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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Fuel Cards

Fuel cards, also known as fleet cards or gas cards, are specialized payment cards that are issued to individuals or organizations to facilitate the purchase of fuel for vehicles. These cards are typically linked to specific fuel providers or networks and can be used at designated fuel stations. Fuel cards offer convenience, expense tracking, and potential cost savings for businesses or individuals with significant fuel expenditures.

What are fuel cards?

Prepaid cards specifically designed for purchasing fuel, often used as an employee benefit or incentive.

Listen, recognize, award, and retain your employees with our Employee engagement software  

What benefits do fuel cards offer?

Benefits of fuel cards include:

  • Cost savings: Secure negotiated discounts, earn rewards, and potentially utilize tax advantages for maximized savings.
  • Convenience: Simplified payment process, contactless transactions, and access to a network of fueling stations.
  • Improved control: Track expenses, set spending limits, and manage budgets effectively for both businesses and individuals.
  • Security: Reduce fraud risk by eliminating cash handling and utilizing secure card verification protocols.
  • Data insights: Obtain detailed transaction data for expense analysis, budgeting, and fleet management purposes.

Why do businesses or individuals use fuel cards?

Reasons for using fuel cards include benefits to both businesses and individuals:

1. Businesses

  • Simplified expense management: Fuel cards streamline expense tracking and eliminate the need for managing receipts and cash advances.
  • Cost control and budgeting: Set spending limits and monitor fuel usage for better budget control and fleet management.
  • Bulk discounts and price benefits: Secure negotiated discounts through partnerships with fuel providers, leading to cost savings.
  • Improved security and fraud prevention: Reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions and cash handling errors with enhanced security features.
  • Tax advantages: Depending on location, utilizing fuel cards may offer tax benefits for businesses.

2. Individuals

  • Convenience and budgeting: Simplify gas purchases with one card and track spending for personal budgeting.
  • Rewards and benefits: Earn points, cashback, or discounts on fuel purchases depending on the card program.
  • Enhanced security: Reduce the risk of carrying cash and protect against credit card fraud at gas stations.
  • Budget control tools: Set spending limits on the card to manage personal fuel expenses effectively.
  • Emergency fuel access: Some cards offer emergency fuel assistance services in case of unexpected situations.

How do fuel cards work?

Here’s how fuel cards work:

  • Types: Prepaid cards require pre-loaded funds, while credit-based cards allow purchases on credit with monthly billing.
  • Networks: Cards are usually affiliated with specific fuel networks or individual stations, limiting usage depending on the program.
  • Purchase process: Swipe the card at authorized stations and pay for fuel directly, without additional paperwork or receipts.
  • Transaction data: Fueling transactions are automatically recorded and synced with online accounts for expense tracking and analysis.

How can businesses or individuals track fuel expenses with fuel cards?

Expense tracking can be easy with fuel cards because of:

  • Online portals: Most fuel card programs offer online portals to track transactions, view statements, and download expense reports.
  • Mobile apps: Many programs have dedicated mobile apps for convenient on-the-go tracking of fuel expenses.
  • Integration with accounting software: Some cards integrate with business accounting software, simplifying expense reporting for companies.

Are fuel cards limited to specific fuel providers or networks?

Fuel cards provider and network limitations include:

  • Restricted networks: Some cards can only be used at specific fuel stations or within designated networks, limiting your choice.
  • Geographic limitations: Network coverage might not be uniform across all regions, potentially restricting usage in certain areas.
  • Fees and charges: Some cards may have annual fees, inactivity fees, or transaction charges, impacting overall savings.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.

eNPS:

eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

Are there any limitations or restrictions on the use of fuel cards?

Limitations and restrictions of fuel cards include:

  • Network limitations: Remember the mentioned restrictions regarding specific networks and geographic coverage.
  • Spending limits: Preset spending limits can be beneficial for budget control but may need adjustments for unexpected needs.
  • Exclusions: Specific fuel types, convenience store purchases, or vehicle maintenance costs might be excluded from card usage.
  • Program terms and conditions: Carefully review the specific terms and conditions of your chosen fuel card program to understand any limitations or restrictions.

Solution to this would be to choose the right fuel card! Consider your typical fuel usage, preferred network coverage, desired rewards or discounts, and any relevant business requirements to select the fuel card program that best aligns with your needs.

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