Working as a truck driver means long hours on the road with expenses that add up quickly, whether it's fuel, insurance, changing tires or other repairs. Every penny spent reduces your profit, which is where a business credit card can come in handy. This can make it easier to cover expenses now and pay for them later, along with the opportunity to earn lucrative rewards like cash back or travel benefits that mean more money in your pocket.
How a business credit card can help truck drivers
A business credit card can be useful to truck drivers in two important ways:
- Rewards like cash back or travel benefits reduce expenses and improve profitability.
- The ability to buy now and pay later can improve cash flow. Some cards also offer 0% APR introductory offers to help finance larger expenses, like repairs, for a year or more.
- Track business expenses, making bookkeeping and tax filing easy.
What are fuel cards?
First things first: Let's see what fuel cards are. Fuel cards are credit cards that offer rewards for purchases at gas stations and possible discounts for each gallon of fuel. These cards are a good option for small businesses that have high diesel or gasoline fuel costs, such as carriers or delivery companies. And some fuel cards are geared toward the trucking industry, offering discounts at partner fuel stations across the country, helping collect odometer information, and using truck telemetry to connect to purchase history.
Using a fuel card is one strategy to help with fuel management and offset high fuel prices: you'll earn cash back or points on your fuel bills that you can then use for other business expenses. When choosing a card, remember that some fuel card companies only allow you to use your card for in-network purchases or purchases made at that same gas station. This limitation may not work for some companies.
Additionally, some commercial fuel cards allow you to set limits, such as spending limits and spending controls, for your employees' cards. There may also be other business solutions, such as a mobile app and online account, that you can use to get real-time updates on your fuel economy. You may have to pay a monthly fee to use the card; however, make sure that the rewards you receive for your fuel stop the cost balance. Some do not charge a fee each month.
Advantages and disadvantages of credit cards for truckers
It is good practice to use a personal credit card for personal purchases and a business credit card for business expenses. Still, there are advantages and disadvantages to using a business credit card:
- Flexible payment options
- Superior fraud protection
- Interest rates can be high
- It can be easy to overspend
- You can waive the spot price discount on fuel
The best fuel credit cards for truckers
Since fuel is a typical expense for truck drivers, we're focusing here on business credit cards that offer solid rewards on fuel purchases. Here are two of the best credit cards for truckers:
1.Carta Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express®
Your gas station purchases can earn you significant points that you can use toward future hotel stays or other benefits. Gain6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program. 4x points on purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at US gas stations, on wireless services purchased directly from US service providers, and on purchases made in the US for shipping. 2x points on all other qualifying purchases.
Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonvoy points after you use your new card to make $3,000 worth of purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
2.Bank of America® Business Advantage Personalized Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card
Cardholders can choose their top spending category with theBank of America® Business Advantage Personalized Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card:3% rebate on the category of your choice (for the first $50,000 in combined category/restaurant purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter), 2% rebate on restaurant purchases (for the first $50,000 in combined category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.There is also a welcome offer:$300 withdrawal credit line bonus after you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
3.Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
OInk Business Cash® Credit CardIt has one0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 monthsit's a$ 0annual quota. he also has theLIMITED TIME OFFER: Get a $900 cash back bonus after spending $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.And you will earn on gasoline purchases:Get 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases at office supply stores and Internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on combined gas station and restaurant purchases each account anniversary year. Get 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
Best Fuel Credit Cards for Owner-Operators
Owner-operators already have enough to run their day-to-day business. That's why the best fuel card for an owner-operator will allow cardholders to carry a balance, something not all fuel cards do. Some cards work more likecharge cardsthat require you to pay the balance in full at the end of the billing cycle. It is best to work with a credit card provider that allows a revolving balance. That way, you won't have to worry if you can't cover the entire bill at the end of the month.
Best Fuel Credit Cards for Trucking Fleet Owners
If you have a fleet of trucks, you probably have employees driving across the country. Therefore, it's important to look for fuel credit cards that your employees can use anywhere in the US That way, you can maximize the rewards you earn, save money at the pump, and expedite all your fuel purchases. your company. Having each purchase on a credit card account can streamline your accounting process and give you time to focus on other business details.
Fleet Fuel Cards vs. Business credit cards
Fleet cards are popular because they are generally restricted to fuel and gas purchases, either at gas stations affiliated with big brands like ExxonMobil or Shell, or at truck stops and other fueling locations, such as independent gas stations. Benefits often include fuel rebates or fuel purchase rebates, along with fleet management tools and controls. Some examples of the best fuel cards for fleets:
Fuelman® fuel cards
Fuelman® fuel cardssimplify fuel expense management for fleets and business drivers.
WEX Fleet Cards
WEX Fleet CardsThe cards are widely accepted: all major gas stations in the US and more than 45,000 gas stations accept these cards.
Voyager Fleet Fuel Cards
Voyager Fleet Fuel Cardsaccepted at 320,000 gas stations and truck stops in the US There are no transaction fees, although there is a $3 charge per billing period.
Shell fleet navigation card
The Shell Fleet Navigation CardIt has national coverage and grants up to $0.05 discount on the purchase of gasoline.
If you're a fleet manager, you've probably already considered one of these cards. However, don't rule out business credit cards as an option. Many provide employee cards with expense management controls along with a broader set of rewards.
*All information on Fuelman® Fuel Cards, WEX Fleet Cards, Voyager Fleet Cards, Comdata® Fleet Card and Shell Fleet Navigator Card has been independently compiled by Nav. This card is currently not available through Nav. To see what business credit cards are available, visit the Nav Credit Card Marketplace.
What to look for in a credit card for truck drivers
Think about how you plan to use your credit card. Will you pay the balance in full each month, or do you sometimes need to carry a balance? If you have a balance, you should focus primarily on the interest rate. If not, you may want to look for a card with a strong rewards program.
If you're using a fuel card and need a business card for non-fuel purchases, then you don't have to worry about higher cash back fees for fuel purchases. You can choose from a variety of rewards available on business credit cards.
If you choose a rewards card, make sure the benefits you receive outweigh the cost of the annual fee. Annual fees can be high on premium business credit cards.
How to qualify for a credit card as a truck driver
Whether you're an owner-operator or the small business owner of a multi-truck trucking business, it's important to note that you'll likely need to qualify, at least in part, based on your personal credit history. (Some fleet cards will base the decision on business credit for well-established trucking companies.)
Most business card issuers want to see a credit score of at least 680, although some issue cards to applicants with credit scores of 640-650 or higher. It's a good idea to check your credit before applying so you know where you stand. Most corporate credit cards don't require good business credit, but some fleet cards do, so if you haven't already, you may want to establish business credit.
The app will ask you questions about your business and personal finances, such as income. In general, you can list income from all sources (not just from the business) to qualify. That means if you drive a side truck and have other income, or if you have a spouse or partner who provides income, you can include that as well.
How to Apply for a Truck Driver Credit Card
In most cases, you'll apply online for a business credit card or fuel card. This will allow you to make a decision very quickly. You may be asked to provide your Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). You will also be required to provide a business address, which may be your home address if you do not have a separate business address.
Other financing options for truckers
While a credit card can be great for short-term financing, there will be times when you need other types of financing, whether it's for long-term expenses or forfinance a semi, For example. There is a variety ofcommercial truck loansthat may be available to your business, including equipment financing or leasing, lines of credit, freight factoring, or invoice financing.
It's worth exploring these options before you find your business in a cash crunch, as you'll have more time to evaluate and compare business loan options. making sure yourbusiness credit scoresThey are established and growing.