Credit Cards From Oil Companies Are No Bargain
The number of consumers with oil company credit cards, good for gasoline purchases, has increased dramatically during the last ten years. The two main reasons for this growth are the general easing of qualifications for such cards and the growth of pay at the pump. It is simply much easier and faster to buy gasoline if all you have to do is stick a card in the pump, get your gas and drive away. Many Americans are all too happy to apply for another credit card if it means avoiding lines inside the gas station. Gasoline is a recurring expense for most people. Anyone who drives to work each day will probably find that his or her gasoline expenses are about the same each month.
Given that the monthly use is the same, gasoline purchases can be viewed in much the same way as a cable TV bill or an electrical bill. It is something that should be paid, in full, each and every month. If the bill isn't paid in full this month, it will only get larger next month. So paying promptly, and in full, makes a lot of sense. But few Americans pay their bills in full each month, and for those who do not, a gas credit card comes with quite a shock.
The interest rates charged by these credit cards are quite high when compared to other types of credit cards. In fact, these cards tend to have interest rates that range from 18-25%, when many banks will offer a Visa or Mastercard for a much lower rate. Someone with good credit can probably obtain such a card with an interest rate in the 10% range. Anyone who pays for gas by credit card but does not pay in full each month would be advised to use an alternative credit card with a lower interest rate, if one is available. Gasoline pumps that accept credit cards will take usually accept most major credit cards, so using a Visa or Mastercard would generally make more sense than using a gas card. The Discover card is particularly useful for this purpose, as it provides a cash back rebate every year based on use. Savvy consumers who wish to watch the amount of interest that they pay on their credit card bills would be wise to find an alternative to the high interest charged by most major oil companies. After all, there is no benefit to paying interest.
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