Fleet cards can provide customers of all sizes with tools that not only lower fuel expenses but that also optimize fleet efficiency and reduce risk. But what is a fleet card? Consider this your quick primer on this industry game-changer—or your “Fleet Card 101.”
Breaking it down
A fleet card is a payment card that can be used for any expense associated with a vehicle, including repairs, maintenance and the cost of fuel. But it is primarily used for fuel and is often called a “fleet fuel card.” Fleet cards are different from corporate credit cards because they’re related to vehicle expenses only—unlike corporate credit cards, which can be used on a broad range of expenses.
Smarter than a credit card and safer than cash, fleet cards are easy for employees to use and some even allow mobile payment right at the pump.
Fleet cards streamline the spending process for companies by keeping all expenses in one place. They can even help a business create estimates for budgeting by linking expenses to individual users. In fact, the best fleet card will do all of that and more.
Advantages of a fleet card
A strong fleet card will drive a business forward by providing the following advantages:
- Convenience: If a driver needs to diverge from the best possible route to find fuel that’s in-network, that’s an unnecessary use of time and money—one that fleet cards can help prevent. WEX’s fleet cards are accepted at 95 percent of all retail fuel locations, plus 45,000 maintenance locations—and the WEX Connect app ensures that employees find the cheapest nearby fuel or closest accepting service center. Further, our DriverDash app allows mobile payment at the pump, and the Fleet SmartHub serves as a company’s mobile control center for its fleet card account.
- Automatic accounting and reports: Fleet cards also enable businesses to turn their transaction data into actionable insights. By choosing a provider that analyzes fleet performance and fueling trends, fleet managers can strategize where the least expensive fuel can be purchased, helping with route optimization. WEX’s ClearView solutions allow fuel consumption to be reviewed in easy-to-understand charts and graphs, alerting business owners to potential spending spikes or irregular spending patterns. For example, if a vehicle is using a larger amount of fuel than it should, analytics can signal that a vehicle is in need of service (or that a driver needs additional training).
- Rebates, discounts and savings: Fleet cards often allow fleet managers to save on fuel expenses with special rebates and discounts at top fueling locations. Further, businesses should seek cards that come with powerful fuel management tools and mobile apps that can be used to find opportunities to cut costs, accurately forecast and budget expenses, identify purchasing anomalies and misuse, and more.
- Risk management: Fleet cards also provide security benefits—allowing managers to set limits around purchasing amounts, the number of purchases, timing of purchases and more. This is especially important due to the rise of fraud. WEX’s payment solutions help prevent fuel slippage/fuel theft from occurring in a business—helping fleet managers to rest easy.
We’ve designed the WEX Fleet Cards and tools to give our customers access to all of the above, and we continue to innovate to bring more value to them each year.
Bottom line: All fleet cards are not the same, and different types of fuel cards suit the needs of different fleets. View WEX’s fleet card comparison chart to see which is right for you.