Gas costs can be a hefty line item, especially for Canadians with a daily commute—and it’s one that is largely out of our individual control. Using the right credit card when you fill up will earn you a return on your fuel expenses. But which card should you pick? We break down the options in our list of the best credit cards for gas.
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The best credit cards for gas in Canada
Best cash back credit card for gas — CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite*Best no-fee cash back credit card for gas — Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard*Best credit card for gas with roadside assistance — TD Cash Back Visa Infinite*Best credit card for gas and travel — Scotiabank Gold American Express*Best credit card for gas at Canadian Tire — Triangle MastercardBest credit card for gas at Costco — Rogers World Elite MastercardBest credit card for gas at Esso — PC Financial World Elite Mastercard*
Best cash back credit card for gas
With the Dividend Visa Infinite, CIBC offers a strong contender in the cash back credit card category, especially for drivers, and even more so if you add your grocery bill to this card. With a return of 4% on gas and groceries, this card is designed to put money back in your pocket. There are a few other bonus categories through which to earn cash back, including 2% on daily transit (including rideshares and public transit), so it’ll get you rewards on all modes of transit, as well as 2% on dining and recurring payments.
Annual fee: $120 (rebated for the first year)
Interest rates: Purchases 20.99%, cash advances 22.99%, balance transfers 22.99% (21.99% on cash advances for Quebec residents).
Earn rate on gas: 4%Rewards on other purchases: 4% cash back on groceries, 2% on dining, daily transit and recurring bills, and 1% back on everything else.Welcome bonus: Get 10% cash back for all purchases on your first four statements, or first $2,500 in purchases (up to $250 in cash back). After that, the earn rate becomes 4% on gas and grocery purchases and 1% cash back on everything else. Additional benefits: Emergency travel medical; car rental collision and loss damage insurance; mobile device insurance; plus save up to $0.10 per litre at participating Chevron, Ultramar and Pioneer gas stations when you link your card with Journie Rewards.Income required: $60,000 or $100,000 as a household
Best no-fee cash back credit card for gas
The Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard has no annual fee and it offers straight cash rewards, which gives it strong appeal to a large number of Canadians. Credit cardholders are rewarded with 2% cash back on unlimited purchases in two categories that include gas, groceries, restaurants and drug stores. Opt to have your cash automatically deposited into a Tangerine savings account and receive 2% cash back in a third category. (You’ll earn 0.5% on everything else.) The current welcome bonus will put $250 into your account if you spend at least $5,000 in your first three months. Plus, you can transfer balances from higher-interest cards at a low promotional interest rate of 1.95% for six months. For those who want to monetize their fuel purchases without paying for the privilege, this no-frills card is a winner.
Annual fee: $0
Interest rates: Purchases 19.95%, cash advances 19.95%, balance transfers 19.95%
Earn rate on gas: 2% cash backRewards on other purchases: 2% in up to two other spending categories of your choice and 0.5% cash back on everything else.Welcome bonus: Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 on everyday purchases within the first 2 months of having the card. Must apply before February 28, 2022.Additional benefits: Purchase assurance and extended warrantyIncome required: $12,000
Best credit card for gas with roadside assistance
On face value, the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite is a strong money back card offering a 3% return on gas, grocery and recurring bill payments (and 1% back on everything else). The return rate on gas would be enough for the card to place on our list, but it’s actually the roadside assistance (among other perks) that make it a standout card for drivers. Cardholders have complimentary emergency road services through an included Deluxe membership with TD Auto Club. This package includes 24-hour emergency assistance calls, towing, lockout and winching services, traffic accident emergency transportation, meals, accommodations and necessities, and even reimbursement options for issues TD Auto Club was unable to assist with. Plus, cardholders have auto rental loss and collision insurance and discounts at Avis and Budget. For frequent commuters or road-trippers, these perks can easily cover the card’s annual fee.
Annual fee: $120 (rebated first year)
Interest rates: Purchases 20.99%, cash advances 22.99%, balance transfers 22.99%
Earn rate on gas: 3% cash back (up to $15,000 annual spend)Rewards on other purchases: 3% cash back on groceries and recurring bill payments (up to $15,000 annual spend each); 1% back on everything else.Welcome bonus: 6% cash back for the first 3 months (up to a total spend of $2,000; must apply by May 30, 2021). This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. Quebec residents, please click here.Additional benefits: Automotive benefits like rental insurance, discounts on car rentals and a Deluxe membership with TD Auto Club; travel insurance, including travel medical and delayed or lost baggage; access to Visa Infinite perks, such as concierge services and complimentary room upgrades when you travel.Income required: $60,000 or $100,000 as a household
Best travel credit card for gas
If you’re looking to turn your fuel purchases into points, look no further than the Scotiabank Gold American Express credit card. This card operates within the Scotia Rewards program, which allows collectors to redeem their points for travel rewards, merchandise, gift cards and even credit to put against your card balance.
Cardholders earn 3 Scotia Rewards points on every $1 spent on eligible purchases including gas, public transit and streaming services, and 5 points per $1 on groceries, restaurants and entertainment. Double-dip with the gas points program of your choice and earn even more.
