Fuel Card Guides | Fuel Cards vs Credit Cards vs Cash

Fuel Cards vs Credit Cards vs Cash

Paying with card

Running a fleet, of any size, is a costly task with a large percentage of a company’s expenditure being spent solely on fuel. Despite the fluctuation of fuel prices, it remains one of the biggest drains on fleet economy.

While fuel cards, credit cards and cash all offer payment solutions for your company fuel your choice can have a serious impact on your bottom line.

Cash and credit cards may be convenient at first glance, but fuel cards offer greater control over your fleet and fuel expenses, while giving you access to the best fuel prices, and reducing admin time and costs.

Here’s how:

Benefits of fuel cards
Increased card security
Detailed data collection and reporting
Can decrease fuel spend
Improves company cash flow
VAT compliant invoicing
Purchase restrictions
No added interest
Convenient for driver
Easy to monitor with online account management system

Increased card security

Fuel cards and credit cards are much safer than carrying cash which can make your drivers a target of crime while they are on the roads. Fuel cards like credit cards are pin protected but fuel cards provide the added security of being assigned to an individual vehicle or driver. A fuel card allows suspicious purchases to be flagged up instantly, cutting the risk of fuel fraud, which is a huge benefit over both cash and credit cards.

If a fuel card is lost or stolen, or a driver leaves the company you can easily cancel the card and order a replacement. With 24/7 access to an online account management system accessible from a smartphone app across any device, you can ensure your fuel card is secure at any time, from anywhere.

Detailed data collection and reporting

Collecting data on fuel usage and spend while using cash payment is hugely time consuming and often inaccurate. Having to collect cash receipts, expense requests from all drivers, and then verify against time sheets and journeys is timely and unproductive.

While all major credit cards can provide details of the purchased amount, merchant name, date, and time of each transaction, fuel cards give you so much more useful data. Fuel cards can be monitored via an online platform and smartphone app, which allows you to easily track and report on multiple cards. You can run reports on fleet efficiency and MPG, as well as monitor the filling patterns of your drivers.

Decrease fuel spend

By utilising and taking action on the data collected you can easily improve driver fuel consumption, and vehicle efficiency which will ultimately bring down your fuel spend and positively impact your ROI.

Unlike cash payments or credit cards, fuel cards can give you access to fuel discounts from a fixed commercial price or pump related price. Such small savings can make a big difference when multiplied across your fleet.

You can reduce fuel spend even further by linking your fuel card to a GPS tracking system. This unique geolocation system works in conjunction with fuel card data giving you an even greater insight of fleet fuel spend, vehicle performance and driver behaviour. With this information, you can take action to further increase fleet efficiency and reduce operational costs.

Improved cashflow

If your business operates mostly with cash you will have likely experienced cash flow issues from not receiving payment until the product or service is delivered, or the project is completed. This can make purchasing materials or business necessities such as fuel more difficult. Fuel cards can help alleviate that pressure through weekly invoices, which help by breaking down the monthly cost of fuel into smaller, more manageable bills.

VAT compliant invoices

Using cash or credit cards can mean that separate receipts are missed or lost, and can be difficult to manage especially for large fleets. Fuel cards save you time and effort with all purchases recorded in one central location which can be accessed via any internet enabled device. Fuel card invoices are also government approved making claiming back VAT simple and much less time consuming. This gives you peace of mind for accurate VAT claims.

Purchase restrictions

With a credit card you have no control over how it is used, or what it is used to purchase. Fuel cards, on the other hand can only be used for purchasing fuel. Depending on the fuel card you choose, tolls, shop goods, carwashes and fleet necessities such as lubricants can all be added and restricted.

No Added Interest

Credit cards are subject to varying interest rates, whereas, with a fuel card you know where you stand as there are no extra charges or hidden costs.

Convenient for driver

Like the credit card, the fuel card means that drivers don’t have to pay cash out of their own pocket when purchasing company fuel. However, one of the most valuable advantages of fuel card is that drivers don’t need to worry about handling and keeping track of multiple receipts. Convenient for drivers and less administration.

Easy to monitor with online account management system

With credit cards, and even more so with cash, it can be very difficult to get the whole picture of your fleet and fuel usage. Fuel cards can be easily managed and monitored via an online account system. You can monitor transactions by card or vehicle, create bespoke reports on card usage and MPG, and access historical invoices at the touch of a button.

Each fuel card will also have its own benefits of network coverage and unique saving opportunities.

Having fuel cards can save your business money, do your driver fuel expenses claims automatically and make it a 30-second job to reclaim your fuel VAT. As a free comparison site, iCompario can find you offers on cards from all the big oil companies or multi-brand cards, and deals with no minimum purchase or tie-in contracts.

Read more about fuel cards on iCompario