RHB Shell Visa Credit Card Review: The New General Cashback Challenger
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When you first hear that RHB has a new co-branded credit card with Shell, you might automatically assume that it is a card that centres primarily on offering benefits related to Shell petrol expenditure.

Indeed, the RHB Shell Visa Credit Card does offer attractive cashback rates of up to 12% for Shell petrol expenditure. However, it also shapes up to be highly rewarding credit card for necessary expenses too, offering surprisingly generous cashback on groceries, online, e-wallet, and utilities spending each month.

Let’s take a look at how attractive cashback rates on a useful range of daily expenditure, coupled with cashback of up to RM100 a month, make the RHB Shell Visa Credit Card a strong contender for being your primary cashback card of choice for monthly essential expenditure.

At a glance: RHB Shell Visa Credit Card

Total Monthly Spend Shell Petrol Groceries, Online, E-Wallet, Utilities Other Retail Spend
RM800 – RM1,499.99 5% 1% 0.2%
RM1,500 – RM2,499.99 8% 2% 0.2%
RM2,500 and above 12% 5% 0.2%
Monthly Cap: RM50 RM50 Unlimited

Minimum income requirement: RM24,000 per annum or RM2,000 per month

Annual fee: RM196 for principal cardholders, waived for the first year and upon a minimum of 24 swipes per year for subsequent spend. Waived for supplementary cards.

High gains for high spenders

The RHB Shell Visa Credit Card offers 12% cashback on Shell petrol spend and up to 5% on groceries, online, e-wallet, and utilities expenditure. As a tiered credit card, the cashback rate offered depends on how much you spend in total each month. However, due to the higher cashback rates for Shell petrol and the 50-50 cashback allowance split, the card’s effectiveness is also specifically reliant on how much your petrol expenditure is, too.

To illustrate, at the highest spending tier for the RHB Shell Visa Credit Card, you will get RM50 in cashback once you spend about RM417 in petrol a month, and another RM50 in cashback once you spend RM1,000 on the other categories (although of course, you will still need to spend more on top of this to hit the tier’s RM2,500 spending requirement). This will ensure that you earn a whopping RM1,200 in cashback a year – and puts your maximum effective cashback from the card at a very rewarding 4%.

Of course, the 4% effective rate is just the maximum earnings that you could get from the RHB Shell Visa Credit Card. It is also largely dependent on you spending over RM400 on Shell petrol a month – which, while not impossible to reach, may be difficult to achieve for those who drive less regularly.

Not your usual petrol credit card

That said, even if you spend a moderate amount on petrol each month, you’ll be pleased to find that the returns of the RHB Shell Visa Credit Card are far from shabby. For example, say you spend RM200 on petrol and RM2,300 on the other categories – that would still earn you a good RM74 in cashback per month, with effective returns of 2.9%!

To take it one step further, let’s see how the RHB Shell Visa would hold up if you had no petrol expenditure and used it only to get cashback on the other categories. At RM50 returns for RM2,500 spend, your effective cashback rate would be 2% – not the highest, but still relatively decent considering it is only half of the full potential of the card.

In fact, we believe that the true strength of the RHB Shell Visa Credit Card is how well it holds up as a cashback credit card covering virtually all the necessary household expenses. Groceries, petrol, and utilities make up a big chunk of our essential monthly expenditure, and a credit card offering up to 5% cashback on utility bill payments in particular is a rare and welcome find in the market. Moreover, thanks to the shift towards e-wallet payments and e-commerce over the last year, the online and e-wallet categories basically mean that you can get cashback on virtually anything using the RHB Shell Visa.

A worthy cashback contender

To give you a fuller picture of how the RHB Shell Visa measures up as a cashback credit card, we can look at some of the other tiered credit cards out there. The Standard Chartered JustOne Platinum’s highest cashback tier offers 15% capped at RM60 for a minimum spend of RM2,500, which amounts to an effective 2.4% rate of return. Meanwhile, the HSBC Amanah MPower Platinum Credit Card yields effective returns of 2.25%, offering RM45 in cashback for RM2,000 minimum spend. Clearly, the RHB Shell Visa’s maximum effective cashback rate of 4% – and even some of the lower effective rates we worked out in the examples above – makes it a competitive choice in the market.

However, it is not just the effective cashback rates that make a RHB Shell Visa a worthy cashback contender. One thing that makes this card stand out is the flexibility offered by its cashback cap. Yes, half of the cap does go to petrol expenditure – but unlike the tiered cashback credit cards mentioned above, the RM50 cap for groceries, online/e-wallets, and utilities is not broken down to smaller caps per category. This means that should you want to use your RM50 cashback allowance fully on expenditure for any one category, such as e-wallet top-ups, you have the flexibility and freedom to do so.

In this flexibility aspect, the RHB Shell Visa Credit Card is quite similar to the Affin Duo Visa Cash Back, which also doesn’t implement sub-caps on its three cashback categories of online, e-wallet, and auto-billing transactions. The RHB Shell Visa even beats the Affin Duo’s very rewarding RM80 maximum cashback allowance per month, although of course this is with the fuel cashback taken into consideration. These high cashback caps currently being offered by the RHB Shell Visa and Affin Duo are reminiscent of the old glory days of cashback credit cards, where it was less of a rarity to find a credit card offering close to or over RM1,000 of cashback in a year.

RHB Shell Visa Credit Card verdict: Expanding the horizons of cashback

While writing this RHB Shell Visa Credit Card review, we found ourselves venturing outside of the normal considerations for a credit card – simply because the RHB Shell Visa isn’t your typical cashback credit card. With its separate benefits for fuel and non-fuel categories, it’s almost as if the RHB Shell Visa Credit Card is an amalgamation of two cards in one – a petrol cashback credit card, and a credit card for the general essentials.

And while it’s clear to see that RHB Shell Visa Credit Card would be the best tool for the cardholder who maximises both sides of this almost dual-nature credit card, the flexibility of this card makes it an unlikely jewel of a cashback card for quite a range of the higher-spending cardholders – from family breadwinners with big expenses to anyone looking for a good credit card to pay utility bills with, or the avid e-wallet user looking to double dip.

Find out more about applying for the RHB Shell Visa Credit Card here.

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2 years ago

Just found out that by spending RM1500, which includes RM625 of Shell fuel and RM875 of online, e-wallet, utilities and grocery, will get effective cash back rate of 4.5%

11 months ago

It really depends on individual spending habits, i.e. based on past expenses how much you will spend each month on petrol, groceries, online, utilities and ewallet. From there to simulate the expected return and see if this card giving you the best benefit compare to existing cards you have.

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