The right fleet fuel card can provide significant value for your business. Some top-tier cards offer a full-fledged expense management platform, giving you complete visibility and access to what’s happening with your vehicles and drivers (often in real-time).
No more piles of receipts to collect—digital records of each purchase capture details like driver ID, odometer reading, sales tax, and more. Plus, you can set spending limits by dollar amount, product type, and time of day.
Expense Tracking and Reporting
Traditional fuel expense tracking involves gathering receipts and manually keying them into spreadsheets. This manual process wastes time, introduces the risk of human error, and needs to provide the granular data necessary to manage expenses. Fuel cards eliminate these chores while delivering more usable information and streamlined accounting.
Choosing the right fleet card requires evaluating features like network coverage, reporting, and cost-saving benefits. For example, some fleet cards require drivers to enter their driver ID number and odometer reading before purchasing. This real-time data collection eliminates the need for receipts, streamlines billing, and helps reduce fuel fraud. The best fuel cards allow you to customize reports and drill down on transaction data. By viewing details like vehicle, driver, route, fuel type, and sales tax, you can uncover new ways to save money on fuel costs.
How do fleet fuel cards work? The best fuel card should enable you to restrict expenditure by restricting purchases made by a driver, a particular product, a specific gas station, or a particular time of day or week. It can save you from making needless purchases and keep your company running smoothly. Additionally, you’ll want to choose a card that offers convenient online account management and mobile apps so you can monitor purchase activity on the go without missing a beat. It will ensure you keep valuable time in the office while allowing drivers to spend more time on the road.
The best fleet diesel card offers discounts on gasoline and diesel and perks like free food and showers at truck stops. These cards help you save on what your business needs to thrive while helping you track expenses and reduce fraud.
A fleet fuel card works similarly to a credit card. Still, it’s exclusively designed for purchasing at gas stations (and sometimes maintenance locations) and offers customized controls to assist with security and fraud prevention. Some also provide performance monitoring features that alert businesses to unusual mileage trends or excessive fuel consumption, allowing them to improve their vehicle and driver efficiency.
While there are many options for fleet cards, choosing one with a price point that fits your business’s budget is essential. You want a card with something other than astronomical interest rates or sky-high rewards thresholds. Some offer a variety of fee structures, such as flat rate or volume-based rebates. It’s also a good idea to compare the number of network locations before choosing a card. You don’t want to limit your drivers to specific truck stop chains, which could increase your overall operating costs. Additionally, you should review any out-of-network refueling fees to ensure the card will save you as much as possible. With a universal fleet fuel card, you can avoid paying unnecessary fees and maximize your investment.
Online Account Access
Most fleet cards offer an online platform for accessing detailed purchase information, enabling you to optimize spending for the most savings. Many also include account-level controls to restrict purchases by the merchant, amount, and other parameters, resulting in significant cost savings and simplifying expense reporting processes. Some even allow you to track exception reporting based on purchase behaviors, which can be helpful for professional drivers and trucking companies to help prevent internal theft.
The benefits of fleet fuel cards are powerful for any business operating vehicles – from food delivery to car repair to lawn care. Many of these features were previously only available for larger fleets. Still, modern cards offer tools that can benefit small businesses that may not have many vehicles on the road.
For example, some fleet fuel cards feature a massive nationwide network that includes 95% of the nation’s gas stations for one to five cents off per gallon. Other fleet card features, such as automated IFTA filing and transaction reporting combined with telematics, can save you time and money by streamlining your tax-filing process and automating tasks like vehicle tracking and mileage logging. Ultimately, these features can help you improve your fleet’s efficiency and boost ROI. By empowering you to control budgets, analyze miles per gallon for every vehicle, track expenses in real-time, and reduce paperwork, these fleet fuel card tools are essential for any business that relies on vehicles to operate.
Fleet fuel cards provide layers of protection against theft and fraud. By using proximity validation to ensure that the vehicle and purchase align, odometer readings requiring driver input, and daily and weekly gallon limits, companies can limit their exposure to fraudulent use or skimmer capture. These features are a powerful tool against truck stop fraud schemes, including over-claiming mileage, non-fuel purchases (slippage), and more.
Additionally, for those that require International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) compliance, fleets can keep detailed records of all fueled purchases and mileage to ensure the correct amount is being paid to each state they travel through. It helps avoid overpaying or underpaying taxes and fees, which can result from many reasons, such as not putting in the correct code for a particular fuel type or using the wrong account for a different fuel type.
One of the best ways to combat these issues is to select a fuel card provider that provides more advanced data reporting, telematics, and robust security measures. For example, many IFTA-compliant fleet fuel cards feature an EMV chip that is a highly effective deterrent against credit card skimming and other types of fraud. This technology creates a unique transaction code each time it is used to buy fuel, which can only be processed once to stop unauthorized purchases.