Express MR points from your Cobalt account.

This makes it easier to focus on a single travel currency instead of having to think about which program to transfer your MR points to in order to maximize their redemption value.

However, this does mean that you’re limited to redeeming with Aeroplan or transferring your Aeroplan points to another partner loyalty program for lower value.

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card earns Aeroplan points at the following rate:

  • 1.5 Aeroplan points per $1 spent on gas, EV charging, groceries, and Air Canada
  • 1 Aeroplan point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases

An Aeroplan point is valued at 2.1 cents, so these earning rates get you a value of just over 3.1% back on your dollar in popular categories like gas and groceries.

As we mentioned in the first section, you can also link your CIBC credit card to your Journie Rewards account to save up to 10 cents per litre at Ultramar, Pioneer, Fast Gas Plus, and eligible Chevron stations.

The CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card comes with an annual fee of $139, but like the other CIBC card we mentioned, this card often offers a first-year free waiver and a healthy welcome bonus of Aeroplan points once you meet the required spending threshold.

With this card, you’ll also enjoy travel perks and benefits such as a free first checked bag for the cardholder and guest on Air Canada flights, and strong travel insurance coverage.

Once you’ve accumulated some Aeroplan points, the best way to use them is to book award flights with Air Canada and its partner airlines.

It’s easy to explore available flights using the Aeroplan app or website, and you can use the points to book aspirational trips like a round-the-world adventure using the program’s generous stopover/layover rules.

To learn more about the CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card and all its perks and benefits, check out our full guide here.

Conclusion

Spending at gas stations is a considerable expense for many of us, and although it’s a necessary evil, there are ways to leverage this spending to your benefit.

By using the right credit card when you fill up your tank, you can earn valuable rewards for travel, cash back, and more.

If you’re looking for a way to make your gas station spending work for you, we recommend you consider one of the three cards we’ve mentioned above to make sure you get the best rewards value possible with a card that fits your financial needs and priorities.

 





Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top