What are fuel cards and why are they important?

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Fuel cards have the potential to save your FedEx Ground business thousands of dollars per year.

Fuel cards are the way your drivers will pay for fuel (if you enroll in a fuel card program). These cards look like a credit card, but there are important differences between a fuel card and a credit card.

When you sign up with a fuel card program you will receive fuel cards for all current drivers and a clear, easy way to obtain additional cards. Each card will be unique to the individual driver. Drivers should use this card (and this card only) to refuel their fleet vehicle.

Fuel Card Benefits

Based on industry averages, a fleet with 20 vehicles loses approximately $2,000 per year from fraudulent transactions.

Fuel cards make bookkeeping tasks much easier for managers/owners. You will have easy, online access to review fuel purchases by each individual and the entire team—broken down by week, month, and year.

Further, fuel cards give you one less thing to worry about when you onboard new drivers. Since you are able to easily obtain new cards, you can provide one to your new driver on day one. These fuel cards are more secure than employee credit cards and easier to verify than reimbursing personal credit card expenses.

One of the clearest benefits fuel cards offer is theft deterrence and protection. Based on industry averages, a fleet with 20 vehicles loses approximately $2,000 per year from fraudulent transactions. These unauthorized purchases include buying gas for personal use after hours or for non-fuel purchases inside a gas station.

Fuel cards allow employers to customize each card. For example, owners may limit the hours of use or the geographic location so that the card cannot be used when your drivers are off work or in territories not served by your business. The cards will also alert you for unusual uses and you can monitor the daily/weekly/monthly spend per driver for abnormalities.

Another clear way that fuel cards save businesses money is through negotiated discounts. Owners may be able to enroll in a program that offers reduced fuel cost at the pump. Additionally, some programs have reward points for drivers so they can build up free drinks/snacks.

Differences for P&D and Linehaul Businesses

Fuel cards are most helpful for FedEx Ground P&D businesses. Linehaul businesses must use Electronic Fund Source (EFS) cards so that all linehaul fuel purchases flow through the FedEx Ground settlement. This requirement is how FedEx tracks fuel for the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA).

Within our own businesses we’ve learned through many tests that fuel provided at a discount from FedEx Ground inside your terminal is the most cost effective. Not all terminals offer a fuel yard, but if you have that option we recommend leveraging this source. Contractors and drivers must use EFS cards for fuel at a terminal’s fuel yard, thus you may need a two card fuel strategy—an EFS card for “inside” fuel yard purchases and another fuel program for cost savings on “outside” fuel purchases. This is especially true for territories where mileage is high and drivers fill up multiple times per day.

Need a vendor recommendation?

Through trial and error of our own, our team feels comfortable making specific fuel card vendor recommendations for other businesses. If you would like a fuel card recommendation for your FedEx Ground business, please contact our team.