[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]
A rough commute can really add to the stress of a long workday. Crowded trains and buses, stop-and-go traffic, and the cost of gas can all contribute to daily frustration, but might be unavoidable depending on where you live and work.
Some credit cards can help take the sting out of a bad commute and earn you rewards as you travel to and from your job.
Here are four credit cards that can make your tough commute better.
Rewards: Three points per dollar spent on travel; two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment; one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR):Variable 15.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: You can earn triple points on all your commuting expenses.
For Your Commute: You’ll earn three points for every dollar spent on travel, including public transportation, tolls, taxis, and gas. Points are redeemable for travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more.
Drawbacks: There is no sign-up bonus.
Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on travel and dining; one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee:$0 the first year, then $95.
APR: Variable 16.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: Qualifying commuting purchases earn you points for future travel redemptions.
For Your Commute: Travel purchases such as public transportation, taxis, and trains will earn two points per dollar spent. You can redeem points for many things, but you’ll receive an extra 25% redemption value when booking travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Drawbacks: Gas purchases are not included in the travel category.
Rewards: 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual US supermarket purchases; 2% cash back at US gas stations and participating department stores; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:$150 statement credit if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
APR:0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 24.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: This is a solid cash back card for gas rewards.
For Your Commute: This card earns 2% cash back at US gas stations, which can really add up if you drive to work every day.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend much at supermarkets, you won’t see as much value.
4. BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card
Rewards: 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for up to $2,500 in combined purchases every quarter; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash if you spend $500 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: You’ll earn an impressive 3% cash back on gas purchases at the pump.
For Your Commute:With 3% cash back at gas stations, your gas rewards will add up quickly. Plus, if you have a Bank of America checking or savings account, you’ll earn an extra 10% cash back every time you redeem your points for a bank deposit.
Drawbacks:If you don’t bank with Bank of America, you can’t earn the extra 10% cash back.
Choosing a Card for Your Commute
To take the sting out of your commute, you should choose a card that earns rewards on your specific commuting expenses. If you take the train or bus, you might want a card that rewards public transportation expenses. If you drive, a card that rewards gas purchases might be a better fit.
You’ll also need to choose the type of rewards you want. Miles, points, and cash back all have specific advantages and disadvantages, so it really comes down to choosing the rewards that work for your lifestyle.
If you plan to use your card beyond commuting expenses, you should analyze the other types of purchases you tend to make. Take your overall spending habits into account when you’re evaluating cards.
What Credit Is Required to Get a Card for Your Commute?
Cards with gas and travel rewards generally require good to excellent credit. You should make sure your credit is good enough before you apply, as a hard inquiry from a credit card application can ding your score a bit. If you aren’t sure about your credit score, check it for free at Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Citi ThankYou Premier card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and the Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
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