Why Fuel Cards are More Beneficial to the Fleets than Credit Cards?

You might be looking for ways to lower your fuel costs now that the fuel price fluctuation is beginning to start again. Have you considered using fuel cards instead of a fleet credit card or paying cash for fuel for your truckers? While they might look similar to credit cards, using a credit card for fleet utilization isn’t always the most advantageous option. There are several benefits that fuel cards offer that you might not be receiving if you’ve been utilizing a fleet credit card for fuel advantages. 

Despite falling diesel prices, fuel remains one of the most expensive operating costs for carriers. Your company will be more lucrative the better you can manage that expense. Using a fuel card rather than a company credit card or liquid assets for diesel purchases is one of the simplest ways to control fuel costs.

We will go through the basics of fuel and credit cards, followed by their advantages in this blog. 

What Is A Fuel Card?

A fuel card, similar to a credit card, makes it simple to pay for and track your corporate fuel transactions. It also links to an account like a credit card. The fuel’s price is billed to your account when you fill up by merely swiping your card. Payments may reflect in your bank or credit card account. You don’t need to maintain and add up fuel invoices because every purchase is tracked and itemized on a single tax statement.

The only significant distinction in using a fuel card is that it necessitates accessing the driver’s unique PIN and the vehicle’s mileage. Behind the scenes, however, there are several other significant differences. 

For any purchase, there are corporate credit cards. In contrast, a fuel card is specifically for purchasing fuel and upkeep for company property.

How Do Fuel Cards Work? 

A private payment network of gas stations is the foundation of a fuel card. It is only functional at gas stations connected to this system. However, the optimum fuel cards will encompass the bulk of gas stations in the United States (95 percent or more).

The gas purchase information is available online as soon as the driver buys it. The company can access this information, prepare reports, and maintain cards anytime through a web portal. Drivers can manage their cards via a mobile app.

In contrast to conventional fuel payment methods, a fuel card has some significant advantages.

How Do You Use A Fuel Card? 

Utilizing fuel cards is very effortless. To put it simply, instead of using personal cash or a company credit card to pay for the fuel at a gas station, the employee uses a fuel card. The bill is then charged directly to the company.

It’s worth noting that most fuel cards are only legitimate inside a single network. For instance, the Shell Multi-Network Fuel Card works at gas stations operated by Shell, Esso, Texaco, Gulf, and Gleaner. To fill up at a supermarket petrol station, however, you must have a legitimate fuel card at Morrisons or Tesco, such as the FuelPlus Fuel Card.

Advantages Of A Fuel Card

Fuel cards, like cash and credit cards, are adaptable. They may even provide discounts on all of your company’s fuel purchases! With a dependable fuel card, you will also be able to solve some of the biggest problems with conventional fuel payments. Here are some of the advantages of fuel cards:

  • Efficient monitoring of fuel cards – By using fuel cards, you can gather specific information about your fleet’s fuel consumption. Many fuel card providers can compile this data into several reports that make controlling your company’s fuel efficiency convenient. You can also track fuel usage using card management software- typically available as a digital dashboard or application. Fleet managers can then identify trends and find ways to improve spending and fuel economy. 
  • Security – Fuel cards can be independently delegated to a driver or car and given a different ID/PIN- to reduce security risks. Every operator will have safe entry to the account and be able to instantly freeze or revoke cards if they are stolen or lost and reactivate or order new cards as required.
  • No Credit – Your fuel card can be pre-loaded with a predetermined number of liters using a pre-pay fuel account. Check with your fuel card supplier for a Flexi-pay card. The Flexi-pay solution gives you access to a resolved, industrially related diesel price while keeping you in complete command of the card’s spending limits.
  •  Simple To Limit Spending – You can choose to limit transactions to just fuel with the majority of fuel cards. The invoice won’t have to be divided or dissolved, which will be advantageous for your account department. Furthermore, you can be confident that your drivers aren’t paying for personal costs with company money.
  • Discounts And Rebates On Fuel – Since the companies that issue fuel cards impact the price per liter for their clients, those who own fuel cards receive fuel discounts that add up in the long run. Oil systems recognize fuel card providers because they buy large quantities of fuel. Because of this, some fuel card companies can offer customers a more desirable rate.

