Gas Cards for Bad Credit
|Credit Card||Best For||Credit Score||Annual Fee||Welcome Bonus|
|Gas Stations Only||300–850||$0||N/A|
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Over 90% of US households have access to a vehicle. 1 Given the popularity of driving in the US, it’s no surprise that gas is one of the most common American purchases—and it doesn’t come cheap. Luckily, credit card companies and gas stations recognize the financial burden of buying gas and offer credit cards that can help.
However, scoring a good rewards card (or any credit card) can be tough when you have poor credit. But even bad-credit holders can lock down a credit card that will help them fund their gas purchases. Keep reading to learn about getting a gas card when you have bad credit, and what the best options available now are.
What is a gas card?
There are two types of gas credit cards:
- Gas station credit cards: Gas station credit cards are closed-loop credit cards, meaning they can only be used at the issuing establishment. For example, a Chevron credit card will let you make purchases at Chevron, then earn a percentage back through rewards. The rewards you earn can then only be put toward future purchases at Chevron.
- Gas rewards credit cards: A gas rewards credit card, on the other hand, is a general-use credit card that offers rewards for gas purchases. This can be any Visa, Mastercard, or other credit card type that redeems a portion of your gas purchases through cashback rewards.
How do I get a gas card?
As is the case with all credit cards, the best deals are available to borrowers with good or excellent credit. However, getting a gas card when you have bad credit may be easier than you think.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Check your credit score: Check your current credit standing so you know which types of cards you can qualify for. This also gives you a baseline, so you can track your improvement when you start building credit with your gas card.
- Shop around: Don’t necessarily apply for the first credit card you find that boasts gas rewards. Applying for new credit involves hard inquiries, which are credit checks that knock points off your credit score. Be sure you’ve found the right card for you (and go through a pre-approval process first if possible) before you send a slew of applications and accidentally drop your credit score.
- Consider a secured card: Many credit cards for bad credit are secured cards. Secured cards require a deposit upfront, and usually match your initial credit limit to the deposit you pay. While this is unappealing to many, it’s a good option if your credit score is less than perfect. Secured cards tend to offer better rewards and borrowing terms than other credit cards available to bad-credit borrowers—like fewer fees and lower interest rates.
- Apply: Once you’ve landed on the right card for you and your credit range, it’s time to apply. If you’re looking for a gas station credit card, you can go directly to the gas station and ask for an application. Otherwise, apply online for your gas card.
How can I build credit with a gas card?
Gas cards are a great way to build or rebuild credit. Doing it is very simple: just use your card regularly to buy gas, and make sure to always pay off your balance off on time every month. This will improve your payment history, which is the key to your credit score.
Look for gas cards with credit reporting to the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—and that offer credit-building tools. For example, many starter credit cards and cards for bad credit give free monthly credit reports and help you track your credit score’s progress.
Best gas credit cards for bad credit
Below we’ve listed some of the best cards with gas-related rewards that are available even if you have a bad credit score. In fact, you’ll likely get easy, instant approval for these gas cards when you apply.