Gas is the biggest expense for many companies. Find the best fit for your spending with cards offering cash back and rewards when you fuel up your fleet.
We compared several relevant features among eligible fuel credit cards, including points or cash back earned per dollar spent, welcome offer value, annual fees, intro APRs, additional reward categories and annual bonuses on requisite spending. Our selected cards stood out above the rest in one or several of these categories.
What’s changed in 2021?
We added a section on alternatives to fuel cards and added more information on fleet and fuel cards. As far as card picks go, our lineup stayed the same as not many details have changed for these cards.
Best fuel business credit cards
Quick look at the best business credit cards for gas
If you want to earn a higher cashback rate on categories such as gas, dining and office supplies, and you also want a long interest-free period on purchases — this could be the right card for you.
Cash back. Earn 2% back at gas stations and restaurants up to $25,000 annually. Earn 5% back at office supply stores and on Internet, cable and phone services up to $25,000 in combined purchases every year. Once you reach the cap, you earn 1% cash back. This is also the rate at which you earn cash back on all other purchases.
Intro APR period. Get a 12 months interest-free period on purchases from the moment you open your account. After that, a variable APR of 13.24% to 19.24% applies. This is one of the longest intro APR periods you can get among similar credit cards.
No annual fee. You won't pay anything to own the card, and you can add employees to your account for free.
Your intro APR expires after the 12 months. Once your intro APR expires, you'll start accruing interest on all outstanding balances.
Penalty fees. You'll pay fees of up to $40 if you make a late or returned payment.
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.24% to 19.24% variable)
Balance transfer APR
13.24% to 19.24% variable
$750 cash back after spending $7,500 in the first 3 months
This can be a solid credit card for businesses that spend up to $50,000 annually on gas and other business purchases. In addition, you get a long intro APR period on purchases, and you won't pay an annual fee.
Cash back. Get 2% cash back as statement credit on all eligible purchases, including gas, on up to $50,000 in purchases. Earn 1% cashback on eligible purchases after that.
Intro APR on purchases. Get 12 months of an intro APR period on purchases from the moment you open your account. Once the intro period passes, your rate reverts to an APR variable of 13.24% to 19.24%.
No annual fee. You won't pay anything to own the card, and you can add employee cards for free, too.
Foreign transaction fees. You'll pay a 2.7% fee of the amount of each transaction made abroad or online with foreign merchants.
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.24% to 19.24% variable)
This can be an ideal card for your business if you spend a lot on gas. If gas is one of the two highest spending categories for your business each month, you'll earn 4x membership points at US gas stations on up to $150,000 in combined purchases with a second category annually, then 1x points.
Membership rewards points. Earn up to 4x points at US gas stations if it's one of the two categories you spend the most in each billing cycle. You will also earn and 4x points in a second category, including US purchases at restaurants, shipping, advertising in select media, computer hardware, software and cloud services. If travel often, you might earn accelerated rewards on purchases made directly from the airline. However, you're capped at $150,000 in combined purchases in a calendar year. After that, and on all other purchases, you earn 1x points.
Welcome offer. Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
Airline bonus. Every time you use your membership points to book flights on Amex Travel, you get 25% of your points back. With this perk, you can earn as many as 250,000 points back annually.
Annual fee: $295 annual fee. The American Express® Business Gold Card has a steep $295 annual fee.This is a higher annual fee than many other business credit cards. Several business cards that offer a $0 intro annual fee charge annual fees of just $95 in your second year.
No balance transfers. American Express does not allow balance transfers for this card.
14.24% to 22.24% variable
Balance transfer APR
70,000 points after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months
Small businesses that don't spend much on gas can benefit from this card. It offers one of the highest cashback rates on gas, but it's capped at a lower annual spending limit compared to similar credit cards.
4% cash back on gas. Earn 4% cash back on gas purchases worldwide and gas purchases at Costco. However, you're capped at $7,000 annually. After that, your cashback rate drops to 1%.
Cash back on other purchases. Restaurants and travel purchases earn 3% back, while Costco purchases return 2% back. Everything else you buy earns 1% cash back.
No annual fee. You won't pay an annual fee, but you still need to pay for Costco membership to apply for the card. A Costco membership starts at $60 annually.
Redeeming Costco Cash Rewards. You can't redeem your rewards whenever you'd like. Instead, you'll receive a coupon every year with your Costco Cash Rewards.
Penalty APR for late payments. Making a late or returned payment may result in a penalty APR being applied to your account. This APR may be as high as Up to 29.99% variable, applies to all of your balances and may last indefinitely.
The credit cards on our list offer similar cash back or rewards on your fuel purchases, but many limit your rewards in other categories.To find a card that maximizes your rewards on typical spending, look at your business expenses and consider:
Do you want cash back or rewards points? You may want cash back to reinvest in your business. If you prefer points, the American Express® Business Gold Card is your only option on our list.
What does your company spend the most on? If gas is your top expense, all of the cards on our list offer a higher rewards rate on fuel. But each card differs in how much you can earn in other categories.
