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Gulf Credit Card Review
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

expand textIntroduction
close textIntroduction

If you live in Pennsylvania, you will see Gulf stations with their well-known orange signs. Gulf has been around since 1901 until 1985 when it merged with Standard Oil of California. Since 1993, it has become a subsidiary of Cumberland Farms. Despite this, the brand has survived and at the moment, Gulf Oil Limited Partnership (GOLP), which is a subsidiary of Cumberland Farms has rights to its brand and services their stations.

The Gulf Credit Card is designed for folks who fill up their gasoline at Gulf Stations and hopefully keep them loyal. But how does this card stack in the competitive world of gas credit cards? Let us find out.
 

expand textReward Features
close textReward Features

Rewards - The Gulf credit card allows you to earn 3% rebates when you make any purchases at Gulf gas stations. For all other regular purchases (except gasoline at any other stations), you earn 1% rebates.

Fees - There is no annual fee for this card.

 

expand textPeer Comparison
close textPeer Comparison

Comparing this card with it's peers is a tricky proposition because many of them have revamped and changed the way they give rebates to cardholders. It used to be that gas station cards gave cardholders a certain percentage of cash back when they used the card at their own gas stations. This is no longer the case. The majority of gas cards now allow their users to save cents per gallon on their gasoline purchases.

Here are some examples. Chevron's card used to pay 4% cash back. But now, you will save 10 cents per gallon. Exxon Mobil has a MasterCard that allows you to save 15 cents per gallon at their stations. Shell's MasterCard allows you to save anywhere from 10 cents to 20 cents per gallon depending on how much you spend a month on the card. BP's Visa allows you to save 15 cents per gallon.

So as you can see from the above examples, comparing this to it's peers is really like comparing apples and oranges. It is actually more appropriate to compare this card to cash back cards that pay gas rewards. Here are a few relevant comparisons.

Gulf vs Amex Blue Cash Everyday - The Amex Blue Cash has changed to a non tier formula and is now called the Blue Cash Everyday. It pays 2% rebates on gasoline purchases, which is lower than the 3% Gulf pays. But the Blue Cash Everyday also pays 3% rebates on groceries and 2% on department store purchases. So while the Gulf beat the Blue Cash in gasoline rebates, it loses on the grocery and department store rebate category.

Barclays Rewards MasterCard - The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard is Barclays rewards cards that is targeted at folks with average credit. Since many of you are looking at gas card because you do not have very high credit scores, this card is a real viable alternative to compare to. You earn 2X points for gas (at any station), utilities and grocery purchases. This card is better than Gulf in that you can earn reward points for gas purchases at any station as well as other categories like utilities.

expand textOpinion and Verdict
close textOpinion and Verdict

The Gulf credit card will obviously suit those who pump their gas exclusively at Gulf stations. If you are one of those folks, then this card is specifically designed for you. You also get a nice 3% rebates for any purchases (gas or not) at Gulf stations.

Update - Barclays, the issuer of this card is no longer issuing this card nor accepting any new applications. I think the reason really is that this station is only available in Pennsylvania and I doubt it is really a profitable partnership.

If you are considering this card, chances are that you either fill your gas at Gulf and/or have average or bad credit and are trying to get a gas card to rebuild your credit. If the later describes you, then the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard is one alternative to consider. You get 2X points for gas, groceries and utilities (something which not many card offers).