Shell Drive for Five® Credit Card: Should You Use It to Pay at the Pump?

Shell Drive for Five® Credit Card: Should You Use It to Pay at the Pump?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Citi is an advertising partner.

We can't recommend the Shell Drive for Five® Card for anyone, since even a generic credit card with gas rewards can produce significantly better rewards. That, coupled with extremely high interest rates, makes this an overall weak offer.

Review: Is the Shell Drive for Five® Card Any Good?

The Shell Drive for Five® Card fails to impress, especially when compared to top-notch gas credit cards. With most credit cards that are partnered with either a store or airline, it's not uncommon to see rewards rates that are 3% or higher. We calculate that the Shell Drive for Five® Card provides a 2.14% rewards rate for the average consumer. This rewards rate will vary slightly, since it is dependent on the price of a gallon of gas. Put simply, you get $0.05 back on every gallon you buy.

The card's most noteworthy benefit is the bonus: Get 25¢ off every gallon* of Shell fuel for the first 2 months after your account open date. instead of the standard $0.05. That can work out to a rewards rate of over 10%. Though fantastic, this will wear off fairly quickly, and the card will fall back to mediocrity.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that the Shell Drive for Five® Card is a so-called store card. It is not affiliated with any of the card networks, like Visa or Mastercard, and therefore cannot be used to pay for things outside of Shell stations. This is in stark contrast to other gas credit cards. For example, the BP credit card provides their customers a Visa credit card as an option, so you could use it at other brands' gas stations.

Bottom Line: We recommend consumers look at generic gas and cash back credit cards, instead of the Shell Drive for Five® Card. Even if you shop exclusively at Shell stations, other credit cards can provide you with significantly better rewards.

Shell Drive for Five® Card Benefits & Features

The Shell Drive for Five® Card offers the ability to Get 5¢ off every gallon*. you buy at their affiliated gas stations. Get 25¢ off every gallon* of Shell fuel for the first 2 months after your account open date. Because the returns you get on each gallon of gas are fixed, your rewards rate will increase the cheaper gas becomes. The calculation works in the following way:

  • Buying 12 gallons of gas will get you 12 x $0.05 = $0.60 in rewards
  • Those 12 gallons would currently cost $34.56
  • Therefore, the rewards rate comes out to $0.60 / $34.56 = 1.7%
  • If the price of those 12 gallons falls to $30, your rewards rate increases to $0.60 / $30 = 2%

The Shell Drive for Five® Card is a store card, which means you can't use it anywhere else — just at Shell gas stations. However, because it's issued by Citibank, there are a few benefits you can take advantage of, including Citi® Identity Theft Solutions. This provides dedicated customer service and assistance in the event the primary cardholder becomes a victim of identity fraud.

Beware of the "ATM Cash Access" benefit that is listed on the card's website. This refers to a transaction known as a cash advance, and it's almost always a bad deal for consumers. Cash advances come with this fee: 5% of each cash advance; $10 minimum. These high fees and interest charges make the transaction extremely expensive, and not worth it. For example, assuming you pay off the cash advance at the end of the month, taking out just $100 may end up costing you $12.46.

The regular purchase APR on the Shell Drive for Five® Card is also extremely high — See Rates & Fees. That is approximately 11 percentage points higher than the average credit card APR, which currently sits at about 14%. If you pay for gas with the Shell Drive for Five® Card, make sure you pay off your bill in full at the end of the month.

How Does the Shell Drive for Five® Card Compare to Other Gas Credit Cards?

If you're thinking about getting the Shell Drive for Five® Card, know that you have other options available at your disposal. There are plenty of other good gas credit cards to consider, that can be more rewarding both at the pump and when you're going about your everyday purchases.

Shell Drive for Five® Card vs Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

  • On Citibank's Secure Website

The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is currently one of the most rewarding gas credit cards. You can get 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases. When you consider long-term rewards, this card blows the Shell Drive for Five® Card out of the water. On top of that, you can use the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi to shop at other stores. You get 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases

The one catch with this card is that you must be a Costco member to apply. The membership costs $60 per year. If you think of it as an annual fee for the card, you may need to spend just $6,000 on the card and it will pay of itself.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi Highlights

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter, 3% on restaurants & travel, 2% at Costco & Costco.com, 1% on all other purchases
  • Read Full Review

Shell Drive for Five® Card vs Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express doesn't quite match the Shell Drive for Five® Card's rewards rate on gas purchases, however, it more than makes up for that with its other features. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express provides 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. Beyond that, the card also provides you with a nice welcome bonus. You can get $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, unlike the Shell Drive for Five® Card also gives customers the freedom to use the card at any U.S. gas station.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Highlights

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. Rewards are redeemable as statement credits toward your purchases.
  • $0 annual fee (See Rates & Fees)
  • $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Read Full Review

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click See Rates & Fees.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).