With gas prices rising sharply over the past year, consumers are searching for the best deal on fuel credit cards.

As many consumers are now finding, the key to cheaper gas might just be your credit card rewards program.

A recent study shows that American consumers are quickly realizing that many credit card cash back reward programs are offering additional cash back rewards of fuel purchases. Some credit cards are offering between 3% and 5% back when you use your credit card to buy gas.

This can reduce the cost per gallon as the cash rewards will quickly mount up. Credit card companies often offer higher reward rates for gas purchases because they are able to charge larger interchange fees to gas stations. Interchange fees are the fees paid by the retailer to allow customers to pay by credit card.

The charges tend to be higher for gas stations due to the increased risk of theft. It is fairly typical that in the event of credit card being stolen, the thieves will make a gas station their first stop and fill up on petrol. This is because they won’t need to see the attendant or show identification and it is easy to steal up to $100 worth of fuel.

In addition to earning cash back on fuel purchases with their credit card, some credit card users also consider specific branded cards if they are likely to use the same local gas station when filling up their vehicle.

Shell offers a 5% rebate on any gas purchases at their stations with their Shell MasterCard credit card, and also has a business fuel card available. BP also offers a selection of credit cards through Chase Visa which offers up to 5% cash back of gas purchases at BP stations. Exxon Mobil gives customers of their credit card accounts, issued by CitiBank, a 15 cents per gallon rebate on gas purchases.

Consumers can also get great deals from other card issuers as many credit cards offer additional perks for gas purchases made at any gas station. American Express offer Blue Cash Preferred cardholders 3% cash back on all gas purchases while Costco’s TrueEarnings card offers a return of 3% on gas purchases up to a maximum of $3000 per year.

As with all credit card decisions, it is important to remember that all credit cards are not the same and a little research and comparison can help find the best option for your individual needs. By looking at the whole picture, including annual fees and reward limits, you can find the best option for saving money on gas.