BP Points Out Their Gas Same Price Whether Cash Or Credit

Spotted this sign on a Brooklyn BP gas pump last night, taking pains to point out that they are charging customers the same price whether they use cash or credit. Interesting, because last year around this time we ran a few stories about gas stations who doing the opposite. The thing is, credit card companies charge merchants various transaction fees to process the cards. If retailers can’t assess those fees to the customers who actually incur them, the business has to raise prices on everything for everyone.

In New York, it’s illegal for retailers to levy credit card surcharges on customers. Making stores charging the same price sounds pro-consumer, but it actually leads to higher prices. Sometimes it really is best to let the market to find its own solution. Some stores already have. To get around legislation and merchant agreements barring charge credit card customers more, they instead give discounts to people paying cash.

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  1. TheTick says:

    There’s a Valero store two blocks down from me that has a discount for cash payments (and it really is 10 cents cheaper than the typical going rate, which is what CC users pay).

  2. benk1342 says:

    I thought I read (here) that the merchant agreements between the card companies and the merchants prohibit charging a credit card surcharge — but allow for a “cash discount.” So even if it is illegal in New York, I think you don’t see this very often elsewhere in the country because of the contracts between the merchants and the card issuers.

    • Ben King says:

      @benk1342: They’re all over Portland.

      • Scuba Steve says:

        @Ben King: True, but I think I’ve heard the credit card companies basically say “We won’t enforce that part of the agreement because we’d lose a large % of our business”

        Remember, the customers of the credit card companies are the merchants.

        • frank64 says:

          @Scuba Steve: It is in the rules, what happens is their are customers who love to call and complain and try to force Visa and Mastercard to enforce them. To them it is a huge outrage if there is a minimum or surcharge. I don’t think the surcharge happens as often, mostly the stores say $10 minimum.

          • nucwin83 says:

            @frank64: It is. Not everyone carries cash. I certainly don’t, particularly on business trips.

            On top of that, it’s in the merchant agreement, and if they didn’t want to deal with it, they shouldn’t have agreed to accept cards. My biggest pet peeve is that the owners or cashier will act as if the machine just won’t work unless they punch in their magical minimum amount number.

            If the minimum isn’t absurd, I really don’t care too much, but it all depends on the merchant. There’s a place in a local mall that serves Japanese hibachi, standard plate is $4.79, and their CC minimum is $5. After tax, you’re over their CC minimum. When I go to a convenience store to grab a drink and snack for the road, and the total is $3-ish (already overpriced items because it’s a convenience store) but yet I can’t make the purchase because it’s not $5, that’s ridiculous.

    • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

      @benk1342: Most mom and pop restaurants here in SF close to my place of work have signs posted requiring a minimum amount to use a credit card. One lady refused to ring up my coworkers burrito unless he reached their minimum and forced him to buy a drink. Even after grabbing the drink he came up one penny short which she then stated “Oh very close. I guess I can put it through”. I usually spend cash in food places so this usually isn’t a big problem for me, but on occassion if I don’t have cash and want to use my credit card I shouldn’t be required to purchase additional items to reach the “minimum”. No thank you. I’ll take my business elsewhere.

      • frank64 says:

        @Cat_In_A_Hat: Maybe now you understand the cost involved you will understand. They are being forces to either take a loss or be the bad guy by the processors. They are between a rock and a hard place, but they are the only ones you see.

        • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

          @frank64: I understand the loss these sort of places take by accepting credit cards, but I don’t think it’s worth lying to or scamming your customers into buying additional items. Me using my credit card is both a convenience to me and to you as the merchant, not having to run the risk of having excess cash or requiring extra labor to count and cash out a register at the end of a shift. A law is law for a reason. I’m all for supporting local and mom and pop style restaurants or retailers, but disagree with merchants “pretending” they cannot process a credit card order for one cent under their minimum. If you cannot meet the standards that credit card companies set, accept debit cards instead and then you can impose a legal ATM terminal surcharge to cover your operating costs. I would rather than 45 cents per transaction for my $5 sandwhich then have to buy $10 worth of items to cover a “minimum”.

