What is a Fuel Card? 10 Ways How It Helps Save Money

How Fuel Cards Help Save Money?

Find how fuel cards are the best way to save money and achieve the fuel efficiency your business deserves.

Battling with heavy fuel bills? Sure you are!

What if we tell you that you can heavily save on fuel bills without upgrading to a fuel-efficient vehicle (phew…costly upgrade) or changing your driving habits?

Wondering how? Ring a bell… we are talking about fuel cards.

What is a fuel card? How do fuel cards work and save on my gas money? — you may ask. Let’s answer them slowly through this piece.

What is a Fuel Card? Credit Card for Fuel!

Fuel cards are cards that help pay for the petrol and diesel. It is like a conventional credit card used to pay for fuel and other vehicle-related expenses. Vehicle operators can use it at any kiosk located at a fuel station to avail of some concession or benefit.

They are typically used by businesses with fleets of vehicles or individual consumers looking to manage their fuel expenses more efficiently.

Who Can Use Fuel Cards?

Fuel cards are suitable for individuals or companies with frequent transportation needs. Most logistics firms provide fuel cards to their operators regularly driving commercial vans, pick-up trucks, or larger equipment. Oragnisations with company cars can also use fuel cards. Even the emergency services use fuel cards.

Who Can Use Fuel Cards?

How Do Fuel Cards Work?

Fuel cards work just like any other credit card would. However since these cards work in collaboration with fleet management solutions, they have different mechanisms as follows:

Step 1 – Setup Fuel Card with Controls

Initially, a fleet managing company would set up fleet fuel cards for security and keeping account of the fleet.  Fleet owners can set up fuel card controls such as usage timeframe and transaction limits. 

Step 2 – Refuelling at the fuel pump 

At the fuel pump stations, the driver furnishes the card and enters the pin, odometer, and vehicle number. After fuelling, the e-receipts with the transaction details are generated and mailed to fleet managers.

Step 3 – Access to Online Fuel Card Account

Fleet or vehicle owners can log in to their online fuel card account to create monthly fuel expense reports and quarterly IFTA tax reports to ensure better budgeting.

10 Ways to Save Money from a Fuel Card

How Fuel Cards Help Save Money?

1. Limit Wasteful Expenses

Fuel cards are only made to incur expenses around fuel bills and prevent employees from using them for personal gains. In other cases, it also meets the needs of vehicle maintenance, car wash services, etc. (depending on the vendor). This way it becomes easy to avoid additional wasteful expenses and helps save money for businesses.

2. Close Look at Every Fuel Spend

Fuel cards help collect detailed data on fuel consumption and expenses. With this data, small businesses can easily track fuel spending closely and further analyse how they can optimise fuel bills. 

This could be done by planning efficient routes or implementing safe driving practices to minimise fuel consumption.

3. Heavy Discounts… More Savings

Fleet fuel cards offer substantial discounts and reward programs on fuel and related services. And if you are lucky, you can also get freebies. IndianOil HDFC bank credit card has this offer where if you spend every day, you can end up having 50 Liters of free fuel annually.

With cards, you can also collect loyalty or fuel points to enjoy some concession in your next fuel purchase. Most cards even provide discounts that you can avail of for shopping, entertainment, dining, and similar privileges.

4. No More Fuel Frauds ❎

Fuel frauds are costly for the company. Fuel cards are strictly for bearing fuel expenses. They help keep note of every payment and even notify managers or employers about every transaction. Eventually putting a stop to fuel theft and frauds.

💡 Fuel Frauds/Fuel Theft

Drivers stealing gas or using credit cards to buy cigarettes or food instead of fuel.

5. Price Transparency

Some fuel cards have very transparent features that allow cardholders to track fuel prices in real time at different fuel stations. With such information available, cardholders can choose the most cost-effective fueling locations and easily avoid overpriced ones, ultimately saving businesses some money. 

6. Exemption in Tax

In some regions, fuel card expenses might be tax-deductible for businesses. If that is so, companies can claim deductions for fuel costs associated with their operations and make additional savings at tax time.

