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Looking for ways to save on gas? Avoid gas cards, experts say

Michigan gas prices continue to drop
Posted at 6:38 AM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 06:38:01-04

(WXYZ) — Gas prices are still over $4 per gallon in Michigan and many are starting to think of new ways to cut down these costs.

Some people are turning to gas cards, but one expert says those might not be as cost-efficient as we think.

"I don't think the gas-branded credit cards are the best deal," Ted Rossman of Bankrate.com says. "The ones you get at the station you typically only get 5 or ten cents off per gallon and that's even less significant the more prices rise. What I think is better is to get a general-purpose credit card that gives a good percentage off."

So basically.. Don't be fooled by the save money at the pump slogan when signing up for one of those cards

While it might be easier to qualify for a gas station credit card, in the long run, the interest rates are high compared to the average credit card interest rate of 16%.

"The ones the stations offer have an average interest rate of 26%," Rossman said. "That's just astronomical. I mean the math is just totally upside down on that."

Some drivers are already using their banking cards to get extra cash rewards.

"For gas, I use my Bank of America Rewards for that extra cashback and some points too," driver Sally Bdeir said.

Others are saving at their local gas stations.

"At Kroger, yes I do. I obviously use my rewards for saving at the pump. Speedway I use them. I sometimes let my Speedway rewards buildup over time," another driver said.

Another option to save is called stacking discounts where you can pay through the gas station's app using a good general-purpose rewards card. That way you save in two ways.

"The best practice for trying this strategy is use the credit card. Pay in full. Avoid interest and the rewards become free money," Rossman said.