When it comes time to fill-up the gas tank, my go-to credit card is the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite. That’s because this card pays 4 percent cash back on gas purchases – more than any other rewards card on the market.
But I’m also on the lookout for the best deal on gas prices. Costco gas bars are usually the cheapest in town by about 5 cents per litre. However, Costco isn’t an ideal location for me – it’s all the way across town – plus the wholesale giant only accepts MasterCard, so using the Momentum Visa was out of the question. That means I never get to have my cake and eat it too.
Co-op membership rewards
All of this changed when a Co-op gas bar opened up in a convenient location nearby. Retail co-operatives serve more than 500 communities and more than 1.6 million active co-op members across Western Canada. A lifetime membership cost just $10 for a share in the local business. At the end of the year, members get cash back in proportion to the amount they’ve spent at the store.
The cash back that members earned from gas purchases last year worked out to 7.5 percent – or 8.5 cents per litre. My rewards are boosted even further by using the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite every time I fill-up at the Co-op gas bar.
While gas doesn’t make up a huge portion of our household budget, we average about $180 per month or $2,160 per year on fuel for our vehicles. Here’s how the cash back rebates work:
- Total annual fuel purchases = $2,160
- Cash back from Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite (4%) = $86.40
- Cash back from Co-op membership (7.5%) = $162.00
- Total savings = $248.40
Rather than driving around town looking for the lowest gas prices, I prefer to maximize my rewards by pairing a strong cash back credit card with a retailer that offers a solid discount with no strings attached. Of course, the price at the pump also has to be competitive with other retailers in town. Co-op is right in-line with the cheapest gas prices in my city:
Other programs, such as Canadian Tire, Safeway, and Costco, all come with certain ‘gotchas’ that limit the program’s effectiveness and convenience for customers. Canadian Tire pays you in its own currency, Safeway only offers fuel rewards when you purchase a certain amount worth of groceries, and Costco only serves members and is limited to MasterCard customers.
With Co-op, I’ve found a way to optimize my gas spending by combining a great cash back discount with my already best-in-market cash back credit card. The best part is that it’s easy to use – just enter my Co-op number each time I gas-up the car – and the gas bar is in a convenient location between my home and work.
Cash Back on Gas
The drop in gas prices over the past year has put some money back into the hands of consumers. By getting an extra 11.5 percent cash back on gas purchases, I’m cashing in even more today while also hedging against the next big price increase at the pump.