7. Better Tracking & Budgeting

Fuel cards provide complete transaction reports which makes it easier for businesses to track fuel expenses and identify how they can save on fuel costs. This level of visibility into spending habits helps small businesses make more informed decisions and save more. 

Most fuel cards even allow users to set spending limits and budget for fuel expenses.  This feature is very suitable for organisations that find it hard to keep their spending under a defined budget.

8. Reduced Admin Costs

Fuel cards help streamline expense management and reduce administrative overhead. It frees your admin teams from handling cash or processing multiple reimbursement requests. The card helps streamline expense processes, thus, saving time and reducing administrative costs.

Automate Expense Settlements with Expense Management Software

9. Improved Fuel Efficiency

Many fuel card programs provide tools and resources that can help businesses optimise their fleet’s fuel efficiency. With such resources, businesses can apply the best driving practices and timely monitoring of fuel consumption and identify ways to minimise fuel consumption and eventually fuel spending.

10. Access to Fuel Networks

Many fleet fuel cards aren’t restricted to use at just a few fuel stations. Operators or drivers can get them tapped at any fuel network. This gives cardholders options to explore fuel stations that are conveniently located along their route and helps save money in a significant way.

💡 Big Takeaway 

Fuel cards are the best investments for businesses and individuals looking to save money by unlocking —  discounts, rewards, and cost tracking for increased fuel efficiency, and improved expense management. However, note that the extent of the savings varies from one fuel card program to another. So make a selection wisely!

How to Choose The Best Fuel Card?

Participating Oil Companies Renowned fuel companies collaborate with fuel card providers to offer some discounts and concessions. You must check which oil company and petrol pump are offering such services.
Spend Limits Ensure the spending limit is not too high to avail of the benefits on the card.
Savings Whenever investing in a fuel credit card, pre-calculate which vendor offers the highest savings on each transaction.
Surcharge Waiver Identify if the fuel card provides a fuel surcharge waiver on your fuel spending or not.
Annual Fee Before applying for any fuel cards, make sure they offer an annual fee waiver if you end up spending a certain amount (specified by card lenders) with the card in a year.
Redemption Process Make sure you check the redemption process of the credit card you want to buy. The card providers should have an instant redemption process for availing points. Most cards offer a quick redemption process for points.

Save Big Times with Comprehensive Fuel Monitoring Solutions!

Fuel cards may look very safe and promising, but if they are lost and stolen, they can lead to unauthorised purchases. Therefore, to prevent this, cardholders should:

  • Set strict measures to monitor fuel card usage.
  • Establish clear standards and regulations to prevent misuse.
  • Regularly check fuel expenses to notice any fluctuations.

Besides this, to prevent fuel theft and fraud, it’s wise to invest in TrackoBit’s Fuel Monitoring System. A comprehensive tool that lets you:

  • Monitor current fuel levels.
  • Evaluate driver, vehicle & route efficiency for better fuel economy.
  • Reduce unnecessary fuel overheads through instant fuel refill/drainage alerts.

Our advanced fuel monitoring software helps keep a strict check on increasing fuel costs. Through real-time data updates and reporting, fleet managers or vehicle owners can experience:

Optimize your fuel expenses today! Get your custom fuel monitoring system for efficient fuel management.

Frequently Asked Questions on Fuel Card

  • Why should I get a fuel card?

    Having a fuel card helps manage fuel-related expenses without toggling between endless receipts from fuel pumps. You can stay notified about every transaction and discover ways to optimise your expenses.

  • How are fuel cards and credit cards not the same?

    Fuel cards are only for gas stations whereas credit cards are for purchasing almost anything, anywhere.

  • How should I get a fuel card?

    You can visit your bank branch from which you want to avail of a fuel card. Or simply you can apply via net banking. Upon filling out an application form and getting documents verified, you will receive your fuel card.

What is a Fuel Card? 10 Ways How It Helps Save Money

Nandita Gupta

Nandita is a Content Lead at TrackoBit. She is passionate about writing factual and thought-provoking pieces that help readers remove complexities from fleet management. When she’s not on her desk scribbling words, she’s either sipping tea, dancing, or heading toward gym.

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