What you’ll get at the gas station: During at least one quarter per year, cardholders will earn five percent cash back at the pump.
Other perks: Other quarterly reward bonuses include five percent cash back at grocery stores, Amazon, and restaurants, which are everyday spend categories for many Americans.
This winner of a card is purpose-built for travelers and road trippers. The tradeoff is that U.S. Bank Altitude points do not have any airline or hotel program transfer partners, which means you can only redeem them for benefits like travel and gift cards at the rate of one penny per point. You can also opt for cash back, but consider how much you spend to see if it is worth it. The card has a $95 annual fee, but is waived for the first year.
What you’ll get at the gas station: You’ll earn four points per dollar (or four percent cash back) on travel and gas purchases all year long, not only during one quarter of the year like on some other cards. There is no limit on how much you can earn, either. That’s pretty generous.
Other perks: You’ll earn two percent back on eligible purchases at grocery stores (including delivery) and on dining or streaming services. There are also statement credits for streaming services like Netflix or expedited travel security programs like TSA PreCheck.
This card has a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees), but that is waived the first year. That small fee may seem like peanuts to drivers with long commutes, carpooling parents, and road trippers looking to accrue cash back year-round at the pump. If you spend heavily on transit, fuel, and groceries, this card also provides solid returns.
What you’ll get at the gas station: Unlike other cards that only award bonuses a few months a year, this AmEx card delivers three percent cash back on fuel purchases all year long. Even if you’re not the one driving, you’ll earn three percent cash back when using this card to pay for transit including rideshare services, taxis, buses, trains, and even tolls.
Other perks: It’s not just drivers that will see meaningful return. Cardholders will also earn six percent cash back at grocery stores and on certain U.S. streaming subscriptions. Everything else earns one percent cash back.
Why not choose which categories you want for bonus point earning? That’s what the no-fee Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card lets you do. That flexibility means that you can customize your cash back earning to your own spending patterns. Still, the quarterly spending caps can stifle the returns if you spend more than $2,500 in that category every three months. Big spenders would be better off with another card.
If you’re a Preferred Rewards member at Bank of America, though, you can multiply your earnings, with top-tier Platinum Honors members getting up to a 75 percent cash-back bonus.
What you’ll get at the gas station: Each quarter, you can select a category to earn three percent cash back. These include gas stations, but also dining, online shopping, and travel spending, which means you can coordinate your gas station–specific earnings and your road trip planning. You can even change your earning category once per month, but can only earn rewards on up to $2,500 in spending per quarter.
Other perks: Expect two percent cash back year-round on grocery and wholesale club purchases and one percent back on everything else, but only up to the $2,500 quarterly limit.
See rates and fees for the AmEx Blue Cash Preferred Card.
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