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Understanding Fuel Surcharge Fees: How They Impact Your Credit Card Expenses

The fuel surcharge on a credit card is the issuer’s way to cover the cost of processing your transactions at fuel stations. However, these surcharges can add to the total cost, especially with rising fuel prices.  

Thankfully, most credit card companies also waive this surcharge and offer additional benefits on fuel purchases. Hence, by understanding this fuel surcharge fee, you can save more on your purchases at fuel stations. Here’s what you need to know.

 

What is a Fuel Surcharge on a Credit Card?

As mentioned earlier, it is the cost of using your credit card at petrol stations. Banks and financial institutions charge this fee to cover the cost of processing transactions at the fuel stations. 

Here is a brief overview of this surcharge on credit cards:

  • Certain credit card companies charge a certain fee for processing these charges, that range between 1% and 2.5% 
  • Some credit card issuers may also charge a fixed fee for using your credit card to refuel your vehicle 
  • While seemingly small, this fee can add up to your total cost of credit card usage in the long run
  • Checking your card’s terms and conditions is crucial, as the policies regarding when and where it applies may vary

How Fuel Surcharge Fee Impacts Your Credit Card Expenses

This surcharge can increase the overall cost of using a credit card in several ways. Here is how it can impact your expenses: 

 

Impact of Fuel Surcharge Fee on Credit Card Expenses

Increases Overall Cost

The direct impact of a fuel surcharge fee is the higher cost of refuelling your vehicle. If you refuel your vehicle several times a month, this charge can easily exceed a few litres worth of fuel. This adds up and you spend much more than you would expect or intend to over time. 

Creates Budgeting Issues

Responsible use of credit cards requires careful planning and a robust budget. However, if you have not factored in this fee, you will eventually end up spending more on fuel than you budgeted for. 

Reduces the Value of Rewards

Based on your credit card type, you can earn cashback and reward points for certain spending categories. This fee can potentially eat into the rewards you earn on different purchases. The higher the surcharge, the more you stand to lose as time passes. 

 

What is a Fuel Surcharge Waiver?

It entails an exemption or reduction in the fee that you need to pay for using credit cards at fuel stations. Unlike interest charges and annual fees, the fuel surcharge on a credit card is specific to fuel purchases. 

However, most card issuers set a monthly cap on the surcharge waiver you can receive. In some cases, you may pay the surcharge and have it refunded to you at a later date.  

 

How to Maximise Benefits on Fuel Purchase

There are a few practices to minimise its effect on your overall expenses. The following are some of the strategies you can employ:

Choose the Right Card

The foremost thing to do is research different cards and find the ones that offer rewards aligned with your fuel spending habits. You can look for a card that provides optimal cashback and exclusive deals and has an extensive network of partner fuel stations.

Plan Your Fuel Expenses

Some fuel credit cards allow you to earn accelerated rewards when you make fuel purchases from partner stations. Hence, it would be beneficial if you planned your fuel purchases so that you could fully leverage the benefit. 

Combine Various Offers

Among the various credit card benefits you can enjoy are exclusive offers and attractive deals at fuel pumps of the partner oil company. You can combine the fuel surcharge waiver with other ongoing offers to make the most when you swipe your credit card to refuel your vehicle.

Track Rewards and Benefits

Tracking your rewards, cashback, and waiver benefits regularly is key. This approach will help you optimise for maximum savings. Moreover, it helps avoid overspending on fuel purchases if you carefully follow your spending strategy.  

 

Fuel surcharge fees on credit cards are easily overlooked because they aren’t a hefty fee. However, you can explore credit cards that offer waivers and accelerated benefits on fuel purchases to offset the additional charges. 

If you want a card that allows you to save an extra buck on your spending at fuel stations across the country, get the One Credit Card. With this premium metal card, you can get a 1% fuel surcharge waiver up to ₹400 per month.

With its powerful mobile application, you can track and control your expenses at fuel stations and set limits to avoid overspending. Apply now to spend confidently and use your credit card for all your needs! 

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