2022 Edition: Best Credit Cards for Petrol

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What's the best miles strategy for petrol? Does maximizing miles mean having to forgo discounts?

“What’s the best card to use for petrol?”

This is always a tricky question for me, not because I don’t know which card gives the most miles, but because of all the discounts involved.

You see, petrol pricing in Singapore can be a complicated thing. You pull up to the pump and ask for S$50, only to go to the register and pay S$45. Discounts are great, don’t get me wrong, but it makes it tricky to do price comparisons on the fly. 

If the question is which card gives the most miles, period, then the answer is pretty straightforward:

Highest Miles Earning Cards for Petrol
CardMPDRemarks
UOB Visa Signature4.0*Min. S$1K spend on petrol + contactless per s. month, max. S$2K
UOB PPV4.0*Max. S$1.1K per c. month, must use mobile payments
UOB Lady’s Card4.0*Max. S$1K per c. month, must declare transport as quarterly 10X category
Maybank World Mastercard4.0 
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature3.2Min. S$300 retail spend per c. month, max. ~S$4.3K per c. month
C. Month= Calendar Month, S. Month= Statement Month
*Except Shell, SPC

Where it gets complicated is that the best card from a miles perspective may not necessarily be the best card from a discounts perspective.

As much as I want to maximize the miles I earn, at the end of the day it still boils down to what’s a better deal. I hope you have your value of a mile figure handy, because you’re going to need it for this post- it’s how you evaluate whether trading an X% discount for Y miles makes sense.

💳 What’s the Best Card for…
This guide forms part of the “best card” series. Check out other category specific guides below, or the overall guide here.
💗 Donations | 🏫 Education | 🥡 Food Delivery | 🏥 Hospital Bills | ☂️ Insurance  | ⛽ Petrol | 🚍 Public Transport| 🚰 Utilities Bills

Note: I’m going to be focusing on the cards that represent a good tradeoff between miles and discounts. If you’re interested in pure cashback, this isn’t the article for you. 

For the analysis below, I’m assuming you’re pumping 92/95 grades. Petrol stations may give slightly higher discounts for premium grades (e.g Platinum 98 with Caltex, V-Power with Shell)

Shell

Membership discount

Shell Escape Card10% discount

Credit card discounts

BankAdditional Discount
+4%
+4%
+4%
(+7% for UOB Reserve)

Citi, HSBC and UOB cardholders receive a further 4% discount (total: 14%) at Shell. Do note that even though Shell has left the UOB$ programme (formerly known as SMART$), UOB cardholders will still not earn UNI$ for Shell station transactions. 

This means miles chasers can consider the following options.

CardDiscountMPD
Maybank World Mastercard10% (15% with the Corporate Fuel Card)4.0
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature10%3.21 
Citi Prestige14%1.3
HSBC Visa Infinite14%1.252 
Citi PremierMiles 14%1.2
1. ≥S$300 retail spend per calendar month, capped at ~S$4.3K per calendar month
2. ≥S$50K spent in previous membership year, otherwise 1.0

SPC

Membership discount

SPC&U Card10% discount

Credit card discounts

BankAdditional Discount
+11% 
+5%
+5%
(+S$3 off every S$51 nett purchase till 31 Mar 22)

DBS and UOB cardholders receive a further 5% discount (total: 15%) at SPC. 

UOB cardholders (Visa/ Mastercard/ UnionPay) will receive a further S$3 off every S$51 nett purchase (i.e. after all station discounts and coupons are deducted), but note that they will not earn any UNI$ at SPC. 

For 2022, American Express cardholders will continue to enjoy up to 21% off at SPC, broken down as follows:

  • 10% SPC&U card discount
  • 5% AMEX discount
  • 7.1% statement credit on final charge amount (capped at S$120 for 2022)

This offer will resume from 18 January 2022, and registration will be required. I’ll write something about it when it goes live, but in the meantime, remember that American Express cards no longer earn any points or miles at SPC.

CardDiscountMPD
Maybank World Mastercard10%4.0
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature10%3.21
DBS Altitude Visa/ AMEX15%1.2
1. ≥S$300 retail spend per calendar month, capped at ~S$4.3K per calendar month

Esso

Membership discount

Esso Smiles Card10% discount

Credit card discounts

BankAdditional Discount
+4%
+4%
+4%

Citibank, DBS and OCBC cardholders receive a further 4% discount at Esso (total: 14%).

The good news is that there’s no UOB$ shenanigans here, so the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa, UOB Visa Signature or UOB Lady’s Card can be options for those who don’t want to get a dedicated petrol card.

If you’re pumping Synergy Supreme+, you’ll be eligible to double dip on KrisFlyer miles and Esso Smiles points, earning the equivalent of 2 mpd on top of credit card miles. Registration is required, and can be done via this link.

