Is a Fleet Card Necessary for Building A Business Credit?

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We’ve all seen fuel and maintenance expenses fluctuate. You may find yourself using a higher dollar amount on your business credit card to keep your fleet going during times of cost surges. However, this is usually only a temporary fix, and you’ll ultimately run into a roadblock: your creditcard will reach its limit.

You can ask your bank for a greater line of credit, or a business loan. This is one way of dealing with this problem. Another way is to use a fleet card. This card can help you establish business credit while keeping all the tanks filled and your vehicles functioning well. There are, of course, other advantages to fleet fuel cards. If your business has one or more vehicles – such as a plumbing company, a mobile pet grooming service, or a fast food chain that delivers – fleet fuel cards can be very beneficial to have. Not only are they useful for discounts and perks, they also provide you insights into the fuel costs and allow you to better manage and control expenses.

Whether you own a mid-sized fleet or run a large national trucking company, fleet fuel cards can help you in many different ways. Here are 4 benefits you can enjoy, when using a fleet fuel card for your business:

Driver Convenience

Your drivers can buy the fuel they need, when they need it. Most of the fleet fuel cards are accepted at most of the gas stations nationwide. While universal fuel cards are accepted anywhere, corporate cards are accepted anywhere credit cards can be used. 

Some cards, however, don’t provide universal coverage. In that case think about your operating territory, and map the approved fuel locations for that fuel card provider, to ensure you are maximizing convenience for your drivers. Time and miles spent to find the right gas pump could be costing your fleet. (If available locations are a concern, it’ll be best to opt for a universal fleet fuel card).

Vehicle Maintenance

Some of the most advanced fleet cards also include a variety of maintenance services. Setting a requirement that analyzes distance each time a driver fuels up can help organizations track a vehicle’s routine maintenance checks via fleet card reporting. Because fleet cards limit where drivers can send their vehicles for maintenance, businesses can ensure that only approved professionals work on their fleet.

Track Purchases & Prevent Fraud

Credit card fraud and misuse by drivers is one of the biggest concerns fleet managers have. Without purchase controls, drivers can easily fill up their own personal vehicles, or add convenience store items to their purchase. By using fleet fuel cards you can track who, what, when, where and how much the driver is spending.

You may even set restrictions to only allow fueling on Monday to Friday, between 8 am and 5 pm, with a 50-gallon limit. This way you can control the spending, reduce the fraud, and stay within your budget.

Reduce Fuel Expenses

For a business that’s on the road a lot, fuel purchases are one of the highests expenses – about 70% of the overall fleet expenses. Many fleet cards allow drivers to get savings at the gas pump, which can help lower the fuel expenses. Often fleet cards offer volume discounts on fuel – and though the discount varies from card to card, you can get between one to five cents off per gallon, or benefit from a “the more you buy, the more you save” tiered programs.

Credit Card Versus Fleet Fuel Card?

Credit cards play a significant role in business management. However, a new business owner or management may find it difficult to obtain business credit, even if they have a good personal credit history, because the company has little or no credit history. For small business owners who are just getting started, a fleet card might be a useful tool. The good news is that getting authorized for a fleet card is often easier than getting approved for a business loan or even a conventional business credit card.

All that’s left is to practice responsible credit usage once you’ve obtained the fleet card. As a result, a fleet card could be an excellent place to start when it comes to establishing or rebuilding corporate credit. Besides that, fleet fuel cards can be great to help you to save on gas, to manage driver purchases, and track vehicle fuel and maintenance. Before picking a fleet fuel card make sure it fits your business needs and increases the convenience of your drivers.