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Guides

12 Best Gas Cards for Bad Credit 2018

Ashley Dull 6/4/18

Over the last 150 years, gasoline (and its cruder iterations) has gone from a somewhat-useful product, to one of vital importance for hundreds of millions of people. Approximately 143 billion gallons of gasoline were consumed in 2016 in the US alone — enough to fill over 200,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

And unfortunately, all that gasoline doesn’t come cheap; the historical average (in 2015 dollars) is around $2.20 per gallon. Since the average person drives 29 miles a day, that’s over $930 a year just in gas purchases — assuming your car gets the average 25.5 miles per gallon.

For many consumers, one of the best ways to save on that big fuel bill is to use a gas rewards credit card. While most gas station-branded cards are out of reach for bad-credit applicants, you can still save money — or, at least, time — at the pump with the right card.

Rewards Cards | Unsecured Cards | Secured Cards | Station-Specific Cards

Best Gas Station Rewards Cards for Bad Credit

After a while of ceaseless searching, the idea of finding a rewards card with bad credit can feel a bit like looking for Nessie in a rowboat. Thankfully, you won’t need to set sail to find a rewards card with flexible credit requirements — but you may need to make a deposit or pay an annual fee, depending on the type of card you want.

The most important thing to keep in mind with a rewards card is that those rewards will be quickly overwhelmed by interest fees if you carry a balance from month to month. Take a look at some of our favorite picks for bad-credit rewards cards to see what kind of deals are out there.

4.3 /5.0 Stars
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Track your progress with free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • Receive opportunities for credit line increases, a fee may apply
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment due date, terms apply
  • Stay in-the-know with customizable account alerts via email and text
  • Receive 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate 17.49% - 25.49% Variable
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 8 minutes
Reputation Score 9.0/10
4.3 /5.0 Stars
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • See if you Pre-Qualify in less than 60 seconds
  • Receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • Enjoy more buying power with credit line increase opportunities, a fee may apply
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • View updates to your Experian credit score with free online access, terms apply
  • Access your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate 17.49% - 25.49% Variable
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 8 Minutes
Reputation Score 9.0/10

3. Discover it® Secured

A rarity in both the subprime and secured credit card worlds, the Discover it® Secured card not only offers unlimited cash back rewards on all purchases, but also provides bonus rewards for restaurant and gas station purchases.

  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

As a secured credit card, the Discover it® Secured card will require an initial deposit to open your account. The minimum deposit for a Discover it® Secured card is $200.

Best Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit

In some cases, you may not be as concerned with earning rewards on your gas purchases as you are being able to make those purchases quickly and easily at the pump. A general, all-purpose unsecured credit card can give you a manageable line of credit, no deposit required. Our top-rated picks below are a great place to start comparing your options.

4.8 /5.0 Stars
  • Checking account required
  • We may approve those currently building their credit history
  • No security deposit required
  • Application response in 30 seconds
  • Know the score! Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statement
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Your First PREMIER Bank credit card activity is reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies each month. Making your payment on time and keeping your balances low relative to the credit limit will result in positive marks on your credit report
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See issuer website
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 6 minutes
Reputation Score 9.5/10
4.8 /5.0 Stars
  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See issuer website
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 5 Minutes
Reputation Score 9.0/10
4.7 /5.0 Stars
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Initial Credit Limit of $500.00! (subject to available credit)
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere that Mastercard® is accepted
  • Free online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See terms
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 9 Minutes
Reputation Score 8.5/10

+See More Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit

While unsecured credit cards won’t require an initial deposit, most subprime unsecured cards will come with annual fees, as well as typically charging higher interest rates than prime or secured credit cards. Be sure to pay off your credit card balance in full every billing cycle to avoid being charged high interest fees.

Best Secured Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Although they require an initial deposit, secured credit cards can be a better option than unsecured cards for some consumers, particularly because secured credit cards tend to have lower fees and lower interest rates than subprime unsecured cards. Additionally, your security deposit is fully refundable — unlike unsecured card fees.

With a secured card, your credit line is determined by your deposit amount, so secured cards may provide a higher credit limit for bad-credit applicants than an unsecured card. For example, some of our expert-rated secured credit cards allow deposits — and, thus, credit limits — of up to $5,000.

