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How Much Do Shell Cards Really Save on Gas?
Credit Card Applications » Research » Studies » Gas Savings » Shell Credit Cards: The Truth about Gas Savings

Shell Credit Cards: The Truth about Gas Savings


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Updated: March 6, 2014
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Shell Credit Cards: The Truth about Gas Savings

With the ongoing rise in the price of gasoline, drivers are continually in search of the best ways to save. One of the most popular gas credit cards out there is the Shell card – we know because people come to Credit-Land.com searching for it every day.

It stands to reason, I guess, that a gas-station branded card would give the best savings on its own fuel –after all, don’t gas companies want to reward their most loyal customers? However, it pays to do the math on these things, because credit card savings don’t always make sense the way you think they should. It just may be that a company who thinks they have your loyalty could pull a fast one on you by making you think you’re getting the best deal, when there are better ones to be had.

Let’s look carefully at those ever-popular Shell cards and find out whether they’re really the best deal for a Shell-loving driver. When calculating estimated savings, we used the following data to illustrate average American household spending over three months:

  • Gas - $570 ($190 per month)
  • Supermarkets - $1,530 ($510 per month)
  • Travel - $1,200 ($400 per month)
  • Entertainment - $621 ($207 per month)
  • Department stores - $990 ($330 per month)
  • TOTAL - $4,911 ($1,637 per month)
Study: Compare Shell Credit Cards with Other Cards

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More information about each of the cards:

The Shell Cards

Shell offers two different consumer credit cards that offer savings on fuel fill-ups at Shell stations; the Shell Platinum MasterCard and the Shell Drive for Five Card. Both of them require good or excellent credit for approval. If your credit has a few dings and scratches, you probably won’t be approved for either of them.

Shell Drive for Five Card Shell Drive for Five Card

Minimum Credit Rating:

Good / Excellent
Money Savings for Shell Drive for Five Card
Intro APR on Purchases: None
Intro APR on Balance Transfer: Balance Transfer Unavailable
Regular APR: 24.99%
Annual Fee: $0
Money Savings for Shell Drive for Five Card

The Shell Drive for Five card gives 5 cents off per gallon on Shell gas when you buy at least 45 gallons of Shell gas per month.

Given that the average car gets mileage of 20-25 miles per gallon, and the average driver puts about 1,000 miles on his/her car each month, that might be tricky.

Take a look:

Miles driven per month: 1,000, Miles per gallon: 20, Gallons of gas per month: 50

Miles driven per month: 1,000, Miles per gallon: 25, Gallons of gas per month: 40

Depending on which side of the average you fall in your driving habits, and how fuel-efficient your car is, you may or may not qualify for that five-cents-per-gallon savings.

The Drive for Five card doesn’t give cash back in other categories, just gas, so it’s best for someone only looking for fuel savings. The APR is 24.99 percent, so cardholders will want to pay off their balance each month to avoid interest charges, and it offers zero liability for unauthorized charges, pay-at-pump convenience, and online account management that gives you 24/7 access to budgeting tools and card information.

If you buy 50 gallons of gas per month at an average price of $3.80 per gallon, then you’ll save $2.50 each month and $7.50 after three months.

Shell Platinum MasterCard Shell Platinum MasterCard

Minimum Credit Rating:

Good / Excellent
Money Savings for Shell Platinum MasterCard
Intro APR on Purchases: None
Intro APR on Balance Transfer: None
Regular APR: 23.99%
Annual Fee: $0
Money Savings for Shell Drive for Five Card

How about the Platinum card?

The Shell Platinum MasterCard offers up to 20 cents per gallon off Shell gas, but look at this deal a little more closely: your savings depends on how much you charge to the card each month.

You’ll only get that 20 cents per gallon discount if you make more than $2,500 in “qualifying purchases” each month – things like groceries, gas, utility bills, and other basic household expenses – according to the Shell website – “purchases made for personal, family, or household purposes.”

Here’s the amount you need to spend on these items, and the corresponding amount you’ll save on Shell gas:

  • $500-$999.99 - 10 cents off per gallon
  • $1,000-$2499.99 - 15 cents off per gallon
  • $2500 or more - 20 cents off per gallon

If you make more than $2,500 in qualifying purchases during one month, and you buy 50 gallons of gas at $3.80 per gallon, then you’ll get $10 off per month, which is about 5.26% back on your spending of $190. With average supermarkets spending at $510 per month, department store spending of $330, and entertainment and travel at $607 added to the gas spending on the card each month you get 15 cents off per gallon as reward. Over three months, that will come to $22.5 in savings. To get the full reward amount you’ll need to spend $900 more on the card each month.

The APR for the Shell Platinum MasterCard is one percent lower than the Drive for Five cards, at 23.99 percent.

More gas credit card choices

Here are a few different choices that will work for people with good and excellent credit. It’s important to take your credit score into account when applying for any credit card – being turned down is no fun, plus it can affect your score. Remember that the Shell credit cards are only available to people with good or even excellent credit – some of the following cards might as well be a better match for you if your credit score is in good standing.

Do you have perfect credit? Good credit? There’s a gas rewards card that will work for you – read on to find out which one might be your best match.

