Shell Credit Card Review

Posted by CreditCardGuru

pump at Shell gas stationIs the Shell gas credit card really the best way to combat high gas prices in 2013? This review shows you the truth.

Almost every gas station has their own branded card, including Shell. To get you to sign up, they all use the same pitch: “our card will save you money!”

But the reality is that many of them hide behind promotional gimmicks and other confusing reward structures that won’t save you any worthwhile amount when all is said and done.

Let’s take a look at the Shell credit cards and compare them to what’s out there…

Shell “Drive For Five” Card

This one seems to be their most heavily advertised – I’ve even heard radio commercials for it, which is unusual for a gas card?!

Because it’s not affiliated with any major payment networks (Visa, Discover, etc) it can only be used at Shell gas stations and some Jiffy Lube locations. There is no annual fee.

Rewards: Warning, this is sneaky! The card gives 5 cents off per gallon, but only if you buy at least 45 gallons in a given month. So that means if you buy say, 30 gals/month, you’re not getting the 5 cent rebate.

And even if you’re road warrior, the program caps the rebate for only the first 100 gal per month. So that means to get the rebate on every gallon, you have to be using 45-100 gallons per month. Also let’s not forget that even in the best case scenario, you’re only getting 5 cents off per gallon (that’s cents, not percent). On $4.00 gas that only equals a 1.25% rebate.

Going back the Shell “Drive For Five” card, as of the time of this review (October 2013) here were the terms and conditions on it, which aren’t exactly pretty…

Interest Rate: At the time of this review, the card carries a variable APR of 24.99%… ouch!

Other Benefits: I’ve read both their marketing material and the fine print and don’t see any benefits I would consider special whatsoever.

Verdict: If you are rebuilding credit and cant qualify for a normal card, then the Shell Drive For Five might be worth looking in to. For everyone else, this credit card is a total joke.

Shell Select Member

This one carries a $25.00 annual fee. It offers rewards, but surprisingly not on fuel!

Rewards: This one is NOT a major credit card, but the difference between this and the other is that you can use it to book travel. It touts 10% cash back on hotels and 5% on airlines and car rentals.

The catch? You are required to book that travel through the Shell card customer service (and pay their prices, whatever those may be).

Of course the next logical question is “Are their prices really the best?” and that I do not know, but I am certainly skeptical (if you have the card, please chime in with feedback on this). What’s really bizarre is that this his card offers no rebates or discounts on gas.

Interest Rate: Same as above: 24.99%.

Other Benefits: Some travel insurance benefits, but at amounts lower than what many credit cards offer.

Verdict: It offers no gas discount and the travel reservation hotline sounds like fluff to me. I would definitely pass on this, especially considering that it has a $25.00 annual fee. Plus, reportedly you can’t pay for these travel bookings with your Shell credit card. They require you to have a Visa/MasterCard on file to charge them to.

Shell Platinum MasterCard (recently discontinued)

This is their only “normal” credit card; it can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

Rewards: The card offers a 5% rebate at Shell gas stations. It offers the standard 1% on other purchases. If Shell is the cheapest in your area, this could potentially be a lucrative program for you. If not, you may be better off with a universally accepted gas rewards card.

Interest Rate: The APR was “as low as” 11.24% which is quite good, but in 2011 Shell upped it big time to 23.99% (according to the MasterCard application). Also is important to note this is a variable rate card so it will go up as the prime rate goes back up.

Verdict: Update – Citi discontinued the Shell MasterCard late last year. It is no longer available.

Are any of them ever worth it?

The Shell MasterCard definitely was worth considering, but now that it’s canceled you can cross that off your list.

That leaves us the other two; Shell Drive For Five and the Select Member card. The former has a shady fuel rewards program and the latter doesn’t even offer fuel rewards!

Conclusion? Both cards are garbage for buying gas. However if you have bad credit (and can’t qualify for a normal card) then they might be good credit cards for rebuilding credit.

If you have good credit, here are some good options…

Blue Cash Preferred from AmEx - This card pays an unlimited 3% cash back at every US gas station, including Shell.
Costco credit card from AmEx – If you’re a Costco member, this card pays a 3% rebate on fuel (for the first $4k spent annually at US stand-alone gas stations).

