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Is a fleet card required to establish commercial credit?

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We’ve all seen fuel and maintenance expenses fluctuate. You may use a higher amount on your business credit card to maintain your fleet during periods of rising costs. However, this is usually only a temporary solution, and eventually you’ll hit a roadblock: your credit card will reach its limit.

You can ask your bank for a larger line of credit, or a business loan. This is one way to deal with this problem. Another solution is to use a fleet card. This card can help you establish commercial credit while ensuring that all tanks are filled and your vehicles are running smoothly. There are, of course, other benefits to fleet fuel cards. If your business has one or more vehicles – such as a plumbing company, a mobile pet grooming service or a fast food chain that makes deliveries – fleet fuel cards can be very useful. Not only are they useful for getting discounts and benefits, but they also give you insight into fuel costs and allow you to better manage and control expenses.

Whether you have a medium-sized fleet or run a large national trucking company, fleet fuel cards can help you in a variety of ways. Here are 4 benefits you can enjoy by using a fuel card for your business:

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Driver convenience
Your drivers can buy the fuel they need, when they need it. Most fleet fuel cards are accepted at most gas stations across the country. While universal fuel cards are accepted everywhere, corporate cards are accepted wherever credit cards can be used.

Some cards, however, do not offer universal coverage. In this case, think about your operating territory and map the approved fuel locations for that fuel card provider to ensure you are maximizing convenience for your drivers. The time and miles spent finding the right fuel pump could cost your fleet dearly (if location availability is an issue, a universal fleet fuel card is a better option).

Vehicle Maintenance
Some of the more advanced fleet cards also include a variety of maintenance services. Implementing a requirement that analyzes the distance each time a driver fills up can help organizations track a vehicle’s routine maintenance checks via fleet card reports. Because fleet cards limit where drivers can send their vehicles for maintenance, companies can ensure that only licensed professionals are working on their fleet.

Purchase tracking and fraud prevention
Fraud and driver misuse of credit cards is one of the biggest concerns for fleet managers. Without purchase controls, drivers can easily fill up their personal vehicles or add convenience store items to their purchases. By using fleet fuel cards, you can track who, what, when, where and how much the driver spends.

You can even set restrictions to only allow refueling Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., with a 50-gallon limit. This way, you can control spending, reduce fraud and stay within your budget.

Reduce fuel expenses
For a company that’s on the road a lot, fuel purchases are one of the highest expenses – about 70 percent of overall fleet spending. Many fleet cards offer drivers savings at the pump, which can help reduce fuel expenses. Often, fleet cards offer fuel volume discounts – and while the discount varies from card to card, you can get anywhere from one to five cents off per gallon, or take advantage of a tiered “more you buy, more you save” program.

Credit card or fleet fuel card?
Credit cards play an important role in business management. However, a new business owner or executive may have difficulty obtaining business credit, even if they have a good personal credit history, because the business has little or no credit history. For small business owners just starting out, a fleet card can be a useful tool. The good news is that it’s often easier to get approved for a fleet card than for a business loan or even a traditional business credit card.

All you have to do is use the credit responsibly once you’ve obtained the fleet card. Therefore, a fleet card can be a great starting point for establishing or rebuilding business credit. In addition, fleet fuel cards can help you save money on gas, manage driver purchases and track fuel and vehicle maintenance. Before choosing a fleet fuel card, make sure it meets your business needs and is more convenient for your drivers.

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