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Shell Drive For Five Card

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By : Mr Credit Card
Review Date : Nov/03/2011
Last Update : Aug/07/2016

expand textIntroduction
close textIntroduction

The Shell Drive For Five Card is the de facto "store card" for Shell and is geared towards folks who use Shell extensively for their gasoline needs. This is also a card that many folks with bad credit try to get. It is neither a Visa or a MasterCard and hence can only be used at their stations.

expand textGas Savings Benefits
close textGas Savings Benefits

Being a gas station card, you will be able to save money when you use it at Shell. Here is how it works: If you buy between 45 to 100 gallons of gasoline a month, you will be able to save 5 cents per gallon. That means that you would have to fill up at least 12 gallons a week (which is reasonable if you have a SUV or Minivan). If you do not fill up to 45 gallons a month, then you will not get the 5 cents savings. But any monthly purchases over 100 gallons also does not get you the 5 cents savings.

Every year, you can earn up to $60 in savings from the 5 cents discounts. If you work the calculations backwards, it shows that you can earn the discounts for up to 1,200 gallons of Shell gas a year (consistent with 100 gallons a month).

You will receive the discounts in the form of a statement credit. If the number of gallons information is not available for some reason, Shell will take the total price and divide it by the average price per gallon (which they will obtain from the US Department of Energy).

The percentage of savings depend on the price per gallon of gasoline. It will also depend on what grade of fuel you use.

Other Benefits - This card is issued by Citibank and though it is just a "store card", it offers a couple of interesting perks. Firstly, you are provided with Citi Identity Theft Solutions. This is a ID theft service whereby you will receive assistance should your ID ever be stolen. These services usually come with a monthly fee. But nowhere on Shell's or Citi's website mention if you have to pay for this service or does it come free with the card.

Another interesting perk is that in your credit card statement, your gasoline purchase will be listed separately. This will appeal to those of you who would like to see exactly how much you spend a month on gasoline (and in particular at Shell).

Though it is not a Visa or MasterCard, you have $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and also the ability to manage your account online.

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Cards Savings (per gallon)
Shell Drive For Five 5 cents
BP Visa 10 cents
Chevron Visa 10 cents
Chevron Visa 6 cents


expand textVerdict and Opinion
close textVerdict and Opinion

There are two perspective to look at this card. The first is to look at the discounts you would get if you have this in your wallet. To recap, you will get 5 cents per gallon discount (if you buy more than 45 gallons but less than 100 gallons a month). Comparing this perk needs some calculation conversion because generic gas credit cards have rebate formulas in percentage terms.

The percentage of savings depend on the price of gasoline. For example, I fill up my Honda Oddesey with the cheapest grade. The price has ranged from $3.60 to $3.85. A savings of 5 cents would work out to 0.05/$3.60 = 1.39% and 0.05/3.85 = 1.30% respectively. For my Lexus RX350, I fill it up with premium fuel (the middle grade). Since the price per gallon is slightly over $4.00, the percentage terms is even lower.

As a comparison, we'll look at two of the better cash back cards with gas rewards. The Blue Cash Everyday pays 2% cash back at US Standalone Stations like Shell while the Amex Costco Card gives you 3% cash back at US standalone gas stations as well as Costco gas. These cards clearly pay you a higher cash back (which is really a discount) that is higher in percentage terms and more than the 5 cents (based on today's gas prices).

The other advantage of these two comparable cards is that there is no minimum gasoline purchase or caps that the Drive for Five has.

When we look solely at the discounts or cash back you get, the Drive For Five is not the best card at all. In fact, at today's gas prices, earning just slightly above 1% is really nothing great at all. But since it is a store card, there are some of you who might be looking at this card to build or rebuild your credit. One thing to note is that in their terms and conditions page, it says that you might get a credit limit as low as $200. While this may sound low, it is certainly better than other sub prime cards which charge exorbitant fees on top of low limits. It also states that if you ask for a credit limit increase, they would be able to tell you which bureau would they pull your report from (which is always good to know if you want to request that CR increase).

So the bottom line is this: If you fill up at Shell and want to earn cash back or discounts, there are better cards to get (since 5 cents works out to just over 1% cash back - unless gas prices fall back to the $2 area!). If you have bad credit and are actually looking for an unsecured credit card, then the Credit One Bank Visa with Gas Rewards is an alternative because you can earn reward points for gas purchases at any station. If you have average credit, the BarclayCard Rewards MasterCard is also a great alternative (you get 2X on gas, utilities and groceries).