Photo courtesy Ahmad Ardity on Pixabay.
Traveling by personal vehicle is very convenient and people can avoid the large crowds in the crowded public transportation system. There is no need to stand in the queue either for tickets or board the bus or train. But there is a drawback associated with owning a vehicle and that has come to the fore with the continuous rise in the fuel price which has now started to eat into the monthly budget of the common man. This is where the fuel credit card comes into use.
Fuel credit cards are cards that can be used for purchasing fuel and there are many offers associated with these cards. These credit cards are useful for people who travel often or travel long distances. They can avail of many benefits that can not only help them to save money but obtain other perks too. Some of the benefits are:
Every time you make a transaction at a fuel station using a credit card you get reward points, and after accumulating a certain number of points you can pay for the fuel corresponding to the points accumulated. Fuel transactions get higher reward points than other categories and these rewards can be accumulated for vouchers and merchandise.
Most credit cards have a transaction fee which is known as a surcharge. When you make payment for the fuel you have purchased, a surcharge will be levied on the total amount and it can be from 1 to 3 percent of the amount. When your credit card waives off the surcharge your expenditure gets reduced and this can help in bringing down the cost. The transaction amount varies from one card to the other.
Some banks partner with the fuel stations to offer benefits to the customers who refill at these places. In this co-branded scheme, you get to earn higher rewards when you refill at these fuel stations. There are other discounts too.
It is possible to save on petrol and diesel costs using co-branded credit cards and it helps when you are loyal to specific brands and spend a high amount on fuel. If you have BPCL co-branded card you have to ensure that your refueling happens at the same company’s outlet. For the Indian Oil co-brand card, your refueling should happen at the company’s outlet only.
How to select the best fuel credit card
There are many fuel credit cards in the market and to get the maximum benefits you have to consider the following factors-
Fees and Charges-
When applying for a fuel credit card ensure to compare the fees and charges of the different cards available online. A card may offer you many discounts but the fees like the joining fees, annual fees, renewal fees, and other charges could be very high. This may not prove to be worthwhile compared to the rewards you earn with your purchase.
Fuel spending pattern-
Apply for the fuel card if you have a car or a bike, but before doing that just consider the amount you will be spending on fuel every month. If the amount is significant then it is good to get the fuel card otherwise it is of no use and you may end up paying other fees amounts like the annual fees or the joining fees.
Always consider a card that offers a complete waiver on the fuel surcharge.
Redemption of rewards-
Look out for a card that has easy redemption of rewards and points and there is not much hassle.
The card that matches your spending pattern-
While availing of a credit card you should be disciplined enough to make all the payments on time. But you should look at the interest rate also in case you are not able to pay in an emergency situation. Look for a fuel card that offers the best interest rates instead of one that offers many rewards, but has a high-interest rate. The high-interest rate may prove to be too costly on the outstanding amount and will eat away the benefits of the rewards that you collect.
How can you apply for a fuel credit card?
You can apply for the fuel credit card online or offline by visiting the nearest branch of the bank from which you want to get the credit card. All you require is the relevant documents, and the bank representative will help you in filling the application form. He will also check your eligibility and help you wherever required.
What is the eligibility criterion for a fuel credit card?
- The applicant should be in the age group of 18 to 60 years.
- He should be a resident of India.
- He should be a salaried or self-employed individual.
- He should have a good CIBIL score.
The top five credit cards are-
1) Indian Oil Citi Credit Card
Annual fee: Rs 1000+ Taxes (There would be no annual fee on spend of Rs 30000 or more in a membership year).
The card offers you good rewards be it fuel, grocery, or any other spend. The welcome gift is given in the form of turbo points. If your work requires a lot of commuting then this card is a good fit for you. Some of the features are-
- 4 Turbo points for every Rs 150 spent on IOC fuel stations.
- The Turbo points earned can be redeemed through SMS for free fuel at IndianOil outlets.
- 2 Turbo points are earned per Rs 150 spend on groceries and supermarkets.
- 1 Turbo point for every Rs 150 spent on other things such as dining, shopping, etc.
- 4X Turbo points on every Rs 150 spent at the featured partner store.
- Get instant loans on cards.
- Cardholders do not have to pay any annual fee if they spend a minimum of Rs 30,000 annually.
- A discount of up to 15% at partner restaurants across the country.
- 250 Turbo points on the first purchase within 30 days.
- Earn up to 71 liters of free fuel annually(terms and conditions apply).
2) BPCL SBI Card Octane
Annual fee: Rs 1,499 + applicable GST( Fee waiver on annual spends of Rs. 2 lakh).