          • frank64 says:

            @Cat_In_A_Hat:

            One point – it isn’t a law, it is term of service. I know you may have used a little shorthand, but it is important that there is no criminal/consumer law being violated.

            I once had a woman deny me for 5 cents! She finally let it go but I was pissed. So I understand. It did color my view of the place and I haven’t gone back. It all happens in a competive environent, so I don’t need a rule, all I need is to be properly informed.

            A good business normally eats the costs of the lower profit transactions. I just think it is too bad he has too. Our issue should really be with the costs themselves, not the middle man in between. If the cost was an added option, then we could decide, our decision process would give feed back to the processors, and perhaps lower our fees.

            I also think they would rather bare the costs of the cash on a profit transaction than not having to on a no(or lower) profit transaction!

            • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

              @frank64: I apologize for the difference in terminology. It’s a legal agreement between the merchant and the card company (hence my use of the word law) I see your point and definitely agree the issue is found in the price merchants are required to pay per transaction. Depending on the size of the business I think there should be some leeway in the percentage per transaction they are forced to rake over. Trust me, I much rather spend $10 my local cafe than $10 at a chain, but the only major issue I have is with certain places that have been very dishonest in using this scheme to their advantage. There is a food place near my job where a typically menu item will on average cost 8 dollar and drinks are priced beteen $1-2 yet they have credit card minimum or $10. What if on this particular day I don’t want a soda and water is only $1? Then I’m forced to buy something else? There is also one very popular restaurant near my job where typically everything on the menu will run you well over $10, with the exception of maybe an appetizer or so, but they have a $10 credit card minimum sign posted right next to the register. What’s the point? I feel for small companies but would be more willing to pay a small fee that covers the operating cost than a minimum.

  3. Daniel Parmelee says:

    Yep, it’s the “cash discount” that is the work-around. I understand that gas stations operate on a narrow margin on the gas, but please don’t tell me they don’t make a boatload of money off the $2.69 Amp energy drinks they sell, or even the $0.99 coffee.

    • World'sFastestBrowser_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @Daniel Parmelee: From my expierence working in a 7-11, they don’t make much money off the coffee or soda. Those cups actually cost the price you pay. You get a discount/incentive when you order a lot of them, so that’s how they eek out what little profit there is on them.

    • ARP says:

      @Daniel Parmelee: I know a person who works in the “industry” they make a tiny margin on gas. Most of their money is made on snacks, sodas, carwashes, etc. That’s why there are so many ads at the pumps trying to get you to come inside.

    • dave_coder says:

      @Daniel Parmelee: About the 99c coffee…. Do you have any idea how expensive a plastic cup and lid is? There’s not as much profit as you think.

  4. LabanDenter says:

    you do relize that cash has its own transaction costs?

    Easier for your workers to steal. Easier to get stolen. If you get paid in CC and got robbed what cash is the guy going to take?

    Not to mention increase’s in overhead for counting, re-counting, and keep track of cash.

    Yes CC charge the merchants, but its not like the merchant gets nothing for that fee.

    Futhermore, people paying with plastic, tend to buy more goods. So greater sales should = greater profit.

  5. IMoriarty says:

    Huh, I must come from a different area (NYC/NJ) than the author of the above. I see these signs so often that they’ve become visual noise to be largely ignored.

    I’ve recently moved to Texas, and I’ve not even looked for this verbiage as I’ve taken it for granted.

    ~I

  6. frank64 says:

    Shell started charging separate prices. The thing is they didn’t lower the price for cash, they just raised it for credit. One way you can tell is that the cash price is the same as the cash/credit price at other places.

