Prepaid Fuel Cards vs. Credit Card Fuel Cards - OTR Solutions

Prepaid Fuel Cards vs. Credit Card Fuel Cards

At OTR Solutions, we understand that fuel charges can be a huge portion of your monthly operating expenses. With higher fuel costs and lower lane rates, fuel cards are no longer just optional, but are mandatory for trucking operations to succeed. Leveraging our expertise in the industry and strong partner network, OTR Solutions has developed a fuel card with industry-leading savings and benefits to make sure trucking operations of all sizes can make the most out of their efforts and minimize fuel expenses as much as possible. 

In this blog post, we will explore the difference between prepaid fuel cards for truckers and credit card fuel cards for trucking and provide recommendations for truckers who are trying to decide which option is right for them. 


What is a Fuel Card?

A fuel card is a specialized payment card for truckers to buy fuel. Unlike regular credit or debit cards, a fuel card is designed for the specific needs of truckers, offering discounts and managing fuel expenses efficiently. It’s a convenient tool, allowing truckers to easily pay for fuel at numerous stations and often enjoy savings and other perks. Whether it’s a prepaid card or one linked to a credit account, a fuel card simplifies fuel purchases for truckers on the move.


What are Prepaid Trucker Fuel Cards?

Prepaid fuel cards for truckers are fuel cards that allow truckers to load a specific amount of money onto the card for fuel purchases. These cards function like debit cards and can be reloaded as needed. They offer better control over fuel spending and don’t require a credit check, making them accessible to truckers with poor or no credit history. Prepaid fleet cards often come with discounts and rewards, helping save money on fuel costs.


How Do Trucker Fuel Cards Work?

Fuel cards for trucking work by allowing truckers to pay for their fuel using the card, instead of cash or a credit card. The OTR Fuel Card, for instance, is accepted at over 8,000 locations nationwide and offers substantial savings per gallon on over 1,500 in-network stations. Funds can be loaded onto the card through fuel advances, factored invoices, or even personal debit or credit cards. This versatility makes managing fuel expenses more straightforward and efficient.


What is the Difference Between a Prepaid Fuel Card for Truckers and a Credit Card with Specific Gas Rewards?

Unlike regular fuel credit cards (like Shell or Mastercard) that offer 3% cashback on fuel, Prepaid fuel cards for truckers require funds to be loaded in advance. Used like debit cards, these prepaid fuel cards provide direct savings at the pump. For example, diesel at $4.24 per gallon with 3% cash back yields only 0.13 cents per gallon in savings, which is significantly less than the $0.51 per gallon savings with the OTR Fuel Card. 

On the other hand, fuel cards with credit function like regular credit cards and offer benefits such as building credit history and cash-back rewards, but with the added risk of accumulating interest and fees. Credit cards may help build credit, but they also come with the risk of high interest rates and fees if not paid in full each month.


What are Some of the Pros and Cons of Prepaid?


  • Immediate control over budget and spending.
  • No credit check is required.
  • Direct savings at the pump.
  • Helps avoid accumulating debt.



  • Requires upfront funding.
  • May not help in building a credit history.


Get Your Advanced Fuel Funds From Us!

While the OTR Fuel Card does require upfront funding, that can be entirely on us! You can either fund it with your own personal debit or credit card or we can load your card with advanced funds when you need it. 

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What are Some of the Pros and Cons of Credit?


  • Builds credit history if used responsibly.
  • Offers cashback and other rewards.
  • Widely accepted at fuel stations.



  • Risk of high interest rates and additional fees.
  • Potential for accumulating debt.
  • Savings are realized later, not immediately at the pump.


One major disadvantage of a regular diesel credit card is the potential for high interest rates and fees if the balance is not paid in full each month. This can be particularly challenging for truckers who are facing cash flow issues or unexpected expenses. Truckers don’t need one more financial hiccup to deal with so a prepaid option is usually the more preferred type.

Another obvious disadvantage is that – it’s all you get. A fuel card. You don’t get all the other wonderful advantages of a prepaid fleet card from a factoring service like OTR Solutions, such as:

  • Immediate cash from your invoices through BOLT instant payments
  • Access to load boards, night or day, through a mobile app
  • Discounts on fuel, maintenance and repairs at over 1,500 locations nationwide
  • A whole list of partners that help every area of your business
  • Preventative maintenance and repairs
  • Tire discounts at TA Service locations
  • And so much more!


Another downfall is that many credit card options give you 3% cashback on fuel. And that 3% is less significant than the $0.44 per gallon you save with the OTR Fuel Card. As mentioned, diesel is around $4.24 right now, 3% cash back on that would be 0.13 cents per gallon, so barely a fraction of what OTR Fuel Card offers. 

Keep in mind, that cashback is savings LATER. Usually, cashback gets added to your account after the payment period, so around 30 days after the transaction. Prepaid fuel cards such as OTR Fuel Card give you savings instantly, right at the pump. So you have more remaining cash in your pocket instantly.


How Do I Sign Up? Who Can Help Me Decide Which Offering Is Best For Me?

To sign up for a trucker fuel card that best suits your needs, contact OTR Solutions. Our team will assist you in understanding the benefits of each type of fuel card and help you make an informed decision. Whether you need prepaid fuel cards for truckers, like the OTR Fuel Card or require assistance with other factoring solutions, our experienced representatives are here to guide you every step of the way. Choose the right fuel card for your trucking business and get the support you need with OTR Solutions.

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