Review: CITGO Credit Card

Gas station retailer CITGO, in partnership with Synchrony Bank, offers a credit card with a simple rewards formula — you get 5 cents off every gallon of CITGO gas when you purchase with the card. That’s not bad, but you may be able to do even better. See our overview / review below to see what we mean:

The first thing we will direct your attention to about this card is that it is a CITGO credit card only — it is not accepted anywhere else. We are always wary of credit cards tied to a single retailer, because you open up a new credit line that could hurt your credit score and you can’t use it widely. If your credit history is shaky, this is especially a concern.

However, these cards can be worth it for the right rewards. As we mentioned, the CITGO credit card gives you 5 cents off per gallon of CITGO gas you buy. It’s a straightforward reward, and a fairly generous one. But we think you can do better.

Here’s why: While the price of gas varies, the 5 cents off you get per gallon with this card is rarely if ever going to be more than a 2% discount. For example, if the price of gas is low at $2.50 per gallon, the 5 cents off equals a 2% discount. But, if gas is more like $3.25 per gallon, the 5 cents off becomes just a bit more than a 1.5% discount. That said, there are other credit cards on the market that offer you 2% or 3% rebates on gas purchases, and you can buy from any gas station you want, not just a single retailer. See our Gas Credit Cards page to compare the CITGO rewards with other cards in the category.

In addition, the CITGO credit card has a very high interest rate: 27.49%!!! If you EVER carry a balance on this card, it is highly likely that you will pay more in interest than you receive in rewards. And if you look at the other cards we mentioned that offer the same or better gas rewards, their interest rates are almost all lower than this card.

While the CITGO card offers a decent reward, we can’t recommend it once it is compared to the competition. However, if you still want it, you can apply via the online application here.