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How do you purchase your fleet fuel?

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Valero Credit Card Review

Valero supplies gasoline to stations that still bear their name but operate under the ownership of CST Brands. While the company started out as a supplier of discount gasoline, their focus is currently on higher-end product that's a mainstay for everyday drivers and fleet operators alike. With the latter in mind, Valero offers fleet fuel cards in addition to consumer gas cards.

Businesses Served

While fleet management is often associated with large businesses and high technology (like telematics), the truth is that smaller businesses can also reap big benefits from applying common fleet management best practices. Something as simple as managing fuel spending doesn't require any additional gadgets or software; all it takes is the ability to monitor and manage fuel spending, which can be done easily whether you're a solo operator or a fleet manager responsible for five hundred vehicles. Controlling waste and inefficiency, eliminating unauthorized spending, and saving at the pump may be decidedly low-tech, but they're no less effective for that.

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Cards Offered

Valero offers two cards to commercial and fleet customers.

Valero Fleet Credit Card

The Valero Fleet Credit Card requires a minimum fuel purchase of 300 gallons per month to qualify for a discount of one cent per gallon. Discounts scale up from there; fleets with a fuel volume of 50,000 gallons per month or more qualify for an 8 cent per gallon discount. The card allows flexible payment terms, acceptance at Valero, Shamrock, Diamond Shamrock, or Beacon locations, account security and purchase control features, dedicated account managers, and the option to take advantage of maintenance and inspection services. Reporting features are available for a fee of $15 per month, which is waived if businesses sign up for paperless statements.

Valero Fleet Credit Card Review
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Valero Commercial Credit Card

The Valero Commercial Credit Card is designed for smaller fleets and businesses. It offers similarly flexible payment terms and online account management. While its reporting features aren't quite as comprehensive, they are typically sufficient for businesses seeking to better monitor and understand their fuel spending.

Valero Fleet Credit Card Review
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Find a Valero Station

For a company that has only existed since 1980, Valero has built a fairly respectable market presence. The company presently operates more than 7,000 locations in the United States under its various brands. The areas they serve are not evenly distributed. There are clusters of locations in the Northeast, Southeast, California, and along the Gulf Coast. Smaller groupings can be found in Colorado, Oklahoma, and the Seattle-Tacoma metro area. Some states have very sparse coverage (the Dakotas, Nebraska and Kansas), and others (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah) have none at all.

The company offers several applications, including a Corner Store Finder, a Valero Renewables app, and news and stock value tickers. The one thing it does not offer is a fuel finder app. In order to find a Valero station (especially for areas with which you're unfamiliar), you'll have to rely on the Valero website or a third-party application. While the Valero website does provide good search and sort capabilities, it's not as intuitive or convenient as some companies' proprietary applications.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Competitive fuel discounts
  • Good options for small businesses
  • Good cost monitoring and control features

Cons:

  • Availability of retail outlets can be unpredictable
  • No proprietary fuel finder app
  • No Universal card or equivalent

Conclusion

There are a few factors that make a Valero fleet card a limited option in certain cases. One of these is the lack of a universal card like those offered by most other major fuel retailers. This wouldn't be an issue if Valero's coverage was more consistent. However, with significant gaps in coverage -- and entire areas that have none at all -- companies that operate across state lines in certain areas may find themselves looking at alternatives. For businesses in areas with ample coverage, however, it's a different story. Valero offers a quality product, and with their fleet card offerings, they make it easier for small businesses to reap cost benefits while better monitoring and managing their fuel spending.