Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® Review: Is it the Best Gas Card?

Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® Review: Is it the Best Gas Card?

The Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® can help you save if you fuel up at Shell stations and spend a lot on gas, but the fine print makes this card less flexible than other cashback credit cards.

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.

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Quick facts

  • Rewards: Save 10 cents per gallon on up to 20 gallons of gas. Plus, earn 10% in Shell rebates on your first $1,200 in non-fuel purchases per year, 2% in Shell rebates on dining and grocery store purchases each year (up to $10,000 in combined spending per year) and 1% in Shell rebates on all other purchases
  • Sign-up bonus: Save 30 cents per gallon up to 20 gallons, on your first five Shell fuel purchases, then 10 cents per gallon (on up to 20 gallons each time) thereafter.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 26.49% variable

Pros

  • Generous savings on gas purchases
  • Decent rewards for dining and groceries
  • Rewards are automatically applied to your account
  • Comes with automatic Shell Fuel Rewards Gold status

Cons

  • High APR
  • Restrictions apply to rebates
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • No traditional sign-up bonus
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Is the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® worth it?

The Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® is worth it for individuals who spend a lot of money at Shell stations each year. This card also offers a generous rate of return on dining and grocery purchases, theoretically on par with top cashback credit cards.

However, the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® is not nearly as flexible as other rewards credit cards when it comes to redeeming your points. In fact, all rebates you earn on spending are automatically applied as statement credits toward Shell fuel purchases made with your card. This means redemption is very easy, but you can’t choose how your rewards are redeemed.

This rewards credit card is mostly for people who want savings on fuel. If you’re after a rewards card that lets you earn points for redeeming gift cards or travel, you'll want to look at other credit card options.

Save 30 cents per gallon on first 5 Shell fuel purchases

The Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® does not really offer a traditional sign-up bonus, but you do get an initial boost in savings on fuel purchases.

With this limited time offer, you Save 30 cents per gallon up to 20 gallons, on your first five Shell fuel purchases, then 10 cents per gallon (on up to 20 gallons each time) thereafter.

Note that this bonus is good on the first five Shell fuel purchases you make before June 28, 2022. If you're able to max out this benefit, this promotion is worth up to $30 (including the $5 you would already earn as a Gold Status member).

Earning rebates

Where many rewards credit cards let you earn points or cash back that you can redeem for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, travel and other options, the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® offers rewards in the form of "rebates" on your spending, which are applied instantly and decrease the price of gas.

Cardholders Save 10 cents per gallon on up to 20 gallons of gas. Plus, earn 10% in Shell rebates on your first $1,200 in non-fuel purchases per year, 2% in Shell rebates on dining and grocery store purchases each year (up to $10,000 in combined spending per year) and 1% in Shell rebates on all other purchases.

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These rebates are automatically applied as statement credits to your account when you buy fuel at Shell and pay with your credit card.

Earn at Shell

As part of their ongoing rewards, cardholders save 10 cents per gallon (up to 20 gallons each time) on Shell fuel purchases.

However, half of this savings comes from being a Shell Fuel Rewards Gold member. You get instant Gold status as a card member, but consumers can earn this status for six months without having a co-branded Shell credit card just by signing up for the free loyalty program. From there, they can maintain Gold status by filling up at least six times during the final three months of their initial trial period.

Cardholders also get 10% back in Shell rebates on up to $1,200 in non-fuel purchases each year at Shell, which could include things like snacks and drinks. Consumers may struggle to truly maximize this benefit unless they spend considerable amounts on coffee, snacks on the go or other convenience items at Shell most days of the week.

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Remember that Shell rebates are instantly added to your account as statement credits toward Shell fuel purchases. If you do actually spend $1,200 per year on non-fuel purchases at Shell, this benefit is worth $120 per year.

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How much can you save on a commute with the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®?

We estimate that the average commuter will get about $51.65 in fuel savings with the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® in the first year. Here’s our math:

  • Average miles per gallon: 18
  • Daily miles commuted (to and from): 30
  • Annual days in office: 260
  • Total annual miles commuted: 7,800
  • Total annual gallons needed: 433.33
  • Gallons per week: 8.33
  • Gallons used for first five weeks: 41.65
  • Remaining gallons: 391.68

41.65 gallons x $0.30 special rebate = $12.50

391.68 gallons x $0.10 regular rebate = $39.17

$12.50 + $39.17 = $51.67 in savings

Earn on dining, groceries and other spending

The card also offers 2% in Shell rebates on dining and grocery store purchases each year.

