October 10, 2019
With fuel and maintenance costs on the rise, you might find yourself putting a higher dollar amount on credit to keep your fleet moving. If so, you might eventually hit a bump in the road: Your credit limit.
One possible solution to that problem is to make a call to your bank to ask for a larger line of credit. But banks are not always generous with small business owners.
A fleet card, however, can pave the way to help you build business credit, while at the same time keeping tanks full and vehicles running smoothly.
With a fleet card program, you can decide how to use the cards by choosing either a driver card or vehicle card. As the names suggest, a driver card gets assigned to a specific driver while a vehicle card gets linked to a particular vehicle. A driver card may be your best option if your driver always stays behind the wheel of the same vehicle. But if your driver switches vehicles, a vehicle card employs driver PINs to allow you to easily see which driver filled which vehicle when. You can turn driver access on and off by simply adding or deactivating driver PINs, making it easy to handle employee turnover or schedule changes.
With a fleet fuel card, you have a variety of options that allow you to set very specific spending parameters. For example, you can put spending limits on cards and set gas pumps to automatically shut off when that amount is reached. Fuel cards also allow you permit purchases of only certain types of products. You could turn on the ability to buy fuel but turn off the ability to buy cigarettes or snacks at a gas station. This allows your employees to make vehicle-related purchases while cutting the risk of abuse, fraud or waste that may occur when employees get access to business credit cards.
Some fleet card programs take all of your fuel purchases into account, offering fleet card fuel discounts based on how much you fill your tanks. These discounts are especially tailored to fleets, allowing you to leverage your big purchases into even bigger savings.
If your business is fairly new, it might be easier to get a fleet card than a standard business credit card. Even if you have excellent personal credit, it can sometimes be tough to get that first business credit card when your company has little or no credit history.
Do you think a fleet card could be right for you? If so, it’s important to note that some fleet cards come with limitations on where they can be used — for example, certain mechanics or service stations — while others do not. Before you choose a fleet card, check the fine print to make sure the program fits your needs.
If you choose your fleet card wisely, it can offer you an array of tools to help put your business on the road to even greater success.