What Is A Credit Card?

With a credit card, a customer can borrow up to his pre-approved credit limit. Credit cards are a form of credit facility offered by banks. It allows consumers to make purchases of goods and services. As well as income and credit score, the credit card issuer determines the credit limit based on those variables. Credit card information includes the card number, recipient’s name, expiry date, signature, CVC code, etc. Credit cards have the advantage of not being linked to a bank account. As a result, every time you use your credit card, the sum is subtracted from your credit card balance instead of your bank account.

How Do Credit Cards Work? 

A credit card is primarily a small loan from the bank, to put it simply. While some may consider credit cards to be “easy money,” your credit balance is a loan with an APR (also defined as interest) that will be billed to you as the account holder if you do not pay off your balance at the end of a billing period. Upon approval of your credit card application, the bank will add a credit limit to your account. The credit limit represents the most the bank will permit you to splurge using the card. The credit limit of your credit card is affected by several factors, such as your revenue, liabilities, and credit score.

Credit card transactions deduct your available balance from your account. In contrast, making a credit card payment will give you more accessible credit for future orders.

How Do You Use A Credit Card?

Credit cards are simple to operate. You may have to insert your card into a reader or swipe it at the cash register when you enter a shop. You can also use your card to make non-contact payments in stores. Using your credit card when shopping online is as simple as filling in your card details, which include:

  • Your credit card number.
  • The date of expiration.
  • The CVV security code – is usually printed on the back of your card.

It’s also critical to utilize your credit card in ways that will assist you in improving your credit score while not costing you too much in terms of interest and fees.

Advantages Of Credit Cards 

With its simplicity and convenient pay-back options, credit cards have become an essential part of life. Credit card discount offers and transactions are unmatched by any other financial instrument. However, credit cards become debt traps if wrongly utilized or if you charge more than you can afford to pay back when the bill arrives. If you’re new to the concept of credit, here are five advantages:

  • Easy Credit Access – The most significant benefit of a credit card is the ease with which you can obtain credit. Credit cards operate based on delayed payment, which means you can use your card today and pay for your transactions later. Your bank balance doesn’t deplete every time you swipe because the money used does not leave your account.
  • Establishing A Credit Line – You can create a line of credit with credit cards. A credit line is critical because it permits banks to observe your active credit record based on card repayments and consumption. Credit cards are used by banking institutions to assess the creditworthiness of potential loan applicants and will be an integral part of the future loan or rental applications.
  • EMI Provision – If you want to make a large purchase but don’t want to use your savings, you can put it on your credit card to defer payment. In addition, you can choose to pay off your purchase in equal monthly installments, avoiding paying a lump sum and depleting your bank account. Using EMI to pay for a transaction, such as a television or an expensive refrigerator, is cheaper than taking out a personal loan.
  • Offers And Discounts – Incentives and offers to use your credit card are typically abundant with most cards. These can range from cash back to rewards points accumulated each time you swipe your card, which can then be repaid as air miles or used to pay off your exceptional card balance. Additionally, lenders provide savings on credit card purchases made on things like plane tickets, vacations, and large transactions, which can help you save money.
  • Flexible Credit – When using a credit card, you may have access to an interest-free period during which no interest is applicable to any impressive balance. You can get free, short-term credit for 45-60 days if you pay off the entire amount due by the due date on your credit card bill. As a result, you can benefit from a credit advance while avoiding the fees involved by having an established credit balance.

Why Do Fleets Need A Fuel Card Instead Of Credit Card?

