What types of credit cards work at truck stop gas pumps? Most do, but how well they suit your company’s needs will differ. Credit cards with major branding from American Express, MasterCard, and Visa work well at most pumps. Cards with branding specific to gas companies like BP, Mobil, and Shell are also options. However, they may not be suitable for your company. Additionally, some truck stop gas pumps will not accept consumer cards at the pump.
Keeping your trucks on the road is essential to your business’s success. Lengthy fueling times lead to slower deliveries. You don’t want drivers to waste time finding the right gas station or having to go inside and stand in line. One way to counteract this is by choosing a business credit card that works at truck stop gas pumps. How do you find them?
Shop Around For the Best Credit Cards for Your Needs
You may know the big names like American Express, Bank of America, and Chase. While they will be accepted at the pumps in most fuel stations, they’re not always your best choice. Shop around for the best credit cards for truck stop gas pumps by taking a closer look at these features and options.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
Don’t apply for a card without thoroughly researching the annual percentage rate (APR). When your drivers fuel up, the amount they paid sits in the credit card balance waiting to be paid off. Ideally, you want to pay the money back as soon as you’re paid. What happens if you can’t afford the entire payment due to an unexpected expense? You’re charged interest on the balance that sits on that card.
APRs cover a lot of range. You might find an introductory offer with a 0% APR for the first few months or a full year. You might not qualify for a low rate and find yourself paying 22%. Interest ends up costing you money. The lower the interest rate, the more money you save.
Surprisingly, some companies pull your personal credit when applying for a business credit card. If your company has an excellent credit history, but your personal credit score isn’t as good, it impacts the card you’re offered.
The other reason to ensure you’re avoiding using your personal credit is due to the dings you face to your credit score. Whenever a hard pull of your credit report is requested, it counts against you, usually by no more than five points.
Say you apply for three business credit cards. That’s three credit inquiries, which can drop your score by as much as 15 points for up to two years. While this may not be too concerning to some, you could suddenly find it harder to refinance your mortgage or purchase a new personal car.
You might be hoping for a 0% APR, but your personal credit score nixes that offer. You’re stuck with a higher interest rate. Look for cards that promise your personal credit is not used.
The lowest interest rate isn’t always the best deal if the fees are high. If you’re spending more on fees than you’re saving in interest, the fees can be a dealbreaker. Check the fee schedule to get an idea of what you have to pay to have that credit card. You shouldn’t waste money on hidden fees, but some credit card companies charge for things you wouldn’t expect. If there are fees, they need to be laid out. This includes monthly fees or membership dues if you don’t stick to specific gas stations. If there are monthly fees, find out if they are per card or per account. If you purchase a certain number of gallons each month, are the monthly fees waived?
Are There Rewards?
What rewards come with the business credit card? You want to look for credit cards tied to fuel discounts specifically. In the U.S., a class 8 truck uses an average of 11,818 gallons of fuel per year. A delivery truck uses 1,899 gallons, and a light truck or van uses 660 gallons. Fuel discounts are everything in this business.
If the card doesn’t offer a fleet fuel discount, it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. If cashback rewards rebate the money you spend each month, quarter, or year, those can be just as beneficial. Ensure the cashback reward is enough to cover the money you’re not saving on fleet fuel discounts.
You may be lucky enough to find a card that offers multiple rewards. For example, some credit cards partner with other companies. If you have a credit card that offers a fuel discount and discounts to chains that handle routine maintenance and oil changes, those discounts add up over time. It could be beneficial to your company’s maintenance budget.
Routes and Availability of Gas Stations
Look at the routes your drivers will often take. Truck stops in New England may not be the same companies you’d find in the Midwest or the South. Loves and Pilot Flying J are not as prominent in New England.
If your drivers are often in Vermont or Maine, they need a credit card that works in smaller chains like Maplefields/Mobil. Mobil stations aren’t as common on the West Coast. If your drivers are typically in states where other chains are abundant, you’d want a card best suited to those truck stops.
If you have a branded fuel card and your drivers are in areas where those stops are hard to find, they may not have a way to fuel up. Do you expect them to pay using their cash or credit card? Will they appreciate this arrangement? This is why a business credit card that works anywhere and in any fuel pump is your best bet.
Ask How the Card Works
It helps to understand how a fleet credit card works, and if you can add security to that card. When your driver fuels up and inserts the card to pay, the driver may need to answer questions before the transaction is authorized. Fleet owners usually get some say in this criteria. You might require the driver to enter the unit number or driver number. These measures provide a level of safety to prevent unauthorized use.
Visa Ensures Your Drivers Can Fuel Up Anywhere
Why risk having your drivers become unable to find a compatible gas station? Look for a card that’s accepted across the U.S. in virtually every truck stop.
Saint John Capital Visa cards work anywhere Visa is accepted. Use this payment solution at restaurants, quick stops, stores, and gas stations with signage stating the establishment takes Visa. Best of all, your drivers can use the card at pumps. Fuel up and stay with your truck. Save time and skip the trip inside to a cashier. The Saint John Capital Visa offers:
- 24/7 customer service and account access
- ATM withdrawals and deposits
- Nationwide acceptance
- No hidden fees
In addition to having a credit card to use at the pump, you gain other beneficial services like apps to help you find loads and get paid now. Do you have questions? Contact us. We’re happy to explain the perks you get when you partner with Saint John Capital. Apply now.