Save Big with an EFS Fuel Card for RV Travel

 Save Big with an EFS Fuel Card for RV Travel

An EFS fuel card for RV travel can save you big every time you fuel up! Here is what we learned about it.

If you travel in your RV as much as we do, you must get a headache every time you see your bill. We spend a lot on fuel.

Over the years, I even had the thought, “As much as we travel, surely there must be a way to get a discount on all this diesel we buy?”

It never felt fair that people who fly a lot get to have a frequent flyer member program. What is there for us RV folks that reward us for our frequent traveling?

Then I heard about the EFS fuel card, what it can do, and what it can’t do. Here is what we learned about it.

What is the EFS Fuel Card?

At its most basic, the EFS Fuel Card is a debit card that is exclusively used for buying and saving on diesel fuel.

Originally created for use by truckers regularly hauling freight from coast to coast, the EFS Fuel Card is actually pretty handy for RVers too.

The company wants as many customers as possible. This way, they can negotiate the best prices for all their customers, including the bulk-freight truck drivers who use it the most.

Important To Know

The EFS Fuel Card for RV travel only works for diesel fuel, not gasoline. So if your vehicle takes gas, this card isn’t for you, unfortunately.

It operates like a debit card since the company links to your bank account. Each time you pump, it deducts the amount directly from that account.

So you need money already in that account in order to use it. Unlike a credit card, you can’t spend money you don’t have with the promise to pay it back later.

Many find that very convenient. With a debit card, you don’t have to deal with monthly bills to pay on time or incur a fee or get saddled with fluctuating interest rates.

Credit card companies often boast a program where you earn points the more you spend. This card does not have this, but features something even better. Major savings.

The Big Advantage To Having an EFS Fuel Card for RV Travel

The main advantage is the savings you can get on every gallon you pump.

Saving any amount per gallon certainly adds up and helps your overall budget. Some of the larger RVs typically need to pump 75 gallons at a time or more!

So if you use diesel fuel, your savings can be astronomical if you’re fueling up a lot. There is a daily limit of 950 gallons a day, though I can’t imagine that being a problem for anyone I know!

The cool thing is that you’re accessing the same discount that these large freight companies receive. So no matter your vehicle’s size, you’re paying the same discounted rate on diesel as a big rig.

There’s also the convenience factor. You can use the EFS Fuel Card at 16,000 truck stop centers, including big names like Love’s and Petro.

The card even works in Canada, though the discounts are bigger in the US. The card we suggest below though, TSD, requires a US Bank Account with US Currency. 

How It Works

Save Big with an EFS Fuel Card for RV Travel 1

 

The card advertises saving on average 30-40 cents per gallon.

But from you can earn an even bigger discount if you use the card’s smartphone app. It’s called EFS Card Control app.

This is how it works. The app shows participating locations on a map along with how much it costs per gallon at that moment.

Looking at the app, it seems really easy to identify which stations have the most affordable rates. The best prices are color-coded, so you can’t miss them. This helps because there can be more than a few options where you’re driving.

Sometimes to get that best discount, you may have to drive a tad out of your way. But it sounds pretty worth that minor inconvenience if you can save $50 on your bill.

Once you choose which station to visit from the app, you pull into a pump in the truck lane.

Don’t go into the passenger lane to pump. You must use your card in the commercial lane, or you won’t receive the discount.

Then at the pump, insert your card to charge. It will ask you what type of vehicle you’re driving, and you would select “Tractor.” RV isn’t typically a listed option.

This menu even offers cash advances up to $200, much like when you’re at a grocery store and can get cash back when you use your debit card to pay.

You then pump your diesel normally. Keep in mind that the price on the pump is the non-discounted, full rate, but don’t worry.

You will see the amount you actually paid later. Check your app or see the amount deducted from your bank account to see the actual amount you paid with savings.

It’s also worth noting that a way the card company makes money is by charging a 10% fee on your savings. So, if you’re saving 50 cents a gallon, you’re actually saving 45 cents because the company takes that as its fee.

Also, some stations charge a 65-cent flat fee to use the EFS Fuel Card. Since that is a one-time charge on the whole bill of a couple of hundred dollars, that seems pretty negligible to me.

How To Apply for an EFS Fuel Card

If you live life on the open road, this card probably sounds very interesting to you. If you want to apply, here is what you need to know.

There isn’t just one company making an EFS fuel card for RV travel. But the one we hear about the most is the TDS Logistics one. 

It might be worth checking other companies for their features, though, since they may change by the time you look.

For applying, it’s pretty basic and easy. Allow around a month for the company to process your application.

There isn’t a credit check, but they do ask for your social security number. This is only to ensure they can collect the money on the fuel you pump in case you overdraw your bank account.

Do You Use an EFS Fuel Card for RV Travel?

Please share your experience in the comments below if you use an EFS Fuel Card for RV travel? How do you like it? How much money has it saved you?

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Save Big with an EFS Fuel Card for RV Travel

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

8 Comments

  • I have the TCS card thru FMCA. I found that the savings are illusionary. The stations that give a discount have the highest prices and that GASBUDDYS APP finds lower prices. Also the.stations that participate are few and often way off my path.

  • When I mistakenly in the past pulled into the truck lane, the pump’s spout is too big and does not work on our Wonder. We use the car lane for diesel.

  • Hi Mike! I just got my TSD card last week. I think a major benefit is to be able to not only use the truck lanes, but also pay at the pump. Without this card, from what I hear, you have to go inside to pay with regular debit or credit cards. The faster I can fuel up and get out of the way of the semi’s the better!

  • My concern about getting into the “truck line” is that we would encounter gas pump hose nozzles that are too big to fit in our gas tank opening. We’ve run into this several times already… even though we have not been using the card…

  • I use the TSD Logistics card and find it very rewarding. I use it exclusively at TA/Petro/TA Express Travel Centers. I receive a greater discount at those fuel centers than at any Gas Buddy, other truck stop, or discount fuel location. Yes Fritz, truck centers have higher advertised diesel prices than GasBuddy discounts. I monitor my mpg, fuel range, and TA/Petro locations. Then, I plan my fuel stops ahead so I am able to utilize the greater discounts more effectively. When I am further away from Interstates and TA/Petro locations, then I use the GasBuddy card. But, Gas Buddy limits me to $75.00 in purchases a day and usually only a five-cents per gallon discount. I find this not very rewarding. I will pay about $2.42 per gallon at my next fuel stop in a day or two.

    I find truck stop fuel centers are more spacious and much easier to maneuver through while towing my fifth-wheel. Also, I can add DEF at the pump and do not need to carry around a DEF container. Which I have been told can go bad if not use soon after opening. I like that I can weigh my rig at Cat Scales and wash the my at Blue Beacon Truck Washes. Thank goodness I have not had to use any but, repair centers and mechanics are at each stop, too.

  • We have used the EFS card for several years to fill our diesel coach and have saved hundreds of dollars. We average 30 to 40 per fill up. We do keep a separate account at our bank just for fuel. It is not attached to our main account. This helps us to track easier, provides some security, and is free.

  • We use our card all the time while traveling and even at our local TA just to fill up the truck. It’s been a great savings for sure. We have never encountered any issues using the truck lanes to fill up either. We found this card to be most beneficial!

  • […] course, there are ways to cut these costs down. You can research the difference in fuel costs by state and plan ahead for when to stop, such as in […]

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