Thursday, July 9, 2009

ARCO Debit MasterCard Details

I keep hearing about this new Arco card on the Radio and thought I'd take a look at it.

Details on the Arco Website

Basically you get a Card that Links to your existing checking account and you can earn rewards.

Regular Card (No Annual Fee)
  • 1 point per PIN transaction
  • 2 points per Signature Transaction
Preferred Debit Card
  • $24.99 Annual Fee
  • 2 points per PIN transaction
  • 4 points per Signature Transaction

The Rewards 5000 points = $5.00 onto your Debit Card

The Break Down:

Points Dollars Spent Cash Returns
1 $ 5,000.00 0.10%
2 $ 2,500.00 0.20%
2* $ 2,524.99 0.20%
4* $ 1,274.99 0.39%

*Includes Annual Fee

Why would you get one? To save a $0.45 transaction fee for using your Debit Card.

However the FINE PRINT is interesting:

** Rewards are not earned for ampm, ARCO and non-ARCO gasoline brand purchases.
So you save $0.45 at ARCO for purchasing their gas and you do not earn any rewards for it.

Let's look at the card with the Annual Fees.

24.99/0.45 = 55.5

If you filled your car with Gas 56 times via debit you'd get your "money back" from the annual fee, however you'd have no rewards points.

Long story short:
This is probably a ploy to get people to sign up for the Preferred card and earn DOUBLE points. I would say most people are better off getting a Credit Card that gives them Cashback on Gas purchases. And if memory serves correct you can still use your Debit Card like a credit card at Arco, Make sure you press Credit before inserting your card.

There are actually some Arcos that accept Credit Cards, the one I've seen has a sign that says Credit Card price and Cash price.

There is a report that use of the Debit MasterCard can sometimes put a $100 hold for each gas purchase you do. It clears once the bank receives the sales draft. However that's still a $100 hold you may not expect when you've only filled up $30 worth of gas.

This still doesn't change my review.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hyundai Offers $1.49 Gas for a year Part II

Now we look at the savings/gallon you get from going with the $1.49 Gas card.



As we can see as the price of gas increases the gallons needed to break even decrease.
What we can now do is take this break even and multiply by your vehicles average MPG to see how many miles you'd need to drive to start gaining versus the $1000 rebate.

For example take $4.00 gas with a breakeven of 398 gallons.
Drive the Hyundai Vera Cruz @ 23MPG you will need to drive 9163 miles to start break even. Not bad.
Now if you drive a more efficient model.
The Hyundai Accent @ 35 MPG you will need to drive 13944 miles.

Hyundai Offers $1.49 Gas for a year.

According to the Hyundai website:

They are willing to give you gas for $1.49 a gallon for one year. They give you a special credit card so that you can use it anywhere.

As an alternative you could receive a $1000 extra rebate instead of the Gas Card.

Assuming you pay for the car so that you do not have any loans. We can compare which is better. (If you do need to get financing to obtain the car you may save more in interest payments by taking the $1000 rebate.)

$1000 @ 1.49/Gallon gives us 671.14 Gallons as the break even point.
So if we use 672 Gallons of gasoline per year we then are starting to benefit from the lower priced gas card as compared to the $1000 rebate.

Looking at the models that are eligible for the gas card and Hyundai's stated MPG.
We have the following breakeven table. Break even is set at 672 gallons.


MPG Miles

32 21504

33 22176

35 23520
Santa Fe

24 16128
Elantra Touring

31 20832

26 17472

23 15456

26 17472

Depending on your source the Average Annual Miles for vehicles is either 12,000 or 15,000. This analysis doesn't take into account savings from increased gas prices.