Written by Julia Watts Reviewed by Maïté Bouhali Updated on January 26, 2023 On this page The Best Prepaid Fuel Cards What are Prepaid Fuel Cards? Different Types of Prepaid Fuel Card Shell Refillable Card Brink's Business Expense Bento for Business ARCO PumpPASS FAQs Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. The best prepaid gas cards are: Shell Refillable Gift Card, Brink's Business Expense, Bento for Business, and ARCO PumpPass. With surging gas and energy prices affecting businesses world-wide, we compared prices, additional features, and more, to help you make the right decision for your fleet.With a solid menu of choice of prepaid gas cards in the market, it's hard to choose the one that fits your business best. To save you time and effort, why not fill out our fleet cards callback quiz? We'll match you with experts in prepaid gas cards who'll get in touch with quotes from the top fuel companies.Now let's compare the features, pricing and star ratings of each gas card according to our research. The Best Prepaid Fuel CardsThe best prepaid fuel cards are:Shell Refillable CardBrink's Business ExpenseBento for BusinessARCO PumpPASS Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Best for simplicity Shell Refillable Card Best for nationwide coverage Brink's Business Expense Best for managing expenses Bento for Business Cheap fuel ARCO PumpPASS 4.5 4.5 4.0 3.5 Key Features Holds up to $300Top up onlinePay at the pumpCan't access funds if card lost Key Features Debit card (Mastercard)Custom spending limitsDashboard to monitor expensesSubmit receipts by mobile app Key Features Visa debit cardCan reload automaticallyNo direct deposits, only ACH or wire transferSpend management software Key Features Load up to $100 on a cardAvoid 35¢ fee on PIN debit cards at ARCONo software Card Fees None Card Fees $0-$149 per month Card Fees $29-$149 per month Card Fees None Network 15,000+ Network Everywhere that accepts Mastercard Network Anywhere that accepts Visa Network 1,400 stations in 15 states, none in the Midwest Request quotes Request quotes Request quotes Request quotes What are Prepaid Fuel Cards?Prepaid fuel cards (also known as “prepaid gas cards”) are basically gifts card which you preload with money, and your drivers use them to pay for fuel and maintenance. They're reloadable and reusable.Unlike traditional fuel cards, which are essentially credit cards (your drivers use them to pay for fuel and maintenance, and you then pay that balance off each month), prepaid gas cards – also known as gift cards – are closer to debit cards. You're only spending money you already have, so you can't go into debt with them.What are the advantages of prepaid gas cards?Gas cards are a good way to cut the time you spend squinting over accounts. There are no expense forms to process, and you don’t need to spend countless hours trying to find lost receipts and figure out unaccounted for items.Best of all, with a prepaid fuel card, there are no fees to consider and no minimums to meet. It’s as simple as having your cash in card form. And – gas station dependent – you may get to cash in on cheaper cash prices, too!But which prepaid fuel card is right for your business? You can request fuel card quotes directly through us, or read on to find out who we've shortlisted as the best prepaid fuel cards on the US market. The Different Types of Prepaid Fuel Card ExplainedWhen it comes to prepaid fuel card options, you'll likely be choosing between two different varieties:Prepaid gift cards – such as the Shell Refillable Card and ARCO PumpPASSPrepaid expenses management cards – such as Brink's Business Expense and Bento for BusinessThe route you take depends on what you want from your card. Do you want to benefit from cash prices at specific gas stations? Would you like greater control over your expenses in general? Are you happy to pay a monthly subscription fee for greater spending control and insight, or would you rather go for something cheap and simple?Let's explore the key differences between these two types of card:Prepaid Gas Gift CardsFirst off, don’t be put off by this label. Instead of insisting that you place each one inside a birthday card, fuel companies actually recommend that small businesses use their gift cards to manage spending.Most gas companies supply them; it’s just a case of going for the brand with the largest number of gas stations within your business operation area.For example, West Coast companies should check out ARCO PumpPASS for great value, quality gas.Those that operate on a wider scale should check out Shell's Refillable Card for pretty solid gas station distribution – certainly in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Indiana, and