Even with all the advantages, credit cards are not the most suitable option for fleet managers and drivers. Unlike credit cards, fuel cards offer a wide range of benefits specifically catering to fleets’ needs of controlling fuel expenses. Here are the benefits that fuel cards offer over credit cards: 

  • Controlled Spending – With the help of fuel cards, you can decide to control your transactions. Your invoices will neither be divided nor dissolved. However, with credit cards, there is no limit to spendinging as they offer you credit to a huge extent. You are likely to fall into the debt trap by overspending. 
  • Drivers Do Not Need To Pay – Additionally, fuel cards give drivers more comfort. Drivers are not required to pay for fuel out of their wallets, manage receipts, or request compensation. Furthermore, not having to carry cash can make drivers feel more stable.
  • IFTA Calculation – A fuel card provides much more information than a credit card, including the transaction price, owner name, date, and time of each payment. When a driver swipes the card, he or she will be urged to enter additional information such as meter readings and a driver ID (PIN). Access to fleet consumption data, receipts, and fuel costs will reduce your accounting and bookkeeping costs while also saving you time when submitting IFTA taxes.
  • Special Fuel Discounts – More than 90% of the country’s gas stations accept fuel cards. Most of them offer aggressive discounts and cashback plans, such as 2 to 20 cents off per gallon. In addition, many fuel cards have cheap to no transaction fees.
  • Fraud Protection – The best route to buy fuel is with a fuel card. At the point of sale, fuel cards use an operator ID/PIN, giving consumers additional security. Account information is only accessible to fleet executives, who can disable lost or stolen cards instantly.
  • Avoid Unauthorized Fuel Transactions – You can also restrict the number of charges per day, the routine purchase quantity, and even the quantity of gallons the driver can purchase per payment to prevent fuel card fraud daily. Try to obtain a fuel card that restricts the driver to only using a particular fuel, such as diesel.

We hope that this blog has enriched your knowledge on fuel cards and credit cards along with understanding why fuel cards can be more advantageous for you while purchasing fuel. A wise decision cannot only help you save money on fuel but also provide you with several other benefits. 

Best Fuel Cards For Small Business In 2022

Running a small business means you are responsible for almost everything, from maintaining cash flow, completing administrative tasks, and ensuring continuity of the service. Among them, the most difficult one is to control expenses. It is easy for the cost to increase and make business owners busy finding ways to control it. 

If your small business includes more than one vehicle and often purchases fuel to run services, please give your attention here. 

In a fleet, a large chunk of a fleet budget goes to fuel bills, and you need to control this expense to manage your expenditure. 

A fuel card is one of the best ways to get cash back or rebates on fuel purchases and lower fuel expenses. It provides you with a flexible and safe way to pay fuel bills. Additionally, it also helps you to get discounts on vehicle-related charges. 

What Are Fuel Cards?

Fuel cards are similar to credit cards, but you can use them for fuel purchases. It is a card you can use to purchase gasoline, diesel, or other fuel at gas stations. It offers you discounts per gallon at the networking retailing partners.  

You can also use a fleet card to pay for vehicle maintenance and other related expenses. 

Types Of Fuel Cards For Small Businesses

You can find three different types of fuel cards:

  • Branded fuel cards are issued by the fuel companies directly.
  • Universal fuel cards are not limited to specific fuel providers. You can use them in different locations. 
  • Fuel merchant partners come along with fuel companies to offer merchant fuel cards. 

Business Card V/s Fuel Card- Which One Is Better For A Small Business

Generally, new business owners can get confused about which is better for their business- A business credit card or a fuel card. 

Let us discuss the difference between them and find out which one you need. 

  • A business card allows small business owners to carry out their day-to-day expenses. It helps them to get valuable rewards and organize their finances. 
  • On the other hand, a fleet card is a payment card that you can use to get rebates on gasoline, diesel, or any other fuels at networking stations. It also allows you to get discounts on other vehicle-related expenses. 

Fuel cards are the best way to save fuel expenses and shares major parts of operating cost for any fleet. You need a fleet card if your business depends on two or more vehicles to carry out operations. 

Similarly, business cards allow you to get rewards on payments. It can be anything and not restricted to one kind. So if your business does not purchase fuel frequently, a business credit card with no or minimum annual fees is good for you. 

