best fuel cards for truckers

What are the Best Fuel Cards for Truckers?

As a truck driver, you will need to make regular stops to add fuel to your vehicle. As you might guess, the cost to fuel a truck adds up to quite a lot of money.

The trick to keeping your fuel costs down is to make use of a fuel card at the pumps. In this post, we are going to explain everything you need to know about fuel cards. You can find recommendations for the best fuel cards for truckers below. To learn more about the benefits of fuel cards and how to use them, scroll down below the recommendations for our full guide.

Should All Truck Drivers Be Using Fuel Cards?

First of all, just in case you have never used a fuel card before, let’s explain briefly what a fuel card is.

A fuel card is a type of card you can use to purchase fuel at a discount. Its appearance is similar to a credit card. Sometimes fuel cards are referred to as “fleet cards.”

Trucking Fuel Cards for Owner-Operators

best trucker fuel card

Looking for the best fuel card for truck drivers? Here are a few options worth considering.

To ensure you can find what you need, we have included diverse options. Some of these cards offer huge savings and smaller networks, and others offer larger networks and smaller savings.

1. RTS Fuel Card

One of our favorite fuel cards is the RTS fuel card from RTS Carrier Services. You can save around 25 cents per gallon on average, which can add up to thousands of dollars pretty quickly. Although it is a prepaid card, it does feature a line of credit.

Pros:

  • You can enjoy a hefty discount on fuel.
  • With more than 2,400 fuel stations in the network, it is easy to find opportunities to use the card.
  • The card includes a line of credit of $3,200 per truck every week.
  • The card also gives you access to Pilot Flying J discounts at over 750 locations across the country through RTS’ truck care program.
  • A handy mobile app makes it a breeze to find stations.
  • This card does not feature any annual fees or contracts, keeping things flexible and affordable.
  • If you are looking for factoring, RTS offers that service as well, and you can bundle it with your fuel discounts.

Cons:

  • Some customers have reported problems managing their accounts. In particular, closing an account may involve jumping through some hoops.

2. TCS Fuel Card

Along with RTS, another of the most prominent names in the world of fuel cards is TCS. Like RTS, TCS is a prepaid fuel card. There are fewer in-network locations compared to RTS, but the discounts are bigger.

Pros:

  • TCS states that you can save an average of 59 cents per gallon with their card, which is outstanding.
  • There are over 1,500 in-network fuel stations without transaction fees.
  • You never need to pay annual fees, monthly fees or membership fees.
  • There are no activation fees.
  • A mobile app comes with the card.
  • A wide range of funding options are available.
  • A lot of customization and card management features are available.

Cons:

  • This is a prepaid card and does not include a line of credit. Certain factoring companies do provide lines of credit for this card, however.

3. AtoB Fuel Card

If you are looking for a solid charge card option (rather than a prepaid card) for keeping your fleet fueled at a discount, you might consider the AtoB fuel card.

Many people choose AtoB because you can get this card without a credit check. Moreover, the company often will raise your spending limit pretty quickly if you ask. On top of that, they report timely repayments to the credit bureaus, so you can also increase your credit score just by using the card.

Pros:

  • The card is universal, meaning you can use it anywhere you can use a Visa card.
  • A handy app makes it easy to find the best prices.
  • AtoB puts a big emphasis on security, ensuring that nobody uses the card inappropriately. This is made possible through integration with your telematics provider.
  • It is easy to customize the cards with hours and limits of your choosing, and to reassign drivers at will.
  • The discounts can range anywhere from 2-25 cents per galloon.
  • You can use the card to receive discounts on toll roads, repairs, insurance and other things you will need to keep your fleet mobile.
  • There is no credit check.

Cons:

  • You only have a week to pay off the card.

4. NASTC Fuel Card

If you happen to be a member of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC), their fuel card may be an ideal choice. Over the past three years alone, NASTC members have received a combined $100 million in discounts on fuel and more.

Pros:

  • The NASTC fuel network includes more than 1,100 QPN locations and 250 TA and Petro Shopping Centers locations.
  • Take advantage of additional special discounts at Petro Shopping Centers and Travel Centers of America, as well as 4,000 monthly maintenance events.
  • Membership also features 24-hour roadside assistance.
  • NASTC says that its members save around 41 cents per gallon on average.

