Snapshot Of Business Industries Using Fuel Cards in 2021
Construction is one of the biggest industries in Australia taking advantage of fuel cards. Construction managers understand fuel is an essential expense for their construction company, with diesel and petrol necessary to power the vehicles on-site, deliver materials and get workers to their jobs. Fuel cards are helping construction managers run their operations more efficiently, and more cost-effectively too with great pump-price discounts as well as the ability to better manage cash-flow.
From lawyers and solicitors to scientists, accountants, marketing specialists and beyond, professionals in the scientific and technical services are the second biggest users of fuel cards in Australia. These big industries are saving time by streamlining their business’s fuel administration, as well as having the ability to access fuel records online, manage cards, set up reporting systems, download statements and check transactions whenever they want.
When it comes to transport and warehousing, flexibility and convenience is key. Transport and warehousing professionals enjoy peace of mind that with the right fuel card, they can fill up on fuel wherever they need, and whenever they need – no matter where they’re travelling to or from. And, with the introduction of real-time data gathering, a fuel card can also help these workers find the best fuel prices across the country.
Australian sales associates working in the retail sector enjoy the time and cost-saving, and security benefits of a fuel card. With the ability to fill up anywhere, with great fuel discounts and top-line security features for added peace of mind, retail sales workers who travel for work are reaping the rewards of a fuel card.
Manufacturing businesses with fleets made up of cars and vans delivering finished goods or raw materials to clients understand the high cost of diesel and petrol. That’s why more and more manufacturing businesses are turning to fuel cards to reap the benefits of $0 transaction fees, great fuel cost-savings, as well as the ability to access discounts on maintenance, tires, repairs, food and drink and other common fleet expenses.
From arts and administration to agriculture, mining, education and beyond, more and more Australian businesses are enjoying the benefits of a dedicated fuel card provider. With benefits such as time-savings, greater control over fuel expenses, fraud protection and easy-to-find fuel station locations, there’s no limit to what a fuel card can do for our essential Australian industries.
Australian businesses in the wholesale trade industry such as restaurant food suppliers and clothing wholesalers are taking the opportunity to consolidate all their fuel expenses into a single account, keeping their fleets running while also improving traceability and control. With benefits like flexibility, control and convenience, fuel cards will keep your business running smoothly in the background, so you can keep doing what you do best.
Financial and Insurance service providers across the country are supercharging their businesses with an all-in-one fuel card expense management platform. Financial service business owners are empowering their employees with their own fuel cards for everyday business fuel expenses, giving them greater autonomy, flexibility and control. Not to mention the great time-saving benefits with no more paper receipts, lost dockets or frustrating expense claim procedures, plus one single fuel purchase invoice to make tax time a breeze.
From employment services to administrative services, domestic and commercial cleaning to package services and beyond, administrative and support service businesses appreciate the benefits of a dedicated fuel card. One great benefit of fuel cards is the tracking of data that allows for greater oversight and traceability, such as date, time, location, odometer, volume, fuel capacity and more. This is allowing admin and support services business owners to have greater oversight and control over their business’s fleet costs.
Australian healthcare and social assistance workers are vital to the community, meaning when they’re out on the road carrying out essential services, they need peace of mind that whatever they need while on the road, they’re covered. The ability to fill up anywhere anytime is pivotal, as is the ability to grab and go convenience items while out on the road, or easily access discounted maintenance and repair services.
Businesses in the rental, hiring and real estate services are on the road all day, every day. That’s why businesses in these industries are choosing to onboard a fleet card provider to help with their everyday fuel needs. From fuel discounts to access to an extensive network of servicing, maintenance, parts and accessories partners, there are countless ways to benefit from a company fuel card.
From on-road benefits such as fuel discounts and discounted repair services, to in-office benefits like streamlining the business’s fleet expenses, Australians businesses in the accommodation and food services industries are jumping at the chance to use a dedicated fuel card provider.
Working in the education and training sector, you know that when you’re not on-site in a classroom or education facility, the rest of the time you’re driving from location to location. Here’s where fuel cards come in handy. From giving employees the freedom and flexibility to fill up anywhere and anywhere (without having to keep receipts for reimbursement), fuel cards help your employees arrive on-time and ready to teach.
The agriculture, forestry and fishing industries are vital to our Australian economy. From farm manager to environmentalist, no matter what sector your business is in, you can reap the benefits of a fuel card. With great value and greater control over your business fuel expenses, a fuel card will help save you money and time every day of the year.
Arts and recreation services are an important part of Australian culture. As such, it’s important your business is running as efficiently and smoothly as possible in all aspects. Fuel cards can help you achieve greater control over your business’s fuel expenses, while also helping you save money and time.
The public administration and safety sector of Australia is an integral and essential service provider for all Australians. As a result, many public administration and safety managers are taking advantage of a dedicated fuel card for their employees to keep them moving quickly on the road and doing their job. Not to mention the administrative time-saving benefits, as the right fuel card will streamline your business fuel administration. No more paper receipts, lost dockets, scanning and end of month reconciling – it’s all done for you.