Are you still confused about which one is better? Well, they both are indispensable parts of a business. So some of you may need both to meet different expenses of your fleet and get rewards. 

How To Find The Best Fuel Card?

Fuel cards come in different shapes and kinds. You have to consider your business’s unique needs to find out the best fuel card for you. 

Let us discuss some factors you can consider to sort the best option for you. 

Location

You should always check the location before buying any fuel card. Always choose the one that works in your operating region. Also, if you travel interstate, go with a widely accepted one. 

Price

Go with the fuel card that offers you- maximum savings on fuel purchases. So look for one with better discounts and rewards. 

But make sure to avoid cards with high maintenance or annual charges as then the whole purpose of the fuel card will get lost. 

Repayment Terms

Choose a fuel card that offers a flexible repayment option. Fuel card vendors like Matrack charge 0% interest on grace periods. 

Control

A fuel card that allows you better control over your card is always a good option. You can set a limit for each card to avoid fraud and restrict excess fuel purchases. 

Reporting and Tracking

Lastly, always look beyond fuel rebates. You have to save time from managing and calculating fuel purchases to make reports. 

Look for a fuel card that offers an advanced tool for reporting and tracking. You can generate reports in no time and have better insight into the fuel consumption in your fleet to make essential decisions. 

7 Best Fuel Cards For Small Businesses In 2022 

Matrack Fuel Card

A Matrack fuel card is the best way to save money on fuel purchases and control your fuel expenses. This card offers you considerable discounts and cashback on fuels. You can also use this card to get discounts on maintenance, lodging, and boarding, many more.

It is accepted by more than 230000 places, including fuel stations, truck stops, and convenience stores, so you can stop to refuel anywhere you want in the country. 

One of the best features of this card is that you will not have to incur any hidden fees. Also, you will get a flexible cash flow guarantee with 60 days of repayment. During this period, the company will not charge any interest. You can also claim a 1.5% discount for early payment.

You can also choose- a long repayment option without additional cost to get more time for repayment. 

The card allows you to have better control over the fuel purchases in your fleet. 

You can set spending limits to restrict drivers from purchasing excess fuel. All the transactions are listed online, so you don’t have to worry about collecting fuel recipes. You can view the comprehensive report and make better decisions. 

Some of the notable features of the Matrack fuel card are:

  • Purchase control
  • High spending limit
  • Economical and competitive fuel price
  • Interest-free grace period
  • Fraud alerts
  • Fuel tax refund
  • IFTA tax reports
  • And many more.

You can integrate the fuel card with the Matrack fleet management system to save up to 10 to 15% per year on fuel expenses. 

Visa Fleet Card

A Visa fleet card is another good option for small fleets to control their expenses on the road. It helps you to streamline your fleet management with accurate data. 

It provides you with better insight into your spending and imparts you data-driven insights so that you can make strategic decisions. When any of your drivers use this at a pump, it prompts driver ID and odometer reading. It allows you to view individual statistics and analyze how much one vehicle consumes. 

It also allows you to set spending and transaction limits, track purchases by vehicle or employee, ensure compliance, restrict cards for certain types of purchasing, etc. 

More than 236,000 fuel stations across the USA accept this card, so you can make a long-distance journey without worrying about fuel.  

Some of the notable benefits that come with this fleet card are:  

  • Emergency assistance services
  • Lost or stolen fuel card reporting
  • Emergency cash disbursement
  • Emergency card replacement
  • Cardholder inquiry service
  • Auto rental collision damage river

Shell Small Business Card

Another good option for small fleets is Shell Small Business cards. This card allows you to get fuel rebates of up to 6 cents per gallon at over 14000 Shell gas stations and participating jiffy lube locations

Shell Small Business card can get better control, convenience, saving, and security, along with fuel rebates.