    As to letting the market find its own solutions I agree. There are credit card forums where the majority think they should be able to go into a convenience store and charge a pack of gum. This forces the store to take a loss. I think the stores should be allowed to charge extra to reflect what it cost them or to have a $10 minimum if they want. It is all against the rules of the credit card companies. Allow Shell to do what they want, but I buy my gas elsewhere.

    • Shoelace says:

      @frank64: Shell does that by me also. When I pay cash the guy is very nice but always asks at least once – usually twice – whether I need anything else (referring to the grossly overpriced stuff in the convenience store).

    • lilyHaze says:

      @frank64: That’s what I’m finding for the most part. The other stations around them have the same price for their “cash discount.” There is a Texaco (remember when this was a premium brand?) that does this.

  7. edwardso says:

    about half of the gas stations in my area charge differently based on the type of payment.

  8. KingPsyz says:

    I really want to know, what is the cost per transaction on average and then tell with all honesty you couldn’t just check it off as the cost of business.

    I worked for a gas station and got to know the owner and family well. While gas has never been a huge profit margin generator, the pricing is largely arbitrary and he definately made profit of some kind.

    There’s an unspoken collusion in the gas station biz, every morning they look out the windows or on the way to work and see what everyone else is charging and adjust in kind.

    Also factor in how much credit card transactions SAVE business’ money. No cash handling required. Sometimes no employee interaction required. Etc.

    Then someone tell me how much wells fargo or loomis charges for armored car pickups and tell me why that fee isn’t passed onto the consumer?

    I think this is just more of many in the business world trying to squeeze more blood from the stone.

    • edwardso says:

      @Do not taunt Happy Fun King Psyz: and lowering the cash price gets people in the door, potentially increasing impulse purchases. I bet they make the $.10 or so back tenfold

    • GildaKorn says:

      @Do not taunt Happy Fun King Psyz: When your gross margin on gas is, say, 10%, that 3% + .30 per transaction becomes enormous.

      There are certainly costs associated with accepting cash, but I don’t know if they approach 30% of your profit.

    • frank64 says:

      @Do not taunt Happy Fun King Psyz:

      Most the arguments is someone telling businesses how they should run. You may be right, but let them run it.

      I think the cost of business idea doesn’t fly because every expense is a cost of business. The more equitable way is to try to allocate the costs of business to the correct customer, and then charge him accordingly. This lets the market decide the true cost of using credit.

      As for credit being cheaper than cash, apparently it is not. Even if some businesses believe it is, who are we to tell them it is. Let allocate costs the way they see fit, and then I will decide if I want to do business.

    • World'sFastestBrowser_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @Do not taunt Happy Fun King Psyz: Home Depot paid more in bank intercharge fees than they did in health care costs last year.

      My boss used to make me go get him coffee and do the “fuel survey” on the way and then I found out he was writing his own mileage in for the travel stipend. Bastard,

  9. chrisexv6 says:

    Interesting thing about this is that, before the most recent drop in gas prices (when it was down to 1.60/gallon or so), a bunch of my local stations started having 2 different prices for cash or credit.

    Now gas prices have gone back up and they STILL have two different prices.

    While I realize it might be a cash discount, who is to say its not them capitalizing even more? Prices are so up and down who knows if they are just tacking on 10 cents/gallon (yes, I know they pay the credit card companies, but 10 cents/gallon on a 2.50 gallon of gas is 4%…..do the credit card companies take 4% of their transaction amount? not sure).

    • DollaValueLIFO says:

      @chrisexv6:

      To answer your question about the 4% – yes, merchant processors charge fees in three ways:

      1) Per transaction fee (either % or flat)
      2) Batch fee – per daily batch (either % or flat)
      3) Monthly fee – (usually % but also a flat “statement fee”)

      Honestly, AmEx and Discover are cheaper to have processed, as they are typically serviced directly through the DSN and through AmEx. VA/MC work through a third party processor that will RAPE you.

