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    Wawa Reins in Credit Rebates

    As gas process climb, retailers decrease percentage kick backs.

    WAWA, Pa. -- Retailers are continually looking for ways to provide customers with savings at the pumps as prices continue to spike. For many c-store operators, increasing credit-card rebates is a proven approach.

    Whereas the industry rebate standard was approximately 3 percent in previous years, more retailers have pushed it to 4 and 5 percent in recent months. With the new national average resting a $4.10 per gallon, the savings on a typical fill-up can reach $8 for two to three months and $4 ongoing.

    While all retailers seem eager to provide the savings, some, like Wawa, are scaling back to the 3 percent margin. Christine McCarthy, a spokesperson for Wawa, told the Press of Atlantic City a 3 percent rebate will pay as much to holders of its Visa card as they received a year ago with a 4 percent rebate on lower fuel prices.

    "Wawa has seen an increase in our Wawa Visa card applications because, as gas prices have increased, using a gasoline rewards card is seen as a great way to save money," McCarthy told the paper.

    Wawa also scaled back the period for its introductory 10 percent rebate from 90 days to 60 days, which falls in line with industry standards, reported the paper. At Wawa stations in Egg Harbor and Hamilton, N.J., last week, pump operators estimated that perhaps one in 10 customers use a Wawa-brand credit card, the paper reported.

    The highest standard gas rebates currently are 5 percent, available with a Hess Visa, BP Visa, or Shell MasterCard.

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