Perks and pitfalls of fuel cards

Well Dunn Insurance Blog

Fuel cards are no less than a boon when it comes to getting a fuel recharge for your vehicle. In simple words, the fuel cards are somewhat akin to credit cards but these only work for making payments at the gas stations. These are mostly used by employers who extend these cards to their employees if the latter have to use cars for company errands. One can have one card for each of the company vehicles with the car registration code printed on it. However, when you  have 4 employees using company vehicles, you would need 4 fuel cards with the staff names printed on them.

Should you really go for the fuel cards or not? Well, to clear your confusion, the post below shares a brief on the pros and cons of fuel cards so that you can have a clear idea. However, you will yourself find out how the perks will outweigh the pitfalls big time here.

The perks

Works for most gas stations

It’s a myth that the stations accepting fuel cards are quite limited. But it should be bunked and you must know that a whole lot of gas stations accept these cards -and you can check virtual site locators to find out the nearest stations accepting it. Besides, there are even smartphone apps today that enable you to track closest fuel stations flexible with such payment cards. The good bit that some of the biggies such as Shell, BP, Esso, have readily embraced the fuel-card scheme.

 No-hassle payment

Fuel card means no-hassle payment. As you reach the fuel station, you would just have extend your fuel card and get your vehicle re-filled fast. There is no question of carrying credit card, cash or any alternate sort of payment. Your wallet will be easier and safer to carry now. The card company would send the invoice to your company rightaway with records of all purchases made by all drivers from the same enterprise.

Discounts on the way

This is surely one of the best bits of taking to fuel cards. Yes, these cards usually assure handy discounts that will reward you with a slashed price in certain gas stations. Most of the times, you can save as much as 5% on the fuel cost which is quite a bit when you have to high gasoline prices. In fact, if you are into good lot of wheeling, such discounts would be a boon to you.

Rewards are viable too

Fuel cards are not just about discounts but you will have rewards too. There are several fuel card programs which extend great perks on accumulated reward points on the cards. These perks are really attractive ranging from hotel accommodations, flight tickets & many general useful stuff. No wonder, it’s always a wonderful bonus to have fuel cards with you.

Saves time

Fuel card is no doubt a convenient form of payment and it’s quite a time-saver. With a fuel card handy, no longer would you be required to walk all the way inside the gas station and waste time on weighing out the pounds and pennies to pay for the fuel recharge. When you have a fuel card in your wallet, you would simply need to pull it up to your pump, stick it into card reader & get the gas- it’s this simple. Moreover, some of the fuel card companies are designing cards that are flexible enough to tag along with the car key ring so that you can have it with you all the time.

No upfront payment

This is another major advantage of taking to fuel cards. Fuel costs are rising at a staggering rate and immediate payments could be really expensive for you at times. It could be that your boss is really prompt with reimbursement of fuel expenses but then still you would be subjected to a layover time for paperwork processing.  In fact, most of the big firms process the expenses altogether just once in 30 days. Now, if you are into regular wheeling, it would be a long wait for you. It could be a huge issue especially when you don’t have much cash and the vehicle immediately needs a recharge. Well, fuel cards are a lifesaver here as it would relieve you from the stress of upfront payment.  With fuel cards, there is no need to submit the expenses claims & also you would not have to shell out money from your own pocket to pay for the needed fuel.

No embarrassing questions

Employers are often suspicious of their employees when they submit the expense claims as there are incidents where unethical employees have tried squeezing out money from their boss citing inflated expense claims. Thus, you will often find employers asking all questions possible to verify the validity of the reimbursement when you submit expense claims. But that’s  anyday embarrassing & tiresome for the honest employees. However, fuel cards will save you from such embarrassing & daunting questions as these card companies will send the invoice directly to your employer with a thorough report. He will get all the answers from the report and won’t be bothering you for the minute details.

No such paperwork

As mentioned earlier, the fuel card company will send the invoice directly to your boss which means you won’t have to deal with any paperwork regarding the reimbursement claims. The cards are here to make life easier both for the employees and the employers.

The pitfalls

Like every concept or notion out there, fuel cards carry some pitfalls too. One of them is that the user would have to bear interest rates on the fuel purchases. It can be quite a costly affair if you are one of those who generally leave balances on the cards. Besides, as fuel cards assure anytime gas refill without the need of upfront payment, to some extent, it abet the practice of mindless fuel use.

 However, still, one a second thought, the cons cannot undermine the great benefits and convenience brought by the fuel cards. It simply needs little mindfulness on your part to eliminate the pitfalls and enjoy the benefits at their best.

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