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Do you want to control your fuel spend? Join 1,000s of businesses across America that have switched to fleet fuel cards to cut costs and start saving. Read our review of the best fuel cards available in 2018 below.
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What is a Fleet Card?
A fleet card lets you manage your fuel and maintenance expenses.
Unlike other payment methods, fleet fuel cards let you set spending and transaction limits, tracking your spend by vehicle or driver and monitor compliance with spending policies. They’re the preferred choice by U.S. businesses because they can be used across the country at authorized stations, helping you to save valuable time and money.
Do You Need a Fleet Fuel Card?
You could benefit from a fleet fuel card if you answer yes to any of the following questions.
- Do you have two or more drivers?
- Do you need to cut down your fuel expenditure?
- Do you wish you had more visibility over your drivers spending?
- Do your drivers go out of their way to fill up?
- Do you know for sure what types and grades of fuel your drivers buy?
- Do you have high driver turnover?
- Are you up to your neck with receipts and reports?
Top Issues Faced by Fleet Managers
Running a fleet is tough.
Managing fuel spend is one the biggest challenges cited by fleet managers. Rounding out the top three are service and repairs and reporting. Luckily, fuel cards can help solve these problems. Read on to learn how fleet cards can transform your business.
How Fleet Cards Transform American Businesses
Fleet cards have several benefits:
Save Money. Fleet cards can guarantee business savings of up to 15%. Choose from a range of fleet cards designed to reward businesses of all sizes.
Cut Spending. Fleet cards let you set purchasing controls so you can choose when, where and how much fuel your drivers can purchase while on the road. In-depth reporting lets you centrally manage all of your team’s fuel and maintenance spend.
Stop Unauthorized Purchases. Fleet cards authorize and track your fuel purchases and come with state-of-the-art security. Make your drivers input their Identification Number before they buy fuel to cut down on fraudulent fuel charges.
Unbeatable convenience. Fleet cards are accepted at gas stations across the country. Whether your team operates locally, regionally or nationally, fleet cards allow your driver to stop wherever it’s convenient for them.
Fleet cards can also help your company to:
- Track spending by vehicle or driver
- Identify under-performing vehicles
- Improve compliance with spending regulations and implement more effective controls
- Use data to negotiate discounts for large fuel orders
- Streamline your spending data by incorporating it into your current accounting software
Fuel Cards vs. Credit Cards
What’s the Difference?
Are fleet cards and credit cards the same thing?
Fleet cards look and feel like credit cards but they are actually dissimilar enough that they’re considered to be an alternative payment method.
The main differences between fleet fuel cards and credit cards are:
- Shorter payment terms
- No rolling-balance is cleared (or partially cleared) each month
- Fuel isn’t paid at the point of sale – the bill is sent to your account to be paid at a later date
- Controls can be set-up to allow only certain grades of fuel to be bought (e.g. petrol, petrol & gas, etc.)
- Fuel spending limits can be applied using Smartchip technology
- Liability for fraudulent purchases lies with the driver
- Card terminals are separate to those for credit cards (bunkered cards only)
- Some fleet card providers let you buy non-fuel products, including lubricants and Adblue
How Much Will You Save with a Fuel Card?
You can generally expect savings of up to 15% when you switch to a dedicated fuel card.
To understand just how much you can save with a fleet card see the table below.
|Cost Savings for a Small Fleet|
|Fleet Size||35 vehicles|
|Volume per Fill||16 gallons|
|Re-fuelling Stops||2 per week|
|Fuel Card Saving Per Gallon||2.5 cents|
Note: This is an estimate. For an accurate quote please fill out the form at the top of this page to compare prices from leading fleet card suppliers.
Top 5 Fuel Cards Comparison
The fleet cards compared on this page are the Expert Market top 5 top picks in the US. We compare fuel card companies on a national and regional level so complete the form at the top of the page to find the best fuel card deals for your area.
Exxon Mobil offers two cards, both with a savings of six cents per gallon at their own stations after a six-month promotional period during which cardholders get a savings of ten cents per gallon. Read full review.
|Exxon Fleet Cards|
The Business Fleet Card has no fees. The Fleet National Card, issued by WEX, can be used at 90% of fueling locations in the continental United States. Both cards offer reporting and purchase management features, though the feature set on the Fleet National Card is more extensive.
Exxon and Mobil stations tend to be concentrated on the East Coast, with coverage outside that area being limited to interstates, state highways, and major cities. There is no coverage in Nevada, Iowa and Kansas. Stations can be located via the web or a free iOS/Android app, and these should be checked for coverage if you're considering the Business Fleet Card. The Exxon/Mobil card offerings also aren't as easy to scale as offerings from other fuel card companies.
BP offers three cards that help fleets of all sizes better control their fuel costs. BP fuel cards are best suited to companies operating in the east, though a BP Universal Card provides adequate coverage if you're venturing farther afield. Read full review.
|BP Fleet Cards|
The BP Business Solutions card is for small local fleets, and carries no fees. The BP Business Solutions Plus card is for regional fleets and adds enhanced security and reporting features. The BP Business Solutions Universal Fuel Program Card, issued by MasterCard, adds still more security and even better reporting, alongside purchase controls that prevent fraud and abuse. Fleets that purchase at least 5,000 gallons of fuel incur no fees on the latter cards.
Finding one of the 7,500 BP and ARCO stations is easy enough on your desktop or laptop, but users should be aware that as of this writing, the company doesn't have a locator app, forcing drivers to rely on third-party apps. Also, while the company operates several stations on the coasts, coverage west of the Mississippi can be unpredictable.
