Alongside a whole host of partner-branded cards, WEX offers four flagship fleet card programs. In this review, we analyze these flagship cards to uncover their strengths, weaknesses, and suitability to different kinds of fleets…
- 24/7, US-based customer service team says it answers 75% of calls within 20 seconds
- All cards can be used at 95% of US gas stations
- Gives you solid rebates and discounts on a variety of services
- Fee structures are not available to compare
- The WEX Connect app has its faults
- Some users complain of being wrongfully charged a late fee
Researching the fuel cards market is enough to give any fleet manager a headache. One moment you’re settling on a provider to supply your cards, and the next you’re realizing that your chosen company offers two or three (or more) different fuel card programs – and your decision is nowhere near made.
WEX is one such fuel card provider. It’s a historic company with a shining reputation in motoring circles – but it also offers four different WEX-branded fleet cards to choose from. That’s why we’re here: to compare – in the clearest way possible – these cards against one another, helping you to decide which is the right fleet card for your business… and, in fact, whether WEX is the right provider for you at all.
With 10 years of experience in the world of fleet cards, we’re uniquely placed to put WEX under the microscope and examine why it shines, and what it lacks. Read on for our expert advice on WEX’s different fleet cards, and whether or not they’re right for you.
- WEX launched in 1983 as something of a pioneer, with the goal of making fuel spend easier for businesses to manage
- Also referred to as WEX Inc., WEX is short for Wright Express: the business’ original name
- WEX now supplies fleet cards to upwards of 400,000 US businesses
WEX's Fleet Cards: Coverage, Benefits, and Fees
For starters, let’s take a look at how WEX’s fleet cards are similar. All four of the fleet card programs we compare below come with:
✓ 24/7 access to WEX’s US-based customer support team, which says it answers 75% of calls within 20 seconds
✓ Use of WEX ClearView, an analytics platform that reports on the specifics of your fleet’s transactions and spending behavior
✓ The option to sign up to WEX Telematics, WEX’s fleet management software
✓ Use of WEX’s apps:
- DriverDash: which drivers can use to make mobile payments at the pump
- FleetSmartHub: which you can use to track spending, manage your fleet cards, make payments, check your credit, and more
- WEX Connect: which drivers can use to find nearby fuel stations and service centers, and filter them by price, fuel type, open hours, and other criteria
But how, exactly, do WEX-branded fleet cards differ – and which should you plump for? Let’s compare them:
|Fleet card||Suitable for…||Savings and discounts||Card fees|
|WEX Fleet Card||Small fleets||Access to the WEX EDGE Savings Network||Unknown|
|WEX FlexCard||Small fleets||Rebates of 3 cents per gallon||None|
|WEX Large Fleet Card||Large fleets||None||Unknown|
|WEX Fleet Cross Roads Card||Trucking fleets of all sizes||Access to the WEX EDGE Savings Network||Unknown|
WEX Fleet Card
The WEX Fleet Card aims to give you easy visibility and control over your fleet, with advanced spending controls, automated accounting, purchase alerts, and customized reporting – all of which you can view online and on your smartphone.
This card program also grants you access to the WEX EDGE Savings Network, which means you’ll get the following exclusive discounts:
- Fuel rebates at participating stations
- Discounts on tires and 6% off additional parts and services at over 2,200 Bridgestone Retail Operations locations
- Negotiated discount rates at over 18,000 hotels across the US
- Discounts on Sprint Business wireless solutions and accessories
- Deals on data analytics and reporting, GPS tracking, and other tools (though WEX doesn’t make it clear which platforms or software this applies to)
As you might expect from the name, flexibility is the FlexCard’s key selling point. When your cash flow is tight (every small business owner has been there), this program enables you to carry a monthly balance on your cards.
You’ll also earn back 3 cents of credit for every gallon of fuel your drivers use their FlexCard to buy, with the total applied in arrears to your account each month. This may not be the most generous rebate offer we’ve seen (some brands will reward you with up to 6 cents per gallon), but it’s certainly not the stingiest, either.
These potential savings, plus the fact that the you won’t have to pay any setup, annual, or card fees for it (as far as we can tell, this is the only WEX-branded card to make such a promise), make the FlexCard a strong contender if you’re looking for a simple solution that’ll help you to save money.
