How to Choose the Best Fleet Fuel Card

How to Choose the Best Fleet Fuel Card
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Managing finances for a business fleet can be a tall order: you’re typically tasked with maintaining vehicles, managing drivers, negotiating with suppliers, and overseeing every other facet of your fleet operations to ensure it runs like a well-oiled machine.

Why should you have a fleet fuel card program?

Before we dive into the best fleet fuel cards available, it’s important to first define the challenges associated with fueling vehicles in a fleet and how a fleet fuel card program helps alleviate those.

Volume rebates: save money on fuel through wholesale pricing

Today, the average corporate fleet fuel economy is estimated to be just under 40 miles per gallon. When you factor in the volume of fuel consumed annually with the number of vehicles in your fleet, you could be looking at several hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars per year.

A fleet fuel card program helps you save money on fuel expenses, either by leveraging unlimited cashback programs or with wholesale pricing deals with fuel stations that enable you to take advantage of your purchasing power to get more value for your fleet fueling budget.

Instead of a fragmented model where drivers are issued cards or corporate cards to make fuel purchases, a fleet fuel card program empowers you to explore volume discounts on fuel purchases that may not be available otherwise.

Easily obtain spend data to keep your fleet on budget

Managing your fleet fuel budget can be a dilemma. It’s either you set everything in stone before issuing funds to drivers, or you grant them unlimited control, leading to an uptick in fraudulent purchases.

A fleet fuel card program helps you keep an eye on your fleet fuel expenses in real-time, so you always know your fleet’s fuel purchases to keep everyone on a budget without restricting the process to death.

Streamline the expense reporting process & save time & money spent on reimbursements

Corporate fleets that operate with cash typically have to issue reimbursements to drivers daily, weekly, or monthly, creating a backlog of repetitive admin work for your finance team.

On the other hand, gas cards eliminate the need to use cash so that drivers have access to the funds they need to fuel up without having to reimburse them later.

Quick, easy, and more secure than cash or corporate cards

Fleet fuel cards are custom designed for fleet operations, and as a result, they offer more security, efficiency, and speed overall compared to purchasing fuel with cash.

How to choose a fleet fuel card

When choosing a gas card, you should ask questions that help you gauge the perks a fuel card offers, judging by the cost savings, the volume of data it offers, how extensively it’s accepted, and how much fraud protection it offers.

  • Pricing: How much does it cost, judging by card fees, annual fees, and APR?
  • Savings: How much in volume discounts or rebates can we obtain?
  • Analytics: How much insight into my fleet’s fuel purchases does it offer?
  • Card acceptance: Where can I get fuel with this card? Does it function wherever my fleet’s route reaches?
  • Fraud protection: How quickly can I detect and revoke fraudulent transactions? Given that fuel card fraud costs corporate fleets over $500 million annually, it’s important to devise a strategy to help reduce your exposure and mitigate it quickly if your cards are ever compromised.

The right fuel card may not tick off all the boxes but ideally should give you a balanced combination of these features to meet your business needs.

The best fleet fuel cards

Below we’ve made a 360-degree breakdown of the eight best fleet fuel cards on the market, touching on factors such as:

  • Ease of use
  • Security
  • Cashback offering
  • Pricing

Find them below.

Fuelman

Fuelman offers a range of fleet fuel cards designed to help corporate fleets control and track fuel purchases, generate detailed reports on fueling expenses, eliminate fraud, and cut costs with real-time fuel rebates.

Fuelman essentially offers a full-stack fleet management product designed to optimize fuel expense management at the driver’s end, all without removing the flexibility of in-person purchasing. Starting at a $4 monthly fee, Fuelman offers managed fueling programs, extensive automatic accounting, and granular fraud loss coverage of up to $25,000 annually.

Each Fuelman card accrues up to 2 points per gallon of fuel purchased and $100 in annual loyalty points every year.

Now, while Fuelman offers competitive perks with its product, you’ll have to grapple with an outdated user interface, a shortage of participating fueling locations in the Northeastern and Midwest USA, and a lack of transparency with pump prices that may end up costing you more than the savings Fuelman promises.

The WEX Fleet Card

The WEX fleet card offers corporate fleets an innovative product for managing fuel expenses, tracking purchases fleet-wide, controlling each driver’s spending, and cutting down on your fueling budget.

