Do gas cash back rewards apply to diesel purchases?

Any purchase made at gas stations qualifies for gas rewards – as long as they are coded as gas purchases

Cashing In with Tony Mecia

Tony Mecia is a business journalist who writes for a number of trade and general-interest publications. Every week, he answers readers’ questions about credit card rewards programs in his “Cashing In” column.

Ask Tony a question, or see if your question has already been answered in the Cashing In answer archive.

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My card offers cash back on gas purchase. Does diesel count as a 'gas purchase'?

Any purchase made at a gas station will qualify for gas cash back rewards as long as the purchase is coded as "gas" and your card offers cash back on "gas purchases."

If the gas station is coded as a grocery store or a convenience store, your purchase won't earn the extra bonus on gas purchases.

Expert Q&A

Check out all the answers from our credit card experts.

Dear Cashing In,

I just bought a new diesel pickup truck, and I have the Citi Costco Anywhere card. Does the 4 percent reward apply to diesel fuel used for transportation? – Jim 

Dear Jim,

You don’t hear a lot of talk about diesel fuel these days. Instead, you hear a lot about the rising interest in electric vehicles and hybrids. But if you look at the numbers, there are actually a lot of diesel vehicles being sold in the United States.

Diesel cars often get good mileage and are much different from the exhaust-belching diesel vehicles of the 1970s.

See related: Best cards for gas purchases 

Diesel vehicles and credit card rewards

If you have a vehicle that runs on diesel, you should know that the same rewards you collect in the category commonly known as “gas” also apply to diesel.

When it comes to rewards on gas (and diesel), credit card companies don’t pay attention to what type of fuel you are actually pumping – whether it’s regular unleaded or premium unleaded or diesel.

Instead, they look at where the charge is made, and if it originates from a gas station, and you have a card that gives extra reward points at gas stations, you earn the extra points.


Tip: Most gas stations will allow you to earn 4 percent cash back on gas purchases using the Costco Anywhere Visa card by Citi, unless they are coded as a convenience store, superstore or grocery store. Read "With Citi Costco card, which gas stations earn 4 percent cash back?" to learn more.

Maximizing card rewards at gas stations

If you have a card that earns extra points at gas stations, you can maximize reward points by using your card to buy things at gas stations that you wouldn’t ordinarily buy – not just gas.

For instance, you might consider buying gift cards at a convenience store with gas pumps because it likely will be regarded as a gas-station purchase and qualify for extra points. Prices at convenience stores tend to be more expensive than at grocery stores, but if you are trying to decide between the two locations, you might consider going to the one that earns you the extra points.

There are a number of cards that give extra rewards at gas stations:

Should you have one of those cards, rest assured that purchases at gas stations – even if you are buying diesel – should earn the bonus rewards.

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Updated: 02-23-2019