The Credit Card industry is booming nowadays, given the exponential number of people looking for credit. Credit cards not only offer convenient options for shopping and repayment modes but also open a whole wide world of benefits. Banks have a large array of credit card to suit every different need. There are credit cards designed especially for air travel offering benefits such as free air miles, exclusive lounge access etc. whereas other cards are designed for online shopping which offer cashbacks and discounts.
With the increasing price of fuel, banks and credit card issuers have come out with specially designed fuel cards which offer exclusive benefits. Read on to know more about Fuel Credit Cards.
Fuel cards are one kind of credit card, designed to save you money every time you fill your vehicle at the petrol pump. In India, several banks have tie-ups with oil companies to offer you a co-branded credit card that make petrol and diesel much lighter on your pocket.
The use of co-branded cards at that company’s fuel outlet, nets you higher reward points, discounts, cash back or a combination of all three. These fuel cards offer a waiver on the fuel surcharge as well, that you would generally pay if you were using a normal credit card.
So, for example, if your bank has a tie up with Indian Oil, then you would get very attractive benefits - including the surcharge waiver or a cash back offer for using your co-branded fuel card when you fill your vehicle at an IndianOil outlet. For example, IndianOil Citi Platinum Credit Card offers 4 Turbo Points on every Rs.150 spent on fuel at partner IndianOil retail outlets across the country, apart from the usual Turbo points gathered for spending on grocery, supermarkets, shopping, dining and much more.
Fuel expenses usually account for a significant part of monthly expenditure in urban areas. Hence credit card companies in India have come up with co-branded credit cards which give exclusive benefits for customers buying petrol/fuel on their cards.
Some of the features of a typical Fuel Credit Card are listed below:
Redeem points for fuel
Earn Turbo Points/regular reward points but enjoy extra benefits while redeeming those points for fuel. You don’t just earn any points, but earn in Turbo Points when you use Citi’s IndianOil credit card. These points can either be redeemed against fuel, which can translate into free fuel, or for other benefits like exclusive merchandise from a rewards catalogue.
Fuel Cards also double up as Lifestyle cards, as in the case of ICICI Bank’s HPCL Credit Card. It has a BookMyShow offer for buying tickets, discounts on dining at leading partner restaurants, and Rewards points powered by a dedicated PAYBACK program. It gets you 5 PAYBACK points on every Rs. 100 spent on fuel across HPCL fuel stations and 2 PAYBACK points on all other spends. You can choose to redeem the accrued PAYBACK Points for actual fuel at partner HPCL pumps or for a wide range of gifts and offers listed on the PAYBACK website.
Enjoy Zero Fuel Surcharge
The fuel surcharge of 2.5% is waived when you pay for fuel with your Fuel Credit Card. There are certain spending limitations, and you need to swipe your card on the Merchant Services swipe machines only in order to avail of this benefit. For example, if you own an ICICI HPCL credit card, then you need to swipe this card at ICICI Merchant swipe machine at partner HPCL Petrol pumps only.
The Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit card also offers a reversal of the 2.5 % fuel surcharge as well as 2.5% cashback on fuel transactions at multiple outlets, subject to conditions. It also offers cash back on telecom and utility bill payments and rewards points on spending.
Several general lifestyle cards also offer a fuel surcharge waiver, like for example SBI SimplySAVE Advantage SBI Card, without being specifically designed for fuel purchases or co-branded with an oil company.
There are various credit card issuers which offer additional benefits in terms of dining, shopping and other lifestyle benefits. You can avail these credit cards if you fulfill their eligibility criteria.
Choosing the best fuel credit card might not be so easy, given the multitude of options available in the market. However, you need to consider the following:
There are certain eligibility requirements when it comes to getting a fuel credit card and the requirements vary with different credit card issuers. So before applying for a particular card, make sure you fulfill all the eligibility requirements to minimize the chances of being rejected and damaging your credit score. The basic eligibility norm is having a good credit score, fulfilling the minimum age and income bracket. You can contact the bank to know the income and other eligibility factors.
The features and benefits of a Fuel Credit Card are designed so as to provide maximum benefit for those who frequently purchase fuel. Those looking to lower their fuel expenses, while simultaneously enhancing their lifestyle in other ways, can opt for this credit card.
The attractive rebates that a Fuel credit card offers along with other benefits, makes it a desirable option.
To apply for a Fuel Credit Card, you can walk into the nearest branch and submit the application form and documents or you can apply online. Some banks give limited period offers, like coupons or waiver on the charges for applying online. Typically, it can take up to 21 days for your credit card application to be processed.
Alternatively, if you think you need help with your credit card application and advice on eligibility, CreditMantri can guide you through the entire process and match you with the credit card that suits your needs the best.
Note: The cards mentioned in the article are merely indicative of the kinds of rewards and benefits on offer. You will need to choose your card based on your specific requirements.