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How Does a Fuel Card Work?

by Mario Tarradell | August 19, 2019

A Fuel Card

How Does a Fuel Card Work?

We all know credit and debit cards. They are part of our daily lives. In fact, some of us rarely use cash for any purchases anymore. But what is a fuel card? Well, a fuel card is a payment card primarily used to buy diesel fuel. You can also use a fuel card to access cash and pay for other trucking-related products and services, according to the controls set by the fleet owner.

But wait a minute, is a fuel card the same thing as a gas credit card? No. While you could certainly use a regular gas credit card to purchase diesel fuel, you would be missing out on two key benefits of having a fuel card – savings per gallon of diesel and security controls. So, we’re about to walk you through the features and benefits of having a fuel card built for truckers and trucking companies.

Benefits of Having a Fuel Card

Why get a fuel card, and what does a fuel card do?

The answers to these two questions go together. The reason to get a fuel card is because of what it does. Check out this list:

  • Security and control – You control who can use the fuel card, what it can buy, how much it can buy, and where it can buy. That minimizes fraud and increases security.
  • Savings – Enjoy the diesel savings the fuel card provider has negotiated with a variety of truck stop partners that comprise the “network” for that fuel card.
  • IFTA and documentation – Having a fuel card provides you with important information and documentation that can help you with your quarterly International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reports.
  • Visibility and transparency – You can see every transaction associated with that fuel card; nothing is hidden. That’s a huge reason why security and control are so beneficial.
  • Ease – Fuel cards function like a credit card – swipe, punch in numbers, get receipt, and go. Most importantly, the trucker doesn’t have to carry hundreds of dollars for fuel.

How does a fuel card work?

If you’re at the pump, swipe the card, follow the directions (you may need to enter unit number, mileage, driver number, or trip number – any combination or all of it), fuel, then take your receipt. Or if you want to go inside to the fuel desk, give the attendant your card, tell the attendant how much fuel you will purchase, give them those numbers mentioned above, and sign the receipt.

The TCS Fuel Card is about saving you money. Check out the savings:

  • Fuel – Save an average of 35 cents per gallon at more than 1,000 in-network locations, including TA®, Petro Stopping Centers®, TA Express®, Ambest, Speedway, Sapp Bros., Road Ranger, Petroleum Wholesale, Fuel City, and Roady’s. The TCS Fuel Card is accepted everywhere Comdata and EFS are, but you’ll only get those great discounts at the in-network locations.
  • Transaction fees – TCS Fuel Card clients pay $0 transaction fees on fuel purchases at all in-network locations.
  • Fuel finder – Use the handy TCS Fuel Finder, via the TCS website or mobile app, and find the best fuel prices in your area or along your route.
  • Tires and maintenance – Get discounts on tires and maintenance when you use your TCS Fuel Card at TA Truck Service® Centers. Simply provide your DOT number and the discounts are automatically applied.
  • Roadside Rescue – The TCS Roadside Rescue program, with service provided by RoadSquad®, is another perk of the TCS Fuel Card. You get expert roadside rescue assistance 24/7/365. Enrollment is free and automatic for all TCS clients.

“I save so much money,” says TCS Fuel Card client Don Gumfory of Gumfory Holdings in Burleson, Texas.

“On a bad day, I would save 22 cents a gallon. And I’ve saved as much as 58 cents a gallon. I use my app every day and I can use the Fuel Finder. It doesn’t necessarily just show you big truck stops, like the TA and the Petro locations, it will also show you some of the mom-and-pop smaller operations.”

TCS Fuel Card Client, Gumfory Holdings


The Power of Fuel Card Customization

Customize, customize and customize some more!

With a great fuel card, you should always be able to customize it to fit your business needs. Your fuel card provider should work with you to develop a program that compliments your business. You should be able to customize your:

  • Payment options – How and when, etc.
  • Security – Set extra security controls for when a driver purchases fuel or service.
  • Additional cards, cash advances – Both should be easy for the fuel card client to obtain.

“The fuel card is great,” says TCS Fuel Card client Phillip Scherer of Phillip’s Roadway Services in Henderson, Nevada.

“I’ve been able to establish the credit that I need. I’m able to use all the options available. I can offer a cash advance for a driver. Adding a driver is very, very easy. I have a fuel card for each driver, and I have one myself.”

TCS Fuel Card Client Phillip's Roadway Services

How do you put money on a fuel card?

There are a variety of ways to put money on your fuel card – some are initiated by the client (you), while others are initiated by the fuel card company, or even by a factoring company. In each case, fees will vary. Here are the methods:

  • ACH Credit (bank to bank transfer) – Client initiated, during banking hours, funds received by next business day (except holidays).
  • Bank wire – Client initiated, during banking hours, funds received typically within 2 hours.
  • Western Union – Client initiated, 24/7/365, funds received within one hour.
  • Third-party checks (Comchek, EFS check, or T-Chek) – Client initiated, 24/7/365, funds received usually within one hour.
  • Factoring company – Factoring companies such as our friends at Apex Capital can direct funds from invoices or a factoring reserve account into your fuel card.

What is the best fuel card for truckers?

The TCS Fuel Card offers everything we have mentioned above – from savings to security, options to transparency. And don’t forget that with the TCS Fuel Card you can save an average of 35 cents per gallon and pay $0 transaction fees at more than 1,000 in-network locations across the country.


Are you ready to apply for a great fuel card? The TCS Fuel Card is ready for you. Get your TCS Fuel Card by applying here, or simply give us a call at 844-827-7705.

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about Mario Tarradell

Mario Tarradell

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