Shell Fuel Rewards program guide
You can save dollars at the pump if you know how to stack up Fuel Rewards discounts
The summer travel season is here and gas prices are soaring even more than usual. While you’re pulling out your suitcases and dusting off your beach gear in preparation for an upcoming road trip, you may be watching the prices on the gas station signs as they creep upward by the day.
You also may have noticed the advertisements for the Fuel Rewards Network at your local Shell station and are wondering if an extra 5 cents off per gallon can help you keep a cap on your travel expenses.
As a matter of fact, if you know the ins and outs of Shell’s rewards program, you can save more than a few dollars at the pump this summer.
In the following guide, we tell you everything you need to know about the Fuel Rewards Network – how it works, whether it’s worth your loyalty and how to get the most savings with the program.
What is the Fuel Rewards Network?
The Fuel Rewards Network is Shell’s rewards program, designed to repay your loyalty with savings on gas. Unlike your usual gas rewards card – which might shave a few cents off each dollar when you swipe your card at a gas pump – the Fuel Rewards program is a full-out rewards program.
The Fuel Rewards Network encompasses a loyalty card, an app and a multitude of shopping and restaurant partners, and lets you stack up unlimited discounts through purchases made within and outside Shell gas stations that you can devote toward your next fill-up.
How the Fuel Rewards Network works
Every member of the Fuel Rewards Network gets at least a 3-cents-per-gallon savings at Shell stations and can earn more savings through their purchases with Shell or with a Fuel Rewards Network partner.
New Fuel Rewards Network members receive automatic Gold status once they sign up for the program through the website or the app – entitling them to 5 cents off every gallon of Shell gas. After the first six months, members are required to fill up at a Shell gas station at least six times every three months (approximately two times per month) to maintain Gold status and their 5-cents discount.
Members can stack additional discounts onto their 5-cents discount by linking their credit and debit cards to their loyalty program account and dining at Shell restaurant partners, purchasing travel through the Fuel Rewards Network travel site, shopping through Shell’s shopping portal or taking advantage of an online or in-store promotion through one of Shell’s shopping partners.
How your Fuel Rewards add up
1. You earn discounts on various types of spending.
Automatic 5-cents-per-gallon discount as a Gold member + 10-cents-per-gallon discount for spending $50 on dining + 40-cents-per-gallon discount for spending $50 on a special promotion = $0.55 discount
2. Your total discount is subtracted from the gas price the next time you fill up.
$2.87/gallon - $0.55 discount = $2.32/gallon
3. Multiply your discount by the number of gallons purchased to calculate your savings.
15 gallons x $0.55 = $8.25 total savings
Your discounts are applied when you fill up at a Shell gas station. When you swipe your Shell card or enter an Alt ID into the keypad at the pump, Shell adds up all the discounts you’ve earned and subtracts them from the cost of the gas, up to 20 gallons.
You can then use any form of payment you please. (That’s right -- you aren’t restricted to using a Shell gas card or the credit cards you’ve linked through the site.)
The rebates that you can earn are unlimited and can cancel out the price of your gas. If your total discount exceeds the price per gallon, Shell will supply the gas to you for free and roll over your leftover discount to your next fill-up.
How to Join the Fuel Rewards Network
To join the Fuel Rewards program, go to the website or download the app. You can create an account in a matter of minutes. The site will prompt you to enter your credit card information, but you can skip that step if you prefer. Your Fuel Rewards card should come in the mail, but you don’t need the card to start using the program.
Once you are registered, enter your Alt ID at the pump (usually the phone number you used to register for the program) and get a 5-cents discount on the spot.
Fuel Rewards Gold status
Gold status is an elite level of status in the Fuel Rewards program, awarded to members who fill up at Shell gas stations at least six times every three months.
There are three levels of status in the Fuel Rewards Network:
|Status level||Who qualifies||Benefits|
member of the Fuel Rewards Network who doesn’t qualify for a higher status
discount at Shell stations, plus other special offers
|Gold||New members for the first six months and existing members who fill up at least 6 times every 3 months||5-cents-per-gallon
discount at Shell stations, plus other special offers
only, based on purchases at Shell stations and level of activity
discounts, benefits and experiences
The good news for new members is, you get Gold status immediately and can get a 5-cents-per-gallon discount for at least the first six months.
Which cards can you link to your Fuel Rewards account?
You don’t have to link a card to your account to earn the 5-cents rebate with the Fuel Rewards Network, but you should consider doing so to earn extra fuel savings. You can link multiple cards to your account, and we recommend that you link all your active cards to maximize your discounts.
Here are the types of cards that you can link:
- Shell Small Business, Drive for Five or Shell Fleet cards – You can, of course, link any of Shell’s credit cards or your fleet fuel card.
