Fuel cards are payment cards that can help you get discounts on your petrol or diesel purchases from a network of fuel stations. They are gaining popularity in recent years and are now synonymously known as savings cards. Why?
- Firstly, because fuel prices are constantly going up.
- Secondly, no trucking business can survive without proper fuel management plans.
When a huge chunk of your budget, regardless of the size of your fleet, goes into fuel purchases, you need to optimally use it to increase your profit margin. One way is to go for a fuel card from a reputable company with a strong network of fuel stations.
Matrack as a comprehensive Fleet Management Solution provider offers a premium Fuel Card service for all our clients. In this article, we have compiled a list of fuel cards, including ours, to give you a broader bunch of options from you to choose from.
- What Are Fuel Cards?
- Things to Consider Before Choosing A Fuel Card Vendor
- How Do Trucking Fuel Cards Work?
- Benefits Of A Fuel Card For Your Trucking Business
- 9 Best Fuel Cards For Truck Owners
What Are Fuel Cards?
Fuel cards are the tool that any truck owner needs to maintain a cash flow. These cards function like a credit card, where you can make the necessary fuel purchase through the card, and get 60-90 extra days to come up with the cash to repay the bill. From owner-operators and small fleets, a fuel card is the means to keep the business afloat.
Based on price point, fuel cards are categorized into :
- Fixed price fuel cards
- Pump price fuel cards
In Fixed price fuel cards, the fuel rate is determined for the whole week. And you are informed a week ahead. So if you expect a rise in fuel prices in the upcoming days, you can refill at lower prices.
On the other hand, with Pump price fuel cards, you will be charged according to the price displayed on the pump. One of the primary benefits of it- it is widely expected by major fueling stations.
You can use the fuel cards to pay for fuel while fueling at fuel stations. It is the best alternative to cash, credit, or debit cards as it allows you to purchase petrol or diesel under the current fuel cost.
Apart from fuels, few companies also allow you to buy additional items such as toll payments or similar expenses like lubricants, car washes, etc.
Fuel cards are the best way to monitor and control the fuel consumption in your fleet. It allows you to streamline several related operations such as tracking fuel purchases in real-time, setting spending limits, auditing expenses, automated IFTA reports, etc.
Fuel cards are beneficial for everyone regardless of fleet size. Whether you are an owner-operator, individual truck driver, or fleet manager of 1000 vehicles, you can use fuel cards to boost your profits.
In simple words, if you are looking forward to saving money on fuel expenses, choosing a fuel card is just right for you.
Things to Consider Before Choosing A Fuel Card Vendor
While a fuel card is the best way to optimize the fuel expenses in your fleet, do you know some fuel stations may not accept your fuel card? And not all the fuel card companies give you uniform discounts. It widely depends on the agreement between them and the fueling location.
Because of this, it becomes significant for you to choose the best fuel card for your business. You have to consider different factors such as fleet size, location, type of vehicle, and others while looking for an ideal fuel card for your business.
Let us take a look at them one by one:
You need to know where you can use a fuel card. As already mentioned above, some fuel cards will only work in a particular region or at certain fuel stations.
If you are a local or small feet operator that runs in a particular area choosing a branded or fleet fuel card with a limited operating territory can be a cost-effective choice.
On the other hand, if you are a fleet manager of a large and nationwide operating fleet, a more universally accepted card with higher fees would be an ideal choice.
The second thing you need to consider while choosing a fuel card for your fleet is discounts.
Fuel card providers offer you different types of discounts. We can broadly categorize them into two parts: point-of-sale and rebate model.
Point-of-sale discounts reduced the fuel cost at the time of purchase. The company immediately provides the amount to the fuel card company, which reverts it to the fuel station.
On the other hand, in the rebate model, the fleet receives the fuel receipts for the total amount of fuel purchased at the end of the month.
One of the biggest benefits of a fuel card is better to control. They give you the power to control the card users, impose purchase limits, and reduce the overall potential of internal fraud. And therefore, you have to look for a fuel card provider that provides you advanced control over the fuel cards of your fleet.
An ideal fuel card would help you to monitor and optimize fuel expenses.
You should look for a fuel car provider that integrates with the robust fleet management software to provide you with a clear and well-rounded picture of your fleet and assets. It should include price per gallon, location, driver, odometer reading, etc. You can use these data to optimize calculations such as cost per mile, asset utilization, fuel economy, and so on.
How Do Trucking Fuel Cards Work?
Fuel cars are similar to credit or debit cards, but you can only use them for fuel purchases or trucking-related products and services.
It is simple to use a fuel card for fuel purchases. At the fuel pump:- you need to swipe the card, follow the instructions, fill the fuel tank, and take the receipts with you.
Depending on the company and fuel card you choose, you will be charged accordingly.
For example, some merchants offer point-of-sale, while others provide a rebate model.
Some rebate models may look confusing and not beneficial, but both methods are equally effective.
Benefits Of A Fuel Card For Your Trucking Business
Fuel cards are an excellent way for tracking companies to optimize their fuel consumption and enjoy other related services. Here are some main benefits of fuel cards:
Significant Fuel Savings
Fuel is one of the biggest operational costs of a trucking business irrelevant of its size. Every year they have to spend a large sum of their profit on fuel purchases.
A fuel card can help you buy petrol or diesel from a range of fuel stations at a discounted price. It can help you save a few cents of every gallon-which becomes a thousand dollars saving everywhere.
Convenient For Drivers
Fuel cards are an easy and convenient way to complete fuel transactions. It cut down chaos or the risk of carrying colossal cash or credit cards.
Every day, a truck driver has to go through the hassle of withdrawing cash to pay for fuel bills and then wait in line for receipts. Time is precious, but unfortunately, drivers have to spend hours on fuel purchases every day. Another difficulty is keeping receipts safe to submit later.
A fuel card can help you save your and your drivers time by eliminating the above process. A driver can stop by the fuel station, complete the transaction from the fuel card and proceed with their journey. On the other hand, relevant data related to fuel purchases are automatically recorded in the cloud storage.
Saves Yourself From Frauds And Thefts
It is a hundred times safer to carry a fuel card on your journey rather than cash or credit cards. It can minimize the chances of theft and assaults.
Additionally, you can set limits on fuel purchases for each driver and thus, help you to protect the business from fraudulent fuel transactions.
Fuel cards provide you with better control over your fleet and employees. Several fuel card companies allow setting limits on fuel purchases, transaction limits, and even limits on regional usage. You can avoid unnecessary and unauthorized fuel consumption.
Automated IFTA Reports
Fuel cards automatically track and generate automated IFTA tax reports for you. You can download them via your online account and submit them for IFTA tax auditing.
Apart from fuel discounts, several fuel cards also provide additional services. For example, you can use them to pay for several related expenses such as repair, maintenance, lodging, boarding, etc.
9 Best Fuel Cards For Truck Owners
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to LIST the best products in the market, and not to review or rank them. All the products listed here have several unique features catering to a wide range of customer requirements.
Fuel cards are a smart way to optimize and control your fuel expenses. When fuel prices are constantly rising, take a wise decision by choosing the best fuel card vendor for your fleet.