Some gas stations are charging extra if you pay with a credit card

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I gassed up today at what used to be a Unocal. It is now an independent station.

The gas was 9 cents per gallon more for those paying with a credit card. It is automatically added at the pump if people swipe a credit card.

Cash and debit were 9 cents less.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
As if prices weren't bad enough.
 
  • #3
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They have done that for years here. They half to pay a fee to the credit card company.
 
  • #4
Per gallon though is rather odd. One of the stations I go to charges a fee for using a card but only a per transaction fee.
 
  • #5
Borek
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No idea about US, but in Poland credit card transaction cost is in the 2% range, paid by the seller. Sellers have to sign that they will not add any surcharge to those paying by CC. As in some highly competitive markets (like computer hardware) 2% is a difference between gain and loss, sellers changed their policy - and they give 2% discount to anyone paying with cash :smile:

Borek
 
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  • #6
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I'm sorry to hear that. Things are much better here in NJ. Rather than charging more, some stations have started charging 7 cents less per gallon if we pay cash instead of credit card.
 
  • #7
Borek
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So it is exactly the same - you can be sure they moved price $.07 up first, to change point of reference (should I write "frame" to be more PF?). $.07 discount for cash sounds much better then $.07 surcharge for credit card - but they get exactly the same amount of money for the same amount of gas.
 
  • #8
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So it is exactly the same - you can be sure they moved price $.07 up first, to change point of reference (should I write "frame" to be more PF?). $.07 discount for cash sounds much better then $.07 surcharge for credit card - but they get exactly the same amount of money for the same amount of gas.
That is precisely what they did. The indies used to charge about ten cents less than the large chains. Now the "cash" price is still about ten cents less, and the "credit card" price is seven cents more than that, still cheaper than the chains. I pay cash now and as you might expect, the attendants don't like it. Probably the owners don't like it either. I complained in a previous thread that the signs in my area had become deceptive, but I no longer feel that way. Just about all the stations engage in the exact same deception, so it no longer matters.
 
  • #9
Evo
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This is how it has been as long as I can remember. If, you pay cash, the price is several cents cheaper than if you pay with a card.
 
  • #10
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This is how it has been as long as I can remember. If, you pay cash, the price is several cents cheaper than if you pay with a card.
Here in the People's Republic there has been a kind of war going on for the hearts and minds of the gas guzzling population. Some stations have kept to the old style signboard with prices for regular, plus, and premium. When others started posting cash, credit, and premium (cash and credit in small print of course), then the old style contingent started displaying 'cash same as credit' signs. Now, most stations have new style signboards. Before about 1 year ago, I can't remember any station mentioning cash or credit at all on their signs. There was one incident, a few years ago when the attendant refused to accept a card for $5 dollars worth and I paid cash, but I got no discount for it.
 
  • #11
Evo
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Here in the People's Republic
Heh, is that the People's Republic of New Jersey? :biggrin:
 
  • #12
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Heh, is that the People's Republic of New Jersey? :biggrin:
The People's Democratic Republic of Northern South Jersey. We seceded from NJ long ago. Did you get the memo?
 
  • #13
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This is how it has been as long as I can remember. If, you pay cash, the price is several cents cheaper than if you pay with a card.
Not everywhere, and it was usually when a person paid on the inside with a credit card and a transaction fee was added to the total.

The local station has the two different amounts show up on the pump and on the receipt. Cash or debit card get the lower price. I seldom go inside to pay. edit: Retail in general does not charge a credit transaction fee, and for the most part never has.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/05/14/news/economy/credit_cards_gasoline/index.htm?section=money_latest
 
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  • #14
Moonbear
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We don't have different prices here for cash vs credit, and I haven't seen anything like that in more than a decade. Actually, I'm pretty sure that price difference only lasted about a year after gas stations started accepting credit cards (because nobody was going to use their credit card if it cost more). Hardly anyone pays cash here because it's such a hassle to have to go inside to prepay cash trying to guess how much gas you'll need, then go back inside again to get your change after you finish pumping. Much easier to swipe a credit or debit card right at the pump. But, if they start charging different prices, I'm sure there'll be a line inside to pay cash. It might even lose them money if it slows down the process enough for there to be a line growing at the station...I hate waiting in lines and if a station looks full, I just go on to the next one.
 
  • #15
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I thought I had heard somewhere that the agreement signed by the business from the card companies prohibited them from charging an extra fee for credit card customers. Places like gas stations got around this by giving a discount for cash purchases.