      Back to the question – yes, the avg merchant fees work out to anywhere between 2-5% per transaction charged.

    • Coles_Law says:

      @chrisexv6: 2-3%, usually, plus a flat fee (~$0.30).

  10. jblaze1 says:

    In Jersey many of the off-brand gas stations have different prices for cash and credit, but most of the branded ones (Exxon, Lukoil, BP…) have the same price for both. It’s been like that for about a year.

  11. Anonymous says:

    In Vegas and through AZ I noticed a LOT of stores offering a discount for using cash instead of credit. usually 10 cents off the price for cash over credit.
    Problem is when I walk into the store to fill up my truck’s big tank they complain about not taking large bills (50/100). Well if you are going to charge me $2.50-$3 a gallon, and I have a 25 gallon tank that’s empty, I’m going to have to use a bill that size to get the cash discount.

  12. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    Signs like this had been around for years and years, but only recently have seeing them been so shocking…because they are a rarity nowadays.

  13. JGKojak says:

    I never had a problem with paying the same price- when you go to Best Buy, they don’t have a different price even though they get charged a fee same as gas stations. And these days, who doesn’t do credit at the gas station? Its terribly inconvenient to do anything else.

    • calquist says:

      @JGKojak: Probably works better for them because you have to go inside to pay with cash. Once inside you see the glorious candies and gum and energy drinks that you can buy as well… plus all that walking makes you thirsty and you need a soda.

      • KingPsyz says:

        @calquist:
        This is EXACTLY the real reasoning behind this move. It has ZERO to do with CC fees and a whole lot to do with going for the impule buy.

    • frank64 says:

      @JGKojak: It works better for them because their transactions are bigger and they have pricing power with the processors. For a big operation, they probably do feel that cash has its costs too, and I am sure they found people spend more with credit. In short the fundamental are different.

      • DollaValueLIFO says:

        @frank64:

        I think a lot of it has to do with the headache of taking large amounts of cash in. That and pretty much nobody pays for a $1,000 TV or Computer in Cash, not with CC rewards programs and all.

    • allnitecp says:

      @JGKojak: I would also be very interested to see the rate of armed burglary in the general vicinity of these ‘Cash Only’ establishments.

      The incentive to use credit cards for the theft protection is inherent. If you walk around with a wad of cash and it gets stolen, its your word against the robbers, you never get that money back.

  14. SNForrester says:

    This touches on the main reason why I started using credit cards in the first place. There is a credit card transaction fee built in to the price of most every product we buy – gas or no gas. Using the card responsibly gives you some of that money back.

  15. nakedscience says:

    All AM/PM stores charge to use a debit/credit card as does the Del Taco near my work (they charge 85 cents per fee. That is as much as a fucking taco). I do not use any AM/PM stores and I avoid that particular Del Taco.

  16. steve159 says:

    In theory I support passing the credit card fees on to consumers, but not in the current misleading way. The majority of gas stations around northern NJ charge different prices, but they label the cash v. credit prices with tiny labels that you can’t read from your car. It’s very difficult to compare prices if you’re a card-paying driver because you can’t tell at a glance whether the price you’re seeing is for cash or credit.

    To be fair, I think the pricing should have two firm rules: (1) always show the credit price on top, then show the cash price, and (2) any time there’s a caveat attached to a posted price (e.g., “cash only”), that caveat must be printed in letters that are the same size as the price numbers.

    The other thing sneaky gas stations do around here is that they do not illuminate the words “cash” and “credit” on their price boards; so you can’t read them at night.

  17. Sergio Alvarado says:

    Arco (AM/PM) has just introduced a new debit card where it links up to your existing checking account. When you use that card you avoid the 45c fee. There’s no extra charges from your existing bank (in my case BofA).

  18. coren says:

    I think it’s ridiculous that credit card companies allow the wink wink nudge nudge “cash discount” to go on – it’s just a sneaky way of getting around the agreement

  19. KingPsyz says:

    @GildaKorn:
    Do you honestly belive CCs cost a gas station or any other business 30% effing percent of their profit?

