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Best Fleet Fuel Cards and Their Benefits for Your Business

By Kevin Aries December 23, 2020

Fuel is arguably the largest fleet cost for any business, and can also be one of the most unpredictable. Fluctuating fuel prices, unexpected route detours and a personal  driving style can all impact how much fuel a fleet consumes. 

To help control costs and improve efficiency around fuel usage, fleet managers can elect to join a fuel card program. When coupled with fleet management software, use of fuel cards can have a positive impact on fleet productivity and the bottom line.

What is a fuel card and how do I get one?

Fuel cards are similar to a credit card, geared specifically for fuel and, occasionally, maintenance purchases. Fuel cards allow fleet drivers to purchase fuel through a company-linked account, with larger fleets sometimes being eligible for discounts, gas card offers and other perks from the fuel card provider. 

Much like traditional credit cards, fleet fuel cards have annual or monthly fees, but additional gains often offset this:

  • Cards can offer volume rebates and fuel discounts for each fill up
  • Card providers offer mobile apps to help monitor fuel costs and control spending limits
  • Cards can be secured with additional pin numbers required to authorize each fuel expense
  • Cards can be used at a wide range of fueling locations, gas stations and truck stops across the U.S.
  • Cards can help simplify accounting and eliminate the need for truckers to file expenses

Why choose fuel cards for your fleet

While there are a number of benefits fleets can gain from a fuel card program, the two most impactful are:

  1. The ability to combat fraud
  2. The ability to improve fuel efficiency

Fuel cards allow fleet managers to more closely monitor fuel purchases to check that drivers are the ones actually using the fuel, and that fuel fill ups reconcile with routes driven. They also help reduce instances of fuel theft.

Fuel cards also help fleet managers streamline operations to achieve cost savings by examining fuel efficiency as it relates to how operators are driving and how much fuel each vehicle is consuming. Managers can more easily determine where fuel waste is occurring or if inefficient vehicle use is taking place. 

Efficient fuel utilization is critical to keep your overall fleet budget in check. Learn how you can reduce fuel costs in five easy ways.

The benefit of integrating fuel cards into your telematics platform

While fuel cards alone provide business fleet managers with improved cost management efficiency, when integrated into an existing telematics platform, managers across all industries can further streamline operations and leverage analytics to heighten cost control.

Fleet managers no longer have to wrangle paper receipts or combine disparate data in order to derive business-impacting fuel insights. The Verizon Connect Reveal platform, specifically, integrates with leading fuel card management providers to automatically align fuel transactions with vehicle location and activity data. This provides fleets with a host of value-added benefits:

Greater fraud negation. Use GPS and Driver ID tracking info to easily see where company vehicles were when a fuel card was charged, and zoom in on possible misuse. The fuel usage information and odometer readings that are collected can also help to identify any mismatches between vehicle fuel use and fuel expenses.

Idling reduction. While some engine idling is necessary, much of it is unproductive and leads to fuel waste and vehicle wear and tear. Telematics lets you monitor idle hours and driver behavior to help prevent wasted fuel and achieve a direct reduction in the cost of maintenance.

Improved route planning: Better route planning leads to shorter distances traveled and reduced overall fuel consumption. Hi-res maps with smart clustering near real-time detail-on-demand provide a simple yet powerful tool for route planning and rerouting as needed.

Dashboard views. Utilize fuel purchase dashboards and the total idle time dashboards to monitor discrepancies and discern whether fraudulent purchases or wasteful actions are taking place.

Ease of use. Fuel transaction data is transferred automatically from the fuel card to the telematics platform. In addition, the platform is easy to sign up for, easy to access and intuitive to use.

Detailed reports. Fleet managers can reduce paperwork and more easily monitor key aspects of fleet consumption via these three key reports:

  1. Lost fuel report: Compare fuel transactions for each vehicle and find out if excessive fuel was purchased, as well as highlight exceptions between transactions and vehicle information. Incidents will appear based on a vehicle not being near a fuel station location at the transaction time. Incidents can also appear if a vehicle’s fuel tank size is exceeded by the amount of fuel purchased.
  2. Fuel efficiency report: Determine a vehicle’s fuel consumption and understand fuel-wasting driver behaviors. See what vehicles are running the most efficiently compared to estimated MPGs, and identify opportunities to coach drivers associated with underperforming vehicles.
  3. Fuel purchased report: Review fuel transactions for each vehicle and identify opportunities for improvement. This report provides a detailed view of transactions made for a period of time, so managers can tell how many fill-ups a vehicle made to determine if it’s being efficient.

Fuel card options

The right fuel card enables fleets to monitor GPS and fuel transactions together—eliminating the need to compile data from multiple sources. Below you will find some of the best fuel cards we have available for you:

AmeriFuel: AmeriFuel is a division of R.E. Powell & SeaPort, one of the largest energy and petroleum products distributors in the United States. R.E. Powell is renowned for its exceptional service, high-quality products and competitive prices. They are equally committed to excelling in these areas and providing outstanding service and value to our customers. Backed with the financial support, industry expertise and practical knowledge of our parent company, AmeriFuel is ready to help you operate the most efficient fleet possible.

COMDATA (a FLEETCOR Company) and FLEETCOR: FLEETCOR serves over 500,000 commercial accounts with millions of cardholders across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa and Asia. FLEETCOR manages relationships with more than 800 partners, ranging in size from major oil companies to small petroleum marketers with a single fueling location. They provide services ranging from transaction processing to full program management. Their platforms, programs and infrastructure are both adaptable and scalable, allowing us to fulfill the requirements of a broad range of partners.

Fuelman: Fuelman, a fleet expense management solution, is accepted at over 50K preferred fueling stations nationwide. It helps companies track, manage and control fuel expenses across multiple vehicles and drivers by providing custom fuel controls, simplified reports for accounting and tax reporting and deep fuel discounts.

Other major players in the market include WEX and Shell Global fuel cards. WEX fuel cards are accepted at almost every major fuel station in the U.S. Shell Global fuel cards are designed to be accessible, secure, and easy to monitor. 

Learn more about how your fleet can benefit from an integrated telematics and fuel card program.

Kevin Aries

Kevin Aries leads Global Product Success for Verizon Connect, helping build software solutions that optimize the way people, vehicles and things move through the world.

Tags: Cost control, Fuel cost management, Productivity & Efficiency

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