4.0 /5.0 Stars
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000. Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate.
  • No minimum credit score requirements. We invite all credit types to apply. No processing or application fees.
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus.
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
  • See additional primor® Secured Visa Gold Card details
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate 9.99%
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 8 minutes
Reputation Score 9.0/10
3.0 /5.0 Stars
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
  • Just Pay Off Your Balance and Get Your Deposit Back at Any Time
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Not available in: NY, IA, AR, or WI
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate 19.99% (V)
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 9 minutes
Reputation Score 7.5/10
3.0 /5.0 Stars
  • Credit line secured by your fully-refundable deposit of $200-$2,000 submitted with application.
  • Pay off your balance and get your deposit back any time.
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history.
  • Not available in: NY, IA, AR, or WI.
  • No credit history or minimum credit score required.
  • See if you are pre-approved in 60 seconds or less.
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate 9.99% (V)
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 8 minutes
Reputation Score 7.5/10

+See More Secured Credit Cards for Bad Credit

If you aren’t capable of putting down a large deposit up front, you can still open a secured credit card as long as you can manage at least the minimum required deposit. That’s because most secured credit cards allow you to add to your deposit at any time, giving you control over the size of your credit limit.

Most Gas Station Credit Cards Require Fair Credit

As with any type credit card, the better your credit score is, the better your chances of qualifying. The vast majority of gas-station branded credit cards will want you to have at least fair credit, which means a FICO credit score above 580, and applicants with scores above 650 will have the best approval odds.

That being said, each credit card issuer has its own particular standards, and few companies actually have hard-and-fast minimum credit score requirements. Instead, specific red flags — or the lack thereof — may be a more important deciding factor. Remember that each new credit application will result in a hard credit inquiry, which can damage your credit, so be wise about how often you apply for a new card.

10. Chevron/Texaco Techron Advantage™ Card

While you can select cards specific to either Chevron or Texaco, the Chevron/Texaco Techron Advantage™ Card is the most versatile because it can be used at any Chevron or Texaco gas station.

  • Earn 3¢ per gallon in fuel credits at Chevron or Texaco stations
  • Receive exclusive cardholder offers and discounts
  • Pay no annual fee

Although most sources recommend having at least fair to good credit for the best chances of approval, multiple reviewers report being approved with FICO credit scores in the low-600s, with several even reporting scores in the upper-500s at time of approval.

11. Shell Drive for Five Card

While the Shell Drive for Five Card offers an okay per-gallon savings year-round, its most lucrative benefit is its signup bonus offering a 25¢-per-gallon discount for your first two months after account opening.

  • Save 5¢ per gallon at Shell stations
  • Add additional cards at no extra cost
  • Pay no annual fee

The majority of Shell cardholders will have fair credit or better, but some reviewers report approval with scores below 600.

12. Valero Credit Card

Best for those who drive gas-guzzlers, the Valero Credit Card requires you to purchase at least 50 gallons of gas (with your card) per billing cycle to earn gas rebates. Earn 4¢ per gallon when you purchase 50 to 74.9 gallons a cycle, and 8¢ per gallon if you purchase 75 or more gallons per cycle, to a maximum of 110 gallons.

  • Earn up to 8¢ per gallon in gas rebates at Valero stations
  • Manage your account and fuel rebates online
  • Pay no annual fee

The lowest scores reported for the Valero credit card are between 551 and 600, but the bulk of approved applicants have at least fair credit.

Save Time — & Money — Every Time You Fill Up

For well over 100 years, the gas-powered engine has been the cornerstone of American transportation, epitomized by the consumer automobile’s presence in nearly every driveway in the country. And despite predictions that our beloved combustion engines will be usurped by electric vehicles within the next few decades, it’s probably safe to say that trips to the gas station aren’t a piece of the past quite yet.

So, the only thing for most of us to do is try to make the best of those trips, perhaps by finding a quality rewards card to take the edge off of filling up. At the very least, you can save time on every fuel up by simply using your trusty credit card to pay at the pump, potentially shaving a few minutes (and a lot of hassle) off every stop.

About Ashley Dull
Ashley is the Finance Vertical Manager at Digital Brands, Inc., where she oversees content published on BadCredit.org and CardRates.com. Ashley works closely with experts and industry leaders in every sector of finance to develop authoritative guides, news, and advice articles with regards to audience interest. Connect with Ashley on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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