As gas prices surge, a majority of credit card issuers may be missing an opportunity, according to a survey report published this week by the New York market research firm Corporate Insight Inc.
Corporate Insight did the survey in July, polling 12 major issuers that it tracks. Only four offer "gas-focused" rewards programs, according to the report, which was made available to the firm's clients Aug. 12.
Those four issuers — Barclays PLC's U.S. card division, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Discover Financial Services — offer 21 gas-focused credit cards, according to Corporate Insight. Doug Miller, the banking and cards senior analyst at Corporate Insight and the report's author, said in an interview Thursday that such cards are either cobranded with gas retailers or "pretty much have 'gas card' in the title" and branding, like Discover's Open Road card.
Other issuers also offer increased points or cash-back on gas purchases as part of more general credit card rewards programs. But Mr. Miller said the survey did not count cards that include gas purchases as one of several ways to earn rewards. "We felt that these issuers, by attaching these types of [gas] purchases to other cards, are almost muddling the message" and "missing an opportunity" while consumer demand for gas-related rewards increases.
Issuers would get immediate benefits from gas-rewards cards, he said. Gas-focused rewards cards are "a great way to attract more clients and more spending from existing clients."