Discover it® Discover it®

Minimum Credit Rating:

Excellent
Money Savings for Discover it®
Intro APR on Purchases: 0% (14 months)
Intro APR on Balance Transfer: 0% (14 months)
Regular APR: 10.99% - 22.99% Variable±
Annual Fee: $0

Discover offers outstanding cash back credit cards for people with good credit. Their customer service department is known for being extremely friendly, so even if your credit history has a few dings, try calling them up and explaining your situation – we know people who’ve been approved by Discover by doing that.

The Discover it® is the original cash back bonus card, and the rewards program is pretty straightforward.

Earn 1% cash back on all purchases, with 5% cash back in rotating categories.

Every year, gas gets the rotating category treatment at least once, for a three-month period. During that time, just sign up for the extra cash back and you can earn five percent back on gas, for up to $1500 worth of purchases. That’s $75 back in your pocket (or your account, or as a gift card) for spending $500 a month on gas. Discover usually does this promotion during the summer – high season for road trips!

When you get one percent cash back, you’ll save $1.90 on that average spending of $190 per month on gas, but with the potential for five percent back seasonally, during the three-month period you’ll earn $28.50 back on average gas spending.

You’ll also get one percent back on all other purchases – about $43 over three months – so this card puts a good chunk of change back in your pocket when you use it to make most of your household purchases.

More benefits of Discover it®:

  • No annual fee
  • Zero percent intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 14 months
  • Increase your cash back reward by shopping through the ShopDiscover mall, where you’ll earn from five to twenty percent back at participating retailers like UGG, Banana Republic, Teleflora, Fandango, Saks Fifth Avenue, and many more.

If this sounds good to you (it does to me!) you can apply directly through our site. Once you’ve got the card, give one of those famously friendly Discover operators a call if you have any questions or concerns. They’re really nice – I promise.

Upromise World MasterCard® Upromise World MasterCard®

Minimum Credit Rating:

Excellent
Money Savings for Upromise World MasterCard®
Intro APR on Purchases: 0% (12 billing cycles)
Intro APR on Balance Transfer: 0% (12 billing cycles)
Regular APR: 12.99% or 20.99% (Variable)
Annual Fee: $0

If your credit is good then consider the Upromise World MasterCard®. This card gives three percent cash back on gas at Exxon or Mobil locations. You will earn 1% back on all other gas stations. In addition, if you dine at participating Upromise restaurants you will earn 4% back. Visits to movie theaters will bring you 2% cash back and you will earn 1% back on other purchases. You can rack up your cash back if you shop through Upromise.com – purchases through their site will bring you 10% back.

The special feature of this card is a cash bonus of $50 when you use your card first time. You don’t necessary have to buy gas, any purchase will bring you those $50.

Over three months, with average spending of $4,911 and only one percent cash back on all purchases and two percent cash back on entertainment, you’ll get almost $105.32 back. If you take advantage of other cash back offers, you can increase your earning considerably.

What else does this Upromise World MasterCard® offer?

  • No annual fee
  • Zero APR promotional period on purchases and balance transfers

Let me tell you about just one more card, in case you’re still looking, and in case your credit is truly impeccable – this last card is the best of the best, for the most exclusive customers only:

Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card

Minimum Credit Rating:

Excellent
Money Savings for Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card
Intro APR on Purchases: 0% (12 months)26
Intro APR on Balance Transfer: 0% (12 months)26
Regular APR: 12.99% - 22.99%26 (Variable)
Annual Fee: $026

This card is the cream of the crop - only a select few can get approved for it. Yes, this card is only for people with perfect or near-perfect credit, but I still want to tell you about it. It’s just that good.

With this card, not only will you get cash back on gas, you’ll get cash back on everything you buy. Paying no annual fee, you get:

  • 5% back every quarter in must-have categories
  • 1% back everywhere else

You should enroll in must-have category every quarter to have that additional 5% cash back otherwise you will earn only 1% cash back.

How much will you save on gas with this card? Taking those same numbers from before – 50 gallons of gas per month at $3.80 per gallon – you’ll spend $190 and the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card will give you $1.90 back per month.

What if you also spend $1,447 on other purchases each month? Dial up that cash back to a whopping $14.47! There are no caps on how much cash back you can earn, either. Other perks? How about:

  • An introductory zero percent APR on purchases for 12 months26; after that your APR will be 12.99% - 22.99%26 (Variable) depending on credit history
  • A one-time bonus of $100 after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months
  • Additional cash back on purchases at over 400 retailers in the Citi Bonus Cash Center online mall

Driving the Savings Home

As you can see, when it comes to gas credit cards, there are a lot of options out there. Some cards give savings only on gas, some give bigger savings in categories like supermarkets but still give good cash back on gas.

Which card is best for you depends what you’re looking for. The total cash back shown in each of this table will depend on how exactly you use the card – how much you spend and whether you pay off the full balance each month or incur any other fees.

If you drive a car, you really should have a gas savings credit card in your wallet. Which one? That’s up to you! The Citi card is great if you’ve got the credit to get it and Shell cards can be good options for those who are loyal to Shell stations. Citi Dividend and Capital One Quicksilver give a nice $100 cash bonus in the first three months, and Discover has those five percent cash back rotating categories.

Choose your card, and your savings can help you get a little further along the road.

± Click apply for Terms & Conditions.
26 See the Citi card terms and conditions online.

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