Top 6 Reasons to Establish a Fuel-Specific Line of Credit
There are many advantages to a fuel-specific line of credit. Fleet fuel cards are great fuel-saving business tools — both directly through savings and indirectly through better management of business assets. From fuel discounts and automatic expense reporting to enhanced security and detailed reporting, the benefits run deep.
The function of fuel cards
The most basic function of a fuel card is to consolidate spend while offering savings on gas, diesel and vehicle-related expenses. These cards also provide greater security than other payment options. Consolidated fuel spending and extra security are reasons enough for many business owners to use them.
Here are six other benefits of choosing a fleet card for a fuel-specific line of credit.
The benefits of a fleet card
Fleet fuel card benefits vary between providers and even from card to card within the same provider. However, the top six benefits are consistent across the industry. If you are looking to add a fuel card to your business toolbox, look for these six advantages of using a fleet fuel card.
1. Fleet cards help reduce fuel expenses
From small businesses to major corporations, one of the most heavily advertised benefits of fleet cards is savings at the pump. Over the course of a year, the savings can add up.
The benefits, however, extend far beyond direct financial savings and include caring for employees
2. Fleet cards are a great way to take care of employees
One of the direct benefits of fleet cards is they are a great way to make your employees’ lives easier. When a company relies on cash for payments, drivers must log their mileage, keep track of payments and submit expense reports.
Equipping your employees with fleet cards alleviates the bookkeeping element of their jobs and frees up time so they can do what you hired them to do.
You’re also protecting them from the burden of carrying cash. With a fleet card, employees never have to wait for reimbursement for their monthly expenses.
3. Some fleet cards include additional discounts
Many fleet cards provide discounts beyond the pump. These may include savings on maintenance, services and other vehicle-related expenses. For instance, the WEX Fleet Card includes exclusive discounts or rebates on fuel, auto parts, hotels and more.
4. Comprehensive spending controls
One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is controlling fuel spending. You may have a policy outlining the what, where and when of spending, but enforcing that policy can be tricky — if not impossible.
With purchase controls, business owners and fleet managers can easily set parameters for spending. Some commonly used purchase controls include:
- Purchase Type: set up a card so only fuel can be purchased, or allow fuel and vehicle-related purchases such as maintenance, tires, oil changes or roadside assistance.
- Transaction Limits: limit the number of times a driver can purchase fuel in a given timeframe.
- Dollar Limits: set monetary limits per transaction or limit the amount by day, week or month.
- Gallon Limits: set a maximum fueling amount per transaction or given timeframe.
- Geographical Limits: prevent fueling from occurring in areas where a driver would never need to fuel (by state or zip code).
- Fuel Type: specify the preferred fuel type (gas vs. diesel or regular vs. premium).
- Set Time or Day: set fueling parameters for specific windows of time or certain days of the week.
Such parameters help drivers adhere to your fuel policy and simplify budgeting.
5. Real-time data collection and automated expense tracking
Perhaps the most important reason for establishing a fuel-specific line of credit with a fleet card comes down to data. Most fuel cards include robust data collection, all gathered in real-time.
This means you never have to wait for expense reports or credit card statements, and you have a very clear understanding of your company’s daily spending. With automatic expense tracking, every transaction is logged as it happens, and your data is collected in your fleet card dashboard.
Your data is easy to access, and reports are simple to create. Transaction data information can be viewed by driver, vehicle, merchant, time frame and more. You can even create custom reports to best fit your needs.
A fleet card also streamlines accounting. Fleet card dashboards easily communicate with most bookkeeping software. You’ll never have to deal with expense reports again. You will have all your fuel-related data at your fingertips for up-to-date budgeting decisions and forecasting.
6. Protection against fraud and misuse
Fraud continues to be a problem for virtually every industry. If you rely on vehicles for part of your business, you’re no exception. Fortunately, fleet fuel cards offer excellent security and fraud protection. Most cards are tied to a driver and require their specific personal identification number (PIN). This security feature, combined with purchase controls, helps prevent fraud. Misuse is easy to track and address immediately because all transactions are recorded and available for review as they happen.
Some fleet cards allow you to set alerts so you are notified when suspected misuse occurs.
Fuel Cards are a great way to build credit
An obvious advantage to any line of credit is it helps businesses build credit history. Using a fleet card is one of the best ways to do so. You’re going to spend money on fuel. Why not do it in a way that benefits your company, employees, budgeting and future?
Find the fleet fuel card that’s right for you at wexcard.com.