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Shell offers two credit cards that earn rewards on gas purchases and more. We’ll take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of each card, seeing whether either choice is right for you – or whether a credit card alternative is the better choice for you.
If you drive often and are looking for a way to reduce your gas expenses every time you are at the pump, you may be on the lookout for a gas retailer credit card that provides benefits. Luckily, Shell gas stations offer a solution that can save the constant drain on your bank balance with two cards: The Shell Fuel Rewards Card and The Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard. In this article, we’ll cover some of the many benefits you can receive from putting this credit card to use when you fill up, while also covering some of the drawbacks and offer alternative credit cards that may be a better choice when you’re looking to earn rewards at the gas station.
Overview | Shell Credit Cards
To begin, you’ll sign up for Shell’s store-branded credit cards (both issued by Citibank) by applying in-store or online. Approval is either instantaneous or takes 7 – 10 days (depending on your creditworthiness). Once you are approved for a Fuel Rewards credit card, you will be automatically enrolled in Shell’s Fuel Rewards program.
Essentially, the store-brand Shell credit cards rewards are applied at the pump, reflected in Fuel Rewards/savings per gallon after swiping your Shell card. Also, the percentage-back perks you earn (Shell Rebates) are only viable at participating Shell locations.
Shell Fuel Rewards Card
The basic credit card, the Shell Fuel Rewards Card can only be used for purchases made at Shell locations, including at the gas pump or inside the Shell station on non-fuel items. That being said, The Shell Fuel Rewards Card comes with the following benefits:
- Save 10 cents/gallon at Shell gas stations (up to 20 gallons)
- Earn 10% Shell rebates (up to $1,200 Shell non-fuel purchases)
Additionally, Shell Fuel Rewards cardholders earn Instant Fuel Rewards Gold Status by signing up for the Shell Fuel Rewards Card. Gold Status enables members of the program to save at least 5¢ per gallon every time you fill up at the pump, including any grade of gas up to 20 gallons. What makes the instantaneous Gold Status so lucrative is that Silver Status (the step below Gold Status) only allows members to save 3 cents per gallon, therefore adding 2 cents/gallon. For normal Shell Fuel rewards members (not credit cardholders), this is the basic rewards tier available.
Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard
The Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard is the next tier of store-branded cards offered by Shell. The first notable benefit to using the Shell Mastercard is that you can use it at Shell and everywhere Mastercard is accepted. However, that’s not all. The Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard comes with the same benefits as the regular Shell Fuel Rewards Card (see above), but also includes:
- 2% Shell rebates at participating dining & grocery purchases (up to $10,000)
- 1% Shell rebates on all other qualifying purchases (excluding non-Shell branded fuel and purchases that you’ve already earned savings/rebates for)
Note that once you reach the $10,000 limit, the special rebate offer on subsequent purchases no longer applies.
|Shell Fuel Reward Card||Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard|
|Cash Back Benefits||Save 10 cents/gallon (up to 20 gallons) every fill-up|
10% Shell rebates (up to $1,200 Shell non-fuel purchases)
|Save 10 cents/gallon (up to 20 gallons) every fill-up|
10% Shell rebates (up to $1,200 Shell non-fuel purchases)
2% Shell rebates on dining & groceries (up to $10,000)
1% Shell rebates on all other purchases (restrictions apply)
|APR||28.74% (variable)||28.74% (variable)|
|Average FICO Score to Qualify||620 and above||620 and above|
The Drawbacks of Shell Credit Cards
The Shell Fuel Rewards Card and the Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard come with some significant drawbacks that may make you think again about including them in your wallet.
First, the standard APR on both cards is whopping 28.74%–even exceeding the standard for most store-branded credit cards. For those that are using these cards as a stop-gap measure to make ends meet, you may want to think again. If you’re late on making payments when the statement balance is due or rack up a substantial balance on these Shell cards, the fees will add up quickly, making it harder to pay down your balance.
