Gas Credit Cards - Do They Work?
Can using gas cards really save you money or are they just a scam to take advantage of the skyrocketing gas prices to kill the American consumer? Gas cards are a legitimate and great way to save money; you just have to be smart about it. Remember credit card companies usually make money from your interest rates and fees.
How does a gas card work?
A gas card is a credit card that is usually affiliated with gas companies. With every purchase of gas at station, you get a percentage of cash back. This can range from 2% to 5%. They work like regular credit cards and have a due date that you should pay every month. Now, how can you make a gas card work for you?
Gas credit cards can save you money if you use them wisely. You can easily use your current credit card as a gas card if your provider offers that option. However, if your card has a high interest rate or a bigger balance at the moment then you should consider applying for a new, lower APR card.
One way is to pay your balance on time. It might be tempting to pay only a part of your balance every month but the interest will negate whatever savings you might make. If you pay your balance every month, you won't have a problem with late fees. If you cannot make your balance, then this is where the low interest on your card comes in. You won't be out too much if your interest is 2% or lower.
Remember, it's the finance charges that kill your credit.
Know when your card cycles. A card cycle date is the day that your card turns over. Every expense before the cycle date goes to your due date. Every expense that you make after your cycle date goes to next month's due date and will not show up as a charge until your next statement. If you use your credit card before the cycle date then stop, you'll have two months to pay! It's true. Call your provider and ask what day of the month your card cycles. You can even ask them to move it for you so that you can pay when it's convenient for you, not them.
Read your terms and conditions.
Many credit card holders get into trouble because they do not read the Terms and conditions of the credit card. Before you activate the card, remember to read carefully. You might find some terms you don't agree with. Providers also have the right to change your terms so read all the mail that you receive from them. A gas card is a means to an end. You can control how much you spend and how long you can. Remember to check when you can get your cash back.
Find a card that is best for you.
If you only use one gas station, why not find a card that is tied up or affiliated with your station? You will get more benefits that way and you can easily claim the cash that is owned to you. You do not have to use them all the time; you can use them as a balance to the cash you dole out for cash. Managing your cash and credit is one way that you can make your gas card work for you.