Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® review: Big savings on gas from Shell

Woman pumping gas at nightImage: Woman pumping gas at night

In a Nutshell

Drivers could save 10 cents per gallon with a Shell credit card — but there’s a catch. You might end up with the Shell Fuel Rewards® Card, which is a closed-loop card that you can only use at Shell stations, or you could get the regular Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®. You won’t know which Shell credit card you qualify for until after you apply. But the good news is neither card charges an annual fee.
Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.
Pros Cons
Big savings on gas Gas rebates expire
Easy to redeem savings Can only be redeemed at Shell gas stations
No annual fee Don’t know what credit card you’ll get when you apply

6 things to know about the Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®

1. You don’t know which card you’ll get until after you apply

Citibank offers two Shell credit cards that are nearly identical, except for one key difference.

  • The Shell Fuel Rewards® Card is a closed-loop credit card that can only be used at Shell gas stations.
  • The Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® is an open-loop credit card that can be used to make purchases not only at Shell gas stations, but also at other stores.

Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose which Shell credit card to apply for. You submit an application for a Shell card account and Citi decides which of the two cards you’ll get.

2. You can save money on gas

Both of Citibank’s Shell credit cards offer an initial discount of up to 30 cents per gallon on your first five Shell fuel purchases, but there’s a limit of 35 gallons per purchase.

After that, the Shell cards will knock off 10 cents per gallon (up to 35 gallons) on Shell gas purchases. That includes a 5-cent discount from your Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® or Shell Fuel Rewards® Card, plus another 5-cent discount through your complimentary Gold Status in Shell’s Fuel Rewards® program. And if it’ll take more than 35 gallons to fill up your tank, you can split it into multiple purchases.

These gas discounts will be taken off the price you pay at the pump.

3. You’ll earn gas rebates for purchases inside Shell gas stations

You’ll earn a 10% rebate on the first $1,200 you spend each year on nonfuel Shell purchases. This includes things that you might buy inside a Shell gas station, like candy and soda.

Unlike gas purchases, the rebates won’t reduce the purchase price. Instead, you’ll receive a discount as statement credit for purchases at Shell stations.

4. Only one of the cards earns you gas rebates at restaurants and grocery stores

The Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® offers a 2% rebate on the first $10,000 you spend on purchases each year at restaurants and grocery stores and a 1% rebate on other qualifying purchases.

It’s worth noting that you won’t receive the 1% rebate for purchases you make at gas stations that compete with Shell.

And remember, the Shell Fuel Rewards® Card is a closed-loop card, so you can’t make purchases or earn gas rebates anywhere other than at Shell gas stations.

5. Automatic redemptions make it easy to save on gas

It takes very little effort to redeem your gas rewards.

You should see the rebates you’ve earned automatically show up as statement credit toward your Shell purchases in later billing cycles.

6. Shell credit cards charge no annual fee

If you’re trying to save money on gas, having to pay an annual fee doesn’t make sense. So you’ll be happy to know that the Shell credit cards don’t charge an annual fee.

Whether you qualify for the Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® or Shell Fuel Rewards® Card, you won’t have to pay an annual fee — which means you can keep all the money you save on gas.

Understanding your points and redemption options

There are two types of gas rewards you could earn: discounts at the pump and rebates on nonfuel purchases.

Shell Fuel Rewards® must be redeemed at Shell gas stations. But when you fill up at a Shell gas station and pay with your Shell card, you’ll instantly save at the pump via discount or rebate.

If you have the Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard®, you can earn rebates at restaurants, at grocery stores, with nonfuel Shell purchases and on other qualifying purchases. The only rebates you’ll earn with the Shell Fuel Rewards® Card is on nonfuel purchases at Shell stations, which is much more limited.

Regardless of how you earn them though, the rebates you earn with either card will be applied as a statement credit in future billing cycles against any Shell purchases you’ve made.

Who this card is good for

The Shell Fuel Rewards® Mastercard® is great for people who drive on a regular basis and typically fill up their tank at a Shell station. But if you don’t live near a Shell gas station or you spend more time in Ubers or Lyfts than your own car, you might not get as much value out of this card.

If you’re looking for your first gas credit card, you might want to learn more about how they work.

Not sure this card is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you don’t fill up at Shell gas stations very often, you might be more interested in finding one of the best gas credit cards of 2021.

About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.