CardDiscountMPD
UOB Pref. Plat. Visa10%4.0
(via mobile payments)1 
UOB Lady’s Card10%4.02 
UOB Visa Signature10%4.03 
Maybank World Mastercard10%4.0
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature10%3.24
Citi Prestige14%1.3
OCBC VOYAGE14%1.3 (1.6 for Premier/ PPC/ BOS)
Citi PremierMiles 14%1.2
DBS Altitude Visa/ AMEX14%1.2
OCBC 90N Mastercard14%1.2 
1. Max ~$1.1K per calendar month
2. “Transport” must be selected as quarterly 10X category, capped at S$1K per month (S$3K for Lady’s Solitaire)
3. ≥S$1K spend on petrol + contactless in a statement month, capped at S$2K per statement month
4. ≥S$300 retail spend per calendar month, capped at ~S$4.3K per calendar month

Caltex

Membership discount

CaltexGO app14% discount

Caltex scrapped its in-house loyalty program in 2016 in favor of Plus! by NTUC Link. Motorists earn 2 LinkPoints per litre of fuel purchased, and 100 LinkPoints can be redeemed for S$1. LinkPoints can be converted to Asia Miles at a rate of 290 LinkPoints= 110 Asia Miles, so you earn 0.76 miles per litre of fuel on top of credit card rewards. 

The CaltexGo app allows cardholders to pay for petrol without entering the station, and the default discount for CaltexGo users is 14% with any Visa or Mastercard credit/debit card. 

Credit card discounts

BankAdditional Discount
(via CaltexGo)
+2%
(+3% for HSBC Premier Mastercard and Visa Platinum)
+4%
(+5% for VOYAGE + Premier Visa Infinite)
+2%
(+3% for Visa Infinite and Unlimited)

HSBC and Standard Chartered cards enjoy an additional 2% discount (total: 16%) when paying with the CaltexGo app. The discount increases to 3% (total: 17%) when paying with the Standard Chartered Visa Infinite or Unlimited Cashback Card, or the HSBC Premier Mastercard or Visa Platinum. 

OCBC cards enjoy an additional 4% discount (total: 18%), while VOYAGE and Premier Visa Infinite cardholders specifically will enjoy an additional 5% discount (total: 19%). 

CaltexGo uses MCC 5542 (versus 5541 for paying at the counter inside), bit it doesn’t really matter because both 5541 and 5542 are eligible to earn the usual petrol bonuses with the UOB Visa Signature, Maybank Horizon Visa Signature, and Maybank World Mastercard.

While it’s not listed on the Caltex website, UOB cardholders will enjoy 14% off (16% for the 98 grade) when paying at the counter. 

CardDiscountMPD
UOB Pref. Plat. Visa14% (pay at counter)4.0
(via mobile payments)1
UOB Lady’s Card16% (CaltexGo)
4.02
UOB Visa Signature16% (CaltexGo)
4.03
Maybank World Mastercard14% (CaltexGo)4.0
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature14% (CaltexGo)3.24
SCB Visa Infinite16% (CaltexGo)1.45
OCBC VOYAGE19% (CaltexGo)1.3 (1.6 for Premier/ PPC/ BOS)
HSBC Visa Infinite16% (CaltexGo)1.256
OCBC 90N Mastercard
18% (CaltexGo)1.2
1. Max ~$1.1K per calendar month
2. “Transport” must be selected as quarterly 10X category, capped at S$1K per month (S$3K for Lady’s Solitaire)
3. ≥S$1K spend on petrol + contactless in a statement month, max S$2K
4. ≥S$300 retail spend per calendar month, capped at ~S$4.3K per calendar month
5. ≥S$2K spend per statement month
6. ≥S$50K spent in previous membership year, otherwise 1.0

It’s unclear whether CaltexGo transactions will earn 10X with the DBS Woman’s World Card or Citi Rewards Card, so if you have any data points please chip in. 

Sinopec

Membership discount

Sinopec has its own loyalty card called, believe it or not, the X Card. I wonder how that plays with Standard Chartered’s legal team, but anyway it’s not so much a discount programme as it is a rewards one. Members earn 1-1.5 points per litre pumped, and every 90 points gives you S$3 off petrol. 

Credit card discounts

Sinopec keeps things very straightforward by running periodic 23% off discounts, valid for all grades of petrol, and all payment methods. 

This 23% discount has been going for so long it’s practically the default price, although it may not be available at all three stations. At the time of writing, it’s currently available at Bukit Timah until 31 January 2022. 

The flat discount structure makes it a no-brainer to use the UOB Preferred Platinum Visa for a fuss-free 4 mpd.

CardDiscountMPD
UOB Pref. Plat. Visa23%4.0
(via mobile payments)1
UOB Lady’s Card23% 4.02
UOB Visa Signature23%4.03
Maybank World Mastercard23% 4.0
Maybank Horizon Visa Signature23%3.24
1. Max ~$1.1K per calendar month
2. “Transport” must be selected as quarterly 10X category, capped at S$1K per month (S$3K for Lady’s Solitaire)
3. ≥S$1K spend on petrol + contactless in a statement month
4. ≥S$300 retail spend per calendar month, capped at ~S$4.3K per calendar month

Conclusion

In general, it only makes sense to get a specialised petrol card if you spend enough on petrol not to have to deal with orphan miles. Otherwise, you’d do just as well by having a UOB Visa Signature or UOB Preferred Platinum Visa and looking out for Sinopec, Caltex or Esso stations.

