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How to choose the right fuel card for your business

Posted August 17, 2022

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Whether you are a small business with a few vehicles or a large operation with hundreds or thousands in your fleet, choosing the right fuel card can mean significant daily, weekly, monthly and yearly savings. Even if your business only purchases a few hundred gallons of fuel per month, you can be eligible for discounts and rebates.

Here are 10 features to consider when choosing the right card for your fleet business

1. Pick a fuel card that collects data on purchases and on your drivers

The right fuel card will give you the power to track and monitor the fuel purchases of every driver in your fleet and collect data on your overall fuel consumption. By understanding your fuel expenses, you can begin to figure out the best ways to save.

Good data will help you analyze things like fuel purchases by employee, fueling locations, and price paid per gallon. Only by seeing this detail and understanding the big picture of the purchasing patterns of your drivers, can you pinpoint areas where you can improve and save money.

2. Pick a fuel card that controls your drivers’ purchasing power at the pump

The best cards will include more security features to help you control and limit the purchasing power of drivers. As a fleet owner or manager, you can set limits for each driver by requiring them to enter in their unique PIN before making a purchase. You can also require drivers to enter vehicle odometer readings to monitor gas usage and better understand your fleet expenses.

These security measures can also prevent card misuse by another person. Cards can be set with fuel limits and provide alerts for any attempted unauthorized or over-the-limit purchases. You’ll want to find a fuel card that allows you to set limits on fuel purchases for each driver per day, per week, per year – whatever works best for your business.

3. Pick a fuel card that controls purchasing power at convenience stores

In addition to fuel controls, look for cards that allow convenience store purchases that can be customized or limited for each driver profile. With the right card features, you can be in control of which drivers have access to fuel only vs. fuel and other purchases.

Businesses should be able to determine whether certain drivers -- or their entire fleet -- can pay for things like convenience store products, vehicle service and maintenance, and roadside service with their fleet card.

4. Pick a fuel card that gives you online access

Gone are the days of collecting paper receipts and driver records. With the right fleet card, the account information for every driver will be at your fingertips and easily accessed for convenient record-keeping. You no longer have to be at the office to access all your driver information. With the right fuel card, online and mobile access is at your fingertips to handle any issues on-the-spot.

5. Pick a fuel card that sends alerts to your drivers

With the right tech-savvy card and mobile technology, the business owner or fleet manager can be sent notifications if something goes wrong during a transaction. For example, if a driver PIN is declined at the pump, or if a driver tries to make a purchase that exceeds a spending limit that the owner/manager has set in the online portal a notification will be sent back to the office to alert whoever’s in charge.

6. Pick a fuel card that reduces credit card fraud

The important difference between a fuel card and a credit card is the ability to limit the usage to only fuel, convenience store purchases, and service stations. While a credit card can be used anywhere, potentially exposing you to misuse or theft, a fuel card is designed for specific fleet card purchases and tracking things like purchases and mileage for each drive.

7. Pick a fuel card with convenient locations in your fleet regions

Whether you do business in the northeast, the southwest, or anywhere in between, choose the card that has the largest number of convenient locations. Universal fuel cards are accepted at gas stations from coast to coast, saving you the time and the hassle of trying to find the nearest location in a smaller fuel network.

8. Pick a fuel card with GPS tracking for fuel savings and fraud protection

Fuel cards that offer free integration or pairing with a GPS tracker are the best choice for saving money. GPS provides fleet owners and managers with driver and vehicle location, fueling location, and the amount of fuel pumped. Combined data on fuel purchase and consumption can help fleet managers find areas to improve their overall fuel spend.

To protect against fraud, a GPS tracker can detect the number of gallons pumped compared to tank capacity, picking up any “extra” tank fillings. The tracker will also show the location of the fueling compared to the location of the truck or vehicle. Theft or misuse can be detected, for example, if the card is used at a station on the highway but the truck is located miles away at another stop.

9. Pick a fuel card with excellent customer service

One of the most important features to consider with any fuel card is the customer service provided for driver support. You don't want your drivers slowed down by anything fuel related. Getting fast solutions to keep them moving is essential.