    If that was the case NOBODY would accept cards, ever, and they never would have become as ubiquitous as they are now.

  20. calquist says:

    Since we are along the lines of credit card fees? Can businesses require a minimum purchase to use cards? There is a bar that I go to that has a $10 minimum on credit cards and I always consider fighting it (granted my purchases are usually more than $10, 2 for 1 shots! can’t beat that!)

    • frank64 says:

      @calquist: I posted above, but by the rules, they can’t. They do because especially smaller stores get charged more fees than what the profit is.

    • dave_coder says:

      @calquist: It depends on their exact merchant agreement. But the credit card fees may overcome whatever profit they get from the sale. It’s reasonable and I personally would not fight it.

    • Spinfusor says:

      @calquist: It goes against MasterCard’s and Visa’s merchant agreements. AmEx doesn’t explicitly prohibit merchants from charging a minimum, but it does require its cards to be treated equally.

      If you want, you can report the bar here: [www.mastercard.com]

  21. post_break says:

    It took me a while to figure out these signs too. Then I asked someone working at a newer gas station what it meant.

    Basically…

    He said that the Gas card from Sunoco is considered as “cash” when you’re at Sunoco and they are giving discounts to people paying cash.

    Somewhat difficult to understand but once it clicks you get it.

  22. korybing says:

    I went to a gas station the other day that was charging 3 cents per gallon extra if you use a credit card.

  23. Jeremie D. Harget says:

    Some of the Union 76 stations here in Oregon charge as much as 10 cents per gallon more for CC users. Places like ARCO do a 45 cent flat fee (and make you use their weird ATM thingie at the pumps).

    The Safeways here proudly advertise “No debit/credit fee”.

    Nothing strange to me.

    • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

      @Jeremie D. Harget: An ATM terminal surcharge is legal. An increase in the price of something for using a credit card is ILLEGAL per the merchant card agreement card issuers make with retailers.

  24. consumerfan says:

    I disagree with you, Ben. The price is the price. The last thing you want, as a consumer, is to be quoted one price and then given a completely different price at the checkout.

    Especially if you’ve already filled your tank.

    Once you fix that, the market will sort itself out and the merchants will demand payment methods that cost them less.

  25. KingPsyz says:

    @frank64:
    Who spends 74 cents on gas? Can the pumps even register that low?@World’sFastestBrowser_GitEmSteveDave:
    Or buys just one gallon of gas?

    This is all about pushing people to impulse buy, and little to do with CC fees.

    My thing is, if these fees are so high, don’t AGREE TO THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. It might be inconvenient for some of us, but if every retailer/business took this stance you’d see those fees drop respectively.

    • frank64 says:

      @Do not taunt Happy Fun King Psyz:

      About the 74 cents, I was talking more of purchases like candy bars which by the rules they have to sell and lose money on.

      The main point was with gas, and the cost to merchants is high enough to be a real consideration. Allocating the costs to the sale is fair in my book. It allows me to decide if I want to save money by paying cash.

      The problem is the monopoly of VISA and MasterCard and the processing companies. In this day and age it is imperative that the merchants serve the customers with credit card options. In order to do this they must accept higher fees because they are small, and rules that if employed cost them all or a large percentage of profits for small or low margin products. Talk to small merchants, they hate these companies, but feel like they must accept them to servive. Yes, it is their choice, but a bad choice they have. They lose either way.

      I think the only way to get the fees to drop is for the merchants to be allowed more leeway in imposing the costs. If the merchants were not forced to eat the fees and could pass them on, the customers would respond by using cash more, and THEN the merchants would lower fees to promote the use of credit.

      • DollaValueLIFO says:

        @frank64:

        Except that the dirty little secret of the 21st Century Economy is that not accepting CC’s is a death-blow for the average small business.

