When you are trying to improve your bottom line and reduce your fuel costs, you will want to turn to a fleet fuel card provider. Whether you manage a massive fleet or are seeking fuel cards for a small fleet, these providers can outfit a fleet’s drivers with fuel cards designed to help your team save on gas and diesel fuel costs at truck stops and gas stations. When you do not use a fuel card, you are practically throwing money away, so it is crucial you know how to pick the best discount fuel card for truckers.
Find out more about the main qualities to look for in a fuel card and some questions to ask to ensure you get the best fleet fuel card available.
Top Qualities to Look for in a Fuel Card
As you look for the best fuel card for truck drivers, narrow down your options by looking for a few main qualities that set the best cards apart from the competition. This holds true whether you’re evaluating fuel cards for small fleets or for larger operations. Find out more about the primary top qualities to look for in a fuel card below:
Reporting and Consolidated Invoices
When fleet cards allow you to produce reports and consolidated invoices, businesses can keep better track of their drivers’ fuel purchases. A great card will transmit invoices and reports to your bookkeeping software. These cards will also provide essential information, such as the fuel grade purchased, the sales tax for various purchases, and who made the purchase. By choosing fuel cards with exceptional reporting and consolidated invoice capabilities, you remove the need to collect physical receipts.
A key aspect of the most helpful cards is their ability to be accepted at many different stations and wider geographic areas. Some cards only allow truckers to use their fuel cards at a few stations and in a limited geographic area. If your truckers pass through many different areas and need to fuel up at various stations, a card with high acceptance rates at many locations is ideal.
Volume Rebates and Savings
Another primary quality to look for in a fuel card is the opportunity for significant savings on your fuel costs through rebates. An excellent card can help you save money by offering discounts or rebates on fuel, with these rebates changing based on usage. For example, you can find some fuel cards offering a few cents off each gallon of fuel you purchase with it. If you operate a large fleet, these rebates can add up, making your company more profitable in the long term.
Questions to Ask Before You Purchase a Fleet Fuel Card
You can often find the best fuel card for truck drivers by asking a few questions before you decide to make a purchase. Learn more about the top questions you should ask to find the right card for your needs:
1. Does the Discount Apply to the Credit Price or Cash Price?
At times, gas stations have two different prices for their gas — a price for those who pay with cash and a price for those who pay with a card. Typically, gas stations charge less for the cash price, as credit comes with additional processing fees.
Since you can often find a few gas stations with two different prices for their fuel, it is important to note if the fleet card applies to the credit or cash price. If it applies to the cash price, you will end up paying even less for your fuel, as the cash price will already be lower. Ensure the fuel card covers the cash price rather than the credit price by asking the provider and reviewing the card’s terms.
2. How Large Is the Card’s Network?
As you look for a fleet fuel card, you will want to know the extensiveness of the network. If the card does not have a large network, you can end up paying more for fuel once you get outside of the service area. Look at the card details to ensure it has a big enough network covering all your potential routes.
3. Is It Retail-Minus, Cost-Plus, or Both?
If your card has retail-minus pricing, you will pay for the advertised price. Later, your provider will send you a rebate. The advertised price includes your retail margin, which comprises your business’s expenses, fuel costs, and taxes. Since the card provider sends you a rebate, the “minus” refers to the rebate you negotiated with your card provider.
Unlike a retail-minus card, a cost-plus card does not require you to pay for the advertised retail price. Instead, you will pay a price determined by the Oil Price Information Service’s nationwide index and federal and state taxes. With a cost-plus model, the “plus” refers to the inclusion of extra fees.
While either option can be a good choice depending on your geographic location and routes you take, you can find cards that offer the best of both worlds. A card offering both a retail-minus and cost-plus option will determine the better pricing model at the pump to give you the greatest savings. These cards ensure you receive the best discount every time you fuel up, making them a popular choice.
4. Does the Card Have Any Fees for Using It?
Occasionally, fuel card companies require users to pay a fixed, small transaction fee every time the card owner purchases fuel with their card. Some other fuel card fees include those for one-time setup, being in or out of the network, and monthly costs. Since these fees will affect your discount’s true value, compare the costs to the overall savings you can expect from the card’s fuel discounts.
5. Will the Card Give You a Rebate Check or Discounts at the Pump?
As you look for a fuel card, make sure you know if one you are interested in gives you discounts at the point of sale or if they mail you a rebate check after the fact. With a point-of-sale model, you will pay less money upfront, as the discount is immediately applied. A rebate model will have the fuel card provider send you a check at the end of the month with the amount of money you earned in discounts.
6. Does the Fuel Card Program Have Any Additional Benefits?
Fuel card programs often offer a few other benefits you might want to utilize, such as fee waivers, contract flexibility, discounts on various products and services, and scaled savings. Additionally, some fuel cards pair with a station’s rewards program, providing extra points for particular purchases. You might also find cards offering discounts on office supplies, lodging, and document scanning. Before you choose a card, see what extra benefits they can provide.
Turn to SC Fuels for the Best Discount Fuel Card for Truckers
At SC Fuels, we offer exceptional fuel card services. With access to over 230,000 locations nationwide, our fleet fuel cards are perfect for truckers and fleet managers looking to save money, be it large fleets or for those seeking fuel cards for small fleets. We also offer superior control and accountability, as you can create personalized profiles for your drivers and easily gather information about transaction details with our reporting services. We will also create a customized plan for you to ensure you get the best fuel card and have all the services you require to better manage your fleet.