Despite being a considerable part of monthly expenditure, fuel transactions are usually kept as an exclusion from credit card reward programs. However, some credit cards are co-branded with leading fuel brands like Indian Oil, HPCL and BPCL, designed to help users save on fuel spends. Unlike most cards that offer minimal fuel benefit as surcharge waiver, these cards offer inclined benefits on fuel, via accelerated rewards with the collaborated fuel brand.
To help you choose the right fuel credit card, we have compared the three most popular and rewarding fuel credit cards in India- BPCL SBI Card Octane, IDFC FIRST Power+ Credit Card and IndianOil Axis Bank Credit Card. You should choose a card that matches well with your spending patterns and aligns the most with your preferences. Read on to know more.
Note: The estimated value back percentage is calculated as per the earning and redemption values offered on the cards. Click here to check the value back calculation.
Co-branded Fuel Benefits
All three cards offer savings through reward points and discounts on fuel and non-fuel expenses. Based on the features listed below, we have derived the estimated savings in a month, with these cards:
BPCL SBI Card Octane:- Up to 7.25% Value back on fuel spends
- 25X reward points on fuel purchases: 25 Reward Points on every Rs. 100 spent at BPCL Fuel, & Lubricants (Up to 2500 points per billing cycle)
- 10 reward points on every Rs. 100 spent at Dining, Departmental Stores, Grocery & Movies (Up to 7500 points per month)
- 1 reward point per Rs. 100 spent on other retail transactions (Except mobile wallet upload & non-BPCL fuel spends)
- 25 reward points on every Rs. 100 spent on Bharat Gas (Up to 500 points per billing cycle)
- 4 Reward Point = Rs. 1
IDFC FIRST Power Plus Credit Card:- Up to 6.5% savings on fuel spends
- 24 rewards on every Rs. 150 spent on HPCL fuel & LPG (capped at maximum transaction value Rs. 10,000 every month)
- 30 rewards on every Rs. 150 spent on Grocery & Utility spends (capped at maximum transaction value of Rs. 2,000 every month)
- 30 rewards on every Rs. 150 spent on IDFC FIRST FASTag recharge (capped at maximum transaction value of Rs. 1,000 every month)
- 6 Payback Rewards on every Rs. 100 spent at HP Pay App (capped at maximum transaction value of Rs. 5,000 every month)
- 3 reward points on every Rs. 150 spent on other retail transactions
- 3 Reward = Rs. 0.75
- 25% off on movie tickets up to Rs. 100, once every month
IndianOil Axis Bank Credit Card:- Up to 5% value back on fuel spends
- 20 reward points on every Rs. 100 spent at IOCL fuel pumps in India (eligible on transaction value capped at Rs. 5,000)
- 5 reward points on every Rs. 100 spent on online shopping (eligible on transaction value capped at Rs. 5,000)
- 1 reward point on every Rs. 100 spent on other retail transactions
- Up to 10% discount on movie ticket bookings via BookMyShow (up to Rs. 100 per month)
- Up to 15% off on dining (up to Rs. 1,000 in a month)
Estimated monthly savings at co-branded fuel spends
Let’s assume you spend Rs. 10,000 a month on fuel at specific co-branded fuel stations. You will earn benefits via the accelerated fuel rewards offered on these cards, as shown in the table below:
|BPCL SBI Card Octane||IDFC FIRST Power+ Credit Card||IndianOil Axis Bank Credit Card|
|Reward category||25 Reward Points on every Rs. 100||24 Rewards on every Rs. 150||20 rewards on every Rs. 100 spent on transactions up to Rs. 5,000|
|Fuel spends||Rs. 10,000||Rs. 10,000||Rs. 10,000|
|Rewards earned on Rs. 10,000||2,500 reward points||1,600 reward points||1,050 reward points
(up to 1,000 points on Rs. 5,000+ 50 points on remaining value)
|Redemption value||1 reward point= Rs. 0.25||1 reward point= Rs. 0.25||1 reward point= Rs. 0.20|
|Total value back||Rs. 625||Rs. 400||Rs. 210|
Considering a monthly spend of Rs. 10,000 on fuel, BPCL SBI Card Octane clearly offers the maximum value back. However, it is also the maximum value you can earn on this card due the capping of 2,500 reward points in a billing cycle. This means, even if you spend double the amount illustrated, you will earn the same value back, due to a low reward capping.
IDFC FIRST HPCL Power+ Card and IndianOil Axis Bank Credit Card also limit the reward earnings on fuel transactions, but instead of reward points, the capping here is done on the maximum transaction value, of Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5,000, respectively.
