Given the volume of petroleum purchases necessary to run a fleet, it is unsurprising trucking companies face no shortage of cards from which to choose, often providing discounts for fuel plus reporting capabilities that can help fleet managers monitor fuel consumption and other on-the-road data. But merchants also are looking to tap in to fleet-driver spending, offering their own discount cards to encourage more shopping.
Chain trucks stops, parts dealers, food retailers and even fuel companies all are vying for truckers’ dollars, offering savings or rewards points on purchases as their chief lures. In fact, it wouldn’t be difficult to pack a hundred rewards cards, if only a wallet could hold so many.
But they do serve a purpose, and fleets can find them useful when needed.
The Peterbilt Preferred Card, for example, offers U.S., Canadian and Mexican commercial truck operators with a means to save money on parts and service for their vehicle fleets. It touts potential savings of up to $4,000 through 70 annual offers, plus monthly and weekly offers that can generate even more savings.
"Since 2006, the Peterbilt Preferred program has served commercial vehicle owners and operators in the U.S. and Canada,” Bart Lore, general marketing manager for PACCAR Parts, said in a statement. “The program provides money-saving offers on quality parts and services to more than 175,000 customers at close to 300 dealerships throughout North America."
Participants in the program also may view offers on their mobile, tablet and smart devices. And members can share offers with drivers, managers or company employees via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn social media accounts.
"The Peterbilt Preferred Program has been a popular program with our dealers and our customers for many years,” Lore said. “We continue to look for new ways to expand the Peterbilt Preferred Program and to bring even more value to the market. The value of the program is bringing truck and fleet operators and owners the support they want, when they want it and the parts and service they need."
Parts distributors aren’t alone in seeking more spending by fleet operators. Various truck stop chains also offer rewards cards to encourage more spending.
AMBEST, for example, offers AMBUCK$, which enables drivers to earn points worth a penny a gallon at the pump that are usable toward future fuel purchases or when buying merchandise at participating AMBEST service-center locations. Other truck stop chains offering similar rewards cards include Bosselman (Bosselman Loyalty Program, Boss Shop Rewards and Max Rewards), Love’s (I Love Rewards), Petro (Petro Passport Driver Rewards), Pilot Flying J (MyRewards Loyalty Program), Rip Griffin, Speedway (Speedy Rewards), Travel Centers of America (Road King Club, UltaOne Ecpediter Club) and WilcoHess Travel Centers (Driver Rewards).
Views on rewards cards mixed
One might think truckers and fleet operators would welcome the wide array of discounts and rewards-based products, but comments posted on truckstopusa.com’s website suggest that’s not always the case.
"Personally I HATE THEM! I have to carry so many ‘rewards’ cards that I sit 3 inches higher in my truck seat if I don’t remove my billfold before I sit down,” commented Timothy J. Begle. “All the different Truck Stop cards add up to at least 6. Then add motel cards, K-mart card, Wal-Mart card of some kind, CVS card, insurance cards, company credit cards, personal credit cards, debit card and more!!!!!! Just call me plastic butt!"
“Jimbo” offered up his own strategy for how to use rewards cards, choosing to have just one reward card in his wallet from Pilot and Flying J.
"You can use the one card in either Pilots or Flying Js. I like their program better than the Petro/TA program, since I don’t have to go to some machine and print a ticket to use the points. I also can use the points down to a penny amount, not in $5 increments. I simply hand the reward card over like it is a credit card, and use any amount of points I want toward the purchase.
"Recently, my electric cooler died. It had served me well for 2 years or so, saving me hundreds of dollars in that time. The new cooler I was buying was on sale, for $69.99, but I had over $50 in points on my reward card, so the cooler only cost me about $20 in cash."