Branded content: Should Car Owners get a Fuel Credit Card?

30th Apr 2019 5:42 pm

Advice on getting a fuel card, the advantages and the options available in India.

With the rising cost of fuel, owning a vehicle has become quite expensive. People are looking for various ways to save on fuel expenses. And in such a scenario, credit cards with benefits on fuel have become quite popular. These cards help you save on the overall cost of refuelling your vehicle with advantages such as surcharge waivers, accelerated rewards, or benefits at specific fuel stations. Let us understand why fuel credit cards deserve a place in your wallet.

Benefits offered on Fuel Credit Cards

Fuel credit cards are similar to normal credit cards with additional privileges on fuel purchase. They may also pack in some other benefits on shopping, travel, dining and entertainment. Broadly, there are three types of fuel benefits that can be availed on credit cards-

Fuel Surcharge Waiver- Most credit cards come with this feature. Whenever you make a payment for fuel, surcharges are levied on the amount, which can range from 1 percent to 3 percent. If your card offers this benefit, a certain percentage or the entire surcharge is waived off. However, the percentage, maximum cap and the transaction amount varies from one card to another.

Accelerated Rewards on Fuel- Another type of benefit comes in the form of rewards. Fuel transactions get you higher reward points than any other category. For example, if a retail transaction gives you 1 reward point for every Rs 100 spent, fuel may get you 5 reward points for the same amount. This feature does not help you save money immediately, but the more you use your card for fuel, the more rewards you will accumulate. These rewards can be redeemed for vouchers and merchandise.

Co-Branded Offers- Banks also collaborate with fuel stations to offer benefits to their customers. Under the co-branded scheme, you will earn higher rewards when you refuel at partner fuel stations. You may also enjoy benefits in other ways such as direct discounts.

Top 5 Fuel Credit Cards

Though a lot of banks offer some form of benefits on their credit cards, there are some cards that stand out when it comes to fuel benefits. Here are some of them:

1. BPCL SBI Card

Launched in collaboration with Bharat Petroleum, this SBI Card is best suited for your fuel needs. It offers 4.25 percent value back on fuel. Separately, it includes 3.25 percent in the form of reward points and 1 percent fuel surcharge waiver. When you refuel at BPCL petrol pumps, you will earn 13X reward points; a maximum of 1,300 reward points can be earned in a billing cycle. An additional 0.75 percent value back is offered as per a mandate from the Government of India. Some other benefits of this credit card include:

  • 2,000 reward points as a welcome gift
  • 1 reward point for every Rs 100 spent
  • Accelerate your reward earnings 5 times on utility bill payment, grocery, movies, dining and departmental store purchases
  • Convert transactions above Rs 2,500 into instalments using the Flexipay feature
  • Get add-on cards for your spouse, children, siblings or parents

2. IndianOil Citi Platinum Credit Card

The Turbo Point program of this card, which has been launched by Citibank in association with Indian Oil, lets you make the most of your travel expenses. You can get up to 71 litres of free fuel every year through this credit card in the form of rewards across all categories. You will get 4 Turbo Points for every Rs 150 spent on fuel at Indian Oil outlets, plus the 1 percent fuel surcharge is waived off. The Turbo Points are equivalent to their value in rupees. Here are some other benefits of this card:

  • Get up to 15 percent off across partner restaurants of Citi Bank
  • Earn 2 Turbo Points per Rs 150 at grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Other categories offer 1 Turbo Point per Rs 150
  • Redeem the Turbo Points directly at merchant outlets or online partners
  • Make instant contactless payment using your credit card

3. ICICI Bank HPCL Coral Credit Card

HPCL and ICICI Bank have joined hands to offer this fuel-centric credit card. With this card, you can get 2.5 percent cash back and 1 percent fuel surcharge waiver when you make fuel purchases at HPCL pumps. Other benefits are listed below:

  • Earn 2 PAYBACK Points for every Rs 100 spent across all categories except fuel
  • 2,000 PAYBACK Points can be redeemed for fuel worth Rs 500
  • Avail minimum 15 percent saving on dining at partner restaurants
  • Get Rs 100 off on movie tickets on BookMyShow
  • Make secure payments as it is a chip and PIN-enabled credit card

4. Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card

This card offers 5 percent cash back on fuel purchases across all fuel stations. The maximum cash back is capped at Rs 200 per billing cycle. Other benefits offered by this card are:

  • Earn 1 reward point for every Rs 150 spent across all categories
  • Get 5 percent cash back on utility bill payment and telephone bill payment
  • Get complimentary Priority Pass Membership allowing access to 1,000+ airport lounges.
  • Enjoy a host of discounts across travel, shopping, dining and more
  • Make contactless payments without swiping or dipping the card in a POS

5. American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card

This is a premium credit card offering multiple benefits across various categories, including fuel. You can enjoy 0 percent convenience fee when you purchase fuel at HPCL pumps. Listed below are a few other benefits:

  • Get 1,000 Membership Reward Points on joining and 5,000 points on card renewal
  • Earn 1 Membership Reward Point for every Rs 50 spent across all categories except fuel, utilities, insurance and cash transactions
  • Redeem the reward points from the 18 and 24 Karat gold collection
  • Make contactless payment using this credit card
  • Enjoy 20 percent discount at partner restaurants

Fuel credit cards can be a great addition to your wallet. Once you get a fuel credit card, make smart use of it by putting all your fuel expenses on this card. Make regular bill payments and on time to make sure you do not incur debt.

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