You can set limits on what, when, and how much an employee can purchase. You can also access in-built detailed reports to monitor different aspects of the fuel activity in your fleet. You can suspend or terminate the card through mobile tools in an emergency. Another benefit of this card is that you get a 24/7 dedicated customer service team to resolve your query. 

The company does not charge you annual charges, activation fees, or hidden costs. You can claim up to nine assigned and four unassigned cards. 

Wex Flex Card

Wex Flex Card is one of the easiest and most flexible ways for small business to control their fuel expenses. Some highlights of this fuel card are:

  • It provides you a rebate of three cents per gallon of fuel purchases.  
  • It allows you to carry a monthly balance on your card.
  • There is no setup, annual or card fees, so you don’t have to pay extra for anything.

You can use this fuel card at over 45000 service locations and any vital gas station. You can download the WEX Connect app to find the nearest fuel station. You can filter fueling stations by price, brand, location, or distance. 

WEX fuel card provides better control over spending. You can restrict fuel purchases by hours of the day, days of the week, dollar per day week or transaction, and number of transactions in a given period.

The Wex flex card also helps you with accounting and report management. Hence you can focus on the revenue-generating activities of your business. You can get purchase activity reports, transaction summaries, financial summary tax exemption reports, etc. So you don’t have to chase down fuel receipts and spend hours making error-free reports. 

Also, if you need help or want to know more about any feature, you can reach their customer service team that will readily answer your queries as soon as possible. 

Fuelman Fuel Card

Get flexibility, freedom, and maximum control over your fleet by introducing a Fuelman fuel card. It is an ideal solution if you buy up to 1000 to 5000 gallons per month. You can use this card to get discounts on gas purchases, repair services, and other supplies on the Fuelman network. It includes 20,000 maintenance sites and 50,000 gas stations across the USA.

The Fuelman fuel card also prevents fraud and misuse on your feet by providing you with better control over your fuel purchases. It allows you to set purchasing limits on- when, who, and what your drivers can purchase. The drivers have to enter their identification numbers to access the card so you can get a clear insight into each employee. When the card detects any unauthorized activity, it will send you a real-time alert so that you can take action against it. 

One of the significant benefits of this fuel card is that 95% of all fuel stations in the USA plus 45000 service locations accept this fuel card. So you will never face any difficulty fueling up on your journey. 

The Fuelman fuel card also helps you with reporting and tracking. It allows you to view individual expenses by driver or vehicle to make strategic decisions. It also eliminates the chaos of collecting fuel receipts to generate accurate reports. You can get all the information at your fingers in the mobile application.

Speedway Superfleet Mastercard

Speedway Superfleet Mastercard is a fleet card that offers you free management benefits such as transaction reporting and purchase controls along with fuel rebates. This master card will help you to save money on fuel purchases and keep your vehicles running on the road freely. 

You can get volume-based rebates with this card and save up to 5 cents per gallon. You can use this card at 3000 speedway locations in the USA and 175000 fueling stations nationwide that accept Mastercard cards. So you will never run out of gas stations to fill your tank. 

Some of the notable advantages of this fuel card include:

  • Customize, detail reporting and billing 
  • Tax-exempt billing
  • Online and card-level security
  • Accurate Accounting 
  • Competitive pricing and quality products
  • Driver, vehicle, and odometer tracking

BP Business Solution Fuel Card

BP Business Solution Fuel Card is a convenient way to manage fuel expenses. It provides better control, security, and flexibility over fuel purchases in your fleet, along with rebates. 

It provides a volume-based rebate, so you can earn up to 6 cents per gallon if you purchase 10,000 gallons of fuel per month. You can use this card at BP or Amoco branded locations. 

It allows you to limit purchases by day, week, or month. You can also eliminate unnecessary spending with the card controls. You can access the account information reports of statements anytime you want. It also omits the chaos of collecting receipts for report management. 

You can also avoid fraud in your fleet and ensure better security with the help of this card. You can monitor after-hour purchases & daily transactions and deactivate lost stolen cards anytime. 

The only downside of this fuel card is that it charges $10 per month, but you can waive the monthly charges by purchasing more than 5,000 gallons per month. 