Want more options? Go here to compare more gas credit cards with rewards

Last updated October 9, 2013


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Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

39 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Gary Gaudaur December 18, 2013 at 6:35AM

    I am a Canadian living in Florida for 5 months each winter. For 5 years I have purchased Shell gasoline in Florida using my VISA credit card. At the pump when queried about my zip code I have been using the 3 numerals in my six character Canadian postal code preceeded by two zeros. UP UNTIL YESTERDAY this proceedure worked fine. It doesn’t work at the gas stations of other oil companies. For that reason and for the Winn Dixie discount program I always purchase Shell gasoline. I need this resolved. I don’t want to have to go into the gas bar and pre pay each time I purchase gasoline.

  2. Heather G December 4, 2013 at 11:33AM

    After being a customer since 1991, yes that’s correct 22 years! Missed one payment, simple oversight, made up for it the next month and they reported it to the credit reporting agencies yet NEVER made an attempt to contact us for a simple reminder or to tell us they would be reporting it. Definatly NOT a customer focused company!!! Yes after 22 years we have canceled our card.

  3. rich November 4, 2013 at 5:19PM

    DON’T DO IT!!!! Shell is a horrible company and I’ve had countless issues where my account would be mixed up and receive collection notices. After resolving the issue its happened yet again.

    stay away……

    • Anne December 3, 2013 at 3:58PM

      I have had the same problem. They kept adding in fees but sent me no statements for five months. Reimbursed some but $270 not done! They are very difficult to work with!!!! Started trying to fix this problem because they had no email address in their records for electronic statements which was beyond my control that this was not put in. I was told the fees would not be reimbursed due to the issues being over 6 months old. When I began asking for statements and costs being given back it was only five months prior.

      Anne

  4. EJ October 23, 2013 at 6:08AM

    Shell has replaced the credit card with this rewards card without asking the customers. They sent it out without permission and changed everyone’s account number. Also they lower your credit score by passing this information through your credit bureaus when they opened the new accounts, once again without asking first. I called customer service and the supervisor said they can do what they want, it is their card. Poor customer service. I am closing my account after 15 years. They are too costly and poor customer service.

  5. Samir June 22, 2013 at 4:35PM

    The Shell credit card is a story of being my #1 card that I promoted to everyone, to being my last that I am so disappointed with. I got it back in 2001 or something like that. Because of the 5% cash back on gas, and 1% on everything else, I became very loyal to Shell gas. It was my primary credit card and I enjoyed the benefits every month. Then they stopped being able to download it in Quicken. So I reduced so I only used it for gas. Then they got rid of 5% cashback unless you bought hundreds of dollars of gas. So finally I stopped used it. This was once a great card. Now I just stick with Discover.

  6. emmett Russell May 18, 2013 at 9:46PM

    How do i apply for a shell credit card if my credit score is only 580

  7. Parcival May 28, 2012 at 4:04PM

    Have had a Shell “gas” card since 2003. Main reason was for a combination of bookkeeping and the 5 cent per gallon rebate reasons. Worked OK the first 7 years. Received the discount every payment cycle whether $40 or $2. In 2010 changed to only paying after having accumulated $ 25 rebates. No problem, could live with that.

    Discovered I had not been receiving my rebates since August 2011 and called customer service. The Shell “gas card” (as I was led to believe at opening) was actually a normal Citibank/Mastercard credit card that I had signed up for. The changed rules were that I only would receive gas rebates if I used credit card for other transactions as well for a minimum of $500 each billing cycle and a maximum rebate of $20.

    Have other credit card issued by and connected to my bank account for credit card transactions. Trying to entice/force me to use Citibank/Mastercard credit card. Forget it ….. not going to happen!

    Bait and switch! Possibly legal but very disgusting.

    Goodbye Shell, Citibank, and Mastercard. Closing account with them. Now free to buy gas where it is cheapest and still get cash back on my normal credit card.

