Fuel card vs credit card – what are the differences?

30 November


There are numerous benefits to be had by using fuel cards for your business; whether your fleet is big or small.

But what are the key differences between a traditional credit card and a fuel card, and which should your company be using?

Receipts and invoicing

Employees using their own credit cards can result in an inconvenient expenses process for both employer and employees.  The process for claiming these can be time consuming, meaning admin work is less efficient. If it’s a business credit card, things are a little different. Your company will receive a monthly statement that the business will pay directly. It’s very likely that this card will be used for much more than fuel, from accommodation to other travel expenses, which means you won’t be able to keep track of fuel costs specifically without reviewing the statement item-by-item.

A fuel card, on the other hand, will often offer an itemised receipt with every transaction. With an Allstar Card for instance, you’ll be able to access a bespoke online portal where you can view and track fuel payments, all accounted to individual drivers, vehicles and times. Switching to a fuel card will not only give you a clear receipt system, it will save you time too.

Saving money

Your business can make significant savings by using fuel cards. Many of the cards offer unrivalled access to fuel stations and discounted fuel prices, so your business will save money each time your employees visit the pump. Unlike some credit cards, a fuel card will provide interest free credit and many offer businesses the latest deals, making sure you save money.

With a fuel card, your company will still be able to use the largest fuel providers, such as Shell, Esso and Texaco, ensuring that employees have flexibility when filling up their tanks.

Surveying filling patterns

When a fill-up occurs with a fuel card, useful data like the MPG (mile per gallon) of the individual driver and car can be reported on. This provides the power to clamp down on wasteful driving and excessive fill ups. This function obviously does not come with a standard credit card, and for many managers is the stand out function of a fuel card service. MPG and the monitoring of fill up patterns can be particularly effective across large fleets, where small savings can amount to huge financial benefits for a fleet, and in turn the business as a whole.

If you require further proof, we have created a table that details all the clear variances for each card.

Fuel cards

Credit cards

  • Discount fuel prices available
  • Better security and prevention of fuel fraud with cards linked to a vehicle/driver
  • No interest on purchases
  • Employees can only purchase fuel (and related services like windscreen replacement, tyres M6 toll where selected)
  • No need for receipts
  • Simple invoicing with clear VAT separation
  • HMRC approved bills
  • Card management tools
  • Ability to monitor filling patterns
  • Fleet efficiency & MPG reporting
  • Reduced internal administration costs
  • Some cards offer points/rewards scheme


  • Discounts on fuel prices not available
  • Both fuel and non-fuel fraud is harder to identify and prevent (cards are not linked to specific drivers/vehicles or limited just to fuel)
  • APR rates vary and offers may change after introductory periods, plus interest payable on purchases
  • Employees can purchase anything
  • Need to keep all your receipts
  • Invoicing with VAT is a longer process
  • Some offer a rewards scheme



Find out why Allstar is the perfect fuel card for you here

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