Final Words

If your business largely depends on vehicles or purchases several gallons of fuel every month, you need a fuel card. It can help you get better discounts or rewards on your fuel expenses. Additionally, it can allow you to restrict excess fuel purchases and fraud activity in your fleet. 

Fuel Cards – How do they help truckers and the fleet industry?

From the early years until the introduction of fuel cards in the 80s, key and standalone card locks helped record fuel expenses for fleet operators. In this system, fleet operators were issued private keys by the company selling diesel. Drivers could access the pump through this private key and data recorded by the company through a totalizer. At the end of the week or month, each fleet operator would get a bill for their share of fuel, based on the totalizer number taken down by the company selling diesel.

With subsequent technological advancements, magnetic stripe or swipe cards capable of storing wide-ranging data replaced the key locks/card locks. 

Since the introduction of magnetic stripes used on credit cards by IBM in the 1960s, credit cards have become the most preferred mode of electronic payments. However, the introduction of fuel cards and their advantages over credit cards made it a popular choice with fleet managers. These cards used for trucking and fleet operations got greater acceptance due to the flexibility and range of benefits offered.

Matrack helps you get an insight into how fuel cards work and their benefits:

What are fuel cards?

Fuel cards help pay for buying diesel, gasoline, and other kinds of energy sources at gas stations. These are plastic cards with magnetic strips or RFID (Radio-frequency Identification) chips, which empower truck drivers to pay for gas or diesel at regular gas stations. With fuel cards from Matrack, you can pay for other expenses like boarding, lodging, and vehicle maintenance. 

Who issues fuel cards?

Various banks, financial institutions, and merchant establishments tie-up with fleet and fleet management service providers to issue dedicated fuel cards. For example, Matrack has a tie-up with American express bank. Matrack’s Amex fuel card is a comprehensive service that covers all the bases required for the trucking industry. The fuel card provider earns a commission on the diesel sold when it sends its members to partnering stations or truck stops.

Who uses fuel cards?

The transport industry is the biggest user of these cards. The card providers issue them to the fleet management companies, who, in turn, give them to their drivers. Truck drivers or commercial drivers use these cards for fuelling their trucks at the locations owned or prescribed by the card provider.

How does a fuel card function?

When filling diesel at a pump, the truck driver swipes the fuel card, enters details like unit number, mileage, and trip number, and takes the receipt. Since these cards are issued to drivers and employees, the bills are sent directly to the company. The card issuer generates a single itemized bill at the level of each authorized individual user. 

Benefits of using a Fuel card

Cash Flow

Fuel is the second biggest expense in the transport industry. While large fleets have contingencies to support the cost and inflated prices, owner-operators and small fleets need the cash flow to keep the business going. Fuel cards with long-term repayment and a low-interest rate offer the much-needed respite and help them keep their business afloat. 

Convenience

Fuel cards for trucking offer a lot of conveniences. They reduce the risk of drivers carrying wades of cash, vulnerable to theft. They reduce administrative expenses incurred because of reimbursements made to employees for using personal credit cards for official purposes.

Security and Control

You can have better control over your fuel usage. You can set individual limits for drivers to give you a better insight into their spending patterns. You can monitor exactly how much each truck driver is spending on the routes. If the company finds that the driver fuels their vehicle frequently, they can downgrade the purchase limit.

Fuel card Stock Photos, Royalty Free Fuel card Images | Depositphotos
Source: Depositphotos

Savings

Savings are the most important feature offered by these cards. In the case of a credit card, you pay the credit price for using them. Paying with credit cards or cash also results in missing out on discounts and savings. In addition to discounts, fuel cards offer you many more additional benefits.

Additional services

Many fuel card companies provide additional services like giving a personalized account manager responsible for clients’ needs. They provide various reports which will be helpful in planning fleet optimization. Certain cards allow you to pay for lubricants such as engine oil, accessories, and credits for car washes. Fuel cards for trucking offer discounts on emergency repairs, maintenance & tires.

