The next time someone walks up to you with a clipboard and a credit card offer at the pump, just say “no.”
That’s the message behind a new report from CreditCards.com. The site says credit cards that you sign up for at a gas station charge an average of 24 percent APR versus an average 15 percent with general purpose cards. These cards typically charge significantly more interest than general purpose cards tend to with little incentive to sign up in the first place.
For the most part, gas station credit cards offer a temporary discount on gas prices and a break on the price per gallon, but the value a discount like that offers depends on how much a gallon costs. For example, a 10-cent discount is more meaningful when fuel is less expensive, but the proportional price break shrinks when gasoline becomes more expensive because the discount doesn’t increase accordingly.
According to CreditCards.com, the number of gas cards that are available is shrinking. On the upside, those cards also tend to come with instant approval and can function as a credit building tool for someone with a low score.