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Old 03-30-2018, 02:09 PM   #1
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Frustrated buying gas in US

We just got back from 6 weeks touring with our gas Class A in NM, AZ, UT and points on the way south and back to SK. We also travel routinely in the US with a car as well.
I get really frustrated trying to buy gas in most places particularly with the motorhome.
Firstly it’s clumsy to get in and out of most gas stations so we try to select places where there’s more room to manoeuvre. I realize it’s not the stations fault that our rig with toad is pretty clumsy.
My real frustration comes from paying for gas. Almost all stations require that you pay in advance and I understand that has become a requirement, but they typically have no acceptable way to pay in advance. If you use a credit or cash card most stations don’t have chip reader so it’s common for your card not to be readable and then they require you enter your zip code, which of course living in Canada we don’t have. Some will accept five zeroes but most won’t. So then you have to go inside and stand in line to see a cashier, who is able to accept a payment, but usually requires a specific $ amount. The option to just fill er up is usually not offered.
In some cases, if the pump does accept your card with no, or a made up, zip code then you think “great” and start pumping only to have it shut off at $75 or 100, when you actually want to buy well over that.
In many cases, we bought far less gas than we wanted to because of the station’s payment policy. It seems like they just don’t care if their policies make it inconvenient for us to buy gas.
There were a few places where we were able to just prepay at the pump and fill up. When this happened we typically bought $150+ in gas.
If i could find a brand of stations that would simply accept our payment cards I would buy all of our gas at the same brand.
We did find that ARCO doesn’t accept credit cards for gas and they charge a fee to use a cash card so we avoided them, but I never found a brand that routinely made it easy.
Rant done.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:19 PM   #2
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I searched the internet for “buy gas in usa with canadian credit card.” The first dozen or so results echoed your experience. Then I began to see “USA credit cards for Canadians” entries. Here is one: https://www.rbcbank.com/cross-border...dit-cards.html

Maybe this is worth the effort.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:26 PM   #3
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Credit card companies are the ones that 'impose' spending limits..NOT the fuel stations.
They would like you to spend 100s of dollars

Pay at pump readers are set up to try and stop 'thieves' from using them ......hence the need for SOME kind of information. IE: Pin Number/Zip Code etc


How well do you do maneuvering in campgrounds?
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:38 PM   #4
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I thought I had a valid complaint. Guess I should feel lucky. The $ limit is an opt or opt out choice the stations have to make or be responsible for fraudulent charges. You would think that with technology the way it is that there would be a better way. I mean to have a CC limit of $20K but only able to buy $125 in fuel at one time is a bit crazy. I always have to make two transactions and sometimes on two different cards. Good luck and thank you for traveling in the US.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:38 PM   #5
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Canada has rules and laws I don't like, but If I want to visit there I have to change to accomodate them. The opposite is also true.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:44 PM   #6
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:50 PM   #7
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Quickly found this... https://youtu.be/qxANmkJCOns

https://www.mastercard.ca/en-ca/cons...y-at-pump.html

You might try to see if it works. Also, many stations have a intercom button to speak to an attendant, or you can go inside, and just say you want to pay with a CC inside and ask them to please start the pump.
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Canada has rules and laws I don't like, but If I want to visit there I have to change to accomodate them. The opposite is also true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennis45 View Post
When in Rome, do as the Romans do or, Don't go to Rome.
I agree with the others, just blend in.
As far as the limits, I always try to refill at 1/2 tank. At current gas prices and the size of my tank, I can fill up for under $100.
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:29 PM   #9
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The issue about using credit cards from Canada when the gas pumps ask for a zip code has been discussed for a long time.

A number of years ago it was announced the way to get past the zip code issue as follows.....

Every Canadian postal address has a postal code (instead of zip code) that uses a format of “letter number letter number letter number”.

The solution was to use the three numbers in your postal code and add two zeros at the end. This way you provide the required five digits in a zip code.

Every Canadian entry will therefore end up being XXX00 for a zip code at the pump. There was never a true zip code which ended in 00.

We’ve been using it for years.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Credit card companies are the ones that 'impose' spending limits..NOT the fuel stations.
They would like you to spend 100s of dollars

Pay at pump readers are set up to try and stop 'thieves' from using them ......hence the need for SOME kind of information. IE: Pin Number/Zip Code etc


How well do you do maneuvering in campgrounds?
I have only one credit card. I can buy unlimited at some stations, $100.00 at some and $75.00 at others. How can it be that the card company sets different rules? It must be the oil company that sets the limits.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:42 PM   #11
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Well, allrighty then. But how'd you like the lower prices?

Seriously, we were in Canada last fall, and I do like the way their pumps work better. I could put in the card, select an amount to pre-approve and fill the tank. I'm hoping the US will get the system soon.

I hope you enjoyed your stay otherwise.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:46 PM   #12
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Canada has rules and laws I don't like, but If I want to visit there I have to change to accomodate them. The opposite is also true.
Agreed and wish our government would adopt that policy and stop bending over backwards to appease others.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
I have only one credit card. I can buy unlimited at some stations, $100.00 at some and $75.00 at others. How can it be that the card company sets different rules? It must be the oil company that sets the limits.
Our bank told me that the limits are set by the card issuer, depending on the location where the charge is made. Apparently, the level of fraud activity is not uniform across state lines.

On the original topic, we experienced similar problems as the OP when we used our US-issued Visa in Canada. The card was magnetic-stripe (only) and not chipped. We had to go inside each time and then sign for the purchase afterwards. Maybe now that we have chip cards things will work more smoothly on our next visit to the Canadian Maritimes. We found the folks there very nice.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:59 PM   #14
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I have tried and been successful at using the numbers from our postal code and adding two zeros at the end.

Other option is to go to the clerk and give her a big number for fuel. She will get authorization for that amount but when you shut the pump off the number on the pump is what is charged. I was nervous and continue to be so I go back in and ask for a receipt. Have never been overcharged.

This is a problem for your bank. We have an American account with an American credit card issued by RBC. We have an address with a zip code for billing (bills come electronically) but our home address is in Canada.
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