Hess Visa Platinum Credit Card Review - Earn 5% Rebates At Hess Wilco Stations
Hess Visa Platinum
Summary - The Hess Visa Platinum Credit Card will appeal to those who use Hess stations frequently for their gasoline purchases. With this card, you get 3% rebate on any purchases at HESS, HESS EXPRESS and WILCO HESS stations. As an incentive, you will earn 10% rebates for the first 90 days. But there are some fine prints that you should be aware. Let's dig into this.
Rebate Formula - The HESS® Visa® Platinum Card from Chase offers a high 3% rebate on gas, merchandise and food purchases made at HESS, HESS EXPRESS and WILCO HESS stations. For the first 90 days, you can earn 10% rebate. In addition to gasoline, you also earn 5% rebate for merchandise and food purchases. You earn 1% rebate on all other purchases. Rebates are automatically credited towards your next HESS purchases. Rebates expire in 1 year though that should not be an issue with cardholders who frequent HESS regularly. You can also earn unlimited rebates.
Caps On Rebates - The Fine Print - I told you earlier that there some fine prints. And it is regarding caps on the gas rebates that you earn. During the introductory period where you can earn 10% rebates on gas at Hess stations, you can only earn up to $40 in rebates for one billing cycle. That means you can only earn rebates for up to $400 in monthly gas spending at Hess. After the introductory period is over (where you earn 3%), you can only earn up to $12 a billing cycle (equals to $400 in monthly gas spend). There are no limits in the rebates you earn for other regular purchases.
Fees - The Hess Visa Platinum has no annual fee. You get an introductory 0% apr on both purchases and balance transfers for either 3 or 6 months depending on your credit and relationship with Chase. The apr is either prime rate plus 5.99%, 9.99% or 14.99%. The 2-cycle average daily balance method is used to calculate monthly balances.
Other Benefits - You get standard platinum credit card benefits like travel insurance of up to $500,000, purchase assurance and extended warranty protection.
Hess Visa Credit Card Peer Comparison
How does the Hess Visa Platinum compare with it's peers? Well, actually not very good. While 3% rebates is certainly better than 1%, it lags behind cards like Shell, BP and Marathon where you can earn 5% rebates. Furthermore, it imposes what is effectively a $400 monthly gasoline spending cap, where may put off folks who spend more than than that on gasoline every month.
So among it's peers, it does not pay the best gas rebates. What how does it fare against cards that lets you earn gas rebates at any station?
Hess Verus Costco Credit Card - The Costco credit card matches the Hess in terms of gas rebates (3%). But the advantage that the Costo card has over the Hess is that the 3% is applicable to all gas stations whereas Hess restricts you to Hess and Wilco stations. In addtion Costco pays you 2% for dining and travel expenses, so that is an additional perk that the Hess Visa does not have. So overall, Costco comes out on top.
Versus Amex Blue Cash EveryDay - The Blue Cash EveryDay pays a lesser rebate on gas than Hess (2% versus 3%). But unlike the Hess Visa, the card pays you 3% rebates on groceries and 2% on department stores as well. So while it pays less rebates on gas, the Blue Cash Everyday makes it up by giving better rebates on two other categories.
Versus Discover OPEN Road Card - The Discover OPEN Road Card offers less rebates for gas than Hess. It pays 2% rebates on gasoline and restaurant purchases, but caps the rebates you can earn on these categories to a monthly spend of $200! But Discover has an online shopping portal where you can earn between 5% and 20% with their online merchants. So the Hess beats it in the gasoline area, and the Discover offers other opportunities to earn better rebates.
Verus PenFed Gas Rebate Card - The PenFed VISA Platinum Gas / Cash Rewards Card to be honest, beats all cards on gas rebates. Why? Because they pay 5% rebates on gasoline and that applies to all gas stations, unlike Hess. They also pay 2% rebates on grocery expenses.
Hess Visa Credit Card - Middle of the Pack?
Pros - Based on the fact that you can only earn 3% rebates on gas (verus 4% or 5% from the better cards), we cannot find anything positive to say about this card.
Cons - We've just said it, but we'll repeat ourselves again. 3% rebates just does not cut it based on what their peers are offering.
Verdict - The Hess Visa Platinum will appeal to those who use HESS, HESS EXPRESS and WILCO HESS stations as you can earn 3% rebates at these outlets. I might also mention that this card used to pay 5% rebates on gasoline. But this changed (or rather downgraded to 3%) after the financial crisis. The problem is that with other cards offering better than 3%, we would suggest that you look elsewhere even if Hess or Wilco is the only station you use. A great card to get would be the PenFed VISA Platinum Gas / Cash Rewards Card, which allows you to earn 5% rebates on gas (two percentage points better than Hess Visa).
1. Press Release: Hess, Chase Offers New Credit Card With High Octane Rewards