Play Your Cards Right

Todd Dills | January 04, 2011

FleetOne Truckers Advantage fuel card

Interest rate N/A, operates like a debit account

Benefits 6-7-cent/gal. cash price discount in-network

+ 2-cent/gal. additional discount with rebates;

access to parts/maintenance savings programs

Potential disadvantage Transaction fees for out-of-network fuel purchases

Yearly potential benefit from fuel purchases $1,700 in fuel savings

Annual fee OOIDA membership: $45; $25 sign-up fee unless done in person at one of three

industry events

Website to apply www.truckersadvantage.com

Capital One Business Platinum

Preferred No-Hassle Miles card

Interest rate 0% six-month intro rate, 14.99% and up

thereafter, variable

Benefit features Points per dollar spent redeemable in travel services (air, lodging, rental vehicles)

Potential disadvantage Low-limit, high-rate card; excellent credit needed

Yearly potential benefit from fuel purchases $1,800 maximum in travel services

Annual fee None

Website to apply www.capitalone.com/smallbusinesscards

Miles by Discover consumer card

Interest rate 0% six-month intro rate, 10.99% and up thereafter, variable

Benefit features Points per dollar spent redeemable in travel services (air, lodging, rental vehicles) and restaurant purchases

Potential disadvantage Benefits unlikely to exceed fuel-card cash price discount benefit

Yearly potential benefit from fuel purchases $600 or more in travel services (air, lodging,

rental vehicles)

Annual fee None

Website to apply www.discovercard.com/miles

Chase Ink Cash business card

Interest rate Six-month intro 0% rate, 13.24-19.99%

variable thereafter

Benefit features 3% cash back on up to $2,000 in qualified

purchases each billing cycle, including fuel;

1% back on all others; $100 intro cash-back offer

Potential disadvantage Low-limit, high-rate card; requires good credit

Yearly potential benefit from fuel purchases $1,180 in cash-back rewards first year,

$1,080 thereafter

Annual fee None

Website to apply www.chasecreditcards.com,

click “Business Credit Cards”

Many credit cards have programs that reward use of the card with merchandise, travel credits or other incentives. For business use, cash-back rewards are usually the most measurable and cost-effective. Bankrate.com offers comparisons of current rewards and other terms for leading cards. Note that high annual fees and interest rates can wipe out the value of rewards.


Credit’s Full Cost

If you’re like the 40 percent of owner-operators with an outstanding balance and, according to Overdrive research, owe upwards of $5,000 on at least one card, you can use Bankrate’s credit card payment calculator to see the true cost of making only the minimum payment. If you’re surprised at how high it is, let that motivate you to get out of debt as quickly as possible. Visit Bankrate.com, and search “Credit card payment calculator.”