Are you paying more for gas than you think?
Some gas stations advertise prices based on a cash discount. But that's not always clear to credit card users. Pay attention and don't get surprised at the pump.
This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.
The difference is usually about 5 to 10 cents a gallon, but a Long Island, N.Y., gas station recently displayed a price reflecting a cash discount of 70 cents, Consumer Reports says. Last year a $1 difference was spotted at several Long Island gas stations, according to Newsday. Even if you buy just a few gallons, that could add up fast.
This gets tricky for consumers. Most consumers (65%) choose to visit a gas station based on the display price, a National Association of Convenience Stores study finds. So what if you fill up and then find out you're being charged the higher, credit card price?
Almost half of consumers (46%) in the study strongly agreed with the statement, "I would pay with cash to save 5 cents per gallon."
Want other ways to save on gas? CR has a few tips:
- Don't rely too much on website prices. They generally don't indicate whether prices are for cash or credit.
- Do some math. If you have a card that gets cash-back rewards on gas, the station's cash discount may not be worth it. "At 5% back on $4 gasoline, the rebate translates to 20 cents a gallon. If a station's credit price is 10 cents higher than for cash (or $4.10 a gallon), using your card -- after taking into account the rebate -- would leave you paying a hair under $3.90 a gallon, compared to $4 a gallon with cash," CR says.
- Check debit card prices. Some stations have a separate discount for debit card users, but they're generally charged the credit card price.
Have you found a gas station charging more than you expected?
More on Money Talks News:
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