The Best Prepaid Fuel Cards

gas station

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Although gas prices have stabilized this year, we can forgive fleet managers for looking to cut costs. After all, gas prices rocketed up an eyewatering 49% between January and June last year.

Prepaid fuel cards are an excellent way for owners of smaller fleets to cap spending and cut down paperwork. As the experts in fuel cards, we’ve put together a special run-down of the best fuel cards for your business this year.

What are the Best Prepaid Fleet Cards?

These are the providers we recommend based on our research. Use our comparison tool to find the best service for your business.

  1. Shell Refillable Card — Best for simplicity
  2. Brink’s Business Expense — Best for nationwide coverage
  3. Bento for Business — Best for managing expenses
  4. ARCO PumpPASS — Best for savings

We’ll quickly outline what kinds of cards we’re talking about – as there are a few different types.

Then we’ll compare the chosen favorites directly with one another, before breaking down each one in detail.

What Are Prepaid Fuel Cards?

Also known as “prepaid gas cards”, these are plastic cards which you load with money, and use them to pay for fuel and maintenance. They’re reloadable and reusable.

They work a lot like a gift card, so you can only use them at certain locations.

Unlike traditional fuel cards, which are essentially credit cards (you pay off the balance each month), you’re only spending money you already have, so you can’t go into debt using them. Often they’ll take the form of a debit card.

What are the advantages of prepaid gas cards?

  • Less paperwork
  • No credit check
  • Easier budgeting
  • Digitize expenses tracking
  • Discounts on fuel
  • Earn cashback
  • Other rewards

Best of all, with a prepaid fuel card, the terms and conditions are way simpler than the normal route of applying for a gas card. There’s no credit check, no minimum balance, and some cards come with no fees.

And you can save at the pump, too.

It’s as simple as having your cash in card form, but all payments are recorded automatically. Some cards come with a mobile app, and you can get alerts when deposits and payments are made.

Pre-paid cards are suitable fuel cards for small businesses because they save time, effort, and paper. Therefore reducing the amount of storage space and thinking time you need to muster up.

You can request fuel card quotes directly through us, or read on to find out who we’ve shortlisted.

The Best Prepaid Fuel Cards

As the cost of diesel slowly dipped down below $4 per gallon in May, gas prices have stayed stubbornly fixed this year – even rising slightly since January.

So it’s no surprise drivers are looking for ways to bring down commercial costs anyway, anyhow. While not all prepaid fuel cards offer money off at the pump, their convenience can end up saving you valuable time and effort.

Let’s look at a quick overview of our top choices for prepaid fuel cards:

  • Shell Refillable Card
  • Brink’s Business Expense
  • Bento for Business
Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

Shell Refillable Card

Brink’s Business Expense

Bento for Business


Card Fees


Card Fees

$0-$9.95 per month

Card Fees

$29-$149 per month

Card Fees





Everywhere that accepts Mastercard


Anywhere that accepts Visa


1,400 stations in 15 states, none in the Midwest

Key Features
  • Holds up to $300
  • Top up online
  • Pay at the pump
  • Can’t access funds if card lost
Key Features
  • Debit card (Mastercard)
  • Custom spending limits
  • Dashboard to monitor expenses
  • Submit receipts by mobile app
Key Features
  • Visa debit card
  • Can reload automatically
  • No direct deposits, only ACH or wire transfer
  • Spend management software
Key Features
  • Load up to $100 on a card
  • Avoid 35¢ fee on PIN debit cards at ARCO
  • No software
Why Can You Trust Expert Market for Fleet Cards Recommendations?

As writers and editors, we’re passionate about putting together the best quality information we can. Our publishing team is completely separate from our sales team, and our editorial opinions are independent of financial persuasion.

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Individual Reviews of Prepaid Fuel Cards

In the below sections we’ve taken a deep-dive into the best brands of reusable fuel cards available in the US today.

You’ll notice that two names pop up more than others: payment giants Visa and Mastercard. Both continue to vie for market share in this competitive and growing market. In September, Visa launched a new reloadable prepaid card alongside US fintech DailyPay and The Bancorp Bank.

Just two months later, Mastercard forged ahead with a similar new offering in Brazil thanks to a deal with AstroPay (which is not yet available in the US).

It’s a relief to see a wider range of these new payment products, as more business folk seek to go cashless and paperless.

Shell Refillable Card: Best for Simplicity

Shell Logo
Shell Refillable Fuel Card
Pricing Free
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.


No card fees

Pay cash price (gas station dependent)


No rebate on spending

Only basic online account management

Only accepted at Shell stations

If you’re curious about its other cards – which include discounts at Jiffy lube – check out our review of Shell fleet cards.

Brink’s Business Expense: Best for Nationwide Coverage

Brinks Business Expense
Pricing $0-$9.95 per month
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.

