Hitting the road? These are the 3 best cards for fueling up right now
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If you’re hitting the road this year to get away, don’t forget that you’ll have to fill up the tank.
As more people become comfortable with traveling again, road trips have been — and will continue to be — a popular option. But it’s not just road trippers that need a pit stop either. If you have a business that requires a lot of driving, you’ll also likely spend a pretty penny on gas purchases.
No matter the reason you’re driving, if gas is one of your top spending categories, it pays to be equipped with a credit card that earns a bonus every time you fill up. Currently, the three best cards for gas at U.S. gas stations are: The Platinum Card® from American Express (part of the current welcome offer), The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (part of the current welcome offer) and the American Express® Business Gold Card (permanent category bonus).
Let’s take a closer look at this one consumer card and two business credit cards — and how you can earn bonus Membership Rewards points on your next stop at the gas station.
The cards and their bonuses on gas
It may come as a surprise that two of the three best credit cards for gas purchases (according to TPG valuations) are small business products. But many small businesses rely on transporting goods and services from point A to point B. Other businesses and sole proprietors may need to shuttle employees around for a successful operation.
Amex Business Platinum
For new Business Platinum cardholders, you’ll earn a welcome bonus of 85,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of card membership. But here’s the kicker: You’ll also earn 5x Membership Rewards points on shipping, wireless telephone services, advertising in select media, office supplies and yes, gas stations when you use your card on eligible U.S. purchases in these categories during the first three months (up to a whopping 80,000 bonus points per category).
Eligible existing Business Platinum cardholders aren’t left out from the extra bonuses either. Through June 30, 2021, most existing cardholders can also earn up to a total of 80,000 bonus points on each category listed above, including gas. Those 80,000 bonus points are worth $1,600, according to TPG valuations. You must activate these elevated bonuses through Amex Offers. (Eligibility for this offer is limited. Enrollment is required in the Amex Offers section of your account before redeeming.) The card has a $595 annual fee (see rates and fees).
The consumer flavor of the Platinum card also has an elevated welcome bonus. Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in your first six months of card membership. However, the truly unique benefit is 10x points on up to $15,000 in combined eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets during the first six months of card membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
A nine-point bonus earning rather is worth a whopping 18 cents, according to TPG valuations. The Amex Platinum has a $550 annual fee (see rates & fees).
Amex Business Gold
As part of its permanent earning categories, the Business Gold can earn 4x on your top two spending categories from the list below each month:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases made from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions
This incredible flexibility is a key component of the card, although you’ll only earn extra points up to $150,000 per calendar year across all bonus categories. The current welcome offer on the Business Gold is 70,000 bonus points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership. The card has a $295 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Related: Amex Business Gold card review
Business card spotlight
Currently, the 5x earning at U.S. gas stations on the Business Platinum is the highest rate of return for any business card. 5 Membership Rewards points are worth 10 cents, according to TPG valuations. As noted above though, this is only available for a several-month period for new and eligible existing cardholders.
Unlike the Business Platinum variant, this 4x bonus is a permanent fixture of this card. The caveat? Purchases at gas stations must be one of your top two spending categories (from the list noted above). These categories reset at the end of each month and there’s a cap of $150,000 per calendar year across all of the bonus categories.
If gas is one of your main expenses throughout the year — especially in this first half of 2021 — having one of these cards under your belt may be advantageous.
10x, 5x and 4x bonus Membership Rewards points are certainly nothing to sneeze at, but it also may not be enough of a reason to apply for a card by itself. However, don’t forget that there are other perks on these cards besides the elevated earnings at U.S. gas stations, particularly on the Amex Platinum and Business Platinum and their numerous travel benefits.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
Featured photo by Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty Images
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