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How do you purchase your fleet fuel?

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BP Credit Card Review

Businesses often operate on thin margins and in unpredictable markets. That makes careful management of resources -- a business's human capital, its assets, and especially its money -- absolutely vital. When a business relies heavily on resources with variable prices, the task of managing expenses becomes much more complicated. For companies that operate fleets of any size, fuel cards can be an excellent way to monitor and control those expenses and pad the bottom line. A BP gas card can be an invaluable tool in helping that happen.

Businesses Served

While it's better known for its consumer credit cards, BP offers fuel cards to its business customers that have benefits its consumer cardholders would envy. From small fleets -- or even lone drivers who want to manage their business fuel expenditures more effectively -- to large fleets operating hundreds of vehicles over territories covering thousands of miles, BP offers a solution.

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Rewards and Incentives

BP recognizes that fleets come in a range of shapes and sizes, and serve multiple types of markets; their business card offerings reflect this, with three card tiers targeted at three different classes of businesses.

The BP Business Solutions Card

The BP Business Solutions Card Review
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Summary
Reviewed by :

The BP Business Solutions card is the most basic offering, and is intended for smaller fleets that operate in a relatively constrained geographic area. It allows business owners to assign cards to individual drivers, and to track and control spending for each of them, and does it with no annual or monthly fees.

The BP Business Solutions Plus Card

The BP Business Solutions Plus Card Review
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Reviewed by :

The BP Business Solutions Plus card is for larger fleets that require access to both local and interstate BP/ARCO stations. To the reporting and purchase limit functions of the BP Business Solutions card, it adds savings of up to six cents per gallon at BP/ARCO stations, an added layer of security thanks to Driver Identification Numbers, fuel use and vehicle performance reporting, and no monthly or annual fees with a minimum purchase of 5,000 gallons of fuel.

The BP Business Solutions Universal Fuel Program Card

The BP Business Solutions Universal Fuel Program Card Review
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Summary
Reviewed by :

The BP Business Solutions Universal Fuel Program Card is a full-fledged credit card that's accepted anywhere that takes MasterCard. It offers the same features as the Solutions Plus card, but with enhanced security, more thorough reporting, and the ability to limit purchases strictly to fuel, thus preventing abuse and fraudulent charges. Like the Solutions Plus card, there are no monthly or annual fees with a minimum purchase of 5,000 gallons of fuel.

Find a BP/ARCO Station

With 7,500 BP and ARCO locations across much of the United States, there's no shortage of BP and BP-affiliated stations. Finding those stations isn't difficult on your desktop or laptop, since the BP site can help you find a station by ZIP code, and to sort your results by the amenities offered. The store locator does not, however, allow drivers to search by route.

BP does not have a current locator app. There is a BP/ARCO locator app available, but it was last updated in 2011, and is out of date. That means relying on your phone's browser -- which is a chore if you're in mid-trip -- or to rely on a third-party fuel locator app like the ones offered by GasBuddy or WEX.

Pros and Cons

As one of the largest dealers by number of stations, BP filling stations have better than average coverage. On the other hand, BP does not operate nearly as many locations from the Plains states west as it does from the Eastern Seaboard to the Mississippi; there are significant gaps from Texarkana all the way to Nevada and Idaho. Also, while the company's website has a store locator, the company does not have a locator app, making it necessary to use the Points of Interest feature on your GPS, or to rely on a third-party fuel locator app. The 5,000 gallon minimum to avoid service fees seems steep at first blush (especially for smaller fleets), but once rebates and savings from efficiency are taken into account, they tend to offset the ten dollar fee.

Conclusion

We would venture to guess that for most customers -- local, regional, and even interstate companies that operate within one of the 36 states served by BP, especially in the eastern half of the United States -- would find their Business Solutions or Business Solutions Plus cards adequate. For customers whose operations frequently find them in states like Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho or Colorado that are not served by BP -- especially true if your business is based on the west coast or the Plains states -- the BP Universal Card is a much more viable option.