        • frank64 says:

          @DollaValueLIFO: Right that is the catch 22 for them! So they have to accept them even if some of the customers will be at a loss? It really is an easy fix.

  26. wcnghj says:

    Does everybody realize not every merchant is paying 3%+.30??

    A debit card with a pin number costs a flat rate, MAYBE 20 cents.

    A non-rewards credit card? ~1.7%+.30.

  27. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    I just got home from buying gas at a BP here in Michigan. The big electronic sign out front said $2.85. When I put my credit card into the pump for verification the pump price changed to $2.93. #$%!

  28. that charlie sedarka says:

    “Making stores charging the same price sounds pro-consumer, but it actually leads to higher prices.”

    I have a slight quibble with this. Handling cash costs businesses money. Cash transactions eat up employee productivity by taking longer at the point of sale and and in the accounting room. You don’t need an armored car contract to take your charge slips to the bank. Cash also carries a much higher risk of loss either though theft or error. All of this translates to higher prices.

    Now, I don’t have enough information at hand to say whether the true costs of cash or credit are higher, but I don’t think you can automatically conclude that increased usage of credit cards (with a matching decrease in cash transactions) leased to increased prices.

    • frank64 says:

      @that charlie sedarka:

      Those are all points the merchant has to look at when he makes what should be his decision on his prices and policies. Trying to impose our guesses on him is not very logical.

  29. Jnetty says:

    In Long Island NY, almost every gas station is doing this now since last year. Just this week my favorite gas station changed its same price for cash/credit. Now its cash only and 10cents more for credit.
    They say its illegal in NY, but its being done everyday.

  30. esd2020 says:

    Charging different prices for credit versus cash at the pump is illegal in New York State, but everyone does it anyway.

  31. almightytora says:

    In California, when gas was over $4 a gallon, the credit card/cash rate mysteriously disappeared from signs. Now that it has gone relatively cheaper, all their “old” credit signs are back up.

    I never buy from a gas station that has me pay more for using my credit card.

  32. Anonymous says:

    “In New York, it’s illegal for retails to levy credit card surcharges on customers.”

    I can name a dozen gas stations that advertise one price with the words “cash only” printed underneath it in a barely visible size and have two prices on the pump in NY. I just moved to Brooklyn from Manhattan, and travel to Long Island every weekend, and from the FDR to Merrick rd, they are all around.

  33. MooseOfReason says:

    “Sometimes it really is best to let the market to find its own solution.”

    Popken’s coming around! Woohoo!

  34. Anonymous says:

    “Sometimes it really is best to let the market to find its own solution.” Seriously, is that supposed to be funny? My chihuahua could have told you that. OF COURSE it’s “sometimes” (I would say USUALLY) better for the market to find its own solution. Cripes.

  35. Lucky225 says:

    I saw a valero here in TX giving a discount for USING credit instead of cash, I had to do a double take. It was 5 cents cheaper to use credit.

  36. balthisar says:

    Screw your editorialism, Consumerist! “Making stores charging the same price sounds pro-consumer, but it actually leads to higher prices. Sometimes it really is best to let the market to find its own solution.”

    We’re never going to get to a cash-free society with this type of attitude. Do you fret when the bill comes to $6.66 as well?

  37. nucwin83 says:

    @Do not taunt Happy Fun King Psyz:

    Good luck with that if you’re looking at any type of brand name station that just so happens to offer a credit card.

    That said, I don’t carry cash, and I get quite irritable when a store wants to tell me that I can’t use my card to get a handful of things for my trip because it doesn’t cross the magical dollar amount that they’ve determined will keep them from losing money (I’ve seen that number as high as 10$). One gas station owner got pissy and told me to leave when I said “I promise you if you run the card, it will work” after the attendant swore the machine wouldn’t take the 4$ purchase (their minimum was 5$ at the time, and I specifically picked up more than I needed to at least put myself over 3$, the usual minimum I see).

