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.
But if you only compare the petrol discounts each credit card offers, then the highest maximum discount is the BOC Zaobao Credit Card for Shell and SPC (but the cap is quite low).
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 petrol 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.
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. Petrol prices often fluctuate and credit card discounts keep evolving due to competition.
Currently, it seems that SPC is offering the cheapest prices for diesel and 92-Octane. If you want to get SPC petrol discounts, you should then consider the UOB One Card (note the high minimum spend) and Bank of China Zaobao credit card (issued by UnionPay).
With these cards, you get up to 24% worth of SPC credit card discounts.
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 instance, the UOB Delight card offers up to 20.8% off your fuel purchases at Shell and SPC and at the same time offers 8% rebate at major grocery stores like Cold Storage, Market Place, and Jasons. You stand to get 3% rebate off contactless transactions, Singapore Power bills and selected recurring bills. The minimum spend is $400. For all other purchases, you get a SMART$ rebate with no minimum spend.
If you’re someone who can benefit from these other categories, you may just want to streamline your credit card usage to one card like this.
4. Best petrol credit card based on instant savings
It’s a typical trick of the game to bundle cashback and rewards with other things, forcing you to charge high amounts to one card for all your expenses. For instance, the UOB One Card gives generous discounts for Shell, but you can only get the maximum 20.8% if you consistently spend $2,000 a month.
Now if you’re a family breadwinner who can charge everything to one card and enjoy the cash rebates, you probably won’t mind the hoops. But if you’re lazy, you might want to look out for instant savings. For Shell, Citi Cash Back Card gives instant savings of 20.88%, but there’s a minimum spend of $888. For Esso, you can use the DBS Esso Card and get 21.1% off provided your minimum fuel spending is $180.
5. Best petrol credit card based on cashback cap
Most cashback credit cards come with a minimum spend but importantly, you should also check the cashback cap.
If you consume high petrol amounts, take note that your petrol expenditure and the corresponding cashback will eat into your cashback cap. For instance, for the OCBC 365 Card, the minimum spend is $800 and the cashback cap is $80. This means that there is no cashback value in spending more than $800.
If you regularly spend $300 on petrol, then you should ensure that you do not spend more than $500 on other things.
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.
Image credit: darrenandgoody via Flickr