Royal Dutch Shell plc, also known as Shell, is one of the oldest and most recognizable brands in the world. Established in 1897, it is a global group of energy companies that produced 2.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2017. Much of Shell’s revenues come directly from its motorists' division, which sells fuel, engine oil, lubricants and credit cards. There are several credit card options that the company offers to consumers. Here's a look at some of them, what is required to get approval and what benefits they offer. 

Shell Payment Cards

Shell offers credit card options to seven different countries around the world. Two credit options are available in the United States, along with a card that is linked to your checking account. Both the Fuel Rewards Credit Card (previously known as the Drive for Five Card) and the Fuel Rewards Mastercard are available to U.S. residents. The Fuel Rewards Credit Card can only be used at Shell stations, while the Shell Mastercard can be used at stations and wherever the card is accepted. Meanwhile, the Shell Saver Card works like a debit card, where users can link a checking account to pay for their gas purchases.

Shell has an online website that will provide the applications. In order to apply, applicants can go through the Shell website and are redirected to an external webpage that hosts the application. This is administered through Citigroup, which issues the Mastercard.

Applicants are required to put in their personal information such as name, address and contact phone number. The Saver card requires the applicant’s driver’s license information as well as two security codes in the event of a lost password. From there, a checking account number must be provided to link to the card. The two credit cards require the most information, such as date of birth, Social Security number and annual salary amount. Both will run a credit check on the applicant, and approval is based on the applicant's credit history.

Shell Payment Card Rewards & Benefits

Both cards offer savings as much as 10 cents per gallon, up to 20 gallons, on gas from Shell stations. New cardholders are also able to save more at the pump. After opening a new account, a cardholder can save as much as 30 cents per gallon, up to 20 gallons, on the first five Shell gas purchases made by the end of June 2019. These savings are applied directly at the pump. In addition to this, they both offer rebates of 10% on the first $1,200 spent at Shell for non-fuel-related purchases. 

The Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard goes even further by giving consumers 2% Shell rebates on the first $10,000 spent on dining and groceries each year, as well as another 1% in Shell rebates on other qualifying purchases. 

Both credit cards also offer consumers security features such as $0 liability on any fraudulent, unauthorized transactions. 

Consumers do not need to request a redemption in rebates. These are automatically applied as a credit against purchases made at Shell in the next billing cycle. 

Who Should Use a Shell Payment Card

Customers who frequently purchase gas from Shell stations would benefit from any of the company's cards. Both the Fuel Rewards credit card and Saver cards can only be used at Shell stations, so the more Shell gas that is pumped, the more benefits accrue. The Mastercard would be good for anyone who frequently uses credit cards to make purchases and would like reduced gasoline prices. In order to be eligible for a credit on gas prices, you must make $500 or more in purchases using the card. 

Those who use car travel regularly are excellent examples of who would benefit from a Shell payment card. Companies that employ a traveling sales force would also benefit with a Shell rewards card program.

Alternatives

Energy company ExxonMobil offers an alternative to the Shell program. Exxon offers a Smartcard that lets customers earn 12 cents off every gallon for the first two months, then 6 cents off every gallon thereafter.

Further, there are several different credit cards that offer reward points which can be an alternative to using a Shell payment card. Many credit cards offer better rewards when used at gas stations. For example, the PenFed Rewards Signature Visa offers cardholders five points for every $1 they spend on gas. Cit's Costco Anywhere Visa offers 4% cash back on gas, up to $7,000 a year. Other cards' incentives range from 1 to 2% cash back, or the equivalent in points for any fuel-related purchases. 

The Fine Print

Both the Fuel Rewards and the Fuel Rewards Mastercard credit cards have an annual percentage rate (APR) of 26.99% on purchases and an APR of 29.99% on cash advances. Both cards have the same penalty fees for late or return payments of up to $38.

The Saver card has no enrollment fees, annual fees or finance charges since it is linked to the user’s checking account. However, there is a fee for every time the consumer doesn't have enough funds, and the payment is returned. 

The Bottom Line

Shell offers several options for people who like to charge their purchases at the pump and in Shell stores. If you're looking for the basics, like gas and Shell purchases, your best bet might be the Fuel Rewards card. But if you're looking to go beyond the gas station, you may want to opt for the company's Mastercard rewards card. Both options will let you save on fuel. If that isn't a big requirement, you may want to look at what other card issuers are offering for their gas-related perks.