As fuel prices rise, gas rewards credit cards become more valuable. Shell offers two versions of its Fuel Rewards card, one with the Shell brand and one on the MasterCard network. In this review we look at both options and compare them to other gas rewards credit cards.
Shell credit cards have change a lot over the years. Back in the day they offered the Shell Saver Card. More recently it was the Shell Drive for Five® Card vs. Shell Platinum Select® Mastercard®. Today the Shell offers to gas reward credit cards: the Shell Fuel Rewards® Card and the Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®.
Citibank issues both cards. Both offer similar rewards to a point, but the MasterCard version stands out as the better deal. Still, are they worth carrying in your wallet, or are you better off with a gas rewards credit card you can use at any gas station? Let’s find out.
Shell Fuel Rewards® Card
The Shell Fuel Rewards Card is a Shell branded card. It is not part of the Visa or MasterCard network. As such, it can only be used at Shell. The rewards are mediocre, at best:
- Save $0.30/gallon on your first five fill ups (limit 20 gallons per fill up)
- After that, save $0.10/gallon every time you fill up (capped at $1,200 in fuel purchases a year.
The Fine Print
As with any financial product, it’s important to understand the details. With the Shell Fuel Rewards Card, there are several things to keep in mind.
First, the $0.10/gallon savings doesn’t all come from the card. Half, or $0.05/gallon comes from the card, while the other half comes from the instant Gold Status you earn with the card. Here’s how Shell explains the rewards in its terms and conditions:
“You get the benefit of two great reward programs with the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Card. You get 5 cents per gallon savings, up to 20 gallons, with instant Gold Status with your automatic enrollment in the Fuel Rewards® program offered by Excentus Corporation. You get an additional 5 cents per gallon savings, up to 20 gallons, plus the opportunity to earn Shell rebates, as a Shell | Fuel Rewards® Card Cardholder.”Shell Terms & Conditions Agreement
Second, this is not a cash back rewards program. Using the card at participating Shell gas stations reduces your cost of gas by $0.10/ gallon.
Third, the savings are not available if you use a mobile wallet to pay for the gas. So, for example, if you add the Shell Fuel Rewards credit card to Apple Pay, you won’t get the $0.10/gallon savings if you then use Apply Pay to make the purchase.
According to the terms & conditions: “Shell | Fuel Rewards® Credit Card transactions that occur via an electronic or mobile wallet may not receive rewards or rebates. “
Finally the card comes with an eye-watering APR of 28.74%. Needless to say, this card isn’t for you if you roll your balances over from month to month.
Shell Fuel Rewards® MasterCard®
The MasterCard version of the Shell Fuel Rewards card offers some significant advantages. First, it can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted, not just at shell gas stations.
Second, the rewards are richer. In addition to the rewards described above, the Shell Fuel Rewards MasterCard offers the following:
- 2% Shell rebates on your first$10,000 Dining and Groceries purchases (per year)
- 1% Shell rebates on other qualifying purchases
Keep in mind that these rewards are not cash back. They will be applied as credits against Shell purchases. For this reason, you’ll want to consider other gas rewards cards before making a decision.
Finally, the interest rate (APR) is the same as the Shell Fuel Rewards card, 28.74% as of this writing.
Comparing Shell Credit Cards to Gas Reward Cards
Frankly, I don’t like either option. I would opt for a cash back card offer either of these Shell gas cards unless you put tons of miles on your vehicle. You can earn 3% cash back or more with the best gas rewards cards, which makes for a better deal as gas prices rise.