My girlfriend relayed a good one to me the other night: she pulled into a gas station advertising a price of like $3.35 on their sign. This was in Phoenix, where the average price was around $3.50 or so. Turns out that's the price if you purchase a full-service car wash along with the gas. But you don't know that until you're in the lot and pulled up to the pump...and have had a discussion with the attendant about why the price on the sign is different from that on the pump. Bet they're getting a lot of business from people who pull in for the low price and stay because it's still not going to save them anything going next door.
 
  • #16
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Hardly anyone pays cash here because it's such a hassle to have to go inside to prepay cash trying to guess how much gas you'll need, then go back inside again to get your change after you finish pumping.
Here in the People's Republic, we are not allowed to pump our own, so this is not an issue. It's supposed to be for our safety. There is new legislation under consideration that would prohibit gas stations within 100 yards of a public road.
 
  • #17
Moonbear
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Here in the People's Republic, we are not allowed to pump our own, so this is not an issue. It's supposed to be for our safety. There is new legislation under consideration that would prohibit gas stations within 100 yards of a public road.
Nope, in your case, it just means the attendants are all carrying around huge wads of cash again, so hold-ups at gas stations will start up again. I'll remember to bring cash when I head to the PRSJ (meh, I usually fill up at a WaWa anyway, so will just tell the attendant to wait while I use the free ATM inside :rofl:...are they still free at WaWa?)
 
  • #18
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Nope, in your case, it just means the attendants are all carrying around huge wads of cash again, so hold-ups at gas stations will start up again.
It's no joke. Just recently the station I usually use was robbed and the attendant murdered. But that was before, not after they changed to a lower price for cash purchases.

Edit: It looks like they just found a couple of suspects today: http://www.kyw1060.com/pages/2201812.php?contentType=4&contentId=2063290" [Broken]
 
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  • #19
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That's actually common here. Many gas stations pay fees when you charge stuff, which is why if you pay cash it's cheaper.

They don't usually advertise this on their signs though, but if the place does it, it's usually noted on the pump itself (in small letters too). They usually want to get the most cash out of you especially during this gas dilemma.
 
  • #20
Evo
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Retail in general does not charge a credit transaction fee, and for the most part never has.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/05/14/news/economy/credit_cards_gasoline/index.htm?section=money_latest
No, they pass it along in hidden increased costs to the consumer. This is why not all places take all kinds of credit cards, the credit card companies charge the retailers fees for their services. Some card companies charge more than others. This is also why some small stores require a minimum purchase for credit card sales.

Bottom line, you pay the credit card company fees whether you know it or not, gas stores are just more honest about it and show it up front instead of just marking everything up to cover the cost.
 
  • #21
Borek
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Bottom line, you pay the credit card company fees whether you know it or not, gas stores are just more honest about it and show it up front instead of just marking everything up to cover the cost.
It has nothing to do with honesty. If a retail margin is close to the credit company fee (say both at 2%) seller have no choice, but to charge CC fee to customer this or other way - and I suppose that's the situation. Retail margins in stores are usually much higher, so they can absorb the difference without much harm.
 
  • #22
Moonbear
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Bottom line, you pay the credit card company fees whether you know it or not, gas stores are just more honest about it and show it up front instead of just marking everything up to cover the cost.
It's not very honest if you don't find out until you're at the pump reading fine print, or until you activate the pump. In fact, I'd say it goes to the other extreme of being rather deceptive and illegal to charge something other than the advertised price. I have no problem with the general concept that credit cards cost them a transaction fee and only making credit card users pay the higher costs associated with that, but then they should put it on large signs with the two prices clearly marked "Cash: $... Credit: $..."

A lot of stations around here don't accept American Express, because they charge higher fees than a lot of other credit cards (actually, a lot of businesses in general don't accept that card...they lose too much and it's better for them to just refuse that card than to raise prices for everyone).
 
  • #23
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I heard a good one on our 'local' news about our 'local' government--it's probably the same other places:

Our city initiated the ability to 'pay' electronically for parking fines, utilities, etc. As a way to pay it should reduce the work load, expenses, etc. --help lower costs, and/or help keep taxes lower, right? Well, they also added a 'convenience' fee on top of that (I think about $1.75 or 2.00) for those people 'using' that service, who find it 'easier' and more 'convenient' than having to write out a check and use a stamp.
 

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