along the East Coast states.Only pay for postage when you order a Shell Refillable Gift Card online.Expenses Management CardsExpenses management card programs like Bento for Business and Brink's Business Expense typically come with rave reviews from users, and are a modern and intuitive way to handle your business expenses. They're also accepted at almost all gas stations.No, they aren't designed specifically for fleets and fuel spend, but you can easily customize your spending restrictions to make sure your drivers are using them to buy the right things.The only downside to these cards is you have to invest in the expenses management software, too. But with prices starting from as little as $29 a month, the return of admin time saved and fuel costs limited with spending controls is worth it.A Brink's Prepaid Mastercard is a debit card so it requires an ID check when you apply. Save money on your next fleet card by comparing free quotes from the best suppliers for you Get quotes today Shell Refillable CardBest for Simplicity Shell Refillable Fuel Card 4.5 Pricing Free Get free quotes Read our review Quick overview The Shell Refillable Card offers good gas station coverage, with over 14,000 refuel locations across all 50 states. Most gas stations will charge you cash price, so you benefit from the security of a pin number without the credit card charges.You can load up to $300 onto the card at any one time via your online account and track the balance and spending. Although you won't get any fancy online expenses tracking, the Shell card has no fees unlike Brink's and Bento for Business. Read more + Read less - Strengths No card fees Pay cash price (gas station dependent) Weaknesses No rebate on spending Only basic online account management Only accepted at Shell stations ▶ Read more: The Best Fleet Gas Card Companies Brink's Business ExpenseBest for Nationwide Coverage Brinks Business Expense 4.5 Pricing $0-$149 per month Compare quotes Quick overview Brinks' Business Expense card can be used anywhere that accepts Debit Mastercard. That's about 8 million retailers in the US, so you can rest assured that your drivers will be able to use this card at almost any gas station.With this fuel card program, you'll gain access to Brinks' intuitive expenses dashboard, which you can use to easily set up spending controls, disable and re-enable certain cards, and see how much each driver is spending, on what, and where.All that said, you'll need to be aware that this card is designed for use by businesses of all kinds – not just fleets. So if you want your staff to use it for fuel and little else, you'll need to make sure you set up spending controls so your drivers can only use their Brinks card at gas stations, or for travel expenses. Read more + Read less - Strengths Use anywhere that accepts Mastercard debit Possibility of paying no subscription fee when you spend $20,000 per month Spending insight with dashboard Weaknesses Need to verify your ID, business and address or card use is restricted Lots of fees to watch out for Brink's Prepaid Mastercard FeesUnlike Shell's refillable gift card, there's a whole list of fees to be aware of with Brink's prepaid card. The reason is you're getting a lot more financial services in return for your investment. Brink's card is a lot more formal, and lets you withdraw from ATMs, for instance. You can find the entire list of Brink's prepaid Mastercard fees here.Keep your eyes on how often you use this card because there's a $5.95 inactivity fee that applies per month if there are funds on your card but you ignore it for 90 days. If you don't really need to use the card for a while, you can avoid this fee by making a balance inquiry (which costs 50¢ at an ATM or it's free online).There's a whole host of fees to get your head around with Brink's prepaid card. Save money with the business fleet card that's right for you Get free quotes today Bento for BusinessBest for Fuel Expenses Management Bento for Business 4 Pricing $29-$149 per month Compare quotes Quick overview If you’re looking for a better way to track your expenses in general, Bento for Business may be the route for you. Use the gas card alongside their software to check in on what your employees are spending. The best bit is you dictate what purchases your employees make. You can choose from gas or fuel cards, employee cards to monitor expenses or even project cards to keep track of budgets.You’ll receive an alert each time a transaction is made, plus you can check your accounts on the go with the Bento app. So what are the costs? Well, if there are only two of you, you can have the software package for free. The next package is for up to 10 cards and that’ll