Discover Gas Card Limiting Cash Rewards

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Is it me or have many of the 5% cash back credit cards begun to scale back their promotional offers? First, AT&T Universal Cash Rewards gets shut down (many of their customers never received the letter). Then, Citi Dividend Platinum Select decides to end the 5% promotion (I never got that letter) and scaling it down. Now the Discover Open Road Card, which offers 5% on gas and automobile related purchases, will be reducing their rewards as well. Now, the Discover Gas Card will only return 5% for the first $1,200 in gas and automobile purchases and 1% thereafter.

So, it’s not as drastic as the AT&T Universal Cash Rewards (card terminated) or the Citi Dividend Platinum Select (card offers completely revamped), but you now are limited in how much of a reward you’ll be able to get.

So what options do you have now if you want to get 5% cash back on gasoline? Well the Discover Gas Card is still a good option but you might want to get the Citi Driver’s Edge Card which will get you 6% at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations for a year (3% after) plus other automobile related perks (like $1 per 100 miles driven).

Revised Terms and Conditions (from the application):

REWARDS: Earn unlimited cash rewards on all purchases. Earn a full 5% Cashback Bonus on your first $1,200 in annual gas and auto maintenance purchases. In addition, earn a full 1% on all other purchases after your total annual purchases (including gas and auto maintenance) exceed $3,000; other purchases that are part of your first $1,500 earn .25% and other purchases that are part of your second $1,500 earn .50%. Combined gas and auto maintenance purchases in excess of $1,200 earn Cashback Bonus at the same rate as other purchases.

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “Discover Gas Card Limiting Cash Rewards”

  1. Ashley says:

    The Discover Gas card has always had this cap of $1200, or $60 in rewards, which is why I never used the card unless I capped out all my other gas reward cards.

    Here is the best option currently for gas, groceries and drug-store purchases since Citi change the reward structure of its cards. This card gives 5% on all these type of purchase with an annual cap of $500. One downside of this card is that rewards are distrubuted once a year.

    • Lark says:

      The Chase Freedom Visa card has a MONTHLY cap of $600 per MONTH for 3% cash back on all the categories you named.

      After maxing out for 2 months with the Freedom card, the cash back from that would exceed 5% of $500 gained from the Direct Rewards Card.

  2. samerwriter says:

    My Chase Rewards Visa is still offering 5% back on gas and grocery purchases (up to a limit of $300 per year, I believe).

    • Lark says:

      If that’s true, that means that the Discover Open Road card is 4 times better than your Chase Rewards Visa card.

    • Lark says:

      If that is true, then the Discover Open Road card is approximately 4 times better than your Chase Rewards Visa. The addition of bonuses on groceries closes the gap a little but not much. Ultimately, you’re still limited to $15 in rewards with your card while you can earn as much as $60 from the Discover card as far as what can be gained from getting 5% back.

  3. Rob Carlson says:

    Take $40 out of your ATM and get your gas at the cash only Excel station on Taylor Avenue, which saves you a few cents per gallon because they don’t have to pay any credit card service fees. Likewise for buying a chunk of your groceries at any of the local farmer’s markets.

    • Lark says:

      I’ve heard about mysteries fees for using credit cards to purchase gas at gas stations as well as alleged fine print disclosing such fees on the pumps, but I have yet to notice them.

  4. Sun says:

    The letter I got was not with the statement, but a separate letter. After the downgraded reward program takes effect next Friday, I will switch to my Chase card for 3% cashback on gas, not great but better than the 2% from Citi.

    • Lark says:

      I think the Chase card is the best out there right now. You MIGHT be able to further capitalize with other cards, but maximizing profit with them is mostly more complicated and limiting. As a result, there is a risk of actually increasing spending for the sake of increasing returns.

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