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Old 05-29-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
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Fuel, Cash or Credit Card?

I'm not trying to be nosey but recently we have been cut off while buying diesel at $225.00. It is aggravating to say the least and the people at the fuel line behind us think we're idiots I suppose. I realize we can pay in cash and sometimes we do. I don't like entering a fuel stop with $500.00 in cash to get the pump started and when finished and then having to back in and stand in line again to receive change and receipt. I have a Pilot/Flying J card and still have to go inside to get the %$(# pump started. What am I missing? One night the pump cut off at $75.00 5 times! Tell me I am doing something wrong and school me the right way. Thanks
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:50 PM   #2
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I always use a credit card. Various locations stop the pump at different levels. Been anywhere from $75 to $125. Go figure. All I do is restart the pump right at the pump location. We always use the Flying J and as far as the locations we have visited have never had to go inside to have the pump activated. To get a receipt yes but not for activation. When you ask about the limitaions you get different answers. Some say the stations put on the limitations and other say it's the card that limits the purchase. I don't know who to believe when it comes to the answer of that question.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
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Recently we attempted to fuel at the Flying J in Ontario, OR. I ran my FJ Frequent Fueler card and then my credit card and the pump told me to go see the cashier. When I went inside the cashier asked how much fuel I wanted. I told her it was a fill up and I couldn't put an exact amount on it. She told me she needed an exact figure. Rather than argue with her, I just told her to give me back the cards and I would go up the road. I went up the road a couple of miles to Love's and bought fuel for the same price without any kind of a hassle at all. Some people just don't get it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:58 PM   #4
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As a station owner explained it to me, the CC companies automatically shut the pumps off at a pre-determined sale amount. Each time you swipe your card another transaction fee is charged to the station. This is why many gas stations charge extra for CC vs. cash at the pump.

The only way around this is to have the station operator turn the pump on for you before you fill, or start the CC process all over again when the max pump amount is reached.

I don't like to carry large amounts of cash so I have restarted the pump multiple times with my CC to fill the tank.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
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I don't buy that much at once, and just use my CC. I can see where it would be a hassle having to run it twice.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:09 PM   #6
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@ $4.00 a gal I get $0.12 a gal rebate with the AmEx card and at the right month $0.20 with Discover. Even if a surcharge for credit, I still come out ahead.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanabee FTer View Post
As a station owner explained it to me, the CC companies automatically shut the pumps off at a pre-determined sale amount.
I ain't buyin' this when I can go to 2 Shell stations less than 2 miles apart. One shuts off the diesel pump at $75.00; the other at $85.00. That cannot be a CC company limitation.

Aside from the convenience of paying at the pump with the CC, I use a rewards card that earns a bit as well. Besides, few stations I frequent offer cash discounts.

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Old 05-29-2012, 01:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanabee FTer View Post
As a station owner explained it to me, the CC companies automatically shut the pumps off at a pre-determined sale amount. Each time you swipe your card another transaction fee is charged to the station. This is why many gas stations charge extra for CC vs. cash at the pump.

The only way around this is to have the station operator turn the pump on for you before you fill, or start the CC process all over again when the max pump amount is reached.

I don't like to carry large amounts of cash so I have restarted the pump multiple times with my CC to fill the tank.
I believe that the transaction fee is percentage based therefore that explanation doesn't hold water (or fuel). Just the fact that so many fuel stops shut the CC purchase off at varying amounts shoot that station operator's explanation out of the water. He's just telling you what his local distributor has told him to tell his average customer. We are not average customers. Like it or not we are probably second only to his commercial customers in the amount of fuel that we purchase and consume.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:36 PM   #9
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According to this article, stations pay a swipe fee and a percentage fee