  8. Courtney April 23, 2012 at 9:05AM

    I am canceling my Shell credit card. They started charging me interest when I pay my balance in full every month. I called them and made them credit me that money back, which they did. But then the next month, they claimed my payment was a week late and charged me a 25.00 late fee and 9.49 in interest. I do bill pay through my bank and my bank said that Shell took the money out four days before it was due. Shell claims differently. I had to argue for a half hour with them to get them to take that late fee off and they claim they’ll credit the interest back. But hello. I always pay on time and pay off my balance. Any other company would have seen my history and said no problem. But I had to take 30 minutes of my day to try and get them to credit that back. I’m canceling this sucker. They are Shady!!!!

    • Lowell Fast February 26, 2013 at 1:30PM

      Wasted 1/2 a day trying online and calling to straighten out problem. Signed up for auto pay and worked first payment but zapped with late fee of $25 and $5 interest on <$300 balance. Complained by phone and asked Credit reporting of failed payment be rescended but the supervisor said it probably was my banks problem. I only found out there was a problem when I was 500 miles from home and my card wouldn't work. I could go on and on and on but take my word for it: if you have decent credit, don't risk it with this outfit.

    • Mark May 6, 2014 at 3:41PM

      Courtney, Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your taking the time to help me make my decision to open an account with Shell. After reading your’s and several other experiences I have decided to not open an account. I will just use my bank rewards card for my gas purchases.

      Thanks Again!

  9. Barry January 24, 2012 at 12:26AM

    I paid a charge ($34.06) at a local hospital on January 20 with my Shell credit card. I was just told be the 800 operator that the charge was not “posted” to my account until January 23 and because of that, will not appear as a charge until January 24, or after the turn-over date of January 23 has past. I have four other charges that I made on January 21 and they all went through on January 21.

    But mysteriously, this charge for only $34.06 was held back, resulting in my being penalized 5 cents per gallon for any gasoline charges over the next month in that my total is now $2480, not $2514, as I planned. I am sure one of their vice presidents got a huge raise for thinking up this little gimmick.

    Psychologically, it feels good to be told you are getting 20 cents per gallon off. But woe be unto you if you think you are coming in just over the mark for getting it. Mysteriously, one of the charges gets held up in the “posting cloud” and you get screwed out of 5 cents a gallon, but they keep all your money for just under $2500. I have heard that all of the credit card companies/banks HATE those of us who pay off their card each month because they will lose out on screwing us yet again with their usurious interest rates.

    Our country is going down the hole because those who pay their bills on time are penalized so that those who get a free ride can receive their stash/booty/free cell phone. I won’t be around that many more years, but I hope all of their children are standing in the rain and snow waiving their stupid little red “Bob” books and wearing their “Bob” jackets and then getting in line again for their bag of Soylent Red crackers (not Soylent Green!) for the month. We are now living in the society described colorfully in the movie Network about 20 years ago, and the movie Soylent Green from 30 years ago is quickly arriving.

  10. Wick November 7, 2011 at 11:31AM

    The new Shell Oil terms is the lamest “reward” program I’ve ever seen. I just closed my account. The new terms are ridiculous for 3 reasons:

    1. the discounts don’t kick in until after you spend at least $500,
    2. the discount at the $500-1000 spend level is 10 cents/gallon off, which is only about 2.8% at $3.60/gallon (but it’s not actually 2.8% — see #3),
    3. that discount is only applied to the first 100 gallons of gas you buy the following month.

    In other words, you absolutely have to spend $500 each month to be eligible for anything. If you spend between $500-$1000/month, the maximum discount is $10 back. That’s 2% back if you spend exactly $500/month, BUT: the more you spend over $500/month (up to $1000), the lower your percentage discount becomes.

    For instance if you spend $900/month, your discount drops to 1.1%. If you spend between $1000-$2500/month, you’ll get $15 back. Once again that works out to a maximum discount of 1.5% if you spent exactly $1000, & it drops to 0.6% if you spent $2500.

    Yes folks … basically the more you spend, the lower the discount.

    So all that trouble for basically nothing. A lot of reward credit cards give you 2-3% back on gas purchases & you can go anywhere you want, not just Shell stations.

    • Barry January 24, 2012 at 12:31AM

      I agree totally. I am switching back to another card that pays $$ back at the pump plus 1% of other purchases. What a rip off. Do they think all of us are lemmings who will line up for our goodies just because of the pretty yellow sign and the magic word, Shell. Citi Bank are a bunch of human pigs as well.

