The Benefits of a Fleet Card
Also known as fuel cards, fleet cards are used by consumers and businesses specifically for the purchase of gas.
They are most commonly used by businesses with fleets of vehicles, allowing for easy tracking of expenses specific to company cars. In addition to paying for gas, a fuel card can also be used to pay for vehicle repairs and maintenance, including oil changes and tire purchases.
Much like department store credit cards, fuel cards function like any other credit card with the major limitation that they can only be used at designated locations.
This has its advantages and disadvantages for businesses, so it's important to know as much as possible about the benefits of a fuel card before making the decision to sign up with a provider.
Here are a few benefits fuel cards have over regular corporate credit cards:
- By working with one fuel card service, businesses can often achieve discounts on each purchase.
- Fuel cards are usually less likely to fall victim to fraudulent activity.
- All fleet-based transactions are limited to one account, so expense tracking is easier.
- Employees can only use the card at locations that accept it, reducing the risk of personal purchases.
Fleet Cards for Small Businesses
Unlike large businesses, smaller organizations often can't promise a high monthly fuel expenditure. This eliminates the bulk discount that can be achieved by much larger organizations. However, that doesn't mean that a small business can't achieve low interest rates and perks.
Many fuel cards now offer rewards points for each dollar spent, which can give business owners extra money that can be put toward other areas of their budgets.
In addition to finding a card with minimal fees and low interest rates, businesses should also look for solutions that offer monthly reporting options to help gain insight into how your money is being spent each month. A business should also place high priority on cards that are accepted at a wide number of locations in the areas its employees frequently travel.
Fleet Cards for Large Enterprises
Businesses that manage a large fleet of vehicles with high monthly fuel costs have an advantage in the negotiation process. Many major fuel card companies have plans specific to large organizations, including rebates on each gallon purchased that can pay off for high-volume businesses.
In addition to rebates, businesses can also set up controls on fuel cards to monitor employee spending. If a business needs to set policies on transactions, alerts can be set up to let the appropriate parties know when an employee spends outside of those boundaries.
Fleet Card Providers
Numerous companies offer fuel card services for a variety of business types and sizes. Here are a few notable fuel cards on the market today.
WEX Motorpass Fleet Card
Accepted at more than 6,000 locations around Australia, the WEX Motorpass is one fuel card you can’t afford to leave home without. WEX’s digital services include a petrol station location finding tool and a mobile app for drivers. They all work superbly to facilitate smooth, cost-effective refueling. Smart spending controls let you limit the types and value of drivers’ purchases, making it easy to cut back as needed.
The Cardplus fuel card from Shell is a fleet manager’s best friend. Yes, there’s a $4 monthly fee; but you’ll save far more than that with even moderate usage, thanks to a generous 4c/litre petrol and diesel discount And with 1,250+ Shell gas stations to choose from, you’re all-but-guaranteed access to affordable fuel anywhere in the country.
Caltex’s fuel card – known as the StarCard – can be used at more than 1,900 locations around Australia. With it, you can expect to save 4c per litre on Vortex Premium fuels, as well as 2c per litre on regular diesel and petrol. It’s a fantastic option for saving on non-fuel-related costs too. You get 5% off various selected items in participating stores, and 10% off packaged engine oils, plus discounts on car servicing, repairs, and roadside assistance.
BP Plus Fuel Card
Although not the widest coverage, a nationwide network of 1,400+ service stations makes BP a more than viable option for most businesses. On top of fuel savings, BP offers customers a mobile app (available for Android and iOS) called BPme. It lets you keep a close eye on your drivers’ spending, even going so far as to let you step in to accept or decline specific purchases.
7-Eleven Fuel Card
7-Eleven offers a flexible range of driver-specific or vehicle-specific card types to suit your individual corporate needs. Savings start from a meagre 1c per litre, but rise up to 3c per litre with your fleet’s petrol consumption. Extremely flexible repayment terms – 44 interest-free days after purchase make it the most forgiving fuel card of the bunch.