Credit card fees take a swipe at gas prices - WTOP.com

Quote:
Buy gas or any product with a credit card and banks dealing with Visa and Mastercard get a flat fee for the transaction, as well as a percentage of the sale.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 336muffin View Post
I'm not trying to be nosey but recently we have been cut off while buying diesel at $225.00. It is aggravating to say the least and the people at the fuel line behind us think we're idiots I suppose. I realize we can pay in cash and sometimes we do. I don't like entering a fuel stop with $500.00 in cash to get the pump started and when finished and then having to back in and stand in line again to receive change and receipt. I have a Pilot/Flying J card and still have to go inside to get the %$(# pump started. What am I missing? One night the pump cut off at $75.00 5 times! Tell me I am doing something wrong and school me the right way. Thanks
My local Shell and 7/11 statons will keep the pump running (no limit) if I take the credit card inside and then start the "fill-up". I guess they charge it as a purchase.
If you ask Flying J to do this you might loose your $.03 RVer discount plus you still have to go in twice. So, for me while I'm on the road I fill up when I think need $150 to $200 worth - I let it max out and cut off 2 times then I leave.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:33 PM   #11
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Personally speaking, my whole issue with fuel retailers charging one price for CREDIT and another for CASH is that they are the only type of retailer to do it on a consistant basis. Swipe fees are a Cost Of Doing Business just like any other service that the retailer is paying for. Employee wages, insurance, landscaping, snowplowing, etc. are all Costs Of Doing Business.

When you go to Walmart and buy a widget, pay for it with a credit card, and I am in line behind you with the same exact widget and pay cash, Walmart doesn't charge me any less just because I have cash. I pay the same price as you did with your credit card. The same goes for just about any other retail store.

In today's world no one pulls up to the pump anymore and asks the attendant (remember those days) for $1 or $5 worth. In today's economy a fill up will go to $50 or more depending on the size of your fuel tank. Not many people that I know are willing to walk around with that kind of cash in their pockets. Therefore it is a strong probability that the vast majority of fuel purchases are made with credit cards. The oil companies know this. They have seized upon an economic opportunity that they can take advantage of as long as consumers and consumer protection laws continue to work in their favor. How much profit do you think the fuel distributors and oil companies are making just from charging you a higher price for using your credit card. To answer this question you have to think about the reported profits of some of these oil companies. Those profits are beyond substantial, they are obscene.

Just my $.02, I'll put it on my credit card.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:33 PM   #12
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Hey.....just be thankful you're not Canadian! On of the "pumps"
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:36 PM   #13
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Whoops....darn iPhone. None of the US pumps will accept an out of country CC....so I have to walk into every station we stop at!
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Personally speaking, my whole issue with fuel retailers charging one price for CREDIT and another for CASH is that they are the only type of retailer to do it on a consistant basis.
Since I have had my own retail business (a while back) I tend to sympathize more with the station. Most gas stations are independently owned and operated and have thin profit margins per gallon of gas compared to other retail businesses.

Most stations have a 10 -15% markup on fuel, whereas other retail business may have a 50 to 100% mark up and would be better able to absorb the additional CC costs.

When a credit card transaction fee is 2.5% of the total sales amount, it cuts into the profitability and ability to have competitive pricing at the station. When fuel prices rise, the banks automatically get a raise!

Banks get their 2.5% (appx) no matter what the cost or mark up is per gallon.
They get paid on total dollars sold. The CC processing center then gets it's 25 cents (appx) per transaction fee. Processing centers are the ones that direct what charges go to which bank, Visa, MC, AMEX debit, they all need to be sorted out. What the heck... if banks get a raise every time fuel goes up, the processors deserve one too right?
That's why most pumps shut off at a pre-determined amount.

This is why most gas stations now have convenience stores built in. There is a huge mark up on convenience items that will supplement the stations profits. Since many people use credit cards it should offset the profits lost on the pumps. So far this logic seems to be working for truck stops, I have not seen cash pricing there yet.

Of course the cash discount pricing is catching on, so now you will find many stations profiting on gas and convenience items.
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