Cons:

  • There are some fees involved with joining NASTC, and with maintaining the card. Thankfully, these are easily offset by the savings through the fuel card.

5. WEX Fleet Cards

WEX is a company that offers a number of different fuel cards, all of which are worth considering. They include credit cards and charge cards. Some examples are the WEX Fleet Card, the WEX FlexCard and the WEX Fleet Cross Roads Card. On their site, you can select “small business” or “large fleets” to find what is recommended for your business size.

Pros:

  • You can choose the type of card that is best suited to your business.
  • 95% of fuel locations nationwide accept WEX cards. So, while these cards are not universal, they are close.
  • You can find the best deals using the WEX Connect app.
  • Along with discounts on fuel, the WEX EDGE savings network gives you access to discounts on tires, wireless, hotels and more.
  • You receive roadside services through the National Automobile Club (NAC).
  • Advanced tracking data is available.

Cons:

  • Average savings are a bit lower than they are for some of the other fuel cards we have shared; you can expect around 15 cents per gallon.

6. Fuelman Deep Saver Card

Another option if you want to prioritize a huge network of locations over high average savings is the Fuelman Deep Saver Card. Two options are available: the Fuelman Mixed Fleet Card and the Fuelman Diesel Fleet Card.

Pros:

  • While there is a monthly fee, you can choose a subscription that fits your business size. It is quite affordable, and should pay for itself easily.
  • There are more than 50,000 locations in the Fuelman network, so you can use the card just about anywhere.
  • You receive 24/7 roadside assistance and customer service.
  • Fraud monitoring and alerts help you to keep your card secure.
  • As you spend, you earn rewards points that you can later redeem for additional savings on select items.

Cons:

  • Savings are pretty modest, ranging from around 5-12 cents per gallon.

Additional Fleet Cards to Consider

While the fuel cards above are our top recommendations, there are plenty of honorable mentions that may fit your needs. Look into the following:

  • Multi Service OTR Fuel Card
  • Comdata Mastercard
  • Fleet One EDGE Card
  • Shell Small Business
  • ExxonMobil Fleet Pro Card
  • ARCO Business Solutions MasterCard
  • BP Business Solutions Fuel Plus Card
  • Serve American Express Card
  • Chase Ink Business Cash Card
  • Chevron Texaco Card

Do You Need a Fuel Card?

Whether or not you personally need to shop for a fuel card depends on whether someone else has done it for you or not.

If you are an owner-operator, then yes, you need to get a fuel card. You are the one making all the decisions about managing your business, including how you are going to manage fuel expenses. So, you will need to get cards for all of your drivers (which might be just you, if you are the only one driving).

If you are a company driver, you do not need to get your own fuel card. Your company will provide you with a card to use.

Obvious & Non-Obvious Benefits of Using Trucking Fuel Cards

Here are some of the ways that fuel cards can help you out as an owner-operator.

  • Save big on fuel costs: The main reason to get a fuel card for trucking is to reduce the amount of money you are spending on fuel. The discounts these cards offer can add up to thousands of dollars per driver per year.
  • Maintain your cash flow: Sometimes you might find yourself strapped for cash. Instead of struggling to decide whether to pay for fuel or something else you need, you can rely on a line of credit to maintain your cash flow (not all cards include a line of credit, but many do).
  • Control spending: Employees may be tempted to use their fuel cards in ways you don’t want (i.e. discounted snacks), If you want, you can prevent them from doing this with customizable spending limits.
  • Take advantage of additional discounts: With some cards, fuel may not be the only thing that is discounted. For example, RTS has a truck care program that allows customers to claim discounts for repairs and maintenance.
  • View reports: You will always know exactly how much money your drivers are spending and where they are spending it since you can see reports updated in real-time. Even if you are the only driver, being able to track this data for yourself may be helpful in establishing more efficient habits.
  • Build credit: If you choose a type of card that includes a line of credit, you may be able to find a company that will report your payments to one or more credit bureaus. This can be a handy way to build your credit, which might open the doors to saving money while managing other aspects of your trucking business.
  • Superior to a credit card: While a credit card can help you maintain your cash flow and may offer some limited rewards, that is about all you can expect in terms of benefits. On top of that, there are often surcharges. Some fuel cards also include surcharges, but many do not. Plus, they come with the other benefits we just discussed. Even fuel cards are not always universal like credit cards, on the whole, they will save you more money and offer you more conveniences.