Second, the Shell Fuel Rewards Card can only be used at Shell gas stations. If you decide to purchase gas at a different gas station that offers the best price for gas, this can put a damper on your spending habits. And while the Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard can be utilized anywhere that Mastercard is accepted, the rewards you receive are only beneficial if you decide to fill up at Shell locations for gas or non-fuel purchases.
Last, having the limit set for $.10 off of 20 gallons–or just $2 each time you fill up–may not be enough to fill your tank for larger capacity vehicles.
How Shell’s Credit Card Compare to Alternative Programs
Before applying for Shell’s credit cards you should explore all-purpose cards that will offer more spending flexibility and favorable rewards programs. Three we recommend are:
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card
A cashback in all the categories is more exciting than a card where you have to think about how much you will earn back based on a category. Wells Fargo CashWise gives 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases. A $200 bonus can be earned if you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
New membership holders can avail the introductory 0% APR offer which is available for 12 months for purchases and balance transfers beyond which variable APR (16.24% to 28.24%) rates are applicable.
During the first year, you can also earn 1.8% cash rewards on purchases if you are using a qualified digital wallet such as Apple Pay or Google Pay for your transactions.
Cell Phone protection is an added benefit which can come to your rescue if your phone gets damaged or stolen. To be eligible for this benefit you should be paying your cell phone bill with a Wells Fargo consumer credit card. There is a $25 deductible and you can receive coverage up to $600 per claim and $1200 per 12 month period. To know more about cell phone protection benefit click on the link:https://www.wellsfargo.com/credit-cards/features/cell-phone-protection/
Auto rental collision damage and zero fraud liability benefit is also offered on Wells Fargo CashWise Visa Card.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited is an enticing card as it offers a 3% cash back on all purchases during the first year, up to $20,000 spent. After you reach this limit you continue to get cash back at 1.5% on every purchase.
No minimum limit on redemption, points don’t expire and no annual fee sweeten the offerings further for new users. The points collected can be combined with Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve and be redeemed for travel at a higher value through the Chase Ultimate Portal.
If you are approved for this card and you refer a friend (up to 5) then you can earn $100 cash back for each friend who gets approved for the Freedom Unlimited card.
Also for those who are concerned about APR rates, Chase Freedom Unlimited gives a 0% intro APR for a period of 15 months on purchases and balance transfers after that variable APR ( 17.24%–25.99%) apply.
Other card benefits that you can utilize are purchase protection, extended warranty, zero liability protection, and fraud protection.
Blue Cash Everyday from American Express
At first the annual fee charge for a credit card may dissuade you to consider this card but the benefits surely make this card worthy contender. The annual fee for Blue Cash Preferred card is $95. Upon enrolling, you can earn a $300 back by spending $1,000 on purchases using your new card within the first 3 months.
The offer does end at a welcome bonus, you can also earn cash back on various categories:
- 6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year thereafter 1% cashback.
- 6% cash back on select streaming subscriptions.
- 3% cash back on transit services such as rideshare, trains, buses, and tolls.
- 3% cash back at US gas stations
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
To know more about how to earn rewards in these categories, click here
In addition, to cashback you can avail the introductory APR offer, a 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR (15.24% to 26.24%) would be applied.
The cashback that is received in reward dollars form can be redeemed as per your preference, as a statement credit or gift card or could be used for shopping.
Some of the other shopping and travel protections accessible to the Blue Cash Preferred users is return protection, extended warranty, purchase protection, roadside assistance, car rental damage insurance, travel accident insurance, and fraud protection.
A good credit score is required to be eligible for these three cards.
The Bottom Line
All in all, if you plan to spend a lot of money on gas at Shell gas stations, then either the Shell Fuel Rewards Card or the Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard can help you save money at the pump. However, if you choose to fill up at locations wherever gas is cheapest, these credit cards may not be the best choice–especially since their rewards can only be spent at Shell. With significant drawbacks, as well as a limited rewards program, you may want to consider other credit card options that offer better rates and better incentives.