With IDFC FIRST Card you do not earn any reward value on HPCL or non-HPCL transactions beyond Rs. 10,000. However, for transactions up to Rs. 20,000 you still earn a fuel surcharge waiver of 1%, but only on HPCL pumps.
On the other hand, with Indian Oil Axis Bank Credit Card, you earn the accelerated rewards on transactions up to Rs. 5,000, but for transactions beyond this value, you atleast earn rewards on the base rate. Thus, for any fuel transaction beyond Rs. 5,000 you earn 1 reward on every Rs. 100, instead of 5 rewards. Additionally, the fuel surcharge waiver on this card is not limited to IndianOil pumps, but across all pumps in India.
Estimated monthly savings on all fuel & non-fuel spends
|Spend category||Spend value||BPCL SBI Card Octane||IDFC FIRST Power+ Credit Card||IndianOil Axis Bank Credit Card|
|Fuel spends at co-branded stations*||Rs. 4,000||Rs. 250||Rs. 160||Rs. 160|
|Fuel surcharge waiver benefit||Rs. 40||Rs. 40||Rs. 40|
|Fuel spends at non-branded fuel stations||Rs. 3,000||–||–||Rs. 10 (via fuel surcharge on all fuel stations)|
|Dining||Rs. 4,000||Rs. 100||Rs. 20||Rs. 600|
|Grocery||Rs. 8,000||Rs. 200||Rs. 400||Rs. 56|
|Movies||Rs. 1,000||Rs. 25||Rs. 100||Rs. 100|
|Retail spends||Rs. 5,000||Rs. 12.5||Rs. 25||Rs. 10|
|Online shopping||Rs. 5,000||Rs. 12.5||Rs. 25||Rs. 50|
|Total Spends/Savings||Rs. 30,000||Rs. 640
The above mentioned details are illustrated subjectively as per general spending across multiple categories. Deriving maximum value back depends upon your spending preferences and patterns. For instance, for IndianOil Axis Bank Credit Card, we have assumed grocery shopping as done ‘online’, to derive the maximum value back, via 5x rewards for online shopping. For offline grocery shopping, the benefits may differ. Similarly, we have not calculated returns for utility bill payments, if you also spend on utilities with your card, you might earn the highest valueback via IDFC FIRST Power+ Card, as it offer 30 points on every Rs. 150 on this category.
Based on the above comparison, we have deduced the following:
(i) BPCL SBI Card Octane offers the highest value back on fuel, in comparison to the other two cards, that offer an equal return.
(ii) All three cards offer an equal amount of fuel surcharge waiver, of 1% of the transaction amount. While SBI BPCL Octane and IDFC FIRST Power+ limit the fuel surcharge waiver across their co-branded fuel stations, IndianOil Axis Bank Card offers waiver at ‘all’ fuel stations in India. Thus, you earn the fuel surcharge waiver benefit even beyond non-partnered fuel spends.
(iii) Unlike the other two cards, IDFC FIRST Power+ Credit Card offers no dining privileges like rewards or discounts. Thus, the value back is derived out of the basic reward structure of 3X rewards on every Rs. 150 spent. In comparison, SBI Card Octane offers accelerated rewards on dining with 10X rewards, whereas Axis IndianOil card offers up to 15% direct discount via the Dining Delights Programme. Based on the value back comparison, IndianOil Axis Card offers the highest value back on dining.
(iv) Both SBI BPCL Card Octane and IDFC FIRST HPCL Power+ Credit Card offer accelerated rewards on grocery shopping, with 10 rewards on every Rs. 100 and 30 rewards on every Rs. 150 spent, respectively. Indian Oil Axis Bank Credit Card, on the other hand can offer you grocery benefits via 5X rewards offered on online shopping.
As per the value derived above, IDFC HPCL Power+ clearly beats the other two, offering the highest savings with a huge margin. BPCL SBI Octane also offers accelerated rewards on departmental stores, thus even when you do not shop your groceries online, you can save a good amount on offline grocery shopping with this card.
(v) IndianOil Axis Bank Credit Card & IDFC FIRST HPCL Power+ offer direct discounts up to 10% and 25% respectively on booking movie tickets. However, even when there is a difference in the rate, the maximum capping is the same at Rs. 100 per month. Thus both offer equal benefit. SBI BPCL Octane, on the other hand, offers 10 rewards on every Rs. 100, thus even at a decent reward rate for this category, it offers the least value back comparatively.
(vi) Indian Oil Axis Bank Credit Card also offers accelerated rewards on online shopping, which other two cards do not offer. For these two cards, online shopping yields the same benefits as any other retail spend.