You Can Save Thousands of Dollars on Fuel with a Fuel Card

Let’s assume you are paying an average of $5 per gallon of fuel, and that you use up 12,000 gallons in total.

Here is what you would save on fuel over that time depending on your discount.

  • 3¢ per gallon: $360
  • 4¢ per gallon: $480
  • 5¢ per gallon: $600
  • 8¢ per gallon: $960
  • 10¢ per gallon: $1,200
  • 15¢ per gallon: $1,800
  • 20¢ per gallon: $2,400
  • 25¢ per gallon: $3,000
  • 30¢ per gallon: $3,600
  • 35¢ per gallon: $4,200
  • 40¢ per gallon: $4,800

As you can see, it is worth it to get your fuel discount as high as possible. Being able to save thousands of dollars on gas over a year is a huge deal.

Types of Fuel Cards

When you are looking for a fuel card, one of the decisions you will need to make is what type of fuel card you want. You have three basic options.

  • Prepaid cards: If you want the most substantial discounts, you are going to want to consider opting for a prepaid card. You load up the card using any of the available methods, and then you spend your balance. Sometimes prepaid cards include lines of credit for situations where you need to overspend; other times they do not.
  • Charge cards: This is a card that does include a line of credit. You usually need to pay off the full balance pretty quickly; the standard billing cycle is about a week.
  • Credit lines with balance: This is similar to the charge card type above, except that you can get away with not paying off the balance when the billing cycle ends. At that point, you will carry a balance just as you would if you were using a credit card.

As you can see, there is really a whole spectrum of options, allowing you to prioritize flexibility and discount sizes as you see fit.

What to Look for in a Fuel Card for Trucking

When you are shopping for a fuel card, here are some factors to consider:

  • The type of card: As just discussed, you will want to decide which type of card is going to be the best fit for your trucking business.
  • Line of credit: Does the card come with a line of credit? How large is it? Will it be sufficient for your needs?
  • Deadline to pay off the balance: If you are carrying a balance, do you need to pay it off by the end of the billing cycle? If so, how long is the billing cycle? What happens if you do not pay it off in time?
  • Size of network: Check how large the network is for the card. How many stations participate, and where are they located? Keep in mind that the largest networks often feature smaller savings, and vice versa.
  • Customization: Some cards let you do a great deal of customization over security features, payment options, cash advances and more. Others are more limited in the level of personalization and security available. That said, if you operate a fleet of one vehicle and you are the driver, you may not need as much in terms of security as someone operating a larger fleet.
  • App: Check if there is an app you can use to locate in-network stations as well as manage your account. Find out how easy it is to use.
  • Additional opportunities to save: While some cards only give you savings on fuel, others offer discounts on a variety of other services at participating locations (i.e. repairs).
  • Fees: Just as you would when you are looking to open a bank account or get a credit card, you should look up any and all fees associated with a fuel card. Do the math and make sure your savings will outpace the fees significantly enough for that card to still be the best option.
  • Credit requirements: You may or may not have to get a credit check when applying for a fuel card; it varies from one card to another.
  • Customer service: Finally, there may be times when you need help from customer service, especially if you are trying to do something with your account (like close it). 24/7 customer service that is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful will be essential at those times.

How to Use a Fleet Fuel Card

Believe it or not, we have heard from several drivers that they are not sure how to use a fuel card.
The exact instructions for using a fuel card depend on which one you have. But in general, you will find using a fleet card is much like using a credit or debit card.

1. Go to the pump as usual.

2. Swipe the card the same way you would a regular debit or credit card.

3. At this point, the system may ask you for some additional info. For example, you might need to input a driver number or vehicle number.

4. Fuel up your vehicle.

5. Take the card and the receipt.

That is all there is to it. Pretty soon, you will barely be thinking about using the fleet card; it will feel as natural to you as any other payment method.

You can check your account dashboard to see how you are doing in terms of funds and if it is time to reload or pay off a balance.

Start Saving on Fuel Costs Now

Now you are familiar with the benefits of fuel cards, what to look for when choosing a fuel card, and more. You have also had a chance to discover some of the most competitive fuel cards for truckers based on discount levels, network sizes and more. To start saving hundreds or thousands of dollars on fuel now, let us help you with our simple single form quote.

Fuel Card Quick Application

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