Fuel costs are the most considerable expense for trucking owner-operators and small fleet owners. This means finding the best fuel cards for trucking can be critical to help you maximize your savings every time you fill up, so you are not leaving money on the table. There are several fuel card options, and all have different features, costs, and benefits. The biggest reason to use fuel cards is to save you money. For example, we find that our clients save 1/3 of their factoring fees for the year when they use our fuel card. Not to mention the added bonus that we save our clients time by loading all or part of their funds directly onto the card for them. Additionally, with fuel cards you can set permissions for use and amounts of funds with a fuel card and easily keep track of your receipts and spending.
We did the research for you and spoke with several owner-operators and small fleet owners to find the best fuel cards for trucking. Below are the ones they thought were the best, along with the savings you can expect from each, features they offer, and fees.
EFS – Top Pick By Owner-Operators and Small Fleet Owners
The EFS fuel card was the top pick by the owner-operators and small fleet owners we talked with. There are four options offered, the Fleet One Edge Card (good for companies with 1-25 trucks), EFS Fleet Card (good for companies with 26+ trucks), the EFS Fleet Mastercard (for companies looking to purchase more than fuel with it), and the Tetra Capital EFS Card (for companies using Tetra Capital’s factoring services). All are accepted at over 12,000 truck stops and have advanced reporting and security controls. Additionally, they all have CardControl allowing you to manage the card on the go, get balances, schedule transfers and find the closest fuel stops by price.
Fleet One Edge Card Features Include:
- Best for small fleets of 1-25 trucks.
- Average savings of $0.15 per gallon.
- No fuel transaction fees at over 4,000 in-network sites.
- Discounts on major tire brands.
- Additional savings on expenses such as repairs, wireless plans, hotels, and more.
Fees: $8 per month and a one-time account set-up fee of $75.
EFS Fleet Card Features Include:
- Best for fleets with 50+ trucks.
- Solutions customized to fit your needs.
- Integrates easily with your systems.
- Online account reconciliation.
- Cash advances and ATM access.
Fees: $55.99 per month plus transaction fees.
EFS Fleet Mastercard Features Include:
- Use as a fuel card and where Mastercard is accepted.
- Get the cash price for fuel in the EFS merchant network.
Tetra Capital EFS Card Features Include:
- Average savings up to $0.10 per gallon.
- Available only to Tetra Capital factoring customers.
- Tetra can load some or all of your funds directly onto the card for no additional cost saving you time and money.
Fees: NO monthly or account fees. Transaction fees apply.
NASTC Quality Plus Network
Several owner-operators and small fleet owners we spoke with said the NASTC card had among the best discounts available. The card, which is a Fleet One card, can be used at 250+ TA Petro stops and 1,100 total locations that include regional chains and mom and pops.
The most significant difference with this fuel program is that you must be a member of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies. Additionally, you either take their introductory class or enroll in their management safety program. With this, the fees to access this program are the most expensive but offer a wide variety of savings, educational opportunities, and information.
- An app to help you plan your fuel stops that is updated every afternoon.
- Association membership benefits include discounts on tires, drug testing, insurance, and more.
- Must be a member of NASTC, which has a yearly fee ($250-$300 per year), and you have to take their intro class or enrolled in their management safety class which has a monthly fee that starts at $32 per month.
- $4.25/active card per month fee after a one-time $50 account set-up fee.
No in-network transaction fees but $2.00 out-of-network transaction fees.
Since we spoke with owner-operators and small fleet owners, we will focus on the Comdata card’s benefits for fleets of 1-50 trucks, which seems to be their focus. The card provides the cash price at 8,000+ Pilot Flying J locations. Additionally, up to 65% discounts on tires.
- Online account management.
- FleetAdvance app shows you fuel prices, allowing you to find the best fit for you.
- 24/7 support.
- Set controls around card usage.
- Integrates with some fleet software providers allowing you to manage cards, set limits, and get real-time information.
Fees: $5.00/card per month fee after a one-time $50 account set-up fee.
While Mudflap is an app for your phone and not a fuel card, it offers fuel discounts that many owner-operators have used to save significant amounts of money. Once you download the app to your phone, you need to connect a credit card, debit card, or bank account for payment. It offers savings up to $0.50 per gallon at hundreds of independent fuel stops.
- The app includes a map that will help you choose where to get fuel by price and location.
Fee: No fees
*All costs and savings are as of June 2021.