  11. Johnny November 2, 2011 at 11:20PM

    Before I’ve got an average of $25 rebate every month but recently they changed the agreement – to be able for me to receive a rebate I should spent $500 every month of Shell gas! I used Shell card only in filling up gasoline and I dont carry a balance every month. I’m planning to close my Shell Master Card as soon I receive my other new card.

  12. Rodney McDaniel October 11, 2011 at 7:06PM

    What is deal with Citicorp keep getting calls wanting me to pay for Home Depot Shell Phillip 66 Texaco and I think Chevon?

  13. John T. October 2, 2011 at 2:53PM

    Previous comment was partially deleted…
    What I meant to say was to shop at a discount gift card site like the one I mentioned here. Shell gift cards are avail for around 2-3% off face value – no fees, interest or penalties. Same as cash – use at pump or in Shell convenience store. Combine this with click through rebates sites – like the other one I listed – to add to your discounted card – THEN use your local grocery store receipt – whatever is advertised at your local Shell (see the Pump for details) – mine is Giant Food (DC area) – and you’re really buying cheap gas.
    Thanks/J

  14. John T. October 2, 2011 at 2:49PM

    I usually wait until I’ve got about 40-60 cents per gallon discount, THEN I use a prepaid shell gas card to save more money. My wife and I line our cars up on the same pump – then throw the spent card out when we’re done and do it again. Here are a couple of good sites I use (yes, referring you gets me even more discounts). No gimmicks. The second site listed is slow paying rebates but they DO – I got my first check for about $10 by clicking through them to buy stuff I already buy online.

  15. Ron Coyne, Illinois September 29, 2011 at 8:47AM

    I have had some type of Shell card since 1994. Last year I applied for and recieved the Platium MC. Then 3 months later they jack up to $500 minimum. Just like the rest of the people, i am done with Shell.

  16. Karen Boudreau September 7, 2011 at 3:53PM

    Apparently Shell wasn’t making enough on their credit card so they unilaterally changed the account including stopping all automatic payments. So if you thought your account was being automatically paid, it wasn’t and you didn’t find out for 2 billing cycles when you then paid late fees and huge interest charges. Also, if you hadn’t looked at your account on line recently they deleted your on line access so you couldn’t just pay on line. I called the Citibank corporate office (no response) and the Shell corporate office (no response). Then I got a dunning call. How embarrassing! However, I was able to pay the account by phone then. My suggestion is punish Shell for treating its customers this way and stop buying their gas. That’s my plan. I also think I’ll take out my large deposits from Citibank for their role in this.

  17. J Lorenz August 24, 2011 at 12:12PM

    I was shocked when I receive my change letter so I called customer service. It turns out the Shell Citi card was changing hands, hence the Kroger fuel perks addition and dripping of my 5% on Shell gas. BUT that large amount to purchase in order to get the rewards is on the total amount of all charges that month. Lucky for my, this is my primary card so I usually qualify for something. I lost the letter stating the levels and hoped to find it on this page. I still perfer 5% credit applied to my gas purchased the following month. I notice on the last bill they did not apply the credit. Now I have to recaculate each month what my discount will be and determine which brand gas is cheaper. Shell is going to lose.

  18. Phil Langer August 12, 2011 at 4:33PM

    I just cut up my Shell card after 25 years of buying Shell whenever it was available and I needed gas…regardless of the price. It appears Citi has discovered if it doesn’t send its customers monthly bills…they wont pay them on time. Then…they can charge interest and fees and make up the loss of interest they can’y charge if you pay off your cards every month. genius…They should run for US Senate. Interesting business model but as a consumer who can actually pay his bills on time…I am really offended. Shell…I hardly need to be called for a deminimus late bill by some annoying teenager during my dinner time because your credit card agent fails to send timely bills to paying customers.

  19. Samir August 6, 2011 at 7:53PM

    I too was very disappointed by the letter from Elaine Mohr. I was first disappointed several years ago when I could not download from Shell into Quicken anymore. Before then, Shell was my #1 card. Then it dropped to just for gas. Now I put it away and will use my Discover Gas, though I have to make sure to fill up at least 9 times to avoid the annual fee.