However, the 2% rebate is only good for the first $10,000 you spend in those categories each year — after you hit the cap, you don't earn any rebates on dining and grocery store purchases.

If you max out this earning rate with $10,000 in combined spending per year (or $833 per spending per month), you can earn $200 in rebates toward fuel purchases each year.

How to redeem rebates

Rebates earned with the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® are automatically applied as statement credits toward Shell fuel purchases made with your card. This makes redeeming extremely simple — you don't have to wait until you reach a certain dollar threshold to redeem your rewards and you don't have to do any work to redeem them.

However, you don't have any other redemption options except for fuel rebates. Most other cashback credit cards let you redeem rewards for a variety of options, including statement credits against any purchase, gift cards and more.

How does the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® compare to other cards?

If you're on the hunt for the best gas credit card, you should take the time to consider general rewards credit cards and how they compare to co-branded fuel cards.

In reality, there are quite a few cashback credit cards that offer generous rewards on fuel and other purchases with a lot more flexibility.

Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

13.99%-23.99% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express makes it easy to rack up rewards on gas at any station, along with groceries and everything else you buy. Cardholders earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply.

While the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express only lets you redeem rewards for statement credits, you can apply those credits to any purchases on your account and not just fuel purchases. You will have to pay an annual fee with the card: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 (Worse)
  • Welcome bonus: $300 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. (Better)
  • Cash back: Earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply. (Better)
  • Other benefits: Intro APR of 0% on purchases for 12 months, followed by an APR of 13.99%-23.99% Variable (Better)
  • Cash back redeemed as a statement credit
  • Terms Apply

Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® vs. Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

On Citibank's Secure Website

$0

13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

The Citi® Double Cash Card is popular among rewards enthusiasts due to its generous flat-rate rewards and the lack of an annual fee. Cardholders Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

With the Citi® Double Cash Card , cardholders earn the same rate of rewards on all their spending without having to worry about where they fill up gas or about rewards caps of any kind.

Rewards are good for statement credits, a check or a credit to a linked account once you have a rewards balance of at least $25. You can even turn your cash back into Citi ThankYou points with a minimum redemption amount of $1.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $0 (Same)
  • Welcome bonus: No bonus (Worse)
  • Cash back: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. (Better)
  • Other benefits: Intro APR of 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, followed by an APR of 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) (Better)

Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

$0

14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 14.99%-24.99% variable APR after that
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card also comes with $0 annual fee, and lets cardholders earn unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day with no limitations. New cardholders can also earn a One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

The fact the same rewards rate is offered on all purchases means you can use this card to fill up at any gas station you want.

How does it compare?

  • Annual fee: $0 (Same)
  • Welcome bonus: One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening (Better)
  • Cash back percent: 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day (Better)
  • Other benefits: APR of 0% intro on purchases for 15 months; 14.99% - 24.99% (Variable) APR after that (Better)

Should you apply for the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®?

When you consider all the limitations on the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®, it's hard to see this card as the best option for everyday spending. You may want to consider signing up in order to score discounts on fuel, but then again, you can earn $0.05 cents off per gallon just for having Gold status with Shell Fuel rewards loyalty program, and you don't need a Shell credit card for that.

The 10% rebate offered on up to $1,200 in non-fuel Shell purchases each year seems good in theory, but do you really spend $100 per month on gas station drinks and snacks? Perhaps you do, but that's worth considering before you choose this card.

At the end of the day, you're probably better off with a different cashback credit card for fuel purchases and everything else you buy.

Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® FAQs

Where can I use my Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®?

The Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® is a Mastercard, so you can use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted around the world. Just keep in mind that a foreign transaction fee applies: 3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars.

Does the Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® have an annual fee?

The Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® doesn't charge an annual fee of any kind.

What credit score is needed for a Shell Mastercard?

The Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® is offered by Citibank, and they do not list a minimum credit score for applicants. However, the terms and conditions for this card do say that applicants who do not qualify based on their creditworthiness can be approved for the Shell Fuel Rewards store card instead.

How do I use Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard?

You can use your Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® for all your spending and bills in order to earn rebates toward Shell fuel purchases. Make sure you pay your bill in full each month to avoid paying this card's high variable APR for purchases.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here

The information related to Shell | Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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).