Fuel cards are a fantastic tool that fleet managers can use to control the purchases of their fuel drivers. However, many fuel cards are limited to certain requirements, such as refueling within a designated network.
With a universal fuel card, drivers have access to more locations, which allows for even better and more optimized routes. So, you can give your drivers the flexibility they need while also improving your business when you choose a universal fleet card that drivers can use anywhere.
How Does a Universal Fuel Card Work?
Just like other types of gas cards, universal fuel cards make it easy for fleet managers to track and control the fuel purchases of their drivers. The main difference is that fuel cards with universal acceptance can be used almost anywhere. So, instead of being limited to a specific fuel company, drivers can use their cards where it makes the most sense during their trips.
What Does a Fuel Card Do?
A fuel card is essentially a limited credit card that allows employees to refuel their company vehicles. Instead of paying for fuel out of their own pockets and submitting expense reports for reimbursement later on, drivers can use their company fuel cards instead and charge the purchase directly to their company in the moment.
However, not all fleet fuel cards are created equally. Choosing a strong fleet card not only gives drivers more flexibility but a fleet card like this can make it easier to manage your company’s fuel expenses efficiently as well.
Do You Get Discounts With Fuel Cards?
One of the greatest benefits of using fleet fuel cards is that they typically come with discounts. There are many great fleet fuel cards with discounts that are available for truckers.
In most cases, these discounts are rebates for each gallon of fuel that drivers purchase. However, some cards also provide additional discounts at repair shops and service stations among other locations.
Can I Use My Fuel Card For Other Purchases?
Depending on the fuel card that you choose for your drivers, you may be able to use your fuel card for approved purchases other than gasoline or diesel. These other purchases can include vehicle maintenance costs or repairs that you need.
For instance, drivers may need to pay for car washes and motor oil. Maybe they will run into a situation where they need to purchase transportation-related costs, such as road tolls or additional insurance.
Universal fleet cards tend to provide you with more options, whether or not your driver is going to use it to purchase fuel. At the same time, fleet managers that would rather restrict the card’s use to fuel purchases only can also do so.
Example of a Universal Fuel Card
A universal fuel card, like the AtoB fuel card, allows drivers to refuel along their routes whenever it makes the most sense for them. Instead of only being able to go to specific gas stations, universal fuel cards can be used at any gas station.
Let’s say you manage a nationwide fleet with long-haul routes. Optimizing routes for fuel efficiency and cost savings is hard enough. Unfortunately, with branded fuel cards, drivers must reach a specific location where their cards are accepted.
This makes route planning even more complicated because it adds to the time that your drivers spend on the road. With a universal fuel card, accounting for refuel stops along your drivers’ routes is far less complicated. When it’s time to refuel, drivers can stop at any fuel station, fill up, pay with their universal fuel card, and be on their way.
Benefits of a Universal Fuel Card
Universal fuel cards benefit both drivers and trucking companies alike by offering convenience, contactless payment, universal discounts, easy fuel expense tracking, and streamlined reporting.
Drivers love universal fuel cards because they simplify the logistics of fueling up their tanks. With branded fuel cards, drivers often have to make detours to reach the correct chain of gas stations.
Not with a universal fuel card, though! Drivers with a universally-accepted fuel card don’t need to worry about which brand of gas station is nearby. As such, they spend less time finding a place to refuel.
Contactless payments are rapidly growing in terms of popularity because of their time-saving features and overall convenience. They are also more secure, offering protection against skimming and lost or stolen cards.
However, some branded fuel cards still require drivers to go inside when it’s time to pay. With a universal fuel card, your drivers can benefit from the ease of contactless payment while your company can benefit from lower risk levels.
One of the main reasons companies choose to use gas cards is the per-gallon fuel discount. Although both branded and universal fuel cards can offer these discounts, universal discounts are typically more beneficial.
This is because universal fuel cards offer competitive discounts at every gas station and truck stop instead of being limited to in-network stations. The universality of these cards is a major perk.
Easy Fuel Expense Tracking
Since fuel cards generate automatic, paperless receipts whenever a driver pays with them, fuel cards make it easy to track fuel expenses. Not only can you track driver spending, but you can manage it better as well.
As a fleet manager, you can set limits when it comes to your drivers’ spending, and you can base these limits on the specific needs of various vehicles as well. For instance, you can set spending limits based on the type of fuel, the volume of fuel purchased per transaction, and the number of transactions per day, among other specifics.
Gone are the days of complicated and inaccurate expense reporting. With universal fuel cards, you can receive streamlined reporting and insights into your fleet’s fuel usage. This information comes in the form of easy-to-generate reports. You can even set up departments for fuel invoices, making it easier to analyze fuel expenses across the board!
Fuel Cards With Discounts vs Universal Acceptance
Optimizing the cost of fuel per mile is a huge consideration for transportation companies. While some branded cards offer more significant discounts than universal fleet cards, they are usually capped at a limited number of gallons.
These in-network fuel stations may even add an artificial premium to the fuel price as a way of recouping a certain percentage of the discount. Also, the costs associated with finding a suitable fuel station can add up fast!
A fuel card with universal acceptance can be used at any station. Plus, these types of cards still offer competitive discounts that can save trucking companies a lot of money in the long run.
Optimize Your Fleet With Universal Acceptance Fuel Cards
Universal fleet cards are a valuable tool when it comes to managing fuel expenses. While any fuel card can help fleet managers control and monitor driver spending, fuel cards with a universal acceptance offer far more convenience. Rather than being limited to a specific fuel station chain, drivers can refuel anywhere along their route, which saves both time and money.
Sign up for a FreightWaves e-newsletter to stay informed of all news and trends impacting supply chain careers and operations.