How To Get A Business Fuel Card Without A Credit Check?

If the rise of fuel prices and conventional fuel card applications instantly trigger a sense of catastrophic anxiety, you’ve reached the right page. Poor or scant credit history can be huge roadblocks for fleet transport companies that are looking for ways to cut down on expenses. However, just because your company might fit this description, this doesn’t mean you should miss out on the savings and operational benefits of using a fuel card.

To alleviate all your worries, the answer is ‘yes'. Getting a fuel card with poor credit is still possible and not as difficult as you might think. In this article, we break down your options and give you the guidance you need to save money on fuel as you work on strengthening your credit score. Here is what you’ll learn:

  • Is it possible to get a fuel card without a credit check?
  • Is it possible to get a fuel card with bad credit?
  • How to save money on fuel in 2023 when you have a bad credit score?

Is it possible to get a fuel card without a credit check?

The short and sweet answer: yes. Although a lot of conventional fuel cards will put you through a credit check to assess how financially robust your business is, there are exceptions to this rule. One of the magic solutions to this hurdle is looking for providers that offer prepaid fuel cards.

A prepaid fuel card can be topped up online or via mobile to pay for the fuel that your drivers might need when they are on the road. In this sense, prepaid fuel cards work more like debit cards than credit cards. To give you an example, the Shell Refillable Fuel Card has a coverage of over 14,000 refuel locations across all 50 states and you can load up to $300 onto the card at any time via your online account. You can also check out Bento for Business, which is a great prepaid card that will allow you to track your expenses with its user-friendly tracking dashboard.

All of these cards will waive the credit check and will usually only require an ID verification before issuing the card. Just keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily a great option for companies that don’t have a lot of liquidity available. This is because you’ll constantly need to top up your card to ensure that your business can carry on as usual.

Is it possible to get a fuel card with bad credit?

Although bad credit can usually be a red flag to some fuel card issuing providers, there are ways to circumvent this hurdle. Depending on how your books are looking, there are a couple of options that you can assess : putting down a deposit, getting a guarantor, or bond payments.

  • Deposit: this can be anything from 20% to 100% of your usual fuel spend, depending on the assessment the provider conducts on your credit. Once the deposit is in place, you’ll be able to buy fuel on credit and use your fuel card like you normally would. The downside is that you’ll need to estimate how much money your fleet spends on gas, which can be tricky with the constant fluctuation of fuel prices and the changing costs of repairs.
  • Guarantor: instead of using the business’s credit as the base of the credit check, the fuel card provider makes its decision based on the guarantor’s credit.
  • Bond Payments: this is a one-off payment that is equivalent to 50% of your monthly fuel limit. The bond payment is then kept safe in an external account, just like a rent deposit would be. The payment doesn’t come off your monthly payments unless your payments are long overdue. The bond payment is returned once there is sufficient improvement in your credit rating.

How to save money on fuel in 2023 when you have a bad credit score?

Outside of getting prepaid fuel cards or finding ways to circumvent credit checks, there’s other alternatives to saving money if you have a bad credit score. You can consider vehicle tracking software and freight factoring to help you cut down on fuel.

Vehicle tracking software can help you save fuel by optimising your journeys. For instance, GPS fleet management technology can help you reduce your fleet’s fuel costs by minimising engine idle time, monitor speeds, optimise routing, and maintain accurate records of your fleet’s activity. We know that excessive speeding may decrease fuel economy by up to 20%, so tracking your fleet can help you monitor driver behaviour and cut down on fuel costs without having to rely on a fuel card. You can look towards Verizon Connect or Samsara, which, based on our independent research, are the top vehicle tracking providers in the market.

Freight factoring is another option that could help create an influx of working capital to keep your business in motion. It basically takes the invoices for the loads that you run and allows you to get paid instead of having to wait longer to receive payment. Both Apex and Truckstop are great options because both of them allow you to receive same-day payments.

Verdict

A fuel card and poor credit aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Whether you want to put down a deposit or get a prepaid fuel card, there are options out there for companies that are struggling with the conventional methods of obtaining fuel card. If you're still unsure of which path to take, feel free to use our quick and free comparison tool. It'll put you in touch with all the fuel card providers that can meet all your company's specific fuel needs.

However, you should only think of these options as temporary – working towards strengthening your credit score should be the final aim so that you can eventually craft the right profile for a conventional fuel card.

FAQs

What is the easiest business gas card to be approved for?
By far, a prepaid fuel card. These don’t require credit checks and are quick to get.
What credit score is needed for a fuel card?
The preferred credit score requirement for fuel cards is in the low-risk category (80-100), although this isn't set in stone. You can always try other options that either don't require a credit check (like prepaid cards), or ones that allow you to get a fuel card despite having a poor credit score (like bond payments or deposits).
Do you need credit for a fuel card?
Not always. If you end up going for a prepaid fuel card, it’s unlikely you’ll go through a credit check, which means you don’t need to have an extensive credit history when applying for one.
Do fuel cards do credit checks?
Usually, yes. However, if you’re getting a prepaid fuel card, it’s unlikely that the provider will conduct an in-depth credit check, which is what regular fuel card providers do.
Written by:

Fernanda is a Mexican-born Expert Market writer, specialising in providing in-depth insights about business software to help businesses of all shapes and sizes thrive. From VoIP systems to project management software, she’s passionate about helping businesses find the tools and methods that will help give them an edge over their competitors. Fernanda has ample journalistic experience, having written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to cryptocurrency.