The day you nab your dream job is cause for celebration. You’re finally doing something you love, something you’ve worked hard for with years of education and paying your dues to climb the corporate ladder. Not only that, but you’re getting paid what you’re worth, the benefits are incredible, and you have opportunities to advance even further. The sky is the limit!
Unfortunately, there is one pesky drawback – the daily commute. If you’ve had to tack an hour or more of cursing through gridlock onto each workday, you’re probably not too pleased about the time suck and the expense. Carpooling with coworkers can help, but only if you can find someone agreeable in your neighborhood, or at least along your route.
You might even look into fuel-efficient vehicles like diesel, hybrid, or electric cars. Some fully electric cars offer a decent range on a single charge these days (provided your employer offers electric charging stations to ensure you have enough juice to get back home).
There are, of course, other ways to save. You can’t really trim down your trip time, but you can definitely spare some expense by seeking out credit cards that offer you rewards every time you fill up at the pump. Here are a few of the best credit cards to help you make the most of your gas-guzzling commute.
Hilton Honors AmEx Ascend Card
Hilton offers a whopping 6x points for eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations, as well as restaurants and supermarkets, 12x points on participating Hilton properties, and 3x points on all other eligible purchases. Spend $2,000 in the first three months to get $125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points.
Okay, now to the drawbacks. There’s a $95 annual fee and you can pretty much only redeem your points at Hilton properties. Not so bad if you want to use your gas rewards for personal travel – you’ll need a vacay after that doozy of a daily commute.
Wells Fargo Propel AmEx Card
You’ll earn 3x points on qualifying gas station purchases and travel (flights, hotels, car rentals, and more), plus 1x on all other qualifying purchases. Spend $3,000 in the first three months to receive 30,000 bonus points. No annual fee. Easy as pie.
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
If you want to turn your gas-guzzling commute into a vacation, this is one card that can take you from highways to flyways, thanks to rewards on gas purchases that translate into airline points. Earn double miles on eligible purchases at restaurants and gas stations, with 50,000 bonus points at signup, another 40,000 for spending $2,000 in the first three months, and an additional 10,000 if you spend $6,000 in the first 12 months. Get preferred boarding and savings with American Airlines. The $99 annual fee is waived for the first 12 months.
Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi
The price of Costco gas is legendarily low, but there’s a reason this card isn’t at the top of the list – Costcos with gas stations are hardly prevalent. If you happen to have one near your home, your work, or somewhere convenient along your daily commuting route, then stopping in for gas is going to save you a ton right off the bat, as well as make getting this handy card entirely worthwhile.
There’s no annual fee and you’ll earn 4% back on the first $7,000 you spend on gas each year, as well as 3% back on qualifying restaurants and travel expenses, and 2% on purchases at Costco and Costco.com. You’ll even get 1% back on all other purchases. With a variable APR of 17.24%, you’ll want to pay this one off each month, so maybe reserve it for gas purchases alone. You’ll need an excellent credit rating to get approved for this card, but added benefits include extended warranty coverage, car rental insurance, and travel and emergency assistance, among other things.
Discover It Secured
If you’ve been working to pay down student loans, keep up with your mortgage, and generally scrape by, your credit might not be in the best shape when you finally cross the threshold of your dream job. In this case, you’ll be happy to find a card that not only works with poor credit candidates (thanks to your security deposit), but incredibly, offers rewards to the tune of 2% back on qualifying purchases at gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 per quarter, then 1% back. Discover offers matching on cash back for the first year. Variable APR of 24.99%.
PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card
With 5x rewards at the pump, this card is pretty enticing, especially with no annual fee to weigh you down. You’ll also get 3x rewards on groceries and 1x points on all other purchase, as well as a $100 bonus when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days. The only major drawback? You have to be a member of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union to apply for this card.