How often do you travel? If you fly often, the American Express® Business Gold Card offers a range of travel perks and rewards. Enjoy 4x points on airfare if it’s one of your two highest spending categories, with no foreign transaction fees and a selection of insurance policies and protection assistance. If your travel spending dwarfs your gas bills, consider one of the best-rated business travel credit cards for even bigger returns.
What about fleet cards from gas stations?
Fleet credit cards are a type of payment card often issued by large gas stations, aimed at businesses that own a fleet of vehicles. This type of card can be used to help businesses manage expenses, such as fuel purchases or repairs and maintenance, and to set spending limits for employees. Most of these cards come with discounts on fuel purchases.
Unlike typical credit cards, fleet cards can only be used at authorized gas stations and merchants by the company that issues the cards. For example, the Chevron and Texaco Business cards can’t be used for fuel at Costco.
Gas credit card
Typically a discount of up to 10 cents off per gallon (up to around 3.5% off per gallon), but it’s often around 5 cents off per gallon
Cashback rate, often it’s either 2% or 3% back on purchases at gas stations (including snacks and drinks)
Rare, but it’s often a boosted rate of up to 25 cents off per gallon for two months (up to 7% off per gallon)
Typically a set amount, for example, $500 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 in your first three months
Detailed spending controls, for example, limit employee cards only for gas purchases and not food and beverages within the gas stations
Loose spending controls, for example, you can limit employee spending at gas stations, but not what exactly is being purchased
Can use the card at all gas stations
No, only at partner gas stations
Yes, wherever cards are accepted payment method
Some have no annual fee, others have an annual fee of $10 per card
Often have no annual fee
Chances of approval
You can get approval even with a credit score as low as 580
Typically you need a credit score of 670 or higher to get the approval
Should I get a business credit card for gas rewards?
A gas or a fleet credit card is worth considering if you or your employees are often on the road. With these cards, the primary perk is that you have the opportunity to save money on purchases at gas stations. Plenty of business cards offer rewards — but we picked the cards on our list specifically because they offer better than average rewards for fueling up.
Outside more points and better cash back on gas, business credit cards for gas also offer benefits you’re likely to find on more generic business cards, like 0% introductory APRs, no annual fees, rental vehicle insurance coverage and more.
Keep in mind that you may find some form of reward for making fuel purchases with a standard business credit card — but if travel is a primary component of your business model, consider a business credit card that generously rewards gas purchases.
Alternatives to fuel cards for small businesses
If fuel isn’t a significant expense for your company, a more generic business card may be your best bet. Business credit cards come in all shapes and sizes, and many can be categorized by their standout features:
High limit cards. A business credit card with high limits offer more bandwidth than most — typically $50,000 and up — but the credit limit you qualify for will depend on your credit rating.
No personal guarantee cards. Some business credit cards don’t require a personal guarantee, which means if your business fails, you won’t be liable for the debt. That said, most cards that don’t require a personal guarantee are limited in other ways, like not allowing you to carry a balance.
Cash back cards. As the name suggests, business cashback cards offer cash back as a reward for business spending. If you prefer to skip the hassle of points programs, opt for a cashback card.
Travel cards. Some travel business cards come in a few distinct flavors, including general cards that offer rewards for airline and hotel spending of any kind, and airline and hotel credit cards that offer superior rewards for loyalty to a specific airline or hotel chain — ideal for businesses with a favorite brand.
0% intro APR cards. Some business credit cards offer interest-free introductory periods — typically between 12 to 15 months. The 0% intro APR may apply to balance transfers or purchases, so if you’ve got a hefty debt you need to move or plan to make a lot of large, upfront purchases, these cards may be worth investigating.
Cards for poor credit. Business cards for no and low credit aren’t as plentiful as standard business cards, but a handful of providers offer them, including Capital One and Wells Fargo. Many options for businesses working with no or low credit are secured cards, which means the card is secured by a cash deposit that serves as collateral on the card.
A business rewards card can save you a bundle if fuel is among your greatest company needs. Most providers offer up to 3% cash back or 3x points at gas stations, along with varying rewards in other categories.
How can I earn cash back or points at all gas stations with a general rewards card? Unlike fuel-branded credit cards — like those by Exxon or BP — general rewards cards are more flexible in where you can earn, as long as the stations are within the US.
What business credit card comes with no foreign transaction fees? The American Express® Business Gold Card does not charge you a fee on transactions overseas. All of the cashback business credit cards on our list charge a fee equal to 2% to 3% of each foreign transaction.
How cheap is gas when using a gas card? It depends on the card. Some gas cards offer a discount on gas when used at corresponding gas stations. Others may offer points or miles to use for reward purchases.
Kelly Waggoner is the US editor-in-chief at Finder. She's worked with publishers, magazines and nonprofits throughout New York City, including ghostwriting a how-to on copyediting for the Dummies series. Between projects, she toys with words, flips through style guides and fantasizes about the serial comma's world domination.
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