How I’m earning 9% cash back on gas from July-September 2022

Getting 9% back on gasoline on my purchase at Buc-ee’s.

In June, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to apply for the Capital One Venture X card. Since I would hit Chase’s 5/24 rule by getting approved for this card, I decided to go ahead and hit 5/24 by completing the Chase trifecta: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Chase Freedom Flex. This way, I could apply for other cards in peace without worrying about hitting 5/24 and disqualifying myself from Chase cards.

I applied for the Flex last month. Its introductory offer was 5% cash back for the first year. Then, for July–September 2022, one of the 5% cash back categories is at gas stations.

In theory, then, the cash back should be 10%, right? Well, actually, this is where it gets interesting.

Why it’s only 9% back instead of 10%

For both deals, it is an additional 4% cash back on top of the standard 1% back on all purchases. So, rather than two 5% bonuses stacking on top of each other, it’s actually the standard 1% cash back stacked on the intro offer’s additional 4% cash back stacked on the quarterly additional 4% cash back. That makes a total of 9%. Chase was nice enough to add an FAQ about this scenario to be perfectly clear about why it’s this case.

Chase’s explanation of why it’s 9% cash back rather than 10% cash back.

At least they were upfront about it, and I’m definitely glad the bonuses stack!

An unfortunate proviso

If you’re like me, one of my favorite gas stations is Costco. The gas prices are typically the lowest in the area and they have high-quality fuel that’s good for your engine, which they call “detergent gasoline”. However, this deal unfortunately won’t be possible to enjoy at Costco gas stations. It all boils down to the Chase Freedom Flex being a Mastercard instead of a Visa. I used to go to Costco and use my Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card since it came with 2% back at gas stations. With this amazing 9% back offer, I’ll definitely be avoiding Costco since the amount saved with cash back is most likely greater than the amount Costco saves me compared to the next cheapest gas station.

Instead, I’ll probably be using my Walmart+ membership that I get through my Amex Platinum. It comes with a fuel perk that lets me get gas at Sam’s Club even if I don’t have a Sam’s membership, as well as giving me a 10¢ discount at Exxon gas stations. It’s almost always true that the Sam’s Club gas station’s pricing is about the same as Costco’s or at least within 10% of the pricing of Costco’s gas. Plus, the 10¢ discount at Exxon is no pithy amount either; it usually makes the pricing about the same as Costco or Sam’s Club.

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