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Fuel cards make managing your business fuel simple

A fuel card is like a credit card that makes it easy to pay for – and keep track of – your business fuel purchases.

The fuel card is attached to an account, just like a credit card. When you fill up, you simply swipe your card and the cost of the fuel is charged to your account. The amount owing will then be deducted from your linked bank account or credit card.

Every purchase is recorded and itemised on a single tax statement, so there’s no need to keep and tally-up fuel receipts: the work is done for you.

And many fuel cards – such as Shell Card – offer discounts and savings that make them great value as well as convenient.

What are the benefits of a fuel card?

Time savings

A fuel card streamlines your business fuel administration. No more paper receipts, lost dockets, scanning and end of month reconciling – it’s all done for you.

A single tax invoice and statement itemises the GST payable for all your fuel purchases, so you’re all ready for tax time.

If you have multiple vehicles and drivers, providing them all with fuel cards can eliminate time-wasting and frustrating expense claim procedures.

Greater control over fuel expenses

If you choose a fuel card that gives you online access to your account, you can manage your cards, set up reporting systems, download statements and check transactions whenever you want.

You decide what your drivers can purchase with their cards. Then you can monitor expenses associated with each vehicle in your fleet, and set alerts to inform you if a driver exceeds one of your pre-designated boundaries.

Value

The biggest benefit of a fuel card is it helps ensure you don’t miss claiming a single cent at tax time due to lost receipts. But you should also choose a card that will tailor a business solution to your needs.

Some fuel cards offer flexible payment options, including the ability to pay your account by credit card, giving you greater control over your cash flow. And, depending on the scale of your business, some may offer a discount on the per-litre price of fuel.

Fraud protection

A few fuel cards, such as Shell Card, are protected with anti-fraud technology and individual PIN numbers to make tracking them easy. You can have your cards embossed with a vehicle number or the driver’s name, so your drivers will be less likely to lose them.

Easy to find locations

Most fuel cards are attached to a specific brand, and they are generally well represented with service stations across the country. They should provide you with an easy way to locate your nearest service station, whenever you need fuel and wherever you are.

This is particularly important if you drive a truck or manage a fleet of trucks. You’ll want to know which servos are suitable along the routes you drive so you can plan ahead.

What are the alternatives to a fuel card?

Credit card Direct debit Cash

Of course you can simply pay for your fuel with a credit card. This is fine if you only have to pay for your own vehicle’s fuel, but it’s hard to control the spending of other drivers you might employ.

One of the great benefits of a fuel card is you can control the ability to buy convenience store items across any or all of the cards linked to your account.

Some business owners use credit cards because they have a rewards scheme attached. The good news is, most fuel card providers let you pay your account with a credit card so you can still collect your rewards points.

If you have a debit card attached to a bank account you can pay for your fuel directly from that account and avoid the need for credit altogether. This could be a cheap option, but you could also miss out on the savings offered by a fuel card. And again, you’ll need to isolate your fuel transactions in your statements.

Why not simply pay for your fuel with cash? Well, for a start it’s often impractical to carry the cash you’ll need for fuel. And without any kind of statement to record the transaction you’ll need to make sure you keep all your tax receipts in a safe place. Tallying those receipts every quarter takes time, and you probably have more important things to do.

Want to learn more? Read our Frequently Asked Questions.

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