WEX Large Fleet Card
The WEX Large Fleet Card brings with it almost all the benefits of the Fleet Card, which we’ve already discussed above, but is simply aimed at larger businesses with bigger fuelling needs. And, importantly, it does not grant you access to the WEX EDGE Savings Network, which is designed to help small businesses save crucial cash.
But let’s explore what the Large Fleet Card can do in more detail (for the record, the following applies to the Fleet Card, too). WEX captures data on every purchase made with these cards, and when coupled with WEX ClearView, can offer some helpful insights into your fleet’s fueling on one intuitive interface. We’d recommend that all businesses take advantage of these analytics, but especially larger fleets – such businesses could stand to save a lot of money by simply reviewing and revising their fueling habits (and would possibly have more time and resources to dedicate to this process).
With these cards, you’ll also be able to control your drivers’ spending by:
- Dollars per transaction, per day, or per week
- The time of day
- The day of the week
- Number of transactions in a given period of time
Any transactions that fall outside the limits you set (for example, a transaction that costs too much, or takes place outside of the driver’s working hours) will be declined, which may well help you to rest easy. You can also choose to get email notifications that alert you when specific things happen, such as a purchase made out-of-state, or the wrong fuel grade being bought.
WEX Fleet Cross Roads Card
WEX’s Fleet Cross Roads Card program comes with all the benefits of the Fleet Card and Large Fleet Card, including advanced spending controls and analytics, plus access to the WEX EDGE Savings Network.
But the key difference to understand is that, unlike its counterparts, the Cross Roads Card is also accepted at truck stops, including Pilot Flying J, Love’s, and TA, plus many other independent truck stops. So, if your drivers use truck stops regularly, this is the WEX card you should be considering.
Concerned about security?
All of the above WEX fuel cards authorize and track usage patterns using driver IDs, job numbers, and vehicle odometer readings.
They also offer activation and suspension tools to combat theft and fraud, and let managers set product and dollar limits on purchases – so if a fraudulent payment is made, it can’t exceed what you can afford.
WEX’s Other Fuel Cards
As well as their four flagship fleet cards, WEX provides cards in partnership with a variety of major fuel and retail brands. Most of these are universal cards, which means they can be used at any of the fuel stations in WEX’s network, though some are limited to use with specific fuel station brands.
These partner-branded cards come with their own benefits. These vary by retailer, and often include fuel rebates, discounts of 5-7 cents per gallon, and the ability to limit drivers’ purchases by dollar amount or purchase type.
How Much Do WEX Fuel Cards Cost?
WEX may be keen to offer you a fleet card, but when it comes to fees and charges, well… those cards are kept close to WEX’s chest. We know that you’ll pay zero setup, annual, or card fees for WEX’s FlexCard, which is a very good offer. We also know that WEX charges either $75 or 6.99% of the outstanding balance (whichever is greater) for late payments. But that’s as much detail as is available from trustworthy sources.
Don’t be alarmed, though – keeping specific fee structures and rates out of the public eye is pretty standard practice in the fleet cards industry, and it doesn’t mean that WEX is expensive, or plans to charge you every time one of your drivers sneezes. It simply means that WEX wants to know a little more about your fleet before showing the numbers, so it can offer you the most accurate quote possible.
As with any financial service, we’d advise reading WEX’s terms and conditions very carefully, paying close attention to the fees you’ll be charged (and when and why). Be sure to gain confirmation that these fees will not change – and if they will, find out when, and by how much.
Speaking of accurate quotes… if you’d like to compare several without having to do another minute of headache-inducing research, we’ve got your back. Just answer a few questions to tell us what you need from a fleet card, and we’ll match you up with trusted suppliers that can provide for your needs. They’ll then be in touch directly to provide free, no-obligation quotes, and answers to all of your questions. It’s the easiest way to zero in on the best options for you, and compare them with minimal effort.
Are Any of WEX’s Fleet Cards Right for My Business?
“I want consistent gas station coverage”
One of the first things to note about WEX’s fleet cards is that they offer excellent coverage: they can be used to buy fuel at 95% of US fuel stations (and WEX says that includes every major station). Here are some of the biggest names among WEX’s hundreds of network partners:
This means that, no matter where you’re based, your drivers should always be within reasonable driving distance of a gas station they can use.
The fact that WEX offers this coverage even on its card programs for small fleets is a real boon for SMBs. Many of the US’ popular fleet card programs are provided by gas station chains, which tend to limit their small business cards so they can only be used at their own branded stations. But WEX is a provider of payment services, not gas – and so would have no vested interest in limiting users to just one of the many gas station brands it has partnered with.