  20. John M July 26, 2011 at 8:39AM

    Like many on this board, I “was” a loyal Shell customer until I received the letter from Elaine Mohr. I have written a letter voicing my dissatisfaction and sent it to the following address I found at the main web site.

    Contact us

    Shell headquarters
    Carel van Bylandtlaan 16, 2596 HR The Hague, The Netherlands

    Postal address:
    PO box 162, 2501 AN The Hague, The Netherlands

  21. Luke July 21, 2011 at 8:54AM

    Casper – Agree 100%. i found this site looking for her contact information. i have written a letter telling her that i find it hard to believe that customers actually asked for the rebate to change. our country is in a sad state if we can not calculate the simple math that you provided above. i was going to keep my card after the first letter announcing the change, however when Ms. Mohr sent her letter i had a change of heart. i was very disappointed.

  22. Casper July 18, 2011 at 6:08AM

    I also received two letters from Shell/Citi Master Card. (Member since 2003 – saved ~$2000 since 2003).

    The first letter informed us how the program was changed. The minimum purchase requirement we don’t meet as we use this primarily for gas and work from home. We pay in full each month, cause otherwise you may as well pay cash (5% discount, 10-20% interest equals 5-15% more expensive than cash).

    Fine, so you do not want us as customers. ExxonMobil/City Master Card wants my business and offers 15c/gallon plus 2% on the first $10.000 in other purchases. I received my ExxonMobil cards and speedpasses in the mail this week. Happy to be their loyalty customer.

    The letter from Elaine Mohr, U.S. Payment and Loyalty Manager also triggered me. It is written in such way that you feel the program got better. Until you do the math of course:
    - Old program: $3.40 a gallon x .05 = $0.17 for every gallon.
    - New program: 0.10 for every gallon, if you spend $500 each month
    In September/October you can earn another $10 each month if you are sticking around. (Basically they withhold the discounts (under the former program) from all users and then offer it as a bonus to larger users – 2 times only).

    I wanted to send Ms. Mohr a letter about my decision to become a former loyal Shell customer, but she conveniently forgot to provide her contact information. Silly her. How would she know how to act in response to customer demand. Silly me, for thinking she’d care.

  23. Terry July 16, 2011 at 1:47PM

    I have had the Shell Citi Bank Master Card for several years due to the 5% rebate offered. Now I get a letter from Elaine Mohr, US Payment and Loyalty Manager for Shellil stating that while they appreciate my loyalty to Shell that they are changing the program and eliminating the 5% discount. The most upsetting of all is the comment in the last paragraph of her letter. “The new Rewards Program was created in response to the economy and consumer demand for cents-per-gallon fuel rewards.” Do they really think the entire American public is ignorant of the economy? Do they think we do not know Shell and other oil companies are recording record profits once again? Consumers do not want 5% back. Shell consumers want to get .05 cents back after spending $500 on the card. And they put further limits on that!!! Typical corporate greed at the consumer expense.
    As to my card. I am not the customer Shell is looking for anyway. I drive an average of 40,000-50,000 miles a year. Purchase a lot of gasoline, primarily Shell due to the rebate, but I pay my bill in full every month. They nor CitiBank collect interest payments from me. It is apparent they do not want or need my business and I will do my best to shift my fuel purchases to other sources.

  24. Sherry Allen July 15, 2011 at 5:44PM

    Yep, we are also canceling our card since they now require a $500 purchase. In addition, I’ve discovered that I have not been receiving my 5% rebate since 2011. Sometimes the rebate is .5%, sometimes 1%. Some screw-up on their part I’m sure, so I’m fighting it. Check your past bills!

  25. Bruce July 9, 2011 at 11:02AM

    I just got a letter that the Platinum 5% card now requires minimum $500 purchases each month in order to get $0.05 per gallon – not 5%. Goodbye Shell… After 25 loyal years…

  26. David van Sunder June 13, 2011 at 8:55PM

    I was just looking into the Drive for Five card today. There is an extra stipulation I found that might not have been there when you reviewed it. It says you have to purchase a minimum of 45 gallons in a given billing cycle to get the 5 cents/gallon discount. So, if you only get 44 one month, they don’t give you the $2.20 you earned. So, this card is for people that are burning through the gasoline. If you aren’t buying at least 12 gallons (to be on the safe side) every month, skip this card.

