by Nori Gale
How to get a fuel card
If you work in fleet management or work with vehicles as part of your business, a fuel card will provide your company with cost savings and efficiencies that will help improve your bottom line. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to get a fuel card for your company.
How do fleet cards work?
If you employ people driving company vehicles out in the field – let’s say you’re a plumber, an electrician, you work for a moving company, a fuel delivery company, or for a company that’s an essential part of the national supply chain – a fuel card can help you streamline your work.
As truck drivers, workers, and technicians represent your business out in the world and you need to oversee operations from afar, one key way to simplify your operations is by getting a fuel card for your business. A recent article on fleet cards gives a full account of what a fuel card is, which will help you make the right decision for your business.
Put simply, fuel cards allow you to:
- Track fuel expenses automatically
- Put guardrails around employee spending
- Identify potential fraud or misuse
- Automatically track your purchases online
- Access detailed reports
- Drive a better and stronger bottom line for your company
How do I use a fuel card?
A fuel card for your business will provide you with ways to curb unauthorized use or theft. Here are some of the most impactful benefits offered with many fuel cards:
- Fuel expense tracking
- Acceptance at a large number of locations
- Security/help reducing misuse
- Spending controls
- Automatic reporting/no paperwork
- Online and mobile account access
How to get a fuel card in five simple steps
You’ve done your homework and you are looking for ways to make your business more profitable with a fuel card in your toolkit. Here are five simple steps to procuring your company fuel card:
Step 1: Check your credit rating to see for which types of fleet cards you’re eligible
Check your credit score and you’ll be given a list of what types of fuel cards your business is likely to be qualified to get. Sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame will provide you this information for free. If you have a good or excellent score, you’ll be able to pick from the best fuel cards offered.
Step 2: Take the size of your business into account when searching for the right fuel card
The size of your business impacts which card is right for you. If you have a few trucks in your fleet, versus hundreds, there’s a business fuel card that would make the most sense based on the size of your business. If you have upwards of a thousand trucks you’d consider one type of fuel card, while a smaller business with just a few trucks would be better equipped with a “small business fuel card” instead.
Step 3: Research the different fleet cards offered
If you do the research into what different cards are offered, you’ll be able to determine which ones are accepted at the most locations, have the best rebates, and offer you the most opportunities to create efficiencies. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of possibilities, you can compare the rewards and fees of the different fuel card options to find the best deal.
Some cards only work at select stations, while others can be used at virtually any station nationwide – depending on what makes the most sense for your business, narrow the field accordingly
Step 4: Look for a fuel card that provides more than just a way to buy gas
Nowadays, fuel cards can come with a lot of bells and whistles when you know what to look for. With the best fuel cards, you can enjoy fleet management tools, tracking tools, and the ability to add factoring and telematics to your account. There’s a lot more to some fuel cards and it’s worth taking the time to see which companies give the full package deal and which simply provide a mechanism for purchasing fuel.
Step 5: Submit an application for the fuel card that makes the most sense for your business
When you find the right fuel card for your business, you can apply for it online, over the phone, or by mailing an application. It’s that simple. And once you do, you’ll be well on your way to improving your business’ operations.
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.
Editorial note: This article was originally published on February 3, 2021, and has been updated for this publication.