As always, you need to have your value of a mile figure in mind so you can weigh whether the incremental miles justify any loss in discounts. My personal pick would be Sinopec, assuming their stations match your vicinity. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Phoebe

Forgotten about UOB ladies card?

Russell

The FAQ for uob/SPC promo states that “No UNI$ or SMART$ will be awarded on your UOB card for any spend at SPC, unless otherwise stated for any respective UOB card entitled privileges.”

Based on this UOB ppv should earn 4mpd if you paywave at SPC

S

Amex cashback card is excluded from the T&C changes in March, so using that card offers effectively another 1+% rebate, bringing the total rebate to 22+%. Sinopec (especially with PPV) is still better for now, but this isn’t far behind.

Jack

SCB Visa Infinite gives additional 10.8% ($200 cap) if >$600 monthly spend. So if you spend >$2000, you will get 1.4mpd and ~25% discount. If you spend $600-1999, then 1mpd and ~25% discount. If you spend below $600, then 1mpd and 16% discount.

Adam

For Caltex, it would be good to include the miles that you can earn should you convert your Linkpoints to miles (I believe Linkpoints has a tie up with Asia Miles)

Adam

The math:
440 Linkpoints converts to 110 Asia Miles (4:1)
1 litre of Caltex fuel earns 3 linkpoints.

Therefore, 1 litre of Caltex fuel earns 0.75 miles.

ken lee

SPC x UOB

can get up to 20% on a normal VISA/MC UOB card ( but no miles 🙁 )

S$3 off is only applicable with every gross S$60 spend (or S$51 nett after all station discount and/or coupons are deducted from the gross amount), for payment made with UOB Visa, MasterCard or UnionPay Credit/Debit Cards only.

https://www.uob.com.sg/personal/cards/cards-privileges/fuel-power/spc.page

YH

UOB one card with Shell 20.88%

Harin

For SPC, doesn’t the POSB Everyday card give the best discount. Have been using it for ages, and don’t know whether I am still mechanically flipping out the card without checking the discount anymore.

Adam

20.1%, inferior to Amex in that aspect.

Kev

Believe you are referring to the AMEX Capitastar card?

Ely

13% + 3% at Caltex for Favepay, link it to Grab and it’ll open other options like CRV or UOB One for Caltex.

https://www.caltex.com/sg/motorists/rewards-and-offers/promotions/favepay-caltex.html

MG

Don’t bother with miles with petrol. Just go for the cheapest based on your CC discount

Bunny

Juat to confirm, does UOB krisflyer card get miles or SMART points at SPC?

Yiwei

I am pretty sure I earn UNI$ for SPC transaction back in January this year. Just make sure you choose transport as the category.
UOB no longer lists SPC as smart$ merchant?

Joan

Hi Aaron, will this be updated soon?

r k

Hi Aaron, found out recently that Grabpay option allows for 16% discount. Not the best payment method to use out there right now but this can be combined with the 0.9mpd for Amex HF or 1mpd topup for Amex cards going on now.

More info: https://www.caltex.com/sg/motorists/rewards-and-offers/promotions/grabpay-caltexgo.html

Abc

Don’t forget cashback cards, where cashback is still given and points or miles aren’t. Eg smart$ and spc transactions still count towards uob one spend targets, and amex true cashback still earns 1.5% cashback at spc.

AWe

HSBC Revo don’t enjoy 4mpd at Sinopec? Contactless …

Gee

I seem to recall being told at Esso? that using contactless payments will cause credit cards discounts not to register. Does anyone know if this is true at Esso, or any of the other brands?

Richard

Yes, I have been told numerous times by the Esso station staff. Was asked to pay with physical card instead of mobile contactless option. This needs to be investigated further and the impact on discounts/miles updated on this article

A. Low

Shell no longer earns Smart$. Does that mean UOB PPV is now available to earn 14% + 4MPD at Shell?

Stajin

Its too confusing lol.
Which card gives you best on-site upfront discount for shell petrol station ignoring miles points?

I find this the easiest. So many card with cash back or miles have so many rules on min monthly spend etc.

Just looking for the easiest instant on the spot discount for shell. Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance
Stajin

Jo A

Will this article be updated? 🙂

Mike

What about Amaze + WWMC at Sinopec during their regular 23% discounts? Able to get 4 mpd?

Denny

Yes.

Anon

Would the credit card xtra discount be applied if you’re using mobile payment? I.e. UOB card through Google pay.

Anon

ahh ok. Though must be physical card present for the 5% to kick in (at least for SPC since it is not manually entered by the cashier but through a tap on the POS).

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