- Virtually any credit or debit card (Mastercard, Visa, American Express or Discover) – You aren’t limited to using a Shell credit card. Since many Fuel Network promotions are targeted to Mastercard holders, link your Mastercard credit and debit cards to be able to take advantage of Mastercard limited-time offers.
- Loyalty program cards – In addition to credit cards, you can link several loyalty program cards to your account, including your Fuel Rewards Network Instant Rewards, IHG Rewards and Motiva Enterprise cards. This allows you to earn Fuel Network discounts on top of your regular card rewards when a special promotion is running.
- IGS Energy account – You can link your IGS Energy account to the Fuel Rewards Network by visiting the IGS Energy website.
Best credit cards to use with Fuel Rewards
You may be surprised to learn that you don’t have to use a Shell credit card to pay for gas to earn your discount, nor do you have to use any of the credit cards that you have linked to your account. Once you’ve swiped your loyalty card and input your Alt ID number, you can pay with any credit card in your wallet.
This makes credit card strategy with the Fuel Rewards Network
a little tricky.
For instance, if you’re trying to earn discounts through the Dining Rewards network, you’ll want to use a credit card that offers a bonus on restaurant purchases. However, when you pay for gas, you’ll want to use a card that offers a bonus on gas purchases – which could be a totally different card!
In fact, you may have to rotate several cards to get the best earnings.
When it comes to making gas purchases, you basically want to
pick the card that offers the most rewards on gas. Your rewards from that card
will stack with your Fuel Rewards Network discount.
Here’s a list of cards that offer a high rewards rate for Shell gas purchases:
Best cards to use for Shell gas
|Gas Rewards||Annual fee|
Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
||4% cash back (on up to $7,000 in purchases per year, 1% thereafter)
(requires $60 Costco membership)
of America Cash Rewards
||3% cash back ($2,500 purchase limit per quarter)
|Blue Cash Preferred||3% cash back ($6,000 purchase limit per year)
||3% cash back ($1,500 purchase limit per quarter)
||5% in points on eligible gas station purchases ($10,000 purchase limit per
ThankYou Premier Card
||3 points per dollar
||$95, $0 first year|
||5% cash back in some quarters (up to $1,500 in
purchases per quarter)
it Cash Back
||5% cash back in some quarters (up to $1,500 in
purchases per quarter if you enroll)
Drive for Five
||5 cents off per gallon
-20 cents off per gallon
You may think that a Shell credit card is the best way to pay – after all, 5 cents off per gallon seems like a large number. However, a card that offers a bonus on the dollars that you spend rather than on gallons of gas will generally be more rewarding.
For instance, if you bought 8 gallons of gas at $2 per gallon, the Costco Anywhere Visa would give you 64 cents back, while the Shell Drive for Five card would give you a 40-cent discount.
The Costco Anywhere Visa, in fact, is one of the most rewarding gas cards around – but, it requires you to be a Costco member. If you aren’t up for that, you may consider the Bank of America Cash Rewards card or the AARP card, which both offer a high rewards rate on gas for no annual fee.
Also, the Discover it and Chase Freedom cards are a great option in a quarter in which they offer 5-percent cash back on gas.
How to earn Shell Fuel Rewards
On top of your automatic 5-cents rebate, Shell offers a
variety of ways to earn additional discounts toward your next fuel purchase,
including a dining rewards network, an online mall and a travel site.
There are some good opportunities to rack up savings on your gas purchases, but – if you are a member of any other travel, dining or credit card loyalty program – you’ll have to take many of these options with a grain of salt, since they compete with outside loyalty programs.
Here’s a rundown of ways to earn extra discounts on Shell gas:
Fuel Rewards Network Dining
You can save 10 cents per gallon of gas for every $50 that you spend at participating restaurants, bars and clubs (including takeout purchases). You don’t have to spend $50 at once – you can accumulate it over several purchases. To qualify for the 10-cents rebate, you need to link your card through Shell’s Dining Network and opt in to receive emails.
Shell’s Dining program, though, is powered by the Rewards Network – the same program behind all the airline and hotel dining programs. What this means: You can’t earn Shell Dining Rewards with a particular card if it’s already linked to another dining rewards program (and, you’ll probably get a better value linking your card to another dining rewards program).
Fuel Rewards Network online mall
You can save between 5 cents and 50 cents per gallon for
every $50 you spend with a retailer through the Fuel Rewards Network online
To use the mall, you go to the Fuel Rewards website, log in to your account, click the “online shopping” link and choose a retailer in the list. The link will take you directly to the retailer’s site, where you can shop as usual, using gift cards, promo codes and other discounts and using any credit card you want to make your purchase.
The downside to the Fuel Rewards Network mall is that you can’t use it in conjunction with other online shopping malls (e.g., Chase’s Ultimate Rewards mall). If you are collecting miles or points, you’re probably better off going through another rewards program’s online shopping portal.
