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Fleet And Fuel Cards

What are “Smart Fuel Cards” and Why Do Businesses Need Them?

A smart fuel card can revolutionize the way your business manages fleet and fuel expenses.

Man running reports on his fleet

Gone are the days when jotting down mileage and holding onto gas receipts was all you needed to track your fuel expenses.  As your business has grown, so has your need for greater control of your team and your fleet of vehicles. This means you need real-time visibility into spending and usage, and the ability to respond to changing circumstances in the field. 

 Smart fuel cards are designed to meet those needs, increasing your productivity, efficiency, and peace of mind.

Legacy fuel cards served a need, but there were limitations

Your old fuel card was fine when it was just you or a few employees driving a familiar local route. You may have chosen your card based on being able to limit purchases to fuel only and using PINS at the pump to identify which employees made which purchases, or you may have based your decision on  the gas station brand that was most convenient. But as you hire more employees, drive longer routes, or look to implement technologies like telematics or fleet management software, you may run into snags with a fuel card program that isn’t designed to grow alongside you. 

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • Your crew has to use the “right” gas station which limits their efficiency in the field
  • Your fleet data is inaccurate, because PINs at pumps present a host if issues including shared PINS
  • You’re spending too much time checking fuel card transactions for potential fraud and abuse
  • When your crew needs to make a purchase other than fuel, you have to give them a corporate card or chase down expense reports and receipts

These drawbacks came standard with the older generation of fuel cards. But if you’re looking for wider card acceptance, as well as better data and reporting on fleet and fuel expenses, it might be time to consider a smart fuel card.

Enter smart fuel cards

A smart fuel card can revolutionize the way your business manages fleet and fuel expenses. Whether you’re driven by the need for universal acceptance, better reporting and visibility, more customizability, or greater protection from fuel fraud, smart fuel cards are equipped with features that streamline your fleet operations and help you stay focused on productivity and growth.

Maybe you need a card that will be accepted at multiple stations, or that your drivers can use for other corporate expenses besides fuel. You’ll also want greater peace of mind that your card is secure – especially if you’ve found some transactions that aren’t quite adding up. With a smart fuel card, you can expect:

  • Wide acceptance
  • Accurate data
  • Integrations that save time
  • The ability to combine your fuel and corporate cards

Benefits of smart fuel cards

21st Century Security Comes Standard 

 Handing over a company credit card for fuel purchases represents a leap of faith that all-too-often doesn’t end well. Employees that you’d thought were trustworthy might end up using your card to fill up personal vehicles, and standard cards are vulnerable to skimming theft at gas stations. Cards can be stolen, and that leaves you with yet another task – calling to turn off a card, getting a new one sent out, re-assigning and reactivating it.



Coast’s smart fuel cards have embedded chips that offer additional security, and they’re integrated with an SMS check-in process that ties cards back to vehicle and driver. You get far greater visibility into usage, especially because the card can be integrated with telematics software that provides invaluable insights. Moreover, you can make changes and reassign cards on the fly from the system’s convenient portal.

Greater Customizability and Visibility

Traditional fuel cards don’t offer much flexibility in terms of setting spending rules by card, driver, or vehicle, and many older programs are coupled with outdated software, leaving you guessing about what’s going on with your fleet and fuel spending.


Coast’s smart fuel card system lets you set your categories and spend limits exactly as you need them based on day, week or month as well as by individual driver, card, or vehicle. It gives you real-time alerts that are enhanced by telematics integrations, as well as the ability to quickly respond and restrict or expand capabilities based on circumstances on the ground. 

Integration Into All Your Processes

Even if you’ve never had a problem with theft, you know the frustration of trying to match up your fuel and vehicle expenses with routes, customer bills, maintenance schedules, and more. Collecting accurate data takes hours, especially when records are missing or incomplete. Disjointed tools and processes make the process more onerous for all team members involved.


The Coast smart fuel card system gives you back your time, automatically collecting the data that you need and rolling it into your accounting system, effortlessly importing all of your transactions into tools like QuickBooks. It integrates seamlessly with your existing fleet management software, providing you with useful reports that increase productivity, analyze fuel efficiency, and provide easy-to-understand insights into fuel use and driver behaviors. Integration with telematics providers like Samsara and Geotab help to block suspicious fuel transactions while automatically collecting odometer data. You’ll have greater confidence in the accuracy of the data, and get insights like precise MPG that allow you to identify potential issues like driver behavior, maintenance needs, or card misuse and abuse.

All Your Expenses on One Card

Your field employees likely have on-the-job expenses beyond just fuel. But managing both fuel card and corporate card programs can get unwieldy as you seek to track and control employee spending, monitor for misuse and abuse, chase down receipts – not to mention the hassle if cards should get lost or stolen.


If it’s gotten cumbersome to equip your field team with both a fuel card and a corporate card, you have the option to set other spending categories and limits on the Coast card. For team members who are spending on supplies, parking and tolls, or travel expenses on the road, consider consolidating all these expenses onto one smart fuel card.

By offering real-time visibility and flexibility to your company’s fuel card system, Coast’s smart fuel card ensures greater operational efficiency, productivity, and security. No matter your fleet setup – whether you have team members share cards or assign each card eventually – you can get controls and visibility into spend without compromise. Coast provides you with far more than a convenient payment system: it provides you with a platform that supports you through your fleet’s entire payment process, increases your profitability, and lets you focus on delivering the service you set out to provide.