I have a friend who just started driving a semi truck. He says that
if you use a credit card for fuel, you pay 6 cents on the dollar more.
Is this true?
A little Googling shows there are fleet cards. I hope that is what he
is talking about. I didn't find where a standard credit card cost any
more at the pump.
Wouldn't they have to change pumps to pump less fuel for credit
purchases? The price per gallon is posted on the pumps.
It would either have to be that or charge you more than you pumped on
your credit card statement.
Your friend has seen things which you haven't. If the price is different for
credit than for cash, there'll be a sign somewhere. If you pay with a credit
card at the pump, it'll be a higher price. If you pay with cash, they'll
push a button before pumping begins and the price at the pump will be
displayed differently. Of the 5-6 brands I can buy around here (Rochester
NY), I see just two whose pricing varies this way.
Umm, no. Doesn't work that way. If you pay at the pump ( can only do
that with cards ) you pay the "posted" price. Cash customers have to
schlep into the store to pay, have to pay first, and since they are
paying cash, the discount is taken directly at the pump, which is
controlled by the drone at the counter. Also, it violates all credit
card merchant agreements to charge more for credit transactions than
cash. However, you can give a cash discount without violating that
That's what I always thought up until a few months ago.
On a road trip. Big sign on street was one price. On top of the pump was
the credit price. I paid with Discover and figured I'd put the f's to
them when I got back. Emailed Discover with the story.
Reply was as long as they don't charge more for use of Discover's CC than
other CC's it was allowed. Again, this is ONLY Discover's policy. It is
possible at the same station another card may have a different policy.
Depends on what the merchant agrees to for EACH card provider.
The main deal breaker for the merchant is the credit card agreement they
are in. Many exclude any sort of cash discount since that would cut into
their revenue stream. It costs more to process a CC transaction (actual
costs from a very sharp organization) and why should every customer need
to help out banks and pay for someone else's rewards?
Some merchants seem to be getting out from under the banks and now
clearly post cash and credit prices but it isn't that common in my
region. Previously if a merchant wanted to offer a cash discount they
opened a separate gas station and did cash only transactions.
The card I use for gas I pay $0.02 a liter (darn close to a dime per
gallon) less when I buy gas at their station using their card.
Needless to say, all my gas goes on the card and I plan my refueling
to be able to buy from their station.
If I bought everything using their card I could get up to $0.10 a
liter (darn close to half a buck per gallon) off - but I don't buy a
LOT of gas, so for other than gas purchases I have another card that
makes more sense (and more cents)
Not for the pretty common electronic displays on pumps. I can't remember
the last time I saw any sort of mechanical register and preset price on
a gas station pump.
There is a truck stop a few exits away on the Interstate that has a
large electronic sign right by the Interstate that displays three prices:
regular gas $x.xx
diesel cash $x.xx
diesel credit $x.xx
I have always understood that it is a violation of the merchant's
agreement with the card issuer (at least with MC and Visa) to add a
surcharge for using a card. OTOH, it seems not to be a violation of that
agreement to give a discount for cash.
I don't think I've been charged more for using a card to buy gasoline in
the last 20 years -- nor even been offered a discount for cash. For the
last several years we've been buying gas at our regional supermarket
chain's stations, where we get 5c/gal. *off* for using their card.
That all changed this week when a federal court allowed merchants to charge
different amounts even for different cards! For example, not all Visa cards
are the same. Those with magnificent rewards programs charge the merchant
Now the merchant will be allowed to charge differently not only on cash vs
card, but card vs card.
Good. Maybe the merchants will get pissed off enough to stop taking
plastic, and the rest of us won't have to wait in line behind people
charging a five-dollar breakfast. IMHO, for in-person sales, CC should
have at least a 20-buck minimum.
Bleah. Wake up and smell the 90s. As a merchant, I say, bring on
credit cards. Cash is fine, for in-person sales, of which I get about
4 per year, but credit cards rule. Checks can bounce, and nearly
always do, but you can run the credit card charges before you mail the
stuff, so since you haven't let the merchandise go yet, you don't get
ripped off. Credit cards rule, even with the fees. I don't even start
the order (custom made stuff) until the credit card clears. You're
either unemployed or crazy.
You do realize other folks may not be sitting home and selling stuff on
ebay or whatever it is you do and have a completely different business
model than yours (especially gas stations that are under discussion)? I
have never heard of a gas station mailing fuel to anyone or doing custom
And don't forget the 5% cash back you get for every purchase. Cash?
Yeah, not so much. I get about $750 a year simply for charging
everything on my Visa, and since I pay it off every month, it costs me
nada. And I make less than $10k per year. That $750 is a significant
source of income. Ok, so I only get that much back because my HUGE
business expenses and ALL personal expenses are on that card, but
still. Not exactly rocket science. Cash? Only losers use it.
Most stores in Australia had a $10 minimum for plastic 30 years ago.
Our local Lowe's for long time had crappy card readers in which every
one of my cards had to be swiped many times before it was read
successfully (no such trouble at other stores), so that held things up;
but it's checks that I'm waiting for merchants to stop accepting:
payment by check takes for ever, and stores seem no longer to have those
check-printing cash registers that printed store name, date and amount,
leaving the customer with nothing to do but sign.
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