While that gives it a little more flexibility than a card such as Shell's which can only be used at own-brand stations, there are some fees to watch out for that Shell doesn't have.

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.


Use anywhere that accepts Mastercard debit

Possibility of paying no subscription fee when you spend $20,000 per month

Spending insight with dashboard


Need to verify your ID, business and address or card use is restricted

Lots of fees to watch out for

Brink’s Prepaid Mastercard Fees

Unlike 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).

schedule of fees screenshot from
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

Bento for Business: Best for Fuel Expenses Management

Bento for Business
Pricing $29-$149 per month
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.


Can set to auto load funds

Easy to use tracking dashboard

Turn cards on and off instantly


No rewards

Takes time for funds to register on the card

If you’re not phased by a little more advanced accounting, you may be interested in cruising through our recommendations for gas credit cards. Although there are some extra fees to take on board, you’ll get access to expenses report creation tools. Those can give you even greater control of your fuel finances.

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 PumpPASS: Best for Cheap Fuel

Pricing None
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.

Just like a regular gift card, you can load it up and use it in place of your PIN card. With that in mind though, if you lost the card, your money is gone. The main benefit of this card is avoiding the 35¢ fee for using PIN cards when purchasing ARCO gas.


Easy to use

Access to ARCO’s cheap fuel

Only use on fuel purchases

Avoid fees associated with credit cards


No account management

Call up to add funds

ARCO PumpPASS Prepaid Amounts

You 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.

map of the USA with Arco gas stations marked predominantly along the west coast, North Dakota and Minnesota
ARCO gas stations are harder to find than Shell, with none at all in the Midwest.

To find out more about ARCO’s range of gas cards, check out our dedicated overview.

The Different Types of Prepaid Fuel Card Explained

When 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 PumpPASS
  • Prepaid expenses management cards – such as Brink’s Business Expense and Bento for Business

The 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 Cards

First 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.

checkout page on Shell refillable gift card page showing dollar amounts between $25 to $200
Only pay for postage when you order a Shell Refillable Gift Card online.

Expenses Management Cards

Expenses 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.

four different styles of brinks mastercards
A Brink's Prepaid Mastercard is a debit card so it requires an ID check when you apply.

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Expert Verdict

Our four favorite prepaid gas cards are:

  1. Shell Refillable Gift Card – an easy way to avoid petty cash
  2. Brink’s Business Expense – submit expenses on a mobile app
  3. Bento for Business – conveniently manage digital expenses
  4. ARCO PumpPASS – for avoiding PIN card fees buying ARCO gas

If 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?
We recommend Shell Refillable Card as the best option for small businesses (under $50 million in annual revenue) because it’s reusable, convenient, and limits purchases to gas station products. As it can only hold a maximum of $300, we’d suggest larger firms steer clear.
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.
3. Is there a prepaid card that I can use for EV?
The Bento for Business or Brink’s Business Expenses cards could in theory be used to pay for electric vehicle charging since they are not intended to be used exclusively for the purchase of gasoline, more of an expense management scheme.

However, there are some non-prepaid cards on the market that are designated for EV charging that might provide better deals, rebates and perks for electrified fleets. The Shell Recharge RFID card is free to use, connects to an existing payment method and allows streamlined and secure charging.

4. Is there a prepaid gas card that can be used anywhere?
While Shell’s Refillable card has a larger network of 15,000 stations, compared with ARCO’s limited 1,400, the cards from Bento and Brink’s are issued by Mastercard and Visa, respectively. When cards are issued by mainstream providers such as these you can expect maximum flexibility with regard to acceptance.
5. Which prepaid gas card is the easiest to get?
The ARCO PumpPASS and the Shell Refillable Card can be treated like a regular gift card, it’s as simple as ordering the card and loading up funds and then you are good to go. With no hoops to jump through or monthly fees, these two can be considered the easiest to get.
6. How can I purchase prepaid gas cards?
To purchase prepaid gas cards, visit the site of your desired provider. With Shell, ARCO and Brink’s Business Expenses, it’s as simple as ordering the card and loading it up with funds. With the Bento for Business scheme, there is a bit more of a registration process and approval window before receiving your card but it is relatively straightforward to sign up.
7. How do prepaid fuel cards work?
Traditional fuel cards work like credit cards, you spend the money and receive a bill at the end of the month. Alternatively, prepaid fuel cards work in reverse. Like a debit card or gift card, you load up funds and your drivers then spend within the allocated budget on fuel, leaving no surprises at the end of the month.
8. What credit score is needed for a prepaid gas card?
Unlike gas credit cards, most prepaid gas cards do not require a credit rating in order to sign up.
Written by:
Julia Watts author headshot photo
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
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.