Convenience for Truck Drivers

A truck driver undertakes the rigors of transporting the goods and has to multitask and manage time and resources. It is not an easy job. A fuel card eliminates the hassle of advance payments for diesel and other maintenance expenses and waiting for reimbursements.

Flexibility

These cards offer flexibility and help avoid getting trapped by offers of cash advances from brokers. This practice gets you tied down with such brokers and turning down high-paying opportunities due to a lack of cash to cover the fuel cost.

Centralized billing

These cards consolidate the billing process and this, in turn, helps streamline the accounting system. If the fleet operates from multiple locations, it helps in generating a central billing statement for individual branch invoices.

Alerts

You can customize fuel cards to set alerts for transactions that need close monitoring. These alerts can be time or location-based. For example, transactions made outside the geographic location or site, or if drivers do not fill diesel at a designated fuel station, you receive an alert.

Different types of fuel cards

Every fuel card company has something unique to offer to its customers. To take optimum advantage of these cards, the operators should know where they are accepted. Not all cards get accepted at every gas station. In case of such concerns, it is better to go with globally accepted cards like MasterCard, Visa card, etc.

There are a variety of cards available in different forms like:

  1. Universal fuel cards: These cards do not belong to any particular brand. They provide universal coverage and provide benefits like online reporting tools. 
  2. Branded fuel cards: These cards are issued directly by companies and offer interesting customization options. 
  3. Merchant Fuel Cards: These cards are issued when fuel merchants partner with fuel companies for global or branded cards

Which fuel card to choose?

This question is dependent on various factors. It is imperative to know what will suit your business and choose accordingly. You can consider the following points while selecting a fuel card.

  1. Routes coverage and location: You can choose a card that has acceptance on regional, national and international routes.
  2.  Vehicle type: You need to choose the card depending on the type of vehicles that make up your fleet, whether haulage vehicles or a small mixed fleet.
  3. Fuel type:  You need to consider if you would prefer a pump-price or fixed-price card.

One of the most important aspects of fuel cards is the cash flow. In the transport industry, the drivers or fleets ideally get paid after a period of 60-90 days after the job is done. Large fleets have funds for these, but small fleets and owner-operators do not. With a fuel card that offers low interest and long-term repayment, they can pay for the fuel once they receive payment for the job.

IFTA – International Fuel Tax Reporting

 IFTA is an arrangement between 48 US States and 10 Canadian provinces that reports fuel use by commercial carriers. IFTA report is a quarterly report that needs to be filed by every IFTA licensee. It is a detailed report of jurisdictional distance traveled and motor fuel purchased in each jurisdiction for the quarter. The reporting software can use the consolidated data from these cards and logs for IFTA calculation and reporting.

Fuel Card Integration

This feature is the Integration of the Fuel Card with GPS devices. This integration feature gives an idea of MPG (Miles Per Gallon) usage regarding fuel spending and vehicle performance. It further enables us to identify the best and worst-performing vehicles and drivers. Data for individual vehicles or fleet is available, along with summary tables that give an insight into fuel used, distance traveled, and MPG used.

In the crowded space of Fuel cards, it gets confusing on which brand to choose. While many companies offer good features, the Matrack Amex Fuel Card deserves special mention. The vendor offers flexibility and benefits. There are substantial savings on fuel in addition to great coverage across locations. Matrack’s Amex Fuel Card offers a 1.5% early-pay discount and a 60-day no-interest payback period.

Conclusion

The fuel card industry is looking at a bright future by adapting and integrating new technologies. Introduction of telematics, RFID in fleet management has proved invaluable for fleet managers and drivers. However, it will be interesting to see how the industry adapts to the Electrical Vehicle (EV) scenario. The infrastructure needed to support widespread EV charging will take some time to materialize. Power shortage is a global reality.

The challenges are many, but the field is wide open with abundant scope. These are exciting times for the fuel card industry, and it is up to the stakeholders to make the most of the opportunities.