“I run a small fleet”
If you’re sold on getting a WEX-branded fuel card, you have the Fleet Card and FlexCard to choose from.
Affording you advanced control and analytics, as well as a variety of discounts on the EDGE Savings Network, we have to say that the Fleet Card is our favorite. And if some or all of your vehicles are trucks, and your drivers tend to make use of truck stops, you may as well upgrade to the Fleet Cross Roads Card, which comes with the same benefits but can also be used at a variety of truck stops.
However, if you’re very eager to save money, the more simple FlexCard is also a solid option, with zero annual, set up, or card fees to pay, plus the ability to carry a balance to ease your cash flow. Just be wary that larger rebates than 3 cents can be found with other providers, so if rebates are the key USP for you, you shouldn’t necessarily end your search here.
“I run a large fleet”
WEX’s Large Fleet Card is a good choice if control and insight is your thing, with advanced spending analytics to help you action change in your drivers’ spending habits and, as a result, save some money.
The only downside here is that, as far as we can tell, this card program doesn’t grant you any discounts or rebates on fuel. While such savings may not be your number one priority anyway, they can be a nice bonus – and there are other large business cards out there that do sweeten the pot with such rewards.
“I run a fleet of trucks”
Depending on your fleet’s size, you could benefit from any of the WEX-branded fleet cards. But if your drivers tend to use truck stops, it’s worth investigating the Fleet Cross Roads Card specifically. This card boasts all the benefits of the WEX Fleet Card, but can also be used to make purchases at a variety of truck stops across the country – from independent spots to chains like TA, Love’s, and Pilot Flying J.
What Do WEX’s Customers Say?
There aren’t a great many user reviews online that specifically cover WEX’s fleet card service. However, from what we have read and heard, we know that users like WEX’s customer service and flexibility.
We have, however, come across a handful of mixed reviews regarding the WEX Connect app. While some drivers love it, others report that it sometimes displays inaccurate pricing, tends to sort results by price instead of location, and can have inconsistent refresh rates for both maps and prices.
We’ve also seen some complaints from businesses that have been charged late fees that were heftier than expected – but we’re reassured to see that in each of these cases WEX has responded with a clear explanation. The best way to avoid surprises like these is to read the business account agreement you’ll be issued if you sign up for a WEX fleet card program. Make sure you understand the obligations on both sides, and ask about anything that seems unclear.
WEX’s four flagship fleet card programs are actually all pretty similar, with the Fleet Card, Large Fleet Card, and Fleet Cross Roads Card all offering sophisticated fueling analytics – so you can keep an eye on your spending and find opportunities to cut costs – and spending controls. That said, it’s important to understand the key differences: the Large Fleet Card does not grant you access to discounts through the WEX EDGE Savings Network, and the Fleet Cross Roads Card can be used to make purchases at truck stops.
The card that stands out from the crowd a little is the WEX FlexCard. With the ability to carry a monthly balance and gain 3 cent rebates on each gallon of fuel bought, plus zero setup, annual, or card fees, this is a program that we’d recommend to small businesses that are eager to save money and carefully manage cash flow.
We’re also fans of WEX’s US-based support team, which operates 24/7, and promises to answer 75% of phone calls within 20 seconds – not at all bad for a company as large as WEX. There’s also WEX’s host of apps for both drivers and fleet managers to help make the fueling experience smoother and easier – though we have read a few complaints about WEX Connect. On the subject of complaints, we’d advise that any potential WEX customer reads their business account agreement carefully to avoid any surprising charges.
All things considered, we’d recommend WEX’s fleet cards. They come from a prolific company that’s been at the forefront of gas payment services for decades, and each offers a host of solid benefits. Of course, our recommendation doesn’t necessarily make WEX the right brand for you. It’s so important to compare all of your suitable options before settling on one.
Luckily, that’s our specialty. Simply tell us a little about your fleet and its fueling needs, and we’ll match you up with the best fleet card suppliers for you. They’ll then be in touch directly with free, no-obligation quotes that are tailored to you, and answers to your questions. It’s super fast and super easy.
What Other Fleet Cards Could I Consider?
Alongside WEX, we’d recommend investigating the following fleet card providers:
|Fleet card company||Our star rating||Our review|
|Chevron Texaco||Read review|
|FleetCards USA||Read review|