Wrights Express, or WEX, is a universal fleet fuel card provider associated with a number of stations across the U.S. They offer a number of fuel card rewards programs and benefits designed to cater to a business’s specific needs and gas station preference.
Historically, they have also been one of the only credit issuers that a company could get a business credit card from without a personal guarantee. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.
WEX Now Requires a Personal Guarantee on Business Fleet Cards
As of Friday, May 13th, 2022, WEX now requires a personal guarantee on any business credit card they issue. This is a big change that is going to rock the fleet credit world. In fact, it may even be the biggest change with the most impact on business credit in the past 10 years.
What Does this Mean for Businesses?
It’s going to make it hard for a lot of businesses to get a credit card or account to manage company automobiles. Trucking company owners looking to add a business credit card to manage their fleet are going to be hit the hardest. They aren’t the only ones though. Any company that wants to use fleet credit is likely to struggle.
Why Will the WEX Personal Guarantee Requirement Cause Some Business Owners to Struggle?
Before the change, WEX was one of the few fuel card options for business owners that do not have good consumer credit. They could access a WEX fuel card on the merits of their business credit only. Then, they could take care of fleet related expenses using the business credit card regardless of consumer credit.
Approval Based Only On Business Credit History No Longer an Option
Now, this is no longer an option. With the added requirement of a personal guarantee, business owners with bad credit will have a harder time getting the fleet fuel cards that they need.
Why Did WEX Change Their Personal Guarantee Requirements for Business Credit Cards?
Most business credit cards already require a personal guarantee. There are a select few that do not, and with this change, the number is even fewer
The reasoning behind the WEX decision is that it helps prevent fraud. The addition of a consumer credit check and personal guarantee requirement is thought by WEX to be a way to help prevent fraud.
They see it as a layer of protection for both themselves and the small business owners they serve with business credit cards. Of course, in the end, this policy reduces risk for WEX and increases personal risk and personal liability for business owners. This is because by definition, a personal guarantee means if the business defaults, the business owner is responsible for the debt.
How Big Of An Impact Will This Change Have on the Ability to Get a Business Credit Card for Fuel?
Honestly, it’s big. Just to give you an idea, here is a list of brands affected in addition to WEX’s own brand.
WEX Associated Fuel Card Brands
- Chevron and Texaco
- Circle K
- Irving Commercial
- Kum & Go
- Murphy USA
- Phillips 66®
- Royal Farms
As you can see from this list, the ripples caused by this monumental change are far reaching. Add in the fact that often this type of credit card isn’t just for fuel purchases, and the impact is even larger. Sometimes they aren’t even limited to purchases at gas stations. In addition to fuel purchases, many fuel cards can be used to pay for fleet maintenance, car washes, and even snacks at gas stations.
What Can You Do?
The big question, if you fall into the rather large category of those needing to access business credit fleet fuel cards that do not have the best consumer credit, is what now? Well, now is the time to double down on both business credit and consumer credit.
Build Credit for Your Business
Building business credit is more important than ever. That’s because if you do have great company credit, your consumer credit may not weigh as heavily into the approval decision.
Business Credit Can Help With More Than Approval
Beyond that, it can affect the terms, limits, and rates you receive. A consumer credit score that is just okay along with a great company credit score is going to do a lot better than two just okay scores. This is true with most any credit card for businesses, not just fleet fuel cards.
Business Credit Still Matters
Whatever you do, do not let business credit go by the wayside simply because consumer credit is now going to come into play when you apply for a WEX fuel card.
The stronger it is, the more likely you are to get approval for WEX fleet fuel cards, and any other credit card for your business for that matter, even if your personal credit is lower than those who make approval decisions would like.
Still, it may be harder to get fleet fuel cards initially, before you have established business credit, if your consumer credit does not meet the WEX requirements for a personal guarantee.
WEX is Still Useful for Building Credit For Your Business
It’s important to note that WEX is still one of the few credit card providers for businesses that report to the business credit bureaus.
That means their fleet fuel cards are still useful not just for managing cash flow and expenses, but also for building business credit.
You just have to be more aware of your personal credit and ensure your company credit is as strong as possible before you apply for a fuel card from them.
Can You Still Access Business Gas Cards?
Yes! There are still options for Business Fuel Credit Cards without a personal guarantee, it may just require a little additional work to get there. You need to build business credit in the fastest, most effective way possible. That’s where Credit Suite can help.
Not only can we help you build your credit for your business, but we can also help you find the best business credit cards and accounts for your specific needs.