Higher Gas prices for Credit Purchases

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by b.c., Jul 10, 2008.

  1. b.c.

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    For those of you who aren't aware check this out. There is also a video about it on yahoo.com today. Trick is, some stations don't even display the higher charge you'll pay per gallon for a credit card purchase:

    Cash vs. Credit Card: Gas Stations Charging Different Prices - Consumerism Commentary: A Personal Finance Blog

    I remember back (perhaps too far back for many of you) when this was done before (during the last major spike in gas prices). This was before the electronic pumps that can automatically switch the price on its own.

    The way it worked was that some stations (mostly EXXON in my area), had a cash price and a credit price. The cash price was displayed on the sign, the credit price set on the pump. If you paid in cash they'd add the difference (in extra gas).

    Some stations had conversion charts to show you how much more you got for cash purchases, but too many didn't... and they almost always shorted you by several cents worth, regardless.

    Pennies to you, but to them, undoubtedly thousands of extra gallons per day. (From those memories alone I still tend to avoid Exxon service stations unless left no other choice).

    Nowadays, according to the report, the pumps at the stations that charge two different prices change automatically, probably without your notice if both prices aren't posted.

    The wonders of modern science, eh?
     
  2. Mem

    Mem
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    I've seen signs recently stating a cash price and a higher credit price. Many years ago both prices were shown at the pump. Then it fell out of favor and there was only one price. Now it looks like they are again charging higher for credit card purchases of gas.

    Kinda sucks. Here in NJ you don't have to pay ahead of time and you don't pump it yourself. When I travel to Florida I will have to make sure they charge the same price for credit.I hate having to go in and prepay, especially when I need to fill the tank and don't know how much I will need.
     
    #2 Mem, Jul 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  3. avg_joe

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    Yes, Cash price is cheaper because credit card processing companies like Visa and Master charge 3% for fees. Just blame on them.
     
    #3 avg_joe, Jul 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  4. Mem

    Mem
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    Not 20%, they charge the vendors usually less than 3%.
     
  5. avg_joe

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    Yes, 3%. :biggrin1:
     
  6. Deno

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    my brother has a business and he told me 5 percent and he usually tells the customer. He allready marks up all costs to cover it not add on a fee per just credit card users.

    I was wondering if the same goes for debit card usage. Is there the same fee charged to the business owner for debit card usage.
     
  7. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    Processing both debit and credit cards does cost companies a small fee, but it's typically a flat rate in correlation with their processing limit, if there is one. Very few companies will charge a service fee for using a credit or debit card, but it does happen. Most times, they'll just factor that monthly service fee into their budget when pricing their merchandise. Why these gas stations are charging extra for credit in particular, I don't know. But at the pump, I pay almost exclusively by debit, and I've yet to get hit with a markup.
     
  8. b.c.

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    bump...(for those who missed the heads up).
     
  9. slurper_la

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    the practice is illegal in California
     
  10. pronatalist

    pronatalist Active Member

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    Isn't it funny how they put in pay-at-the-pump credit card acceptors, conveniently before jacking up the prices? Must be mere coincidence. I smell a conspiracy, but probably not in that specific regard.
     
  11. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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    Isn't this illegal, if not contractually forbidden by the credit card companies?

    Can't put in a CC Surcharge because you'd be more likely to pay in cash instead of using a credit card?

    I'm actually curious cuz I remember few years ago reading the lil ads in the back of computer mags for laptops almost all would say X% creditcard surcharge.
     
  12. Mem

    Mem
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    When I was in California last year I stopped to get gas and was going to pay with a debit card. I got to a screen that said there would be a fee for paying with it, I had to accept to continue. Instead I paid with cash or credit card, I forget which.
     
  13. slurper_la

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    Yes; paying a "fee" for the use of a debit card, just as you do at any ATM, is not the same as a "surcharge" for the use of a credit card.

    A rose by any other name? Indeed!

    ARCO is the only company doing this (in California) by way of a third party processor and the matter is being looked at and argued against by the consumer union. Hopefully it will be banned.
     
  14. D_Juan_Grande

    D_Juan_Grande Account Disabled

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    Here in UK we are paying roughly $2.50 per litre of fuel. so if they tried to charge for credit card payment more people would leave car at home and get public transport. Tax on our fuel is at such a high level, people just can't afford to live in rip off Britain any more
     
  15. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    I thought so, too, but it's perfectly legal. Not recommended, but legal. What IS illegal though is requiring a minimum purchase in order to pay by credit card.
     
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