When not on-site, workers in the electricity, gas, water and waste services are on the road driving to their next project. Fuel cards can help keep your employees on time by allowing them to fill up wherever they need to. Some fuel card providers also have GPS telematics to help your employees find the most cost-effective route to take, saving both time and money.
While the information media and telecommunications sector in Australia is relatively small, a vast majority of businesses in the industry are capitalising on the benefits of fuel cards. With greater control over fuel expenses, time-saved and plenty of fuel locations to fill up at, media and telecommunications professionals are enjoying the freedom, autonomy and flexibility of a fuel card.
Mining is big business in Australia, and mining managers understand that fuel is an essential expense for their mining project for on-site vehicles, delivering materials and getting workers to the mine site. Fuel cards are helping mining managers run their mines more efficiently, and more cost-effectively with great bulk pump discounts as well as increased business cash-flow.
The above data from Shell shows there are countless key Australian industries taking advantage of fuel cards in 2021 – industries you might not even have thought could benefit from a fuel card. From fuel discounts to rewards and extras, to convenience and time-saving, to ease of use and simple consolidation of fuel receipts come tax time, almost every Australian industry can benefit from a fuel card. Here’s how.
The 4 Big Benefits of a Fuel Card
The data is clear: from the obvious construction industry to the not-so-obvious healthcare and social assistance industry, there are plenty of ways a fuel card can benefit your business – no matter what industry you’re in. Here are the 4 big benefits of a fuel card:
When people think of fuel cards, the first thing they usually think about is the great fuel discounts. And while fuel discounts are certainly a perk of many fuel card providers, what most businesses actually find the most beneficial is the convenience. With a fuel card, your employees will never be stuck without fuel or unable to complete their job because they can fill up anywhere (if you choose a multi-brand fleet provider) and at any time.
2. Discounted Fuel
Safe to say fuel discounts are a great benefit for big and small businesses alike. And, most fuel card providers have excellent promo offers where you can save big bucks on the pump price. We know fuel prices are constantly fluctuating, and you can’t always ask your drivers to fill up when it’s cheapest. That’s why choosing a fuel card provider that offers attractive ongoing discounts would be a good business move that will save you large amounts of money in the long run.
3. Save Time
We all need more hours in the day, and with fuel cards you can easily reclaim lost hours you’d typically spend managing your business’s fuel expenses. With fuel cards, there’s no need to keep fuel receipts or scan and consolidate them all come tax time. With company fuel cards, each fuel payment will be logged on the card, and consolidated into one invoice come tax time. This will save you countless hours in administrative time, which will ultimately be better for your bottom line as well. There are also some fuel card providers that are also integrated with financial services like Xero, which makes it even easier to keep track of business fuel expenses at any given time.
Australian businesses using fuel cards are sleeping easy knowing that most fuel cards come with excellent anti-fraud protection. With most fuel cards, you can assign a card to an individual driver, a registration number, a car make and model. You can even protect fuel card usage based on an odometer reading. Furthermore, you can set transaction limits, or daily limits. This level of protection and security makes it much easier to keep tabs on what each company car is costing the business to run.
Fuel Card vs Credit Card vs Prepaid Card
How a Fuel Card Works
A fuel card works like a credit card in many ways. It makes it easy to pay for and keep track of your business fuel expenses. It means your employees can pay for fuel without cash and without needing to submit a fuel reclaim. The fuel card is attached to an account and when an employee fills up, the cost is charged to that account. The amount owing will then be deducted from your linked bank account or credit card, usually monthly.
How a Credit Card Works
Broadly speaking credit cards are an easy way to make purchases, simplify finances and smoothen out cash flow. A credit card is a way to borrow money, or get ‘credit’ from a bank. It’s a card with a set amount of funds you can borrow at any time. You can use a credit card to buy things without cash, and pay for purchases online or over the phone. It’s essentially a debt you need to repay, which also incurs interest rates, and most cards have an annual fee.
Why use a fuel card over a credit card? The major difference between a fuel card and credit card is control. Depending on the provider, fuel cards can only be used for fuel, in-store items and other car-related products. Meanwhile, normal company credit cards can be used anywhere, and employers do not have the same control as with fuel cards. Not to mention many fuel cards often come with fuel discounts, which you won’t get with a normal credit card. Moreover, fuel cards provide key data that can help you identify the best working cars in your fleet, and ones that might need to be retired.
How a Prepaid Card Works
A prepaid card – most commonly a Visa and MasterCard prepaid card – is one you load with funds from your bank account (or cash) and use to make purchases online or in-store. Prepaid cards aren’t like credit cards where you borrow money which then attracts interest and needs to be paid back. Rather, they work like debit cards and can be a useful way to control your spending as you can only spend however much you’ve loaded onto the card.
Why use a fuel card over a prepaid card? At the end of the day, prepaid cards aren’t fuel cards, and because you can’t set limits to where the card can be used, it becomes a matter of trust between you and your employees. As a result, receipts also need to be kept when filling up at fuel stations, which can be a hassle and is one of the main benefits of a fuel card – that all transactions are tied to the card account and paper receipts aren’t necessary. You can set transaction limits with some prepaid cards, but these limits are usually quite high.
