When it comes to getting the most out of each pump, cash isn’t always the best option for your fleet. Most pumps in America require prepayment to secure the transaction, and as the owner of a vehicle or fleet company, it’s vital that you keep tabs on receipts.
According to Truckers Report, fuel actually surpasses driver salary as the highest operating cost. And believe it or not, a tractor-trailer can easily guzzle over $70,000 a year in diesel fuel 1. That’s a whole lot of sifting through receipts come tax season.
Fortunately, you can streamline your operations with a prepaid gas card, which features several perks, including discounted fuel, digital cost tracking, and credit-building capabilities.
What Is a Prepaid Gas Card?
So, how do prepaid gas cards work? A prepaid gas credit card is neither cash, debit, or credit, although it’s most similar to a debit card.
Well, instead of pulling money from a credit line, a prepaid gas card uses funds that have been preloaded or deposited into a specific account, similar to a debit card.
A prepaid fuel card may come with a fixed amount or allow the user or business to preload a balance and refill the balance whenever the account is low. Some even come with various security measures and card controls, such as SMS Unlock and Telematics, to verify each transaction.
As a fleet or vehicle owner, prepaid gas cards allow you to delegate spending limits to employees without the risk of overspending or interest. Prepaid fuel cards are also an excellent choice for local, regional, and interstate fleet companies who wish to manage fuel costs and have greater control over their finances.
That said, depending on the prepaid gas or fuel card type, certain location restrictions may exist at designated fuel stations or truck stops. So it’s always prudent to know where your fuel card is accepted so that you know where and how to prepay for gas efficiently.
Types of Prepaid Gas Cards
There are two types of prepaid gas cards: prepaid gas gift cards and prepaid fuel cards, which are often used for business management.
Yes, the plot thickens.
So, let’s have a look, shall we?
Prepaid Gas Gift Cards
Perhaps you’ve received one or two of these in a birthday card or Christmas stocking over the years. These prepaid gas cards are usually designated to a specific network of providers, such as:
If you operate locally or regionally, prepaid gas gift cards are a viable option if there’s an extensive refueling network in your area of operation. Some companies even offer refillable gift cards with pay-at-the-pump gas rewards.
Plus, in addition to purchasing fuel, you can use the gift card for snacks, beverages, auto supplies, and other brand-related services at valid fuel stations.
Prepaid Fuel Cards
These types of cards were designed with business management in mind. In addition to fuel and maintenance discounts, these cards can help local, regional, and interstate fleets:
- Streamline their finances and analyze costs with custom spend reports
- Customize spending limits for fuel, vehicle repairs, tolls, lodging, and more
- Implement advanced security features to prevent misuse and fraud
Fuel cards also typically offer a more comprehensive service network so that you can travel knowing there’s a fuel station or truck stop that’s accessible to your fleet—no matter where the open road takes you.
How to Choose a Prepaid Gas Card?
When choosing a prepaid gas card for your business, such as a secured business card, there are various factors to consider. Smaller-sized companies that travel locally may benefit from prepaid gift cards or a small business fuel card, while larger fleets with interstate destinations may find fuel cards more advantageous.
Before purchasing a prepaid gas card, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Coverage – Do you operate locally where there’s an extensive network of branded gas stations? If so, gift cards may keep things simple. That said, suppose you’re driving regionally or state-to-state and require broader coverage. In that case, a fuel card may better serve the company’s needs.
- Cheap Fuel – Depending on the gift card, it may or may not offer discounts on fuel. Some may even be competitive compared to fuel cards. But odds are, if you’re using a fuel card, you’ll be entitled to discounted fuel and maintenance options. Also, if there’s tiered pricing, gift cards may qualify for the cash price.
- Expense Management – Whether you’re a larger company or need more command over your fleet’s operations, a fuel card can be far superior to a gift card. With a fleet card, you’ll have access to controlled spending limits and flexibility for various repair and gas purchases, such as oil changes, engine repair, or additional parts and service requirements.
- Protection and Security – Prepaid gas gift cards and fleet cards come with basic security measures, such as pin access and limits. Prepaid fleet cards also offer enhanced security features such as fraud alerts, operational restrictions, and real-time service and fuel purchase activity.
Where to Get a Prepaid Gas Card?
So now that you’ve weighed your options, you may ask yourself, where can I get a prepaid gas card? It all depends on which type of prepaid card you think best suits your business gas card needs.
The good news, however, is that both gift cards and fleet cards are relatively easy to purchase.
Let’s say you’ve determined that a prepaid gas gift card best suits your small, localized fleet that travels near a vast network of branded gas stations. In this case, you can stop at any preferred gas station and purchase cards in-store.
You can also buy prepaid gas cards online:
- Log on – Visit your preferred gas station brand's web page and search for gift cards.
- Choose your design – Most corporate-branded gas stations will allow you to choose from a few different decorative prepaid cards.
- Register – Chances are you’re not a returning customer, so create a new account by inserting your full name, email, and phone number.
- Purchase – Go to your shopping cart, check out, and voilà! Your gas card should be in your mailbox before you know it.
If you’re operating a larger fleet and looking for more control and transparency regarding your business’s financial network, you can purchase fuel cards through AtoB:
- Log on to https://www.atob.com and click “get started.”
- Begin the application by inserting some basic information, such as the business owner’s full name and a few more details about your fleet, such as size and approximate weekly fuel and maintenance costs.
- Continue the application by including your EIN, uploading a photo of your driver’s license, and proof of business revenue.
- Integrate your employees into the AtoB App and watch efficiency at its finest.
Benefits of Prepaid Gas Cards
Prepaid gas gift cards and fuel cards come with many benefits, which will vary depending on the specific card and company. That said, most prepaid cards allow purchasers to:
- Control spending
- Preload money online
- Monitor payments
- Get cash price (depending on location)
While these are all great perks, AtoB’s fuel cards go above and beyond. We’ve talked about savings and efficiency, but let’s see what that looks like.
With an AtoB prepaid fuel card, you can:
- Save big on fuel
- Control daily or weekly spending limits and set operational hours for each card
- Manage fleet expenses, including repairs, tires, washes, and more
- Access nationwide coverage (anywhere that accepts visas)
- Digitally track receipts by card and location
- Enjoy no limits on discounted gallons
How Prepaid Gas Cards Build Business Credit
In addition to these benefits, AtoB can also help your large or small business grow. Whether you’re securing more funding, expanding to new locations, or merging and acquiring businesses, it’s essential that you accrue business credit—and a fuel card can help when you buy fuel, insurance, repairs and more—just as long as you make consistent payments.
AtoB consistently reports timely payments to Experian, making our fuel cards an optimal option for streamlining operations and boosting your credit 2.
Get Your Business Where it Needs to Be with AtoB Prepaid Fuel Cards
So with fuel being one of, if not the highest operational costs of vehicle and fleet businesses, it only makes sense to streamline this process with prepayment options.
Our prepaid fuel cards go beyond the pump—they’re an all-in-one fleet management tool that gets your business where it needs to be.
More specifically, an AtoB fuel card helps you and your fleet save with competitive discounts, manage misuse, reduce fraud risks, and track each transaction with digital receipts.
Whether you’re on the road or in the office, AtoB Unlimited’s security tools, fuel discounts, and spend management systems can streamline your operations from coast to coast. Fill out your AtoB fuel card application today!
1 Truckers Report. The Real Cost of Trucking. https://www.thetruckersreport.com/infographics/cost-of-trucking/
2 AtoB. FAQS. https://www.atob.com/product-fuel-cards