Coast Fuel Card Review: An Honest Customer Review

Dauphin Ewart is the president and owner of Austin-based pest control company, The Bug Master, which operates 80+ trucks across multiple locations in Texas. Here's his review of the Coast Visa fuel card.

March 7, 2024

3 Min Read

The Bug Master is a family business, launched by my father in 1981 with a single VW Bug (get it?). Now, we operate 80+ vehicles servicing geographies ranging from San Marcos to Waco. We’re one of the largest independent pest control companies in the state, and recognized as being among the top 100 in the nation.

We needed to switch fuel cards: fuel fraud, messy data, and lack of customer service. I switched to the Coast card about a year and a half ago, and it’s been a great experience. 

There are some quirks with using Coast, but at the end of the day, it’s a newer product and the team has been really responsive and makes updates based on customer feedback. It’s still miles ahead of our previous card, which left us susceptible to card misuse and fraud, had poor data quality, and nearly nonexistent customer service.

Overall I’d recommend the card: it’s easy to manage your cards, see transactions in real time, and attribute fuel usage data to the correct vehicle and driver. Here’s a full rundown of my pros and cons using the Coast card.


Better at stopping fuel theft and misuse

Coast cards come with a chip by default, which is much more secure and helps prevent skimming right off the bat. Drivers unlock the cards by texting a number with their vehicle license plate and odometer reading. This makes the cards much more secure than traditional fuel cards that have PINs, which can be shared, and it ties the purchase back to that particular driver and vehicle automatically.

Quality of fuel usage data

It’s very important to have a high level of confidence that your fuel purchases are going to be associated with the appropriate vehicle and it’s very easy to pull that off due to the driver texting process. With Coast, it’s no longer an issue if cards end up in different vehicles, because the system is set up to match up the card with the correct user and vehicle.

Fleetio Integration

We use Fleetio as the “source of truth” for our fleet: we’ve got one place with really good data that tells us what we need to know so we can make the decisions that we need to make regarding the fleet. What Coast brings to the table is the data accuracy and knowing that the information that’s going into Fleetio is correct. It’s accurate. It’s usable, you can trust it.


Occasionally difficult to interpret alerts

When you’re looking at a flagged transaction in Coast as a one-off incident, it can be hard to tell if the behavior is unusual. It’d be helpful to see them as part of a trend so we can better manage the exception in the moment.

Next steps after transaction decline occasionally unclear

When a transaction is declined, the text message to the driver could be clearer on what action is needed next. With clearer next steps, the driver would be empowered to take care of the issue on their own, rather than having to contact an administrator on our side.

Integration data could be richer

The Coast data going into Fleetio is pretty bare bones – it serves our basic needs for fleet insights, but the transaction data could potentially be enriched with the vendor name and station location.

As a leading pest control company, we want to ensure our time is spent serving customers and growing our business, not worrying about every aspect of our fuel card program. If you’re in the same boat, I’d recommend giving Coast a try.

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