Buying petrol and diesel with credit card? Here’s what you need to know about discounts, rewards

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Updated: September 26, 2021 5:16 PM

Many credit card companies are trying to bank on rising petrol and diesel prices by offering discounts, cash backs and reward points to potential new customers.

fuel credit card rulesRepresentative image

Many credit card companies are trying to bank on rising petrol and diesel prices by offering discounts, cash backs and reward points to potential new customers. It is interesting that more credit card offers on fuel purchases are being introduced at a time when petrol and diesel prices are touching new all-time highs. Several card companies have launched co-branded credit cards in association with fuel companies like BPCL and HP.

Even this week, SBI Card partnered with Bharat Petroleum to launch BPCL SBI co-branded RuPay contactless card. This card promises 13X reward points on every Rs 100 spent on fuel purchases at Bharat Petroleum petrol pumps and a 1% fuel surcharge waiver on every transaction up to Rs 4,000.

While buying fuel at petrol pumps in a city, you may have also come across credit card agents making big promises on fuel credit cards.  But do you know, how these cards work? And what are the precautions you should take before using a fuel credit card? Or, who should use such cards? This article explains these details.

Experts say that fuel cards may prove beneficial for those who travel a lot in their vehicles. The more fuel they would buy, the more rewards or cash backs they may get. Fuel cards can be a good means to save some money for them.

However, credit card companies offer fuel cards in association with oil companies and have several conditions for unlocking rewards or a refund. Generally, fuel cards are rewarding if the daily or monthly fuel spend is high.

Consider actual costs and compare

If you are planning to get a fuel card specially to save money on fuels, you must consider other factors like the overall cost of the card, annual and joining fee etc. Generally, credit card companies have fixed annual spend thresholds, crossing which, annual fees are waived off. However, if you fail to spend that much amount, you will have to pay this fee, which will impact the overall savings you would want to make from such cards.

Read the list of petrol pumps

If you are already using a co-branded fuel credit card, you may get rewards only for using it at specific fuel stations. Hence, before applying for the fuel card, you should read the list of petrol pumps where you may earn rewards, surcharge waivers or redeem reward points.

Some fuel cards offer a 1% fuel surcharge waiver. However, this comes with a conditional minimum transaction limit, failing which you will not get this waiver.

Assess your spending habits

Generally, reward points on fuel credit cards can be redeemed against fuel spends at specific/partner outlets. However, in some cases, reward points can be redeemed only as gift vouchers or at some specific online stores. You should apply only for that fuel credit card that matches your spending habits.

Compare charges

You should also compare finance charges applicable in case of delayed credit card bill payments.

Read the fine print

Some cards come with an expiry date for reward points. Some others have no expiry date. Hence, you should read all the terms and conditions before taking the cards.

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