For many businesses, the attraction of fuel cards is their ability to help in controlling spending on fuel and maintenance, while also cutting down on waste and fraud. Some card programs, unfortunately, leave their users tethered to a limited geographical area -- not an issue for local and regional fleets, but something of a headache for companies and organizations working in a larger area. Fortunately, Fuelman covers fleets of both types, and all sizes.
|Reviewed by Expert Market:||08/21/2015|
Unlike many of its competitors, Fuelman does not offer consumer fuel or fuel/credit cards, preferring instead to focus on the needs of commercial clients and fleets of different sizes. While the company offers on-site refueling station options, it is best known for its fuel card options, of which it has several.
These cards offer flexible payment options, the ability to fine-tune purchasing controls, and training in order to get the most out of the fuel card program to which a business or municipality belongs. Fuelman services local, regional and interstate carriers, large and small fleets, and mixed use and single-fuel fleets.
Cards, Rewards and Incentives
Fuelman offers several products meant to scale appropriately to the size and purpose of your fleet. Besides fuel cards, the services offered include reporting tools that can help business owners and fleet managers better run their businesses and control costs.
All of their fuel cards offer online account management with real-time transaction reporting. Each also allows users to purchase maintenance and fleet supplies in addition to fuel. To prevent fraud and abuse, however, the online account manager also allows limits to be set by fuel type, the size, cost and number of transactions. Further purchase limits can be set by dollar amount, per gallon (by day, week, or month), and for non-fuel purchases.
Where is Fuelman Card Accepted?
The cards are available in two tiers. One tier, issued and backed by Fuelman, is valid at any of the 50,000 member stations belonging to the Fuelman Network. The second tier includes fewer cards, but is valid at five times as many fuel and service stations coast-to-coast since it can be used anywhere that MasterCard is accepted.
Tier One: Fuelman FleetCards
While limited to the Fuelman Network, these cards do carry some advantages that the Universal cards do not. They include participation in the Fleetman Preventive Maintenance Program, roadside assistance, real-time alerts, and, in many cases, better discounts than their MasterCard counterparts.
The Fuelman Discount Advantage FleetCard gives 5 cents per gallon cash back on fuel with no minimum volume requirement, and a savings cap of 8,000 gallons per year.
The Fuelman Diesel Advantage FleetCard is intended for diesel fleets, the Diesel Advantage card offers wholesale pricing and savings of up to 10 cents per gallon.
The Fuelman Commercial Advantage FleetCard offers wholesale pricing on both gas and diesel at a savings of up to 8 cents per gallon, as well as savings on fleet maintenance at participating merchants.
The Fuelman Advantage FleetCard offers extensive purchasing controls to eliminate wasteful or fraudulent purchases, in addition to uncapped volume discounts on fuel.
The Fuelman Public Sector FleetCard is designed for nonprofit and government fleets and offers uncapped volume discounts on fuel as well as untaxed billing and tax filing utilities.
Tier Two: Universal Cards
Ideal for larger and farther-ranging fleets, Fuelman Universal Cards can be used at filling stations outside the Fuelman Network.
The Universal Advantage FleetCard is accepted at more than 230,000 fuel and maintenance locations from coast to coast, at a savings of up to 6 cents per gallon at Fuelman Network locations.
The Universal Premium FleetCard MasterCard® and BuilderPro Universal Premium FleetCard MasterCard® are valid at any of the more than 160,000 locations that accept MasterCard, and allow cardholders to earn up to 6 cents per gallon on Fuelman Network purchases. The BuilderPro also gives 5% cash back on purchases of qualifying building supplies.
The Fuelman Advantage Platinum MasterCard® offers discounts on business purchases in addition to fuel, and offers extensive reporting capabilities.
The Universal Platinum MasterCard® gives users the cash price for credit card purchases at participating truck stops, plus rebates up to three cents per gallon and enhanced liability protection.
Finding a Fuelman location
If your company operates across state lines -- especially for long-haul truckers, relocation and moving services -- the Fuelman card is an excellent option. It offers true coast-to-coast coverage in the Lower 48, though some areas have gaps in coverage. We found this to be especially true in Montana and New Mexico (where there can be long gaps between stations), Minnesota (where affiliates tend to be clustered in the northwest), and central Massachusetts.
The Site Locator application on the company's website includes locations by state as well as a useful trip-planning tool that can be useful in planning around your fuel needs. The site also allows searchers to sort by locations with service stations and other amenities. That functionality extends to the company's mobile apps (iOS and Android; both free). The web app is probably best used on your laptop or desktop ahead of time, while the mobile applications are good for finding stations and services on the go.
Pros and Cons
Many who've used and reviewed the Fuelman app have taken issue with its accuracy in finding member stations and discriminating between regular gas stations and fleet filling stations. We'd suggest not waiting until your vehicle's running on fumes before you start looking for a station, since it may be further away than the app indicates. For most customers, however, the positives -- cost savings on fuel, access to reports that summarize employee activity, vehicle miles and usage, XBR, and in some cases even tax and IFTA reporting -- outweigh the negatives. The time and money saved via the fleet management component, especially when taking fuel savings into account, is reason enough to give Fuelman a closer look.
On the evidence, Fuelman has only one credible rival when it comes to fuel cards: WEX, who we've also profiled in this space. Like its rival, the Fuelman family of cards offers an excellent combination of savings and benefits alongside true nationwide coverage. If you add to that the ability to better track and control fuel, maintenance, and driver spend costs thanks to a robust back-office suite, the benefits of a Fuelman card are clear.