10. Pick a fuel card with reasonable fees and service charges

When shopping for a card, ask for a fee schedule. You can compare the monthly fees and service charges to make the right decision for your business. Keep in mind that cheaper is not always better. If you have a card that gives you excellent reporting features to help you save on expenses, but comes with fees that are a little higher, it may be worth every penny for your overall savings and convenience.

WEX fuel cards paired with telematics for GPS tracking

WEX customers can purchase telematics technology that combines data analytics and award-winning customer service with sophisticated GPS tracking. You can improve driver productivity and efficiency with easy access to driver activity, fleet performance data, fuel/maintenance costs, and engine alerts.

With this state-of-the art telematics technology, fleet managers and owners can monitor specific driver behavior like speeding, idling, acceleration, and braking. Only by understanding driver behavior can you pinpoint unnecessary fuel usage to flag and coach your drivers. The best fleet cards keep your entire fleet operating efficiently and safely.

Protection against accidents and theft, tracking your assets

Telematics technology can also sense vehicle diagnostics and track maintenance records to keep your overall fleet running at top performance. The real-time reporting reduces accidents, keeps your insurance premiums low, and ultimately helps you stay in compliance and on the road.

If there is an accident or incident, optional in-cab cameras and video playbacks can provide evidence against false claims. GPS asset tracking can also reduce the risk of theft by keeping tabs on assets like trailers and equipment.

You can even use live traffic data to help your drivers find faster routes by tracking your vehicles in real time with interactive satellite maps. The telematics technology can give you and your drivers convenience and peace of mind, knowing what lies ahead.

Easy-to-install telematics with US-based customer service reps

All products are backed by WEX’s world-class, US-based customer service team. Telematics is easy to set up and WEX provides free phone support to help you install it yourself or to find local full-service installers. WEX takes pride in making your job a little easier.

Universal WEX Fuel Cards

WEX fuel cards are part of a universal network and accepted at nearly all US fueling stations from coast to coast and at 45,000 service stations. The WEX network includes major fueling stations like Exxon, Sunoco, 76, BP, and more.

WEX Clearview: easy account access with advanced reporting

The WEX ClearView reporting feature provides advanced insights into your drivers’ fueling and purchasing behavior. Fleet purchases can be tracked by fuel type, gallons purchased, price, and expenditure to monitor your fleet’s activity.

Clearview charts and graphs make data easy to read, especially when it comes to tracking your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and finding cost savings. The overall reports are easy to digest, helping you find cost savings, spot red flags, manage budgets, and improve fleet performance.

3 Clearview solutions for budgeting and forecasting

Snap, Essentials, and Advanced are three Clearview options designed to meet the budgeting needs of virtually any fleet business. These state-of-the-art solutions can break down your fuel spend to help you understand where you are overspending and identify ways to save.

All three options make it easy to look at drivers’ spending behavior, including high price purchases or anything out of the ordinary. By understanding the expense patterns of your fleet, Clearview can streamline your budgeting process and improve your forecasting.

The fuel card with no annual fee or set-up charges and easily customizable reports

Without any annual fees or set-up charges, WEX fleet cards and fuel management products and services will help you run your fleet more smoothly, easily, and efficiently. Accepted at 95% of all retail fuel locations, with powerful data analytics and the ability to track and report, WEX fleet cards are the best option for tracking your fleet anytime, anywhere, which in turn reduces your overall fleet spend.

The bottom line: pick a fuel card that is right for your business

Only you know the right card for your fleet business. Whether you have one truck, dozens, or hundreds of drivers to manage, choosing the right fuel card can make all the difference when it comes to convenience, control, and overall cost savings.

The bottom line is that technology available today can give you the power at your fingertips to know where your fleet is at any given time and provide the tools necessary to keep them safe, productive, and one step ahead of the competition.

All fleet cards are not the same, and different types of fuel cards suit the needs of different kinds and sizes of businesses. View WEX’s fleet card comparison chart to see which fleet fuel card is right for you

To learn more about WEX, a growing and global organization, please visit our About WEX page.

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