    I spent the next month getting 10 cent fill ups at the pump from that station when I passed by.

    • hedonia says:

      @nucwin83: “I spent the next month getting 10 cent fill ups at the pump from that station when I passed by.”

      No wonder they asked you to leave, you’re a jerk.

  38. zentec says:

    These businesses whine about the transaction costs of credit cards, but no one mentions the costs of handling cash.

    I’ve had retail businesses. The cost to handle cash is in my opinion, MORE than credit cards. Pay-at-the-pump has to reduce the operating costs of gas stations because you need less attendants to take payments and authorize pumps.

    Furthermore, there’s lower costs from shorting the register or pilfering. Not to mention, you have to count the change and money and take it to the bank or pay a company to transport your receipts.

    It’s an opportunity to jack 10 cents per gallon more from consumers who are probably willing to pay for the convenience of not having to wait in line behind some guy buying two packs of Marlboros and a nail clipper.

    It’s a scam.

  39. Spinfusor says:

    The BP by me started charging an unadvertised 4¢ surcharge for credit card purchases.

    I called BP HQ and the woman I talked to said that it was legal and well within the station’s rights to charge a surcharge. I mentioned the credit card merchant agreements the station was violating and that the surcharge wasn’t posted anywhere, but she still denied it was illegal.

    I filled out MasterCard’s merchant violation form ([www.mastercard.com]) and by the next time I went back, the surcharge was gone.

  40. esc27 says:

    [looks like my first comment attempt broke...]

    Imagine if a gas station quit accepting credit entirely. It would likely fail and go out of business. Accepting credit fees and passing those on to all customers is simply the cost of doing business and staying alive. It is no different than a person who walked to a business paying more because the store needs to recover the costs of its parking lot or a person who did not use restroom facilities paying for the water and toilet paper of those who did. Or someone at McDonald’s who only used two napkins paying the same price as someone who used four…

  41. ned4spd8874 says:

    A TON of gas stations over in my area S.E. Michigan are STILL doing this! Charging different cash vs. credit. Some as much as .10/gallon! I have refused to go to these stations. With all the push for everyone to use their credit/debt cards more and more; and then thy pull this suff! This is pure greed in my mind and I will NOT support the stations that charge different prices.

  42. denm7510 says:

    This whole scenario makes me crazy and there’s no one that can convince me it’s, “in the consumers best interest”, to have them be able to charge more for a CC transaction, which is essentially what this “cash discount” issue allows. These stations are simply looking for any way to make more on every customer. No other business or industry is allowed to charge more for a credit card purchase. And, although the credit card companies want you to think they’re interested in this, they make it very hard to actually get anything done about it. Ive tried for sometime now to report all the businesses I run into that want to charge a $10 minimum for purchases to no avail.
    For years in Jersey they had the seperate prices, then for a decade or more they didn’t, and now since oil has been up they re-instated this “gouging tool”. The Valero by our house went a step further and tried to start charging the extra fee on their own damn valero credit card. I called Valero to complain and ask why they’de want to charge a fee on what was essentially a “customer loyalty card”, and sure enough about a month later they changed the policy and stopped the extra charge. Then one of the owners of the station went EVEN further and when my wife and I tried to fill up one evening with our Valero card, he handed back the card and said, and I quote,” Not enough money on the card, they declined it, let me try another card”. Not thinking quickly enough the wife just handed him another credit card, which of course went through quickly and he of course charged us the extra for a “credit card purchase”. Later we called Valero to check why our card was declined and they said, “It wasn’t, it was never even run through”. You see they can tell if a cards been swiped or not. As it turns out looks like the guy spends his evenings trying to get customers to use any credit card other than the Valero card so they can make the extra fee.
    Just another example of less and less service and more and more charges.
    Shame on “The Consumerist” for acting like this is good for consumers.