  27. Melinda April 20, 2011 at 4:53PM

    I have had a shell card since 2006. I have NEVER been late on a shell bill or any other bill!! I paid my balance in full most months!! Went to the station to get gas and my card had expired. I called to see about getting me a new card and they said I would not be issued one!! I asked why and they had no reason!!!! Well SHELL it’s your LOSS because I have a BP card and I will be getting my gas from BP!!!!

  28. genrent January 17, 2011 at 12:02PM

    shell commercial account is no better in fact a lot worse . no discounts and all of the stations around ct charge you extra to use the shell card at a shell station. shell oil companies have no value to this consumer and why does citi cardown all of the charge cards anyway. seems like deceptive advertising when the solicit your business as shell then sell it to citicard. stay away from shell is my advice to everyone

  29. Chaz November 22, 2010 at 6:35AM

    Got the platinum Shell credit card, with the 5% discount. At the pump however (in New York City), they charge an extra five cents to use a credit card…which of course, includes their own Shell card. So you LOSE money using the card.

    I called the card issuer, who suggested I call Shell. When I called Shell, they looked up the local station. Since it’s an independently owned station, they can have their own pricing/charging policies, out of the control of the parent company.

    Took out the trusty scissors and cut my Shell card up. End of story.

  30. Dee M. June 16, 2010 at 12:35PM

    I have had a shell card for over 20 years and just lately, while taking trips out to San Diego, CA. from San Antonio, TX., Shell has put a hold on my card for unauthorized use. Now some shell stations have mal-functioning card readers and you have to cancel and re-insert your card one or two times before it reads it properly. However, I want to know who gave Shell the authority to just assume I lost my card or that unauthorized people were using my card and put a hold on it. If shell has any doubts as to who is using MY card, they should contact ME and NOT ASSUME. I think I am a little too old to be contacting Shell Credit Card people to tell them I will be out of the state and will be using my card in New Mexico, Arizona and California every time I want to travel by car. Yes, it is pretty stupid isn’t it? They have just lost 2 people that will never use Shell gas again. Anyone know how to get ahold of a Shell Executive? I’d like to send him/her/them an e-mail or letter regarding this. I am so angry!

  31. JD June 1, 2010 at 5:22PM

    Shell/Texaco was first credit card out of college in 1987. I have excellent credit and missed no payments but they have hit me with a 24.99% interest rate! I spoke with three different levels at Shell/Citibank and they refused to lower the rate. I think the goverment should mpve on this company. Especially since Citibank has been bailed out. I will be filing a complaint!

  32. B. Howe April 6, 2010 at 10:05AM

    I hear you George! After 4 years of faithful service, Shell cancelled my card also. I have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission because I have never had a late payment and always paid in full. Under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, Shell has violated my right to privacy and Shell was simply on a ‘witch hunt’. Hope our government cares because Shell has no committment to their customers.

  33. A. Vermeesch March 23, 2010 at 5:25AM

    Becareful using your Shell gas card outside USA, filled up at a SHELL look a like in CANADA , Then was refused credit claiming it was a USA CARD ONLY !!!!!!!!!!! this was all true. THANKS SHELL GOOD THING THEY RECOGNIZED GREEN BACKS. PUT USA PURCHASES ONLY ON YOUR CARDS!!!!!!

  34. George Conroy March 16, 2010 at 7:29AM

    Well after having a shell credit card for 23 years and never carring a balance on my card. Every month I have paid it off. Okay to be fair could have been late one or two time by a day or so they have dropped me due to credit report. Of course times are hard for everyone I am not the only one in trouble with loss of income but Shell is doing shitty business if the will close your account even though you have been loyal to them. I will never buy shell gas again and I would suggest think about it before you apply for a card!

    • Lowell Fast February 26, 2013 at 1:46PM

      Everyone needs to take a moment and copy their reply and attach to a BBB.ORG complaint.

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