Wawa® Credit Card review: Running on empty

Woman smiling as she pumps gas at a gas station Woman smiling as she pumps gas at a gas station Image:

In a Nutshell

The Wawa® Credit Card offers money off gas purchases at Wawa stores. Unfortunately, no other transactions earn rewards, and $60 is the max amount that cardholders can earn in a given year.

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Pros Cons
Save 25 cents per gallon for the first two billing cycles up to 100 gallons per billing cycle Low ongoing rewards rate (5 cents per gallon) after the first two billing cycles up to 100 gallons per billing cycle
No annual fee $60 annual rewards cap
No additional rewards

What you need to know about the Wawa® Credit Card

If you live on the East Coast, you may be a fan of Wawa gas stations and convenience stores. I happen to have a soft spot in my own heart for Wawa’s hoagies and smoothies. But should you be a fan of its credit card? Here’s what it has to offer.

Credit on gas purchases

During your first two billing cycles with the Wawa® Credit Card, you’ll earn a credit of 25 cents per gallon up to 100 gallons per billing cycle at Wawa gas stations. After that, the credit drops to 5 cents per gallon up to 100 gallons per billing cycle.

While the introductory offer could offer some real value, the ongoing 5 cents per gallon is unimpressive — especially because it’s capped at 100 gallons per billing cycle. Plus, there is an annual cap of $60.

A general-purpose cash back card that offers rewards on all purchases would be a better choice. Or if you’re a big commuter, gas cards that offer a percentage of your transaction back (as opposed to subtracting cents per gallon) may be a better choice.

For instance, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 3% back on eligible gas purchases at U.S. gas stations (not including superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs).

Additionally, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers 4% cash back for eligible gas purchases for the first $7,000 spent per year on gas, then 1% after that. Cardholders will earn 1% cash back for gas purchased at superstores, supermarkets, convenience stores and warehouse clubs other than Costco.

The Sam’s Club® Mastercard® offers 5% cash back on the first $6,000 per year spent on gas, then 1% after that. This cash back offer excludes gas purchases at wholesale clubs other than Sam’s Club, certain supercenters and supermarkets.

With these cards, you can earn cash back at a range of gas stations, while the Wawa® Credit Card will benefit you only at Wawa fuel stations.

Limited rewards potential

Besides gas, Wawa has developed a loyal following because of the various food options inside its stores like sandwiches, smoothies, milkshakes and coffee.

That’s why it’s unfortunate that Wawa doesn’t offer any sort of a cash back incentive for purchases made inside its convenience stores. If it did, I could see this credit card offering more value. And while it may be obvious, it should be noted that you won’t earn rewards (not even 1%) for any purchases you make at grocery stores, restaurants or anywhere else.

If those restrictions don’t hamper your rewards potential enough, Wawa puts the final nail in the coffin by including an annual $60 cap on its credit card rewards. The lack of an annual fee doesn’t really make up for any of this.

Track your purchases and make payments online

Like most credit cards, the Wawa® Credit Card offers online account management to its cardholders. You can use the company’s online portal to stay on top of your transactions and pay your credit card bill.

Wawa promotes the fact that this would also allow you to track your gas purchases separately from other budget categories. But most online budgeting tools can put credit card transactions into separate budget categories, so this seems like an attempt to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist for many people.

Who this card is good for

The Wawa® Credit Card may not be the best option for many. The introductory offer of 25 cents off per gallon for the first two billing cycles up to 100 gallons per billing cycle could help you earn a few bucks. But after that, this card would provide very little value.

If you’re going to add a credit card because of a big introductory gas rebate, you might consider picking one that offers healthy ongoing credits as well. For instance, the BP Visa® Credit Card offers 25 cents per gallon for every $100 spent at BP in the first 90 days until Sept. 30, 2019. After the first three months, the BP Visa® Credit Card continues to offer 10 cents per gallon on gas at eligible BP gas stations; 3% back on groceries; 1% back on all other purchases.

Wawa needs to up its game if it wants to compete with cards like this or any of the top-notch gas cards available today.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.