WAYNE, Pa.-- AskMrCreditCard.com has just published a study looking at the trends of gasoline rewards given by gas stations through their reward programs and their affinity credit cards.
The study looked at the reward programs and affinity cards issued by national brands and--according to AskMrCreditCard.com--found that the rewards and savings given to consumers have, for the most part, declined over time.
The study also found that there has been a move from offering fixed percentage rebates for gasoline purchases to a system whereby consumer savings are based on absolute savings. For example, a gas station might have allowed consumers to get a 5% cash back rebate when they purchased gasoline at their stations with their reward cards in the past, but at the moment, the consumer is more likely to earn 15 cents per gallon rather than the fixed percentage he or she used to earn.
This change in method means that consumers will earn a higher level of rebates as gasoline prices go down and vice versa.
"What we have also found is that gas stations are now increasingly adding tiers to their reward program. That means that the more you spend, the more your rebates will be. This tiering system is a new phenomenon," said Lily Voon, director of marketing and research for AskMrCreditCard.com. She called these changes "restrictions."
It also found a decline of the absolute level of rebates offered by cashback credit cards that allowed consumers to earn cash back on gasoline spending.
"Prior to the financial crisis in 2008, it was not uncommon for cashback cards to offer consumers the opportunity to earn up to 5% cash back on gasoline spending. Today, the figure is more like 2%," said Voon.
Click here to view the full report.