by Victor Lopez
It's quick and convenient, using your credit card when you fill up. But if you're not careful, that luxury could end up costing you more.
Who doesn't want to save a little time, effort and money when they're pumping gas? But, buyer beware, especially if you choose plastic over paper.
The next time you swipe your card and pump your gas, make sure you know exactly what you're paying.
Some experts call it "the old bait and switch" and many gas stations are doing it.
They advertise a particular price to hook you, only to find out you've paid more, just for using your credit card. Sometimes you can pay as much as ten cents more per gallon. Sadly, most people don't even realize it until it's too late.
One customer we spoke to said, "I would rather they didn't but if they do, I'll just pay cash. It happens in a lot of places. If you go into a furniture store or any place else, they're still using a credit card, they're probably paying 3% more. You can, a lot of times, get better deals for cash instead of a credit card. I always ask for it. But at a pump, I'll just pay the difference from cash."
Some gas stations charge the different prices to lure you inside to pay the lower cash price, hoping you will buy something else while you're there.
Here in the Basin, the cash to credit difference seems to be affecting diesel customers, rather than regular gasoline.
We caught up with one man, just after he filled up his truck with diesel. He said, "$102.00 and I already put in 30 earlier today. It's misleading a little bit. You have to watch what you're doing. We all know what we're paying. You push that little button, with the kind of money it's costing, you look and see what it says."
You may ask, why the difference between cash and credit? The answer is simple. It's the gas station's way of making up the difference from the hefty fees they have to pay credit card companies for accepting their cards.
Next time you pay at the pump, watch the display and be aware, if the price changes after you swipe your card. If that happens, don't be afraid to go inside and ask the cashier if credit cards pay more than cash. Also always be sure to check your receipts.