Monthly Archives: July 2009

Credit card users getting charged more at the pump

I was driving down the street yesterday looking for a gas station when I ended up on a corner with three different gas stations. I scanned the prices ot find the best deal and noticed one of the signs had two different prices for regular gasoline. The gas station was charging $2.39 a gallon for regular unleaded if you pay in cash and $2.49 a gallon if you pay with a credit or debit card. It wasn’t like that last week when I filled up but maybe it was and I just didn’t notice it after I’d already swiped my card and filled up. It made me wonder how long they could have been doing that and not have been caught.

The price of oil is uncertain enough. I do not think I should be charged an extra $0.10, and in some areas up to $0.50, more a gallon for wanting to use my convenient little debit card to purchase gas. It seems excessive and carrying cash around isn’t always that convenient.

Visa offered up official policy pertaining to the legality of the issue:

You may have noticed that gas stations are starting to offer a different, higher price for credit cards. This isn’t technically allowed- unless it is marketed as a “cash discount.” In other words, if you fill up your car and find that you’ve been charged more than advertised because you paid with a credit card – that’s not allowed. If, however, you decide to pay with cash because you saw an advertised “cash discount” to the “regular price” – that’s ok. A subtle distinction, but an important one.

According to the statement, gas stations owners can actually get away with it. Do you think that charging more for gas purchased on a credit or debit card is a good idea or do you believe that it’s pure greediness of the gas station owners.