As we have discussed many times before on the Fleetio Blog, useful information is key to great fleet management. With Fuel being one of your largest ongoing expenses, it only makes complete sense to closely monitor fuel consumption for your vehicles. With fuel cards (and fleet software integration) this process can be easily manageable. With that in mind, our team has compiled a list of options and what determining factors you might want to consider in choosing cards for your fleet.
Things to Consider
Before you start the search for a fuel card that will meet the needs of your fleet, it might be a good idea to think about exactly what those needs are. First off, where will you be using the cards? Some fuel card companies only operate in certain countries or regions. Others may only be accepted at specific stations. Those with fewer options in their operating territory may want to be careful about limiting drivers to just a few stations. This could lead to your employees burning up a bunch of extra fuel and valuable time finding a gas pump. If availability is in question, then a universally accepted card (Mastercard, Visa, etc.) may be your best bet.
It may sound a bit confusing, but the price you see at the pump is not always what you get with fuel card purchasing. Certain products will allow you to batch your fuel purchases and issue volume-based pricing after a certain period. This has potential to save your company money, but could come with added requirements or fees that other cards may not. The key here is to have an idea of what you are currently spending on fuel (where is also important) and if that trend will continue, increase or decline in the foreseeable future.
Here is one of the biggest differences between a typical credit card and a fuel card: control. You can pretty much limit your card users however you would like. Cards may be restricted to the pump, or pump and convenience store, or they might be usable for vehicle service. Either way, you know that employees are much less likely to abuse a company card. To keep them from loading up on free gas, you can consider the next topic on our list.
If you are simply getting a statement at the end of the month, then you aren't doing enough with your fuel expenses. A number of fleet management products now integrate with major fuel card providers and can create a direct link to the rest of your vehicle information. With this handy data, you can get an overall cost/mile for your vehicles, see automatic fuel economy calculations, monitor irregular fuel purchases and more. Simply put, tying your purchases to an integrated system is going to put all of your important fleet information in one location - making for much better analysis and decision making.
Major Card Providers
There are quite a few players in the fuel card industry, but a handful of names make up the majority of fleet cards in the US and internationally. In this list, we'll highlight a few of their notable differences and give you an idea of what might suit your company best.
Fleetcards USA (owned by Fleetcor) offers a handful of popular brands in the United States. Their products are usually a good fit for smaller to medium-sized fleets, but they do have larger customers as well.
Here is a list of cards offered by Fleetcards USA:
This Mastercard-backed product is widely accepted and can be used for a variety of fleet purchases. Close to half of larger fleets (50+ vehicles) choose a universal option due to flexibility and ease of use.
Offers pricing programs within the Fuelman Network, this card features wholesale-based pricing and special discount programs. These cards can also be used for maintenance purchases.
ARCO's Business Solutions program provides useful features, benefits and controls for every driver in your fleet. They promise savings compared to other retailers and offer real-time account information online.
This card has customized account settings to best suit your business. BP Business Solutions gives control over fuel purchases (like gallon limits) while saving on fuel costs. Accepted at over 10,000 BP locations and account information is available online.
Has customized tools to help control, monitor and analyze fleet fuel expenses. Accepted at Chevron & Texaco stations nationwide. Also valid at Havoline Xpress Lube locations.
Formally known as Wright Express, WEX has a global presence and a diverse array of fuel card products. They have a proprietary U.S. network with acceptance at over 90% of the nation's retail fuel locations and over 45,000 vehicle maintenance locations. Currently, their cards are used for 7.4 million vehicles to purchase fuel and maintenance services.
WEX Fleet Cards can help businesses save up to 15% on fuel expenses, and allow for tighter spending controls. Accepted at 90% of fuel and service locations in the US.
WEX Small Business Card
With this card, you can save money at the pump, in addition to reducing the risk of fraud, cutting down on paperwork, and earning rewards. Their mobile app also allows you to find stations with the best pricing.
This over-the-road card to buy fuel and other products more efficiently, optimize their purchasing processes, and improve tracking and reporting. Accepted at over 6,900 truck stops and there are no transaction fees.
This offering is specifically targeted at state and federal government fleets. Controls and features are centered around precise budgeting and data accuracy.
Comdata offers flexible fleet solutions that can help you gain greater oversight into spending. Real-time management, detailed reporting and comprehensive controls are the primary benefits across their line of products.
FleetAdvance helps you manage fuel purchases with real-time insight. Set your fuel price thresholds or purchasing criteria, receive text or email alerts when drivers do not comply andTrack fuel purchasing performance and savings via a dedicated portal.
This over-the-road card is accepted at thousands of fueling locations nationwide and allows for real-time, customized reporting. You can also authorize one-time or emergency purchases with enhanced controls.
Designed to be a comprehensive product that can help you manage fleet spending with universal acceptance, detailed reporting tools, real-time controls and fuel discount opportunities.
This recognizable financial institution backs the Voyager Fleet Card, which is one of the more popular options amongst larger fleets in the United States.
The Voyager card comes with features that simplify fuel and maintenance data management. You can get access to account information whenever you want it and utilize customized reporting. Voyager also allows you to have a preferred statement or payment type.
This well-known international energy company has their own line of cards, for both personal and business fleet use.
Shell Fuel Card for Business
The Shell Card provides a secure and efficient way to buy fuel. Get detailed online information on fuel consumption that is easy to access and helps to prevent fraud.
Other Smaller Companies
With this card from Valero, you can save up to 7 cents per gallon on fuel purchases and have flexible reporting. Cards can be customized for each vehicle and PINs assigned to each driver.
This card is accepted at 98% of all fuel stations and you can receive a rebate of 1% purchases at 17,000 locations.
Allstar has the largest fuel network in the UK, with over 8,000 locations nationwide. The card is restricted to vehicle-related purchases only. You can also get consolidated reporting.
With the Petro-Canada Superpass you can set tight restrictions on purchases and make quick changes to your plan with online access to the account. You also get access to Canada's largest fuel station network.
Motorpass is accepted at over 90% of service stations Australia-wide in addition to 5,400 vehicle related partners. Reports are fully itemized and include all the essential information with regards to your fuel purchases. They also provide partner benefits and fleet discounts.
Fleet Card is accepted at 6,000 sites across Australia, which represents 95% of the fuel stations in the country. This product can be used for fuel as well as maintenance. Fleet Card also requires no minimum expense or signup fee.