Sign-up bonus is a deal! When a gas credit card has a promo offer make sure you will be able to grab it, otherwise it will be a waste of time. Gas branded credit cards may not have promo offers and if they have, they are hard to comprehend, not mentioning to achieve. For example, the Sunoco Rewards Credit Card does not have any promotional offer. Regular cards are much better in this way. You can simply choose a card with a sign-up bonus! For example, the Discover it Cash Back card will simply match all rewards at the end of the first year for new cardmembers.
Unlimited rewards. That's it! The card should give you maximum rewards everywhere and not limit you to 5 cents per gallon at gas stations of one brand. Moreover, the important disadvantage of co-branded gas rewards credit cards is the way you get your savings - you receive cents as a discount on each gallon and your savings steadily drop as gas prices go up. It should be like regular cards that can be used anywhere allowing you to earn rewards wherever you go. With the Discover it Cash Back card you will earn 1% cash back on all purchases and up to 5% cash back in rotating categories (up to the quarterly maximum and don't forget to activate).
Earn rewards everywhere you shop. When you are applying for a gas branded credit card, you should understand that you won't be able to use it outside gas stations. Thus, the Sunoco Rewards Credit Card cannot be used outside Sunoco gas stations, meaning you will need another credit card if you want to shop and earn rewards at other locations. Regular rewards credit cards give more flexibility. You can have only one, for example, the Discover it Cash Back card and earn rewards on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, local cafes, and anywhere else.
Redeem for anything you want. A gas credit card will either give you an instant discount at the gas pump when you are paying for fuel with this card, or it will reward you with statement credit. With the Sunoco Rewards Credit Card, you will practically see your savings as a discount that will be given instantly when you pay at a Sunoco gas station. On the other hand, the Discover it Cash Back card lets you redeem any amount of cash back for any purchases anytime. You don't need to redeem for fuel if you don't want to.
Never lose rewards. With the Sunoco Rewards Credit Card, you won't be able to receive rewards in the form of statement credit unless the unlikely situation will occur and discounts at the point of sale will be unavailable for any reason. When you use a regular rewards credit card, you can use your cash back rewards any time, anywhere and they won't expire for the life of the account.
Enjoy 0% interest introductory period. You cannot get a credit card with absolutely no interest, but you can forget about interest payments for a year or so if you have the right card. A gas branded credit card is unlikely to have 0% into APR. Thus, the Sunoco Rewards Credit Card does not have any kind of intro APR. More than that, the ongoing interest rate is quite high. Regular credit cards often come with 0% introductory rates allowing you to carry some balance from month to month without paying a penny of interest (provided you make minimum monthly payments on-time).
When you need to pay off some debt. Having a credit card that allows you to transfer and pay off some debt at 0% APR is a good idea. The less you owe, the better your credit will be and the more value your rewards will have. The interest payments can negate all rewards you've earned, so make sure you do not carry the balance on your cards. Most co-branded gas credit cards do not offer 0% intro APR on balance transfers, and you won't see it on the Sunoco Rewards Credit Card either.
No unexpected fees. Guess you won't like to see a fee charged for a transaction in a foreign currency. This fee is not a common thing among gas branded credit cards because they are not usually accepted abroad and cannot be used outside gas stations. Regular credit cards tend not to charge this fee as well even though they can be used everywhere. So if you use your credit card abroad, you can save a lot on your purchases.
Shop everywhere. Getting a co-branded gas credit card means you may not be able to use that card everywhere. You will be limited to a specific gas brand and chances are you may not have a suitable gas station near you in the most crucial moment. Regular credit cards, like the Discover it Cash Back card, give more freedom - you can use them everywhere as long as credit cards are accepted as a method of payment.
Updated: October 16, 2018
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