This is the premium version of the BPCL SBI card and you can enjoy a value back of 7.25% on fuel and lubricants purchases at the BPCL petrol pumps. You also get a fuel surcharge waiver of 6.25% + 1% on every transaction of Rs 4000 at BPCL petrol pumps. The other features and benefits are-
- 25 reward points per Rs. 100 spent on BPCL fuel, lubricants and Bharat Gas (website and app only) spends.
- 10 reward points on every Rs. 100 spent on dining, departmental stores, grocery, and movies(Up to 7500 reward points per month).
- 1 reward point per Rs 100 spent on other retail purchases (except Mobile wallet upload and non-BPCL fuel spends.)
- Minimum fuel surcharge waiver of Rs 100 per statement cycle per credit card account which is equivalent to an annual savings of Rs 1200.
- 6000 bonus reward points equivalent to Rs 1500 on payment of an annual fee.
- 4 complimentary visits in a year to domestic VISA lounges in India(Max. 1 visit per quarter)
- Gift vouchers worth Rs 2000 from partner brands like Aditya Birla fashion, Yatra, Hush Puppies, or Bata on annual spends of INR 3 lakhs.
- Complimentary fraud liabilities cover of Rs 1 lakh.
3) Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card
Annual fee- Rs 750 + applicable GST
Renewal Fee- Rs 750 + GST (Waived off on spending greater than Rs. 90,000 in the previous year)
Most fuel credit cards are co-branded but this card lets you save irrespective of where you refuel your vehicle. This card is suitable for a person who makes minimal fuel purchases in a month but also in addition wants a card that rewards them for making other purchases and paying for the utilities. Some of the other features are-
- 5% cashback on fuel spends across all fuel stations up to Rs 2000 per month.
- 5% cash back on utility bills on a minimum transaction of Rs 750 and the maximum cashback is Rs 100 per month.
- 5% cash back on telephone bills on a minimum transaction of Rs 750 and a maximum cashback of Rs 200 per month.
- 1 reward point for every Rs 150 spent on all the other expenses.
- 5X reward points for overseas point-of-sale spending.
4) ICICI Bank HPCL Coral Credit Card
Annual Fee: Rs. 199 (This is waived off on spending Rs.1, 50,000 in a year.)
The ICICI HPCL Coral Credit card helps users by offering cash back and savings on fuel surcharge. The accelerated reward points can be redeemed for fuel on any of the HPCL petrol pumps. It is useful for persons who own a personal vehicle and can reduce their fuel expenditure. If you are a loyal customer of HPCL and want a fuel credit card with a low annual fee you can apply for this card. The other benefits are-
- 2.5% cashback on fuel purchases at HPCL petrol pumps.
- Savings of 1% fuel surcharge on fuel purchases at HPCL pumps.
- 25% discount on movie ticket bookings up to Rs 100 per transaction booked via BookMy Show.
- 2 Payback points on every Rs 100 spent on retail purchases except fuel; 2000 payback points can be redeemed for fuel worth Rs 500.
- Exclusive dining offers through the ICICI bank culinary treats program.
- Domestic airport lounge access.
5) IndianOil HDFC Credit Card
Annual Fee: Rs. 500 (This is waived off on spending Rs. 50,000 in a year)
This card is focused on users from towns and non-metro cities and you can earn fuel points across the spending categories and use them for fuel purchases at IndianOil fuel pumps. You can keep putting utility, grocery, and fuel bills on the card and then use the accumulated points to get free fuel at select Indian Oil petrol pumps. The other features are-
- Earn 5% of your spending as fuel points at IndianOil outlets.
- 5% of your spending as fuel points on groceries and bill payments (max 100 fuel points per month in each category).
- 1 fuel point for every Rs 150 spent on other purchases.
- 1% surcharge waiver at all fuel stations across India on a minimum transaction value of Rs 400.
- Earn up to 50 liters of free fuel in a year using fuel points.
- Convert fuel points into IndianOil XTRAREWARDSTM Points that can be used to buy free fuel at IndianOil petrol pumps (where 1 FP = 96 Paise).
- Spend 20,000 and above in the first 90 days and get the first-year membership fee waived.
- Spend 50,000 and above in the first year and get a waiver on the renewal membership fee.
Fuel credit cards are convenient to carry and use. A person should always go for a card that matches his fuel spending pattern. Besides this, the reward points, cash backs, surcharge waiver, and refilling at co-branded fuel stations along with the other benefits help us in saving money.