TrueEarnings Card from American Express 3% Rebate on Gasoline
The TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express is one of the cards that I use most often. I became a cardholder in 2004 shortly after I joined Costco. Since AMEX cards are the only credit cards accepted at Costco, I use the card mostly at Costco, even though I only earn 1% cash back for shopping at Costco with the TrueEarnings card. The percentage of cash backs Costco isn’t high, but we still get a very nice rebate check every year because we shop pretty heavily at Costco every month for everything from food to napkin, tissue paper, and other household items.
In addition to Costco, we also use the card at other places, but the usage is more depending on how much rebates we can get for charging with the TrueEarnings card. For example, the card allows us to earn 3% cash back at restaurants, which is pretty generous by the current standard. So every time we eat out, I use the TureEanrings card to pay for the meals. Unfortunately, AMEX isn’t as widely accepted as Visa or MasterCard, limiting the amount of cash backs we could earn. The good thing is the card also allow us to get 3% rebates on gasoline purchases, which we have taken full advantage of. With the regularly gas price at $4/gallon, it now costs more than $60 to fill up the tank. The 3% off is a pretty decent discount to have when a full tank of gas is costing so much. Remember, you can get the 3% discount at any gas station where AMEX is accepted, not just gas stations owned and operated by Costco. There is, however, an upper limit of $3,000 on the 3% rebates I can earn in a year, which is equivalent to an annual purchases of $100,000. I don’t think I will ever spend that much money on the card on everything in a year, let alone on gas and restaurants, so it’s not a concern to me at all.
Another benefits of the card is that it can earn me 2% cash back when shopping for airline tickets or other travel-related items. Since I don’t travel a lot, I didn’t earn much cash back in this category.
Of course, I can also use the TrueEarnings card on any other purchase and earn a standard 1% cash back, but since I have other cards that let me get a little more rebate than 1%, I only use the card on the 3% cash back categories and at Costco. As credit cad rewards programs are becoming less and less attractive these days, I think it is a good practice to use different cards when shopping at different places in order to maximize the total rewards. I have done pretty well with this strategy.
Overall, I like the AMEX TrueEarnings Card a lot. Not just because it allows me to earn handsome cash back when shopping for gas or eating out, but also that I can use it at Costco. Sure, any other AMEX card is accept at Costco. However, since this card is jointly issued by AMEX and Costco, my Costco membership number is printed on the card, eliminating the need to carry a separate Costco membership card.
The TrueEarnings Card has no annual membership fee and there’s no limit to the amount of cash rebates that can be earned.
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