by Kiara Swiatek May 12, 2022Share On:
It's historically proven that one of the first commodities to have a price hike during times of economic distress, war, or inflation is gas. We are constantly bombarded with the price as we drive down the road, fill our tanks, and balance our checkbooks. Gas prices change, and we have all come to accept that. Still, between the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and everything else going on in the world, the sudden hike in gas prices seems drastic, unbearable even. Demand for gasoline and diesel is high, as it always has been. Major suppliers and companies are working to ramp up the current production and acquisition of these precious fuels, yet prices are still going up - why?
The fact is, the current most pressing cause of high gas prices doesn't matter. Even without the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, there are plenty of other outside contributing factors that can affect gas prices. Higher prices at the pump can cause higher prices for everything that we consume since transporting those goods becomes more costly for the supplier. That, in turn, affects both the demand and supply. It's a vicious unending cycle that affects all of us.
No Business is Safe from Rising Gasoline Prices
The price of gasoline affects all businesses in every industry. High fuel prices cause high prices across the entire supply chain, from printer paper to the cost of the bell pepper you buy at the grocery store and even more high-ticket items like lumber and computer parts. Rising costs of fuel mean the cost to transport goods from the supplier to the stores increases. That means the price of the goods we buy daily rise for the consumer.
Whether you are a business that runs an entire fleet of CDL trucks or a couple of company vehicles, the high price of gas is an issue for all business owners.
Using Gas Cards to Mitigate Rising Cost of Gas
While using a gas card to purchase your fuel is not a perfect solution, it can help in the short term by temporarily bridging a gap in cost. Using fuel cards can help build credit, and improve your credit score. Even better, some fuel cards offer discounts that allow you to save on gasoline prices directly; some examples of this would be a BJ's card, a Big Apple card, or another local gas station company. Others offer points to help you save on non-fuel-related expenses such as dinners out or groceries, which can help considerably due to rising costs across the board.
The Many Benefits of Using Gas Cards
Sign-up bonuses: Several credit cards offer rewards on gas purchases that also give a big sign-up bonus when you meet a minimum spending amount within a specified period of time - usually within the first few months. These sign-up bonuses can dramatically boost your rewards to use for other purchases.
Other spending rewards: While some gas station credit cards can only be used at a specific brand of a gas station, others are traditional credit cards that let you pay for purchases anywhere, allowing you to earn even more points to spend on gas purchases in the future to offset rising costs.
Gas discounts: Some gas credit cards offer discounts on gas purchases made within their specific brand of gas stations. These discounts can help you save big on fueling up and save you more money as prices continue to climb.
If you have access to fuel cards, you don't have to stop the daily operations of your business - production or transportation, when you can't cover fuel immediately with cash on hand. This will allow companies to slow the need to increase prices to their consumers directly, keeping an already loyal customer base and gaining access to a further vast number of people seeking out the best price.
A Warning to the Wise
You have to be careful when using these types of cards, whether personally or as a business owner. To avoid high-interest rates, you need to pay off the entire amount monthly, don't let it slip your mind or pass by without a payment, as interest rates on these types of cards can be well over 20%. Missing a payment or having a partial payment does more harm than good. Also, be sure you choose a card with rewards that will actually help you and your specific circumstances.
Basically, just handle the cards responsibly. Use common sense, and keep a tally on how much you or your employees are spending on fuel. If you end up with a fuel bill you cannot pay at the end of the month, you aren't helping yourself or your growing business.
Finding the Right Fuel Card For Your Business
Credit cards in general, especially fuel cards, can only help you and your business if you use them appropriately. If possible, taking advantage of discounts and points and paying the cards on time and in full make the cards beneficial to you. Check out this link for more information on a wide variety of business cards, including fuel cards that you can take advantage of for your business and personal needs. Some of the cards are even starter vendors, which makes it easier for you to obtain such cards for start-up business ventures and get a business credit score.
The Bottom Line on Gas Cards
You don't need to own a large fleet of vehicles or have a company with hundreds of employees to be eligible for a business fuel card. A gas card can be utilized by a single car used by a sole proprietorship or limited liability company (LLC) all the way up to thousands of vehicles owned by a large company like Walmart, Apple, or FedEx. Keeping detailed reports helps keep track of employee spending on these cards, keep your gas costs in check, and identify potential fraud or misuse for your growing business. When you can use a gas card, you should! It will help you and your business increase your business credit score and help earn some valuable points to be used on future purchases.
If you are having a hard time stopping yourself from swiping your credit card or maybe your credit card is costing hundreds of dollars to you in terms of fees per year. In both cases, it may make sense for you if you chose to close that particular account but without hurting your credit score meter