Choosing the Right Fuel Card for the Industry You Work in
When choosing the right fuel card for the industry you work in, there are a few things you should consider in order to get the most benefits from the fuel card.
1. Where Can You Fill Up?
Do you want to stick to one brand, or have the ability to fill up at multiple locations country-wide? Whether you’re on the hunt for the cheapest pump price or want peace of mind that your drivers will never be stuck for fuel no matter where they travel, having the ability to use a fuel card at almost any station is definitely ideal. However, this ability often does come with higher monthly card fees and not as good ongoing fuel discounts as brand-loyal fuel cards. However, if your employees regularly fill up your tank at the same location or always choose the same fuel brand, it might be worthwhile choosing a fuel card from that brand. This way, you’ll often get better ongoing pump price discounts and other benefits.
2. How Much Does It Cost?
Most fuel cards have associated fees. All fuel cards have a monthly card fee attached to them, with many also charging for lost or replacement cards. Some fuel card providers also charge transaction fees every time you use the card. Or, some providers charge a transaction fee if you use the fuel card at an out-of-network location. Sometimes these fees offset any savings you make, so it’s important you read the fine print carefully to understand how fees work.
3. Any Fuel Discounts?
Many fuel providers offer great fuel discounts, with particularly good intro offers. However, these attractive pump price discounts don’t typically last. Some providers offer higher discounts to start, and then drop to a set discount after the initial joining period. And then some fuel providers offer ongoing fuel discounts based on your usage – with the more you spend, the more you save.
4. Consider Rewards & Extras
Various fuel card providers in Australia offer rewards and extras when you sign up for a fuel card account. Some rewards will be good for your business, while others won’t be that useful. Take the time to consider all the rewards and benefits on offer so you can choose the fuel card with the best rewards and extras for you (such as Woolworths’ Everyday Rewards or extra discounts at vehicle service brands like Bob Jane or Beaurepaires etc.)
Fuel Card Providers in Australia
As one of Australia’s largest multi-branded fuel card providers, WEX Motorpass has designed its fuel card with convenience in mind. It is one of the most widely accepted fuel cards in Australia, with the ability to use it at 93% of fuel sites countrywide. It does have a high card cost ($5.50 per card, inc GST), and you’ll pay a 1.5% transaction fee at Coles Express sites.
With access to over 1,250 sites, the Shell Card Fuel Card is an excellent choice for Australian businesses that already use Shell-branded fuel stations. It’s also the ideal card for new businesses as there is no minimum time you need to be in business before applying. With a simple monthly fee structure of $2.50 (inc GST) per card, with the Shell Card your business can save time, reduce costs, and earn great rewards. You can’t use AMEX to pay your fuel card bill, however.
The Fleet Card sits at the premium end of fuel cards suited to businesses that don’t want to be restricted to using one fuel station and packing it full of features. The card has been designed with user flexibility and convenience in mind with the ability to access over 90% of fuel stations Australia wide and over 6,000 non-fuel merchants, many of which have their own exclusive discounts on. The downside to this card is its higher monthly card fees.
Previously known as the Caltex StarCard prior to transitioning to the Ampol brand, the AmpolCard is a corporate fuel card for Australian businesses. With a monthly fee of $2.95 per card, the AmpolCard can help you cut your fleet’s fuel costs by up to 4 cents per litre on premium Amplify 98 fuels, as well as 2 cents per litre off regular petrol or diesel. With 1,900 service stations across the country, you can easily find an Ampol station near you. The downside to this card is enabling extras added onto the monthly card fees.
BP Plus Fuel Card
For businesses who primarily use BP stations, the BP Plus fuel card offer is hard to go past. While smaller businesses who only need 1-2 cards are charged a more expensive $4.95/m, the card fees drop to $2.20 when 3 or more cards purchased so it’s cheaper to have 3 cards than 2 cards (3 cards for $6.60/m vs 2 cards for $9.90). You can earn bigger discounts as well based on volume.
7-Eleven Fuel Pass
The 7-Eleven Fuel Pass is ideal for businesses who want a simple way to keep track of fuel expenses and save on fuel costs. With a $2.50p/m card fee and an excellent introductory offer of 8c/l off the pump price and an ongoing minimum discount of 2c/l, the 7-Eleven Fuel Pass is hard to knock back. It can be used across the entire WEX Motorpass network. There are no transaction fees when using the fuel card at any location, but you only get a fuel discount at 7-Eleven sites.
The Pumacard is a great option as a WEX Motorpass alternative because you still get to access the network including non-fuel services when you need it (at additional costs – aka “Open loop”), but save on card fees and gain fuel discounts when it’s used at Puma stations. There is a more restrictive card called Pumacard Direct which limits card usage to only Puma sites where there’s discounts and no additional transaction fees. If your routes include Puma stations and you want one of the cheapest fuel cards, Pumacard is a top pick based on the running costs.
At the end of the day, take your time to research the different fuel card options and where possible, speak to a human. By speaking to a sales representative, you’re more likely to get the full picture versus relying on the fuel card website alone. And remember the cheapest option is necessarily going to offer the best benefits for your fleet. Shop around until you find the best deal and right fit for your business.