cost you $29. Not bad. Like Brink's Business Expense card, it has a 60 day free trial. Read more + Read less - Strengths Can set to auto load funds Easy to use tracking dashboard Turn cards on and off instantly Weaknesses No rewards Takes time for funds to register on the card Did You Know? Prepaid cards are booming in the USA. Between 2022 and 2026, the market is expected to record a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 11.1%. ARCO PumpPASSBest for Cheap Fuel ARCO PumpPASS 3.5 Pricing None Compare quotes Quick overview ARCO has a prepaid card that's as simple to use as Shell's but with less widely available gas stations. This is a no frills card, for sure, and it works like a regular gift card (if you lose it, that means your money is gone). The main benefit is avoiding the 35¢ fee for using PIN cards when purchasing ARCO gas. Read more + Read less - Strengths Easy to use Access to ARCO’s cheap fuel Only use on fuel purchases Avoid fees associated with credit cards Weaknesses No account management Call up to add funds ARCO PumpPASS Prepaid AmountsYou can load $10, $15, $20, $25, $50 or $100 onto your ARCO prepaid gas card. The maximum amount is much lower for ARCO's gift card than Shell's (which has an upper limit of $300).It costs nothing to order an ARCO prepaid gas card online. You only have to pay for postage, which is currently $2.95 from USPS First Class or $26.95 UPS Next Day.ARCO gas stations are harder to find than Shell, with none at all in the Midwest. Looking for a business fleet card? Compare free quotes from the right suppliers for you Get quotes today Expert Verdict Our four favorite prepaid gas cards are:Shell Refillable Gift Card – an easy way to avoid petty cashBrink's Business Expense – submit expenses on a mobile appBento for Business – conveniently manage digital expensesARCO PumpPASS – for avoiding PIN card fees buying ARCO gasIf you're a small or medium business then any of these cards are a handy alternative to drivers handling cash, paying out of their own pockets, and remembering to keep paper receipts. While we rate Brink's Business Expense for its convenient mobile app technology, that could be overkill if you already have accounting software taking care of this.On the other hand, it's hard to beat Shell's gift card system with its simple refill. One major drawback is that drivers can buy candy bars and coffee with it as well as gas. Depending on how you scale your fleet, you may appreciate the precise spending limits of Bento for Business or the convenience of the ARCO PumpPASS. Frequently asked questions 1. What is the best prepaid fuel card for small businesses? All prepaid fuel cards are good for small businesses. But if your company is very small, prepaid gift cards like the Shell Refillable Card and ARCO PumpPASS are the simplest way to manage fuel spend costs. As businesses grow, expenses management cards like Bento for Business and Brink's Business Expense will help you to manage the spending of a greater number of drivers – but these do come with monthly subscription costs. 2. What are the best prepaid fuel cards for account management? Prepaid gift cards offer fairly limited account management, so if you’re looking to have more control over spending on your fuel cards, consider a dedicated expenses management card one. Both Bento for Business and Brink's Business Expense come with apps that you can use to easily check in on accounts. Written by: Julia Watts Software Expert Specialising in business software, Julia writes jargon-busting guides about VoIP, fleet management, dash cams, fuel cards, and more. Having spent almost a decade writing for entrepreneurs and reviewing business solutions, she loves helping exciting ventures – big or small – to flourish. Reviewed by: Maïté Bouhali Business Software Editor Maite began her career with Expert Market nearly four years ago as a writer. She quickly developed a passion for the challenges faced by small businesses and now endeavours to help them make informed decisions for their future. In her current position as Business Software Editor, Maite works closely with writers to ensure that each article is informative, well-researched, engaging, and actionable for readers. With extensive knowledge of CRM, vehicle tracking devices, and fuel cards, she is meticulous in her review of each article and provides detailed feedback before publication.Whether you’re seeking to stay informed on the latest trends in business software or need guidance in selecting the most appropriate software for your organisation’s needs, Maite is here to help. With her sharp eye for detail and commitment to quality, she is dedicated to supporting businesses in achieving their goals.