At the end of last year, I reported that we were the proud owner of a new camper which will become our main source of vacation time starting this upcoming summer.
A few days ago, I started having a mild panic attack when I looked at the gas price situation and some of the surrounding news. In Michigan, gas prices have gone up around 30 cents over the past couple of weeks. It seems every year the gas price rise starts earlier and earlier in the year, and the projections get a bit higher for the summer projections.
This year, people are already talking about $5 gas. Thinking about the cost associated with towing a camper, it seems that any ‘savings' we are getting on paying for cheap campground accommodations would be negated by higher gas prices. The vehicle we tow with gets about 20MPG regularly, and I'm assuming that will drop significantly given that we'll be towing another several thousand pounds.
I finally calmed down when I realized a few things:
- We usually do a good amount of driving anyways, so while there will be additional costs due to the reduced mileage and potential higher gas prices, the difference won't be as bad as I'm probably thinking.
- I can take this as an opportunity.
This second aspect actually calmed me down and got me a bit excited.
See, right now, we pay for gas and many other regular costs on our Citi Dividends Master Card. This is a cash back rewards card that offers 1% cash back on all purchases, and 5% cash back on rotating categories that change every three months. Since there is no annual cost for the card and we pay our balance in full, this is just ‘extra' cash, which we've used to buy new TVs and other ‘luxury' items that, in essence, become ‘free'.
So, back to the opportunity.
What this gives me is an opportunity to see if there is a better card that I can use for rewards on gas purchases. Because, I know there are rewards cards all over the place, but because I've been satisfied until now with the simple 1%, I haven't done much digging.
But, since I know I'll be spending more on gas than ever before, it's definitely time to start looking.
Here are the things I'll be looking for:
- Cash back rewards. I want to keep it simple. No ‘points' or anything else or having to ‘spend' the rewards with a certain group of retailers. Show me the money.
- Rewards for gas greater than 1%. Unless I can find this, there's really no value in changing cards or adding another card.
- Not tied to one particular station. Our camping journeys will likely take us all around the state and maybe even to other parts of the country. I don't want a card tied to one particular station since I have no assurance of knowing what station we'll be fueling up at on any given trip.
- No annual fee. I've never paid for the privilege of using a credit card, and I'd prefer not to begin doing so now.
So, savvy readers, do you know of any credit cards that fit the bill? Anything else I should be looking for?