Valero Credit Card Review

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If you regularly fill your car’s fuel tank with 50 to 75 gallons or more of gas each month and can’t qualify for an everyday rewards card that lets you earn more gas rewards, the Valero credit card could be a decent alternative. 

This private label “credit builder” card offers a large enough rebate on gas purchases to significantly trim your annual expenses—especially if you drive a gas guzzler or spend a lot of time on the road. However, occasional drivers and those with short commutes won’t get much benefit because Valero only offers rebates to cardholders who spend a certain amount.

Valero Credit Card

overall rating
2
Valero Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn up to 8 cents per gallon on fuel purchases
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.9
for Fees
3.0
for Rewards
2.4
for Credit
3.0

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Family Shopper Persona
    Looks for good quality at a fair price while buying for the household See more cards
    Family Shopper
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
    Road Warrior
  • Avatar for Brand Loyalist Persona
    Frequently shops with a particular merchant and wants to be rewarded for their loyalty See more cards
    Brand Loyalist

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.

Pros
  • A modest rebate for everyday drivers

  • A stronger rebate for heavy commuters and road trippers

  • Available to consumers who are building their credit

Cons
  • High interest rate

  • Can’t be used anywhere other than affiliated gas stations

Pros Explained

  • 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.

Cons Explained

  • 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. 

Redeeming Rewards

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. 

Customer Experience

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. 

Security Features

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.

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
Valero Credit Card
overall rating
2
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Fair - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn up to 8 cents per gallon on fuel purchases
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. AAA. "Gas Prices." Accessed Jan.16, 2020.

  2. DSRM Bank. "Credit Card Agreement - Terms and Conditions." Page 4. Accessed Jan. 16, 2020.