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4 Ways Singaporeans Can Decide What the Best Petrol Credit Card Is

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Peter Lin

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The other night my friend and I were at our neighbourhood Esso station and I offered to pay for her petrol bill with my DBS Esso Mastercard for the rewards points. She politely declined and said she was going to use her OCBC 365 Card instead for the higher interest rate on her bank account.

But if you only compare the petrol discounts each credit card offers, then the best petrol credit card for Esso is the Citibank Dividend Card. So how like that? Apply for all the cards? Here are 5 ways you can decide what the best petrol credit card is.

1. Best petrol credit card based on brand loyalty

Only the most kiasu drivers in the country follow Petrol Watch Singapore, a Facebook page that regularly updates car owners on the latest petrol prices across the island. For them, there is no such thing as brand loyalty. Even a 3 cent difference in the price per litre between companies is enough for them to switch to the cheaper brand.

For the rest of average Singaporeans, however, we tend to stick to one brand for all our petrol needs. For drivers like us, the loyalty cards that each petrol company has is enough to keep them coming back. Brand loyalty also helps you decide which petrol credit card is best for you, since there is no single best credit card for all 4 brands.

Follow MoneySmart on Facebook for updates on which is the best petrol credit card for SPC, Esso, Caltex and Shell.

 

2. Best petrol credit card based on cheapest petrol after discounts

The ultimate in kiasu-ism, and not for the faint of heart. This method requires you to know which petrol is the cheapest after discounts. While we tried to do the research on your behalf earlier this year, finding the cheapest petrol prices in Singapore turned out to be an uphill task because of how often petrol prices fluctuated and how credit card discounts kept evolving due to competition.

For what it’s worth, back in February this year, to get the cheapest petrol in Singapore, you had to pump at SPC with the promotional discount rate from Amex cards.

 

3. Best petrol credit card based on the card’s other benefits

This method is for the average Singaporean who doesn’t want to keep track of a wallet full of credit cards. Many petrol credit cards these days play multiple roles by giving you various discounts and other features.

For example, the OCBC 365 Card gives you cashback on groceries and dining, in addition to petrol discounts. But just before you get that card, do note that the Citibank Dividend Card, HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card and POSB Everyday Card also give you similar cashback rebates on groceries and dining.

 

4. Best petrol credit card based on terms and conditions

The Citibank Dividend Card now offers the best petrol discounts for Esso, a whopping 20.88% altogether. So everyone who pumps at Esso should get it now, right? Well, not exactly. Along with this higher discount also comes a new minimum monthly spend of $888. If you don’t meet that minimum amount, your discount essentially drops to slightly over 14%. You should note, however, that this minimum spend applies across the board, and isn’t just restricted to petrol spend.

Since many of these petrol cards are also cashback cards, do take note of the minimum monthly spending requirement. You should also pay attention to the maximum cashback you can earn in a month or in a year.

Take the OCBC 365 Card, for example, you can only earn a total of $80 in cashback each month across all categories. When banks advertise the maximum discount you can get at petrol stations, it includes the cashback amount. If you’ve exceeded your maximum rebate for the month, you’re not going to be enjoying the maximum petrol discount.

 

What other methods would you suggest when finding the best petrol credit card? Share them with us.

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Peter Lin

I am the poster boy for reinventing one's self. I've been a broadcast journalist, technical writer, banking customer service officer and a Catholic friar. My life experiences have made me the most cynical idealist you'll ever meet, which is why I'm also the co-founder of a local pop culture website. I believe ignorance is not bliss, and that money is the root of all evil only if you allow it to be.