Exxon Mobil Credit Card Exposed

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Exxon Mobil Credit Card Exposed

Postby CreditCardGuru » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:35 pm

Don’t fill out an Exxon Mobil credit card application without seeing this review! It’s important to understand how their rewards (or lack thereof) really work.

pumping gas holding hand full of hundreds
Quick Overview for 2013:

  • Last year Citi discontinued the Exxon MasterCard (which had good rewards).
  • Now your only other choice is the Exxon Mobil Smart Card but it comes with a catch. You have to buy 45+ gallons each month just to get rewards. If you don't, there are none.
  • If you do buy 45+ gal per month, the rebate is a measly 6 cents per gallon (note that's CENTS, NOT PERCENT). On $4 gas that equals only a 1.5% rebate.
  • Their new card is NOT a Visa/MasterCard so you can only use it at their stations.

When it comes to big oil companies, this is usually the first one that pops in our head. Exxon and Mobil merged in ’99 and did you know that both were originally part of Standard Oil; Rockefeller’s mega monopoly which was broken up in 1911 due to anti-trust concerns?

Well nearly a century later, they are once again the largest publicly traded oil and gas company in the world… recently raking in almost half a trillion in annual revenue.

Are their gas stations going bye-bye?!
Being that they have affiliated stations bearing their name, it comes as no surprise that they have the Exxon Mobil credit card. However you may shocked to learn there aren’t as many stations as you would think. Why? Because even though they’re the biggest, they make their real money through refining and distribution, not the retail fuel business.

In fact a few years back, the company announced they will be transitioning out of the retail gas station business altogether! The 820 stations owned by the company (and the 1,400 they don't own) will still exist, but Exxon will no longer own any of them. Because the retail side of the business is apparently not very important to them, this is probably why they didn’t own that many gas stations in the first place.

Are their credit cards worth the rewards?
There are three different consumer charge cards available. Here's a comparison and review for each…
1. Exxon Mobil Smart Card (formally called the "Personal Card")

  • This is just your very basic gas station card. It can only be used at their affiliated stations.
  • As I write this review the interest rate is 24.99%. I carefully combed over the application and this Exxon credit card reportedly has no rewards for fuels.
  • Be warned about the rewards program! They say "save 6 cents per gallon" but read the fine print and you will discover that in order to get that, you need to buy a minimum of 45 gallons per month. If you buy less than that, you won't get any savings whatsoever. But even if do, think about how crappy of a rebate that is... on $4 gas, a 6 cent rebate = 1.5%. Is it worth getting it for that?
Verdict? Because the APR is so high, the rewards are a joke, and it can only be used at their stations… it's an awful choice. However those with a bad credit score might want to try applying for the sole purpose of rebuilding credit since it should be easy to get approved for and there's no annual fee involved.

2. Exxon Mobil Preferred Card

  • Like the personal card, this card is not affiliated with Visa/MC/Discover/Amex so it can only be used at their stations and affiliates.
  • The biggest difference between the personal version and this one is that it can be used to book travel arrangements, but only through the Exxon Mobil reservation center. They do offer rewards/discounts on those travel purchases, but apparently no rewards on your gas purchases.
  • The other so-called benefits aren’t exciting either. For example, they advertise free “travel agency services” as a benefit – meaning you can call them for free and book travel – but since when do travel services charge you for this anyway?!
  • It comes with an annual fee of $29.00.
Verdict? No rewards on gas, no worthwhile benefits, and a $29 fee? I will definitely pass on this one!

3. Citi Exxon Mobil MasterCard (update: discontinued back in 2012)

This was the best of the bunch but unfortunately, you can no longer apply for it and all existing accounts were closed. The below review about it I'm leaving up for historical purposes only.
  • This Exxon Mobil credit card can be used at their gas stations and elsewhere since it’s affiliated with MasterCard.
  • It does offer gas rewards. When buying at their stations, it gives 15 cents off per gallon. Is this worth it or not? Well since they are considered "name brand" gas a lot of times they cost 10 or 15 cents more per gallon anyway. At $4.00/gal the net rebate is 3.75%.
  • For spending elsewhere the rewards can be good or bad depending upon how much you spend:
    Exxon Mobil credit card rewards
    Pretty confusing, huh? When you do the math and factor in all the tiers, to put things in perspective you would be earning: $45.01 on $5k in spending (that's 0.90%). For $10k in annual purchases, it would be $135.02 (that's 1.35%). And if you spend $15k the rebate would be $185.02 (that's 1.23%).
  • The card shown on Citi's application is a MasterCard platinum (not a World or World Elite) so if that's the case, I would expect the benefits to be average.
  • The APR is 19.99% or 23.99% so balance carriers be wary.
Verdict? Obviously this the best Exxon Mobil credit card. But is it best for you? Consider these 2 points:

  1. When gas is less than $3.00 per gallon this card gives the best value since 15 cents for $3 gas = 5% rebate. But when prices are above $3.00 a gallon this card is not the best value, since there are other 5% gas credit cards on the market that give you the 5% everywhere (including Exxon Mobil stations).
  2. For other purchases the rewards are generally a good deal since you should inch out slightly above 1% just so long as your annual purchases (excluding Exxon) are above $6,000 or so.
2013 Update: The Exxon MasterCard is no longer available.

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