Gas prices are on the rise, but whose fault is it? Better question, whose paying for it? The civil unrest that’s been plaguing Africa, mainly Libya, for the past month has seemed to ripple into American gas pumps. Gas prices have jumped seven cents overnight, and jumped a total of 20 cents in the past week.
There is no question that gas prices are on the rise — and dishing out cash offers very little relief to our wallets, but it seems that gas credit cards and loyalty programs are becoming more advantageous for consumers.
Gas cards can be used to earn discounts, and reward points that can lead to free gas. There is usually a high approval rate on these cards, and many include a 2-5% rebate on purchases. Now various membership-based stores like Sam’s Club and Cosco offer gas at cheaper prices. Other supermarkets and gas stations are following suit and are teaming up with credit card companies to offer consumers some relief at the pump.
In South Florida, Winn-Dixie, a popular supermarket chain, has agreed to a rewards program to in conjunction with Excentus Corporation, a fuel discount and consumer reward company. The deal is if customers use their Winn-Dixie Customer Reward Card, they can earn discounts at the 112 participating Shell gas stations in the area. Partnerships like this are jumping up across the nation.
“We believe cents-per-gallon fuel discounts are the ultimate consumer reward due to their broad consumer appeal and to the instant gratification consumers receive when they see the price at the pump roll down right before their eyes,” said Dickson Perry, founder and CEO of Excentus in a press release.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasted on Feb. 8 that the price of regular unleaded will average at $3.15 a gallon this year, which is a 37 cent increase from the previous year.Analysts say that prices are expected to rise to about $4.00 in the summer, and possibly hit $5.00 next year. According to AAA Midatlantic, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.15 on Friday, up from $3.08 on Thursday. A month ago the average price was $2.97, and a year ago it was $2.55.
In addition to the unrest in Africa, another reason gas prices are rising is due to American stock market uncertainty.The United States only gets approximately 1 percent of its oil from Libya, but the uncertainty as to whether we will get any oil has caused market analysts to raise the market price of fuel. “There is also significant uncertainty surrounding the forecast, with the current market prices of futures and options contracts for gasoline suggesting a 35 percent probability that the national monthly average retail price for regular gasoline could exceed $3.50 per gallon during summer 2011 and about a 10 percent probability that it could exceed $4 per gallon,” according to the EIA.
The rise in prices is due to many factors that are beyond our control, but we are the ones paying for it. In order to reduce the financial impact on our wallets, using a loyalty-based credit card can be the perfect solution.
Below are www.Credit-Land.com top rated gas and rebate cards.
1. American Express Blue Cash Card
2. Discover Open Road Card
3. American Express TrueEarnings Card
4. Chase PerfectCard MasterCard
5. Capital One No Hassle Points
6. Chase BP Visa Rewards
Tip: Always be mindful of the fine print!