Staying mobile and efficient is essential to maintaining any fleet-based business. Drivers and business owners alike are hard-pressed to save time and money while on the go.
Enter prepaid gas cards, a solution various fleet operations are implementing.
With over 8.9 million transport-related jobs in the US 1, it can be a difficult task to vet the vast array of support systems that cater to the market. Whether you operate a nationwide fleet or a local business, you may be wondering: how do prepaid gas cards work? Better yet, are they viable?
In order to conquer the road, your timetable, and your overhead, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to steer you through the processes and benefits of obtaining a prepaid fuel card.
What is a Prepaid Fuel Card?
Unlike fuel cards, prepaid fuel cards are not credit cards.
Instead, this option behaves like a debit card. As a debit, the card allows a buyer to transfer money directly from one bank to the bank of the business with whom they perform the transaction, rather than depleting a credit line.
You can use prepaid fuel cards at any business that accepts a compatible card provider.
In the US, debit cards are accepted at nearly every business, especially at gas stations looking to draw maximum drivers. In fact, a 2019 study by the Federal Reserve estimated that debit cards are used at least twice as often as credit cards 2.
Prepaid cards come with a predetermined purchase limit. Although performing a slightly different transaction than credit cards, they’re still capable of making purchases at most establishments.
If you’re curious whether you can use a prepaid card for gas, the answer is a resounding yes. It’s their primary utility.
How Can I Get A Prepaid Fuel Card?
To obtain a prepaid fuel card, most companies require you to provide the following:
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Drivers license
- Proof of business revenue
While typical fuel cards often require you to provide a Social Security Number (SSN), prepaid cards aren’t connected to your credit score and simply require you to prove you’re a “mobile” business. To that end, each prepaid fuel card will often be assigned to a particular vehicle.
What Are Prepaid Fuel Cards Used For?
Of course, there’s no question whether you can use a prepaid card for gas. With 53.9 billion gallons of gas used for business purposes a year 3, being efficient with your fleet fuel management operations is paramount.
Businesses also have the liberty to use prepaid fuel cards however best serves their vehicles. Cards may be used to manage the following costs:
- Minor vehicle repairs & maintenance
- Vehicle insurance
- Vehicle registration fees
Prepaid fuel cards are a savvy alternative for owners who wish to give their drivers the liberty to care for their vehicles or national operators managing routes that require consistent tolls. Additionally, most prepaid options track transactions which can dramatically streamline management, and accounting, and accurately indicate vehicle overhead. With this visibility, prepaid fuel cards can also help your business identify ways to reduce fuel expenses.
What Are the Benefits of a Prepaid Fuel Card?
Any C-Corps, LLCs, or even nonprofits who use transit can benefit from this financial option. Consider how a prepaid fuel card can allow you and your business to perform the following:
- Avoid credit score deductions – Since a prepaid card acts like a debit card and doesn’t use your SSN, you won’t have to worry about timely payments or any effects on your business credit score. Learn more about picking a fuel card vs credit card for your business.
- Pay everywhere – Accepted nationwide, prepaid cards help drivers fuel their vehicles on the road. Some small roadside businesses may even prefer debit transactions to circumvent credit transaction fees.
- Control settings – Fleet managers and operations teams will be able to closely track transactions and allot funds for groups of cards. Choose to limit employee extraneous purchases and reduce unpredictable expenses to ensure your budget stays on track. This may also help prevent fuel card fraud.
- Track transactions – Like any card, you’ll be able to track transactions as they happen. After you allocate funds, note each unique purchase amount as you tick all the boxes.
- Save cash – By managing vehicle-related transactions and limiting extraneous purchases, you’ll save money to reinvest in other areas. Our savings calculator estimates that a business that spends about $5,000 a week could save up to $500.
- Forget late fees – Pulling directly from your account, there’s no credit line to repay! Circumvent a monthly scramble to meet deadlines or mitigate unexpected loss margins.
- Prioritize worker retention – A 2022 study by the American Transport Research institute confirms efficient management systems are key to encouraging a positive work environment 4. Plus, prepaid cards ensure employees don’t have to worry about paying out of pocket.
Fuel Your Financial Future with AtoB
Here at AtoB, we know how important every nuance—and efficiency—is when scaling your fleet. Our fuel card options, powered by VISA, are accepted universally accepted and offer:
- Level 3 fielding data to track fuel type and volume for each transaction
- Up to 25c savings a gallon, which equals extra cash to invest in driver benefits
Additionally, our no-hidden-fee model and growing network of established investors mean we’ve got your back for the long haul. So if you’re curious as to how to get a prepaid gas card, you’re in the right place. Find your solution by filling out the AtoB fuel card application today!
The Federal Reserve. The 2019 Federal Reserve Payments Study. https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/2019-December-The-Federal-Reserve-Payments-Study.htm
Truck Info. Trucking Statistics. https://www.truckinfo.net/research/trucking-statistics
American Transport Research Institute. Integrating Younger Adults into Trucking Careers. https://truckingresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/ATRI-Integrating-Younger-Adults-Into-Trucking-Careers-072022.pdf
AtoB. Products. https://www.atob.com/
1 Truck Info. Trucking Statistics. https://www.truckinfo.net/research/trucking-statistics
2 The Federal Reserve. The 2019 Federal Reserve Payments Study. https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/2019-December-The-Federal-Reserve-Payments-Study.htm
3 Truck Info. Trucking Statistics. https://www.truckinfo.net/research/trucking-statistics
4 American Transport Research Institute. Integrating Younger Adults into Trucking Careers. https://truckingresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/ATRI-Integrating-Younger-Adults-Into-Trucking-Careers-072022.pdf