In the modern workplace, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to empower their employees and streamline processes. One area that often causes frustration and unnecessary administrative burdens is the distribution of fuel allowances for business travel and office commutes.
But what if a solution could liberate employees from the hassle of paying out of pocket and dealing with cumbersome reimbursement procedures? Enter fuel cards – the game-changer you've been waiting for!
Fuel cards offer a simple and efficient method to distribute fuel allowances while providing various benefits, including tax exemption facilitation. With fuel cards, organizations can revolutionize their approach to employee fuel allowances, promoting efficiency and delivering substantial cost savings.
Let's explore how these fuel cards alleviate the burden of out-of-pocket payments and enable employees to fuel their vehicles hassle-free, all while ensuring compliance with tax exemption regulations.
What is a fuel card?
Fuel cards are issued by companies to their drivers, allowing them to pay for their fuel purchases instead of cash or credit cards. The company gets billed directly in regular accepted intervals. Fuel cards work with specific, approved gas stations and save much of the company’s money.
Benefits of issuing fuel cards
Your business can reap many benefits from issuing a fuel card to the staff:
1. Information about each purchase
You will be able to track every fuel purchase made by your employees. Whenever the card is used, you instantly get information about the amount of fuel purchased, the filling station where it is purchased, the date of purchase, and the employee's name.
This helps keep an eye on the employee’s spending on gas. It also ensures that the card is not used for the employee’s personal expenses. Without a fuel card, a fraudulent employee may create fake receipts from gas stations, the burden of which will be borne by the business.
2. Receive volume discounts for fuel purchase
When you have a fleet of vehicles, you will have more drivers with fuel cards. You will purchase gas frequently.
Fuel cards offer volume discounts based on the amount of gas purchased. This can bring down your fuel expenses greatly. The volume of discounts varies depending on the type of fuel cards you purchase.
3. Streamline fuel expenses
It is easier to manage fuel expenses by issuing fuel cards. You can restrict the amount of spending by each driver. Limitations can also be placed on the type of fuel that can be purchased.
This restricts any attempt to commit fraud by the drivers and helps organizations streamline fuel expenses within their budget.
4. Improves operational efficiency
Without any fuel card system, drivers must submit physical receipts to the company for every fuel expense they incur for official travel. When business-related transportation needs are huge, a business employs many drivers. So, this results in huge paperwork since all receipts must be documented and analyzed.
All this is eliminated with fuel cards, and everything can be managed efficiently online. By reducing the time spent on these activities, issuing fuel cards helps improve operational efficiency.
5. More security
With fuel cards, you can be assured that there are no unauthorized purchases. Cards can be operated only with specific PIN numbers issued to the drivers. This increases security and helps keep a check on fuel expenses.
How do employees benefit from fuel cards?
Here are some benefits for your employees:
1. Reduces upfront costs
Without fuel cards, employees have to spend from their pockets for work-related fuel expenses. They must present their receipts periodically to get reimbursed for their expenses.
This is a tedious process and a burden on employees since they pay their own money. By issuing fuel cards, companies help employees reduce their upfront costs.
2. Stack reward points
Whenever drivers purchase fuel through fuel cards, they can claim reward points from participating stores. The accumulated points can be used during subsequent purchases. This leads to reduced costs and helps the business and the employees greatly.
3. Trouble-free payments
With fuel cards, it becomes easier to present the card and fill fuel. There is no trouble of carrying cash all the time. There is an arrangement with specific participating filling stations; therefore, the drivers have to drive in and fill fuel without signing any receipt.
4. Paperwork is eliminated
Without the fuel card, drivers had to maintain all fuel receipts carefully. Even missing a single receipt may make them answerable since the expense is related to the business, and accounting for it is essential. This paperwork is eliminated, and the task of drivers becomes very easy. Monthly receipts are directly sent by the fuel stations online.
Top fuel cards for small businesses
Here are 5 fuel cards companies can offer their employees for purposes like business travel and office commute to help them save.
1. Fuelman fleet card
Fuelman fleet card lets you pay for gas and other supplies at gas stations across the USA. This is suitable for businesses filling between 1000 and 5000 gallons per month.
These cards are accepted at almost all gas stations and nearly 45000 plus service stations in the US. There are 4 types of Fleetman cards: Deep Saver, Simple Saver, Universal Premium Mastercard, and Public Sector Fleet card.
- Acceptance in nearly 50,000 gas stations across the USA.
- Huge discounts at convenience stores.
- High savings potential on fuel with rebates.
- The app is outdated.
- To apply for the card, you should maintain a high credit score.
2. WEX fleet card
It is a standard card for small businesses and offers a rebate of nearly 3% in fuel rates. The card types offered are WEX large fleet card, WEX FlexCard, and WEX fleet cross-road card.
- Advanced analytics facility is available for tracking.
- Huge savings in fuel costs.
- Poor customer support network.
- Terms of service are updated without letting the business know.
3. Shell small business fuel card
Shell offers a range of fuel cards to suit businesses of various types. The shell fuel cards have improved security features and are highly beneficial to companies. Shell offers around-the-clock customer support through its contact centers.
- Easy online reporting and management.
- Friendly fee structure.
- Tracks only fuel expenses and not related ones.
- Rewards are lower in comparison to other cards.
4. BP Business Solutions fuel card
BP fuel cards are widely accepted across the US, with the biggest network of fueling stations. There are 2 types of cards, the Fuel Plus and the Mastercard. These cards can also be used for service and maintenance expenses of fleet vehicles.
- Has excellent reporting features.
- Discounts offered up to six cents per gallon.
- The West Coast and certain southern parts have limited BP fuelling stations.
- To enjoy rebates, you should cross the 300-gallon mark per month.
5. ExxonMobil Business Fleet card
ExxonMobil cards are highly secure and widely accepted. It also offers huge rebates on bulk purchases. The card offers comprehensive reporting features facilitating easy tracking.
- Large fleet owners can enjoy significant cost savings.
- More flexible than other cards.
- It does not provide for service and maintenance.
- Outside the East Coast, there are limited options for gas stations.
With fuel cards, both the business and the drivers enjoy many benefits. While most types of cards offer similar benefits, you can choose the one suitable to your business needs. Compare the cards issued by several companies before choosing one.