If you run a business that relies on a fleet of vehicles, then you’re probably familiar with fleet cards. These cards are designed to simplify the process of fueling up and maintaining your fleet, but there’s an ugly truth that comes with them. In this article, we’ll explore the downside of some fleet cards and how to protect yourself from getting scammed.


Fleet cards are supposed to be a convenient and cost-effective way for businesses to manage their fleet expenses. However, some fleet card providers are not transparent about their fee structures and business practices, which can leave business owners with hefty bills. Here’s what you need to know.

What are fleet cards?

Fleet cards are essentially charge cards that are issued to businesses with fleets of vehicles. These cards are meant to be used for fueling up, maintenance, and other expenses related to running a fleet. Fleet card providers promise to simplify the process of managing fleet expenses by offering features like online account management, transaction tracking, and customized spending controls.

The ugly truth about some fleet card providers

While fleet cards may seem like a great solution on paper, the reality is often far from it. Some fleet card providers engage in shady practices that leave business owners with unexpected charges and fees. Here are some of the most common problems with fleet cards:

Hidden fees

One of the most common ways that fleet card providers make money is through fees, which can be hidden in the fine print. For example, some providers may charge a monthly fee for each card, a fee for using the card at certain gas stations, or a fee for accessing account information online. These fees can add up quickly and leave business owners with a surprise bill at the end of the month.

Fraudulent charges

Another problem with fleet cards is that they do little to protect holders from fraud. In some cases, fleet card providers may not have proper security measures in place, allowing fraudsters to make unauthorized charges on the card. In other cases, they do not have robust tools to detect when employees use the card for personal purchases or for non-work-related expenses.

Poor customer service

Many fleet card providers have notoriously poor customer service, making it difficult for business owners to resolve issues or get answers to their questions. This can be especially frustrating when dealing with unexpected charges or fraudulent activity on the card.

How to protect yourself

If you use fleet cards for your business, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from unexpected fees and fraudulent activity. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Read the fine print

Before signing up for a fleet card, make sure to read the fine print carefully. Look for any hidden fees or charges that could add up over time. If anything seems unclear, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Monitor your fleet card account

Keep a close eye on your fleet card account and transaction history. Look for any unusual activity or charges that you don’t recognize. If you spot anything suspicious, report it to your fleet card provider immediately.

Set spending limits

Many fleet card providers offer customizable spending controls that allow you to set limits on how much can be spent on each card. Take advantage of this feature to prevent employees from using the card for personal purchases or for non-work-related expenses.

Choose a reputable provider

Do your research before choosing a fleet card provider. Look for providers with a good reputation, positive customer reviews, and transparent pricing policies. Avoid providers with a history of false advertising or poor customer service.

Get started with a reputable fleet card provider

Fleet cards can be a great tool for businesses with fleets of vehicles, but they also come with a significant risk of unexpected charges and fraud. By taking the time to choose a reputable fleet card provider, monitor your account closely, and set spending limits, you can protect yourself from these risks and keep your fleet operation running smoothly.

Contact us today to learn how the Motive Card can benefit your fleet!