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

Many credit card companies are trying to capitalize on rising gasoline and diesel prices by offering discounts, cash backs, and rewards points to potential new customers. Interestingly, more fuel purchase credit card offers are being introduced at a time when gasoline and diesel prices are hitting new all-time highs. Several card companies have launched co-branded credit cards in association with fuel companies such as BPCL and HP.

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

While shopping for fuel at gas pumps in a city, you may also have 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 to take before using a fuel credit card? Or, who should use such cards? This article explains those details.

Experts say fuel cards can prove beneficial for those who travel a lot in their vehicles. The more fuel they would buy, the more rewards or cash back they could get. Fuel cards can be a great way to save money for them.

However, credit card companies offer fuel cards in association with oil companies and have several conditions to release rewards or a refund. Generally, fuel cards are rewarding if daily or monthly fuel expenses are high.

Take into account actual costs and compare

If you are planning to get a fuel card specifically to save money on fuel, you need to consider other factors like the overall cost of the card, annual and membership fees, etc. Typically, credit card companies have fixed annual spending thresholds, fees are waived. However, if you don’t spend that much, you will have to pay these fees, which will affect the overall savings you would like to see with these cards.

Read the list of gas pumps

If you already use a co-branded fuel credit card, you can get rewards only for using it at specific gas stations. Therefore, before you apply for the fuel card, you should read the list of gas pumps where you can earn rewards, supplement 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.

Evaluate your consumption habits

Typically, reward points on fuel credit cards can be redeemed for fuel spending at specific outlets / partners. However, in some cases, Reward Points can only be redeemed in the form of gift certificates or at certain specific online stores. You should only apply for the fuel credit card that matches your consumption habits.

Compare rates

You should also compare the finance charges applicable in the event of late payment of bills by credit card.

Read the fine print

Some cards have an expiration date for the reward points. Some others do not have an expiration date. Therefore, you must read all the terms and conditions before taking the cards.

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