Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
Anyone who lives near a Valero, Shamrock, Diamond Shamrock, or Beacon gas station and purchases at least 50 gallons of gas each month should be able to get some value out of this gas card. However, cardholders who regularly buy at least 75 gallons worth of gas each month are the best fit for the card; the rebate doubles for heavier spenders, which makes it competitive with some of the best gas rewards cards.
Consumers who could use some help filling out their credit profile (so they can eventually qualify for better cards) are also good candidates for the Valero card—as long as they pay the monthly balance in full. Don’t count on earning gas rebates, though, if you rarely spend more than $100 a month on gas. You’ll only earn a rebate if you buy at least 50 gallons per billing cycle.
A modest rebate for everyday drivers
A stronger rebate for heavy commuters and road trippers
Available to consumers who are building their credit
High interest rate
Can’t be used anywhere other than affiliated gas stations
- A modest rebate for everyday drivers: You won’t be buying any big vacations or funding shopping sprees with the rewards you get from this card. But if you typically buy between 50 and 74.99 gallons worth of gas each month, you could earn up to $36 back per year. That’s more than you’d earn if you used a general cash-back card that offered just 1% back.
- A stronger rebate for heavy commuters and road trippers: If you drive a large car, take frequent trips out of town, or drive so far to work that you spend a good portion of your day on the freeway, you could get even more value from the Valero card. For example, if you regularly buy 75 gallons’ worth of gas each month, you could earn $72 back by the end of the year. That’s a couple of bucks better than what you’d earn if you used a general cash-back card that offers 3% back on gas.
- Available to consumers who are building their credit: If your credit history is thin or you don’t have good to excellent credit, your odds of getting approved for the Valero card may also be higher than if you set your sights on a gas card from a major bank. Most everyday rewards cards with gas bonuses cater to cardholders with good to excellent credit. Private label credit cards, by contrast, can be easier to get.
- High interest rate: Like many private label credit cards, the interest rate on the Valero card is high, making it a bad card for carrying a balance. Some private label gas cards charge even higher rates. However, that doesn’t excuse the Valero card: If a card charges well above 20%, it’s extremely expensive to carry a balance on.
- Can’t be used anywhere other than affiliated gas stations: Since it’s a private label card, you can only use this card at Valero gas stations and affiliated stations, such as Shamrock, Diamond Shamrock, or Beacon. That can be a big drawback if your wallet is getting heavy and you’re trying to rely on fewer cards. With a general rewards card, by contrast, you can use it almost anywhere and earn bonuses on a variety of purchases.
Earning Points & Rewards
This card pays out “Gas Rebates” based on the number of gallons of gas you buy per billing cycle. You’ll earn 4 cents per gallon if you buy 50 gallons and 8 cents per gallon if you buy at least 75 gallons. Gas Rebates automatically appear on your billing statement.
This rewards structure may shut out some borrowers: If you buy less than 50 gallons of gas in a billing period, you won’t earn a single cent back that month.
If you have a big commute, take a lot of road trips, or just use your car for all your local errands, you’ll earn back at least some of your gas money. For example, if you typically budget around $120 to $130 a month for 50 gallons or more in gas, your 4-cent-per gallon rebate could net you significantly more rewards than a card that offers just 1% cash back.
If you buy at least 75 gallons worth of gas each month (around $193, based on January 2020 average U.S. gas prices), the Valero card’s rewards program becomes a lot more competitive, offering a few dollars more cash back on gas than a card with a 3% gas bonus. For example, if you charge 90 gallons a month to the Valero card, you’ll earn 8 cents back for every gallon, netting you $86.40 by the end of the year. If you used a cash-back card that offered a 3% bonus on gas instead, you’d earn slightly less. According to AAA, at the time of publishing, the average U.S. gas station charges $2.57 per gallon. If you paid that rate every time you visited a gas station and bought around 90 gallons a month, you’d earn $83.27.
The Valero card’s 8 cent rebate is also significantly more generous than the rebates offered by a number of private label gas credit cards.
Valero caps how much you can earn annually at $105.60. So if you typically buy more than 110 gallons of gas per month, you may want to supplement with a different card.
Collecting rewards on the Valero card is simple: You’ll receive an automatic rebate that’s applied as a statement credit to your monthly bill.
Receiving statement credits is the only option for redeeming your rewards, though. So if you’d like more choice in how to redeem your earnings, you may be better off with a general rewards credit card.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Valero calculates the amount you earned based on the number of gallons you purchase, rather than the amount of money you spent. So, to get the maximum possible value out of your card, continue to seek out the cheapest gas you can find from Valero-affiliated stations. A gas app, such as GasBuddy, can help you scout gas prices in your area.
If more than one member of your household drives, you may also want to consider adding them as an authorized user so that you’ll have an easier time meeting the card’s monthly threshold for earning rewards.
The Valero card is issued by Valero’s private bank, DSRM National Bank. Unlike many credit card issuers, DSRM does not offer 24/7 customer service, although you can manage your account via Valero’s “SelfServe” website. If you’d like to speak to a customer service representative, you need to call during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm.
The Valero card does not offer any of the advanced security features large card issuers offer, such as fraud monitoring or identity theft detection. In fact, while nearly all major card issuers won’t hold you liable for fraudulent purchases, DSRM will hold you liable for up to $50 of those charges, which is the legal limit, if those charges occur before you notify DSRM of the loss.
Valero Credit Card's Fees
The Valero card’s fees are standard for a private label credit card.