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Buy gasoline and diesel with a credit card? Here’s what you need to know …

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Many credit card companies are trying to capitalize on rising gasoline and diesel prices by offering discounts, cash back, and reward points to potential new customers. Interestingly, more gas credit card offers are being introduced at a time when gasoline and diesel prices are reaching new all-time highs. Several card companies have launched co-branded credit cards in partnership with fuel companies such as BPCL and HP.

Even this week, SBI Card partnered with Bharat Petroleum to launch the RuPay contactless card with the BPCL SBI co-branding. This card promises 13 reward points for every Rs 100 spent on fuel purchases at Bharat Petroleum gas pumps and a 1% fuel surcharge exemption on each transaction up to Rs 4,000.

When buying fuel at gas pumps in a city, you may also have come across credit card brokers who make big promises about fuel credit cards. But do you know how these cards work? And what are the precautions to take before using a fuel credit card? Or who should use those cards? This article explains those details.

Experts say that fuel cards can be beneficial for those who travel a lot in their vehicles. The more fuel they would buy, the more rewards or cash back they could get. Fuel cards can be a great way to save money.

However, credit card companies offer fuel cards in association with oil companies and have various conditions for releasing rewards or refunds. Generally, fuel cards are rewarding if your daily or monthly fuel expenses are high.

Take into account the actual costs and compare

If you plan to get a fuel card specifically to save money on fuel, you need to consider other factors such as the total cost of the card, annual and membership fees, etc. Credit card companies generally have fixed annual spending thresholds, fees do not apply. However, if you don’t spend that much, you will have to pay these fees, which will affect the overall savings you would like to achieve with these cards.

Read the list of fuel pumps

If you already use a co-branded fuel credit card, you can earn rewards just for using it at specific gas stations. Therefore, before applying for the fuel card, you should read the list of gas pumps where you can earn rewards, add-on exemptions or redeem reward points.

Some fuel cards offer a 1% fuel surcharge exemption. However, this comes with a conditional minimum transaction limit, otherwise you will not get this exemption.

Evaluate your consumption habits

Generally, fuel credit card reward points can be redeemed for fuel expenses at specific points of sale / partners. However, in some cases, reward points can only be redeemed in the form of gift certificates or at certain specific online stores. You only need to apply for the fuel credit card that matches your consumption habits.

Compare rates

You should also compare the applicable finance charges in case of late payment of credit card bills.

Read the fine print

Some cards have an expiration date for reward points. Some others do not have an expiration date. Therefore, you must read all the terms and conditions before taking the cards.

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