Annual fee: $120 (waived first year)
Interest rates: Purchases 19.99%, cash advances 22.99%, balance transfers 22.99%
Earn rate on gas: 3 Scotia Rewards points per $1Rewards on other purchases: 5 Scotia Rewards Points per $1 spent on groceries, dining and entertainment, 3 points per $1 spent on public transit, rideshares, taxis and online streaming services, 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.Welcome bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus Scene+ points by making at least $1,000 in everyday purchases in your first 3 months and to earn another 20,000 Scene+ point bonus when you spend at least $7,500 in everyday eligible purchases in your first year. Plus, get a 0.00% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (with a 1% balance transfer fee. Must apply by February 28, 2022.Additional benefits: No foreign transaction fees; travel emergency medical, trip cancellation, flight delay, lost baggage and accident insurance; rental car collision protection; hotel or motel burglary insurance; purchase protection and extended warranty; complimentary concierge service; VIP airport lounge access with Priority Pass.Income required: $12,000
Best credit card for gas at Canadian Tire
If you’re a Canadian Tire shopper, you’re probably already familiar with Canadian Tire money, the storied rewards program that dates back to the 1950s. Nowadays the program is digital and lets you earn CTM (Canadian Tire Money) but the exchange rate remains the same: $1 CTM is equal to $1 CAD. With the no-fee Triangle Mastercard you’ll earn 4% back on purchases at Canadian Tire and partner stores like Sport Chek and Mark’s/L’Equipeur, as well as 1.5% back on groceries (except at Walmart and Costco). And, when you fill up your tank at Gas+ or participating Husky stations, you’ll get 5¢ per litre in CT Money. Plus, you have access to other perks like the no-fee, no-interest financing program which lets you pay off larger purchases in installments.
Annual fee: $0Interest rates: Purchases 19.99%, cash advances 22.99%, balance transfers 22.99%Earn rate on gas: 5¢ per litre on gas purchased at Gas+ and participating Husky stations when you fill up Rewards on other purchases: 4% in CT Money on spends at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, Mark’s/L’Équipeur, Atmosphere, Party City, Sports Rousseau, Hockey Experts, L’Entrepôt du Hockey, and participating Sports Experts stores; 1.5% in CT Money on groceries up to $12,000 annually. Welcome bonus: NoneAdditional benefits: No-fee, no-interest financing; access to members-only events; personalized offersIncome required: None
Best credit card for gas at Costco
The Rogers World Elite Mastercard is a strong choice for Canadian Costco shoppers looking to earn cash back on their purchases without paying an annual fee. The flat earn rate of 1.5% cash back on purchases made in Canadian dollars and 3% back for those made in U.S. funds is generous–and keeps things simple. Included travel insurance and benefits like trip interruption/cancellation coverage, free Wi-Fi, and access to more than 1,000 LoungeKey airport lounges in over 100 countries round out the package. Newcomers get a welcome boost of $25 in cash back when they make their first purchase.
Annual fee: $0Interest rates: Purchases 19.99%, cash advances 22.99%, balance transfers 22.99%Earn rate on gas: 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases made in Canadian dollars; 3% cash back on eligible purchases made in United States dollarsRewards on other purchases:1.5% cash back on eligible purchases made in Canadian dollars; 3% cash back on eligible purchases made in United States dollarsWelcome bonus: $25 in cash back when you make a purchase within the first three monthsAdditional benefits: Travel insurance benefits including trip interruption and cancellation, out-of-country/out-of-province emergency medical, and rental car collision and damage coverage; access to more than 1,000 LoungeKey airport lounges in over 100 countries with Mastercard Airport Experiences; free Boingo Wi-Fi. Income required: $80,000 annual personal income or $150,000 annual household income.
Best credit card for gas at Esso
The PC Optimum program is one of the most popular rewards programs in Canada, due in part to its flexibility and ease of use that lets you redeem at the till. The no-fee PC Financial World Elite Mastercard offers accelerated earn opportunities at Shoppers Drug Mart and Loblaw-family groceries stores like No-Frills, Real Canadian Superstore and Fortino’s, and at more than 4,500 Esso and Mobil gas stations across Canada, where you’ll get at least 30 points per litre (rates vary by location). PC Optimum points can be redeemed at a rate of 10,000 points for $10 by simply showing your card at the till of a participating retailer. At Esso, you can redeem points for gas and car washes.
Annual fee: $0
Interest rates: Purchases 20.97%, cash advances 22.97%, balance transfers 22.97%
Earn rate on gas: At least 30 PC Optimum points per litre at Esso and Mobil
Rewards on other purchases: 45 PC Optimum points per $1 at Shoppers Drug Mart; 30 points per $1at Loblaws-family grocery stores and at PC travel; 10 points per $1 everywhere else
Welcome bonus: None
Additional benefits: Travel emergency medical insurance; car rental collision/loss damage coverage.
Income required: $80,000 annual personal income or $150,000 annual household income.
Credit cards vs. gas cards vs. rewards or points programs
You’re excused if your eyes cross just reading the versus title above. In fact, this is the most confusing aspect of choosing a gas card option, so let’s clear it up now.
Everyone knows what a credit card does. Chances are you have at least one in your wallet now. A gas card is a type of credit card that’s branded directly to one company, like Petro-Canada or Shell, and allows you to collect points or rewards only at their pumps. Then there are credit cards associated with points programs, like Scotia Rewards, Air Miles and PC Optimum, which allow you to collect and redeem for a wide variety of rewards beyond just gas.
Although there are endless variations for how you can use these products in tandem, what you need to understand is that, in general, you can save and/or redeem more rewards by using “regular” credit cards in tandem with points programs than you can using a gas credit card.
More on Canada’s best credit cards:
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