WEX combines great fraud prevention with extensive accounting designed to make every dollar count so fleet managers can make their fuel budget go even further, cut down on the time and resources spent on reimbursements, and arm drivers with a fuel card that works across 95% of fueling locations in the U.S.

WEX does a pretty good job maintaining their first-class product support, but it’s important to note that WEX doesn’t offer transparent fuel prices you can easily compare. There have also been quite a few cases of users reporting late fees being charged without justification.

ARCO Business Solutions Fuel Card

ARCO takes fuel cards a notch higher with a digital-first platform fleet managers can access across any device.

Using fraud prevention tools like point-of-sale driver identification, and real-time card controls, fleet managers can give drivers the tools they need to focus on their work without giving away too much autonomy or getting stuck with admin work.

BP Business Solutions

Powered by Mastercard, BP’s fleet fuel cards are designed to equip fleet drivers to purchase fuel across thousands of BP or Amoco’s gas stations across the U.S., maintain in-depth analytics on how each card is getting used, and aggregate all that data into one source of truth where you can manage your fleet’s fuel program with unlimited visibility.

With up to a 6.0¢ rebate per gallon, fleets that operate with BP’s fuel card solutions can get almost 2% back on their fuel expenses.

Comdata Fleet Card

Comdata’s fleet cards are designed as a challenger to the bigger players and offer an extensive bundle of perks to boot. With over 8,000 supported locations across the United States, Comdata’s fleet fuel card program equips your team to buy gas with zero transaction fees, charging you just a monthly flat fee for each card issued.

Whether you’re operating five vehicles or 50, Comdata makes it easy for drivers to stay on the go and brings all your data into one source of truth where it’s easy to detect fraud, optimize your fuel spend, and control each card with up to 260 custom rules designed to ensure compliance on the road.

ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil’s fleet fuel cards are designed for use across ExxonMobil’s 11,900+ locations all over the US, so your drivers to purchase gas and conveniences with zero fraud liability.

ExxonMobil’s fleet fuel card eliminates the need to manually track fuel costs in a lengthy spreadsheet and itemizes all the required data, segmented by users and issued cards.

On the downside, ExxonMobil’s fuel cards only work across their network and are only available for users with a 640+ credit rating. In essence, ExxonMobil offers a competitive product from an established brand but leaves too many loopholes to qualify as the best fuel card for fleet operations.

Shell

The Shell fleet fuel card offers more than just a quick way for drivers to purchase gas on the road. It offers access to over 44,000 fueling stations, truck stops, and maintenance locations across the world, expedited roadside assistance, relays granular insights on every transaction and reduces your exposure with advanced fraud prevention features.

Universal Premium Card

For a $12 monthly fee, Universal Premium’s fueling solution empowers fleets to give drivers the flexibility required to purchase gas on the road without losing control or needing to account for every dollar spent manually.

That is because Universal Premium routes all the fueling data into one dashboard where fleet managers can control cards in real-time, track expenses as they happen, detect fraudulent transactions, and save up to 15% on fuel costs across every gas station in the U.S.

At $12 per card per month, the Universal card is on the pricier side of the best fleet fueling options, and judging by the product offering and perks available, it essentially offers too little to justify such a price point.

Using Lola.com for fleet fuel cards and other expenses

Choosing a fleet fuel card is essentially a big question of trying to balance cost with the features each card offers, ranging from acceptance, fraud prevention, price rebates, and the degree of visibility each card gives you into your fleet’s fueling operations.

We built a card solution that helps fleet managers give drivers the flexibility required to fill up on gas without cash, control cards in real-time, and get insights on how to optimize their fleet fuel expenses.

Lola simplifies the fleet fueling experience so you can:

  • Issue fuel cards to drivers with custom budgets tailored to their route
  • Eliminate fraud with enhanced detection and real-time spending controls
  • Manage expenses before they happen with card policies that determine what drivers can charge on their cards
  • Spend directly from your cash balance and avoid late payment fees on credit cards that can hurt your credit
  • Let drivers chose whether they prefer physical or virtual cards

Whether you’re managing five or 500 vehicles, Lola redefines fueling for you and your drivers so you can give everyone the access they need without losing control.

Learn how Lola can transform your fleet-fueling operations today.


About the Author: Churchill Leonard
Churchill creates long-form content for dynamic SaaS businesses looking to drive growth via organic search. Content hacker @PubLoft, a content agency for the top 1% of SaaS startups. Loves research-heavy YT videos, and eats an unfair share of the world’s supply of yoghurt.