Fuel Rewards Network travel
You can book travel through the Fuel Rewards Network’s travel portal (powered by Priceline) or with one of its car rental partners – including Avis, Budget and Payless – to earn a 5-cents discount on every $50 that you spend.
Considering the plethora of travel rewards programs that offer valuable points and miles for travel purchases, using the Fuel Rewards Network loyalty program to earn a gas rebate on your travel purchases is probably not the best option.
Shell gives you an additional 5- to 15-cents rebate when you purchase specially marked items -- including coffee, drinks and snacks -- within its convenience stores. Look for signs at the pumps to find special offers inside the store.
Shell also offers periodic rebates on gift cards purchased within Shell convenience stores (including Amazon.com and iTune gift cards).
Hint for rewards maximizers: This might be a good opportunity to earn some points or even a category bonus on your rewards card while also getting a gas rebate.
Mastercard limited-time offers
Mastercard holders are eligible for exclusive limited-time offers within the Fuel Rewards Network, such as discounts for purchases at select grocery stores or for dining at a promoted restaurant. You just need to link your Mastercard to your Fuel Rewards Network account and then use your Mastercard to make your purchase.
The good news is that your fuel rebate stacks on top of your credit card rewards, so it’s all gravy on top of the rewards you would normally earn.
The bad news is that a lot of popular rewards cards – such as the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, Discover it cards and the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card – aren’t a part of the Mastercard network.
Basically, if you’re collecting rewards through another cash back or travel rewards program, your earning opportunities with the Fuel Rewards Network may be limited.
Other card-linked offers
For the remainder of cardholders, the Fuel Rewards Network does have a few card-linked offers that apply to any credit card network – for example, 5-cents-per-gallon savings from a $50 purchase at Jiffy Lube.
Unfortunately, it’s a very short list. Most of the Fuel Rewards Network’s promotions are directed to Mastercard holders.
How to maximize your savings with Shell Fuel Rewards
- Once your six-month introductory period expires, be sure to visit a Shell gas station at least twice a month to maintain your 5-cents discount with Gold status.
- Link your credit card to your account so you can earn an automatic discount when you are shopping and dining.
- Since most Fuel Network promotions are targeted to Mastercard users, link a Mastercard to your account and use it for purchases at participating merchants (except in cases in which you can earn more rewards with another rewards card).
- If you are part of another loyalty program (e.g., United MileagePlus), check out that program’s shopping portal and dining program to see if they offer a better rewards rate on shopping and dining purchases before you decide to go through the Fuel Rewards Network shopping portal.
- Check the Fuel Rewards site (or the app) often for special offers and time your gas purchases around your shopping and dining purchases. For instance, if Shell is offering extra cents off per gallon on your grocery purchases, you may want to fill up right after you go to the grocery store.
- Use a credit card with a gas bonus to pay at the pump. (It doesn’t have to be a Mastercard and doesn’t have to be linked to your Fuel Rewards account.)
- Use the Shell app to find Shell stations on your route with low gas prices and to find nearby merchants offering Shell rewards.
- Refer a friend to the Fuel Rewards Network to get a 25-cents-per-gallon discount on your next purchase. Your friend must join program using a referral link and fill up at a Shell gas station for you to earn the discount. There’s no limit to number of friends you can refer.
Is Shell Fuel Rewards worth it?
Hopefully, we’ve given you an idea of how large a rebate you can earn with the Fuel Rewards Network, but you probably sense that there is a big piece missing from this puzzle: How much would you normally pay for Shell gas? Because, a rebate is a moot point if you still end up paying more per gallon than you would with a gas station across the street.
This is where it depends on where you live and work, because if you pay any attention to gas station prices – Shell gas prices are all over the place. To show you what we mean, we used Gas Buddy to do a survey of gas prices in our vicinity:
Screen shot from Gas Buddy – Shell offers one of the highest prices per gallon and one of the lowest prices per gallon in this list
As you can see, Shell offers one of the highest prices per gallon in our neighborhood ($2.85) as well as one of the lowest prices per gallon ($2.54). With the 5-cents-per-gallon rebate you earn as a Gold member, you could get the best price per gallon out of any station in our area – including the Costco station – if you fill up at the Shell station that charges $2.54 per gallon.
In other words, the value of the Fuel Rewards program depends greatly on which stations lie along your route and how far you’re willing go to find the cheapest price on gas. If you search out the Shell stations that have the best price on any particular day, your savings could be significant.
Take this card on your next road trip
|The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Why should you get it?
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% cash back on gas purchases – one of the highest rates on gas purchases for a no-annual-fee card. It also offers 2% cash back on grocery and wholesale club purchases, making it a good card for everyday purchases.
More things to know:
Related stories: How credit cards take a bite out of gas prices, 2018 gas card survey: Gas cards trail in the race to fill up your wallet, With Citi Costco card, which gas stations earn 4 percent cash back?
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