What industry is your company? If it’s transportation, construction, landscaping, or anything that involves deliveries and on-site service calls, you’re probably paying a pretty penny for all the fuel you use. Can gas credit cards for business help shave a few bucks off that expense? Can you get one without a personal guarantee, even if your company has bad credit or no credit history?
We will answer those questions – and more – in these reviews.
For businesses they have two options available:
- Shell Fleet Credit Card: With no rewards program and a high 23% APR, the only real “benefit” it offers is a consolidated monthly statement. But at least there’s no annual fee.
- Shell Fleet Plus Card: This is a charge card which means you have to pay the bill in full each month. It does have rewards, but they’re hardly impressive:
Think about it… even if you were buying 3,500 gallons per month, that only equals a 4 cent rebate (remember that’s cents, not percent). With gas at nearly $4 per gallon, that’s only around a 1% rebate. You could get that with just about any run-of-the-mill business credit card from a major bank.
Both of these can only be used at Shell stations (they’re not a Visa or MasterCard).
2. Chevron & Texaco
This station offers 2 different charge cards:
- Chevron and Texaco Business Card: Can only be used for fuel purchases at their stations. It does not offer any rewards or discounts.
- Chevron and Texaco Universal Business Card: In addition to their stations, it can be used to pay for maintenance service and fuel anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Usage can be restricted to specific merchant types. It does feature a tiered fuel rewards program, pictured right. As you can see, it’s really only going to benefit those companies who are buying a LOT of gas or diesel.
Both of these charge a $10 monthly fee, unless you buy 1,000+ gallons per month. That means these business gas cards are a bad choice for light spenders.
For those managing larger fleets of vehicles, the cost may be worth it because of these features: optional odometer requests during fueling and the tiered rebate program, pictured right (which is only included on the “Universal” version).
This brand has 2 versions available which are geared towards those with larger fleets.
- Valero Fleet Card: They do charge a $15 monthly report fee, but they’ll waive it if you enroll in online statements. Purchases can be broken down by vehicle and driver if desired (because each driver is assigned their own PIN). you can carry a balance on it (APR varies depending on your state; North Dakota is the cheapest at 5.5%, while all other states are 12% to 24%). The rewards, listed at the right, are negligible unless you’re buying several thousand gallons per month. The “Prompt Pay” means you won’t get the discount if your bill is paid over time.
- Valero Commercial Card: This version is geared towards smaller businesses that don’t need detailed billing. There’s no monthly report fee. You can carry a balance on it and the interest rates are the same as Valero Fleet. The good? No monthly report fee. The bad? No rewards program.
With both of these credit cards, usage is restricted to Valero gas stations only.
4. Phillips 66/Conoco 76
There are 3 versions available.
- Commercial Card: The most basic of the bunch, this is more of a traditional business gas credit card (rather than one for large fleets). No annual fee. No rewards program. 26.99% APR. Can only be used at Phillips 66 and Conoco 76 stations.
- Phillips 66 Fleet Card: You can also use this at Conoco 76. Be prepared to pay a slew of fees including an “setup fee” of $40, a $10 “monthly account fee” if you purchase less than 500 gallons per month, and a $15 per hour “general research fee” (which they don’t describe, but presumably you will get charged this if you ask customer service for certain things). The APR is 26.99%. The rewards are as follows:
- Phillips 66 Universal Card: This is very similar to the fleet card, however this one can be used at any station that accepts WrightExpress cards for payment (which is approximately 90% of US gas stations and 45,000 service locations). With this one you won’t pay the $10 monthly account fee. Instead, they hit you with a $2 fee per card, per month. The other strange fees like $40 for account setup and $15/hour for research come with this one, too. APR is the same at 26.99%. The rewards program differs slightly:
(Note: You only earn this on fuel from Phillips 66 and Conoco 76, other stations won’t count.)
5. Circle K
You have 2 options which are issued by WEX Bank (same issuer for Phillips 66). Not surprisingly, both of these offers from Circle K have the same APR (26.99%) and almost the exact same fee structure (including $40 for account setup and $15/hour for “general research”).
- Circle K Fleet Card: This has a tiered rebate structure that can earn a max of 2.5 cents/gallon. Driver ID & odometer capture required for each purchase.
- Circle K Universal Card: This is just like the Phillips 66 Universal in that it operates over the WrightExpress network so it can be used for payment at around 90% of US gas stations. Unfortunately this version doesn’t come with the rewards program.
Should you apply… or avoid?
In a nutshell, gas credit cards for business only make sense for large fleets. Unfortunately none of them are for bad credit and in order to get approved without a personal guarantee, you will need to have an established corporate credit history (typically 3+ years and positive cash flow).
If you’re a smaller company with just a few employees you:
(a) probably don’t need all the accounting features
(b) probably won’t spend enough to earn a decent rebate.
You would be better off getting one of these business cards from a major bank. If you need to separate purchases by employee, simply order extra cards for each person.
This review was written or last updated September 1, 2013