Shell offers three cards for local, regional, and national fleets. Through the Shell website and free iOS/Android apps, your drivers will be able to find one of the 14,500 Shell stations easily. Read full review.
|Shell Fleet Cards|
The Shell Small Business Card is a zero-fee card for small fleets, offering purchase monitoring and controls, rebates, and full-time online account management. The Shell Fleet Plus Card offers sliding-scale rebates based on purchase volume, and is intended for medium-sized/regional fleets. Read our dedicated guide for more information about the best fuel card for small business.
The MasterCard-issued Shell Fleet Navigator Card offers a higher level of security, customer service and reporting than its counterparts, and is valid at most filling stations nationwide; geofencing allows fleet managers to set up a custom fuel network. These cards benefit business through cost savings on both maintenance and fuel, plus a suite of reporting features that enable businesses to leverage not only cost information, but also driver and vehicle performance.
Shell has 14,500 retail outlets covering 47 of the lower 48 states (the sole exception is Montana). Besides Montana, there are some coverage gaps in the less-populated parts of the Midwest, Southwest, and the Mountain time zone. However, holders of the MasterCard-issued Shell Fleet Navigator Card aren't tethered to Shell stations alone as the card is accepted at 95% of filling stations in the continental United States.
Fuelman fleet cards offer extensive coverage via a 50,000-member network that's extended to 160,000 stations with a Universal card that can be used out-of-network. Read full review.
|Fuelman Fleet Cards|
Each Fuelman card offers flexible payment terms, real-time transaction reporting, transaction controls, and a program of rewards and incentives that scale with your company's fuel spend.
Fuelman offers two levels of service. Fuelman FleetCards are limited to use within the Fuelman Network, and entitle their users to membership in the Fleetman Preventive Maintenance Program, real-time alerts, roadside assistance, and often offer better rates on fuel than the MasterCard-issued Universal FleetCards. Savings range from 5 to 10 cents per gallon, with some cards capping the eligible discount past a certain number of gallons. Larger fleets may find Fuelman Universal Cards more useful, since these may be used at non-network stations.
Finding a Fuelman location is easy, given that the company has affiliate locations in the entire continental US. There are notable gaps in coverage in southern Minnesota, central Massachusetts, and significant parts of New Mexico and Montana. Users can find filling stations and amenities via the Site Locator on the Fuelman website, or on mobile devices using a free Android/iOS application. All Fuelman cards offer savings on gas and basic reporting features; higher service tiers add more savings and better reporting, including IFTA and fuel tax reporting, employee activity summaries, and data on mileage and vehicle use.
WEX offer a truely universal fuel card system, with stations covering nearly all corners of the country, and deals to suit most types of fleet. Read full review.
|WEX Fuel Cards|
WEX fleet fuel cards include the WEX Fleet Card and the WEX FlexCard for small fleets. Drivers can also take advantage of the WEX Connect app (free on Android and iOS), which is a fuel finder on steroids. Search results can be narrowed by services offered, fuel type, and brand, with the ability to save favorite locations and get directions to filling stations.
There are over 180,000 stations and 20,000 service centers in The WEX network is made up of locally and nationally-known brands, including 76, BP/Arco, Citgo, ExxonMobil, Gulf, Lukoil, Marathon/Speedway, Sunoco, and many more. Any WEX card - whether it carries the WEX name or a retailer's brand - can be used at any member station, though drivers should be aware that not all benefits will be available at other brands' stations.
WEX is unique in that its fuel cards are only one component of a battery of fleet management solutions. That means that fleet managers can leverage savings far in excess of the 15% reduction in fuel spend offered by its fleet fuel cards. Those tools are available to fleets of all sizes, from a florist to a city DPW or a national trucking company. The WEX ecosystem is a business solution that helps your business save on much more than just its fuel costs.
Other Leading Suppliers
ARCO offers just two cards as part of its Business Solutions Program. ARCO’s signature product, the ARCO Business Solutions Fuel Card, can be used at over 1,500 ARCO fuel stations across the United States.
|ARCO Business Solutions Fuel Card|
The Arco Business Solutions Fuel Card lets your drivers fill up at any participating ARCO station. Features include detailed reporting, security controls (using PIN codes), digital statements, tracking options (by vehicle, driver or mileage), instant deactivation for lost/stolen cards and “fuel only” restrictions and full-time account access.
Businesses who choose ARCO typically do so for its low cost. Founded in the 1960s, ARCO has built its reputation on providing quality fuel at a fair price. Drawbacks include a monthly charge per card and a per-card issuance fee that other providers waive. But, if you’re a local business with several ARCO stations nearby then this fuel card may still be the best option for you despite these small fees.
Comdata is one of the most recognized and widely accepted fleet cards in the country, providing managers with the flexibility, control and insight they need to manage their fuel costs.
|Comdata Fuel Card|
The Comdata Card is the first universally accepted fuel card in the transport industry. With Comdata you get access to real-time reporting tools and an online portal for account management. Fleet managers can also set smart spending limits that maximize savings and help you stay compliant with fuel policy.
Comdata promises savings of up to $15 per gallon and 24/7 account and driver support. ComData also has its own app called FleetAdvance Mobile - a free app designed with drivers in mind. Drivers can connect to the app via the Comdata Card to find the lowest fuel prices and manage their spending. Ultimately, we found Comdata to be a good, all-around solution for trucking companies.
Next Steps to Find Your New Fleet Card
With most brands offering a range of fuel cards based on the size of the business, type of fuel used and geographical area, finding the right fuel card for your business can be challenging, especially with the multiple options offered. WEX alone accounts for more than a dozen cards with their own and others' branding. If you'd like help finding the right fleet fuel card for your business fill out the form to receive tailor-made free fleet card quotes. Expert Market can help you make sense of your options, and find the best fit for your business today.