Is Using A Gas Station Credit Cards A Good Thing Or Not?
First of all, you need to make sure you don’t have to drive extra to get a discount for your gas purchases. Remember, you of can save about $.10 per gallon. If you put an average of 15 gallons of gas in your car when you stop to fill up, that means a total of $1.50. If you have to drive over 1.5 miles (3 mile round trip) to obtain this saves you have lost money. You have also put in some extra time to drive these three miles. My suggestion is that if you have to drive over .5 mile (1 mile round trip) to get to a gas station where you will be able to obtain a rebate, forget it.
You need to stay within your budget. If you budget $400 a month for gas and pay for it with cash or check, it is easy to know when the budgeted gas money is on empty. When paying for something often with a credit card, like gas, it is easy to lose track of how much has been spent. You need to pay close attention to how much you have spent, or it can get out of hand easily.
When going to a gas station, watch out for the in-store purchases. Items such as candy bars, potato chips, coffee or other grocery items are often marked up very heavily. That savings you made on your gas purchase can be quickly lost with just a few purchases inside the store.
The biggest concern with gas station credit cards is the same as it is with any other credit card. Usually, these cards can be used at other stores as well and sometimes they offer a 1% – 2% rebate for any store purchase with the use of their credit card. Use the same rule as always with regard to credit cards. If you cannot pay for it immediately, do not but it. Do not be deceived as the small 1% – 2% rebates will get eaten up very quickly with the exorbitant interest rates that these cards charge. That very small savings will not be worth it unless you are absolutely sure you have the money budgeted sitting in savings or at home.
Make sure you are not driving more than an additional .5 mile to obtain this rebate. Stay away from the in-store purchases and use gas station credit cards for gas purchases only. Pay off the card on a weekly basis, if not sooner. Also, use extreme caution when using the card for anything besides gas. If you cannot pay for it, don’t use it.
Don’t be fooled by the very small rebate available on other purchases and over spend. Remember that this credit card is just like any other credit card in that if you don’t pay it off right away you will be paying large interest rates on the balance.
Despite the hard and trying times in terms of our economy, like we are facing right now, a gas station credit card can save us a few bucks. To use a gas station credit card to our advantage, and not the credit card companies, follow the steps mentioned above. Above all things, remember, if you cannot pay for it, do not buy it.