Best credit cards for Petrol – Esso [Part 3 of 4]

It’s time to revisit the topic on credit card discounts on petrol spend (unfortunately coinciding with the return of higher pump prices).

In the third of this 4-part series, we explore three credit cards that are promoted on ESSO’s main page.

Refer to our previous posts for SPC and Shell.

Card Cow’s recommendation: NTUC Plus/Plus Visa

NTUC plus:plus

There are a lot more credit card options when it comes to Esso petrol. Together with Smiles points and its promotions that give you 35% more points if you pump more than 250 litres in a month, there are just too many combinations.

There are a few assumptions I’ve made. Firstly, that one should always use the Smiles card. Second, you should always redeem the higher value petrol with Smiles points (S$30 for 750 points).

In short, there are 3 cards promoted on their website; Citibank Cashback, DBS-ESSO mastercard, and the OCBC Plus card. TL:DR – NTUC Plus/Plus Visa for most of us, Citibank Cashback if you are high spender.

First off, Smiles points are worth between 1.8% and 2.8%

Every litre of petrol give you 1 point, and 750 points allows you to redeem S$30 off ESSO petrol. Naturally, the effective discount you receive depends on prevailing petrol prices and the grade of petrol you use.

Then there is a bonus 35% Smiles points if you hit more than 250 litres a month.

NTUC Plus/ Plus Visa gives you between 20.3% and 21.3% discount with little criteria

This depends on the grade on petrol you pump (Grade 98 is more expensive, each smiles point becomes more ‘costly’ and hence lower effective discount) and whether you qualify for smiles promotion of 35% extra smiles points (more than 250 litres for the month) that will give a higher effective discount.

There is also a condition of having to spend S$300 nett for the month on the credit card. This should be easily reached. If you are confident of spending S$888 for the month, the Citibank Cashback card is for you.

OCBC 365 gives a marginally lower (0.2%) discount but require S$600 nett spend for the month, while other OCBC cards give much lesser discount that are not worth going into.

Who should get this card: Readers who do their grocery shopping at NTUC. Most of the value comes in the form of linkpoints which are earned at NTUC Fairprice, NTUC Unity and NTUC online.

Consider the Citibank Cashback if you are confident of spending S$888 for the month, gives 22.6% to 23.7%.

Citibank Cashback

Pretty much the same criteria as mentioned with Shell petrol, the substantial additional discount from this card is only unlocked on spending S$888 per month. We have covered in that post who should get that card.

DBS-ESSO card effective discount is between 19.2% and 20.2%

DSB Esso Mastercard

This card’s complexity comes in with what you can do with the DBS points that comes with your spend. It can be redeemed for a variety of item, and in this case I’m only looking at redemption for petrol and miles. So how is the range derived?

If you pump Grade 98 petrol, value your Krisflyer/Asia miles at 1.5 cents per miles when redeeming DBS points and do not qualify for bonus 35% extra smiles points, you reach 19.2%. These are all worst case scenarios.

In  the best case, you choose Grade 95 petrol, value your miles at 2 cents per mile, and qualify for bonus Smiles point, you get 20.2%. That still works out lower than what OCBC Plus can give you.

Share this information and get the most juice from your petrol spend!

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