A difficult economy and new credit laws have changed the credit landscape and MasterCard from Shell has also changed with the times. The branded card is offered by Citi in partnership will Shell Oil.
The credit options range from Shell credit cards that can be used only in Shell retail locations, fleet cards used by businesses for the traveling sales people ad the popular MasterCard.
Consumers are not as loyal to brand names today as they were in the past. With the wide variety of brand names and generic products available in the marketplace today, price often dictates choice rather than a well known brand name.
The popularity of this card clearly shows there is still brand loyalty when it comes to fuel purchases. Consumers are understandably wary about off brand gasoline and additives that might be present.
While many of us look for the cheapest fuel available for our cars, we might also choose to purchase one recognized brand whenever possible.
Car Owners Prefer Shell
Shell is a brand preferred by many car owners. The recognized name and reputation for quality fuel is a primary factor and the high number of gasoline stations available throughout the country makes it easy to buy the product.
This is a Platinum card that offers rebates as a percentage that is credited automatically to your credit card account. Not surprisingly, the highest rebate of 5% is paid for purchases of Shell gasoline.
Five percent may not sound like a high rebate but the amount can build quickly. If you purchase $390 worth of gasoline a month you would be within the average range of monthly fuel use.
For that amount of fuel use the card would provide a rebate of $20. Over a year’s time, you would receive the equivalent of over two weeks of free gasoline by buying a brand you trust and using your card to make the purchase.
In addition, purchases at other locations with the Shell Platinum MasterCard would earn a .5% rebate and add fifty cents in rebates for each $100 spent. You will not earn any rebates for gasoline purchased from other non-Shell vendors but that is to be expected.
Gasoline is a common purchase for most of us. We seem to live in our cars today and buying fuel is a necessity. The ability to buy a recognized and trusted gasoline product and also earn a reward for doing so appeals to consumers who are cost conscious.
Though the amount of the rebate is not high the 5% more than makes up the difference in cost per gallon between a well known brand of fuel and the lower cost per gallon charged for off brand and perhaps less reliable fuels.
To recognize the maximum benefit in fuel costs you can pay off the card in full each month by the date due on your bill and avoid paying any interest fees on the account.
The MasterCard from Shell is provided by Citi. When you apply for this credit card you must meet the credit qualifications required by Citi Bank. However, some previous account holders have complained of accounts being limited or closed without reason.
If you carry balances monthly and pay only the minimum amount due, this credit card will be expensive to use in the long term. However, for consumer who prefers Shell fuel and will pay their account in full monthly, the 5% rebate is a definite plus.
Fees and APR
The card is not a low cost account if you carry a balance from month to month. The APR is a variable rate of 23.99% for purchases and for transfers when the account is opened.
There are no special introductory interest rates or terms that would encourage transferring other balances to this card.
Cash advances are possible but not recommended as the APR on cash transactions is 27.99% variable rate. If you make a late payment or have payment returned for insufficient funds you will find your interest raised to 29.99%. There is no annual fee for this credit card.
There is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount transferred as well as a cash advance fee of $5 or 5% of the amount of the cash advance.
In both cases, the higher of the two amounts will be charged. The foreign purchase transaction fee is 3% of each purchase and is charged in U.S. dollars.
Penalty fees are the same as charged by other major lending institutions. A late payment or returned payment will result in a $35 fee added to the balance of your credit card.
The MasterCard from Shell is a good option if you regularly buy Shell gasoline and can pay off your account balance in full each month.
If you carry a balance monthly you will need to consider whether the 5% rebate is enough to balance the fees charged on the account. Read more about other cards issued by MasterCard and how they can benefit you.