Paying For Gas With A Credit Card? $1 Extra Per Gallon, Please

It’s not legal for a store to charge an extra fee or percentage when customers pay by credit card, but it is legal to offer a discount to customers who pay in cash. Great. The flaw in this plan is that, at least in New York state, there aren’t any laws regulating how big that discount can be. Which is why some Long Island gas station operators recently hiked the price per gallon of gas a dollar, then offered a one-dollar discount to customers who pay cash.

At a station in Brentwood, N.Y., for example, the posted cash price was $3.859 per gallon earlier this week, but credit card customers were charged $4.859. The average price at other stations was around $3.85 at the time.

“It’s really aggravating to me. It gives the industry a bad name,” the president of the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association told Newsday.

Since the amounts of cash “discounts” aren’t regulated by the state attorney general’s office, this isn’t illegal and the stations won’t be prosecuted. Let’s hope that the invisible hand of the free market smacks the owners upside the head.

Outrage as gas cash-credit gap reaches $1 [Newsday] (Thanks, Frank!)

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  1. momtimestwo says:

    Back in my “old days”, I remember every place had one price for cash and another for credit. Back before things got all digital and stuff :)

    • longfeltwant says:

      I say repeal the law saying you can’t charge more to card users, and then pass a law saying exactly the opposite: invalidate any contract term between card companies and retailers which disallows such pricing, and in fact insist that card owners do pay the fee. With that, we would have price competition between card issuers, and the problem would disappear as the cost of the service fell to the marginal cost of providing it.

      • twinprime says:

        1 million internets for you sir.

      • dwasifar says:

        Yeah! Because the banking industry NEVER colludes on fees. That’s what’s made banking so consumer-friendly in the modern world. I mean, when was the last time you ever heard of a financial institution charging an outrageous fee?

      • jamar0303 says:

        Sorry, that would require getting card companies from all over the *world* to agree on it. And if the fee imposed on other countries’ card owners leads to retaliation?

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      I know every gas station that charges the same regardless of cash or credit and they get my business.

      • Villnius says:

        I really don’t get why it’s illegal for a store to charge a fee for accepting a credit card. The banks charge the stores a fee for the privilege of accepting the cards (3-5%, sometimes more if it’s a rewards card), so it’s more expensive to accept the card than to accept cash. It would make a whole lot more sense to make the customer who’s using a credit card pay a fee to cover the retailer side fees, since he’s the one insisting on paying with the card. Instead it seems some here would rather that the stores raise their prices to cover it and make everybody pay.

  2. rpm773 says:

    …but it is legal to offer a discount to customers who pay in cash.

    I don’t have a problem with a cash discount, but there should be laws that state the non-discounted price is the one that’s posted on the sign. Then they can discount as much as they want for cash, for all I care.

    • nybiker says:

      +infinity.

    • scoutermac says:

      How about if they are required to post both.

    • Hoss says:

      In Massachusetts the normal price must be on both the pump and the primary pricing sign out front. They can use a separate sign to show the discounted price but it must be clear on who gets the price State employees check this when the certify the pump accuracy.

      • ThinkingBrian says:

        I always wondered if Massachusetts had a law on that or not considering down in Southbridge a few years ago, the station had two different prices (one cash and one for credit) and I thought that was terrible and I told my father go somewhere else for gas just to teach them a lesson.

        Too bad that New York doesn’t have that same law.

        • frank64 says:

          I live in MA and they can have two prices if clearly marked. What gets me is at Shell they don’t actually discount the cash price. The credit price is the same as both cash and credit at other places. This means you pay more for cash there.

      • TasteyCat says:

        They just have to put on the sign out front that it’s the cash price. Then when you pull in, you find out it’s 9 cents a gallon more for credit. That’s when I head from Shell to the Exxon across the street.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          If you put the cash price on your sign and say credit will be extra, that’s charging credit card customers an additional fee, not providing a discount for cash.

          Providing a discount is saying “The price is $X, $1 off if you use cash.”

    • bsh0544 says:

      My thoughts exactly. That’s what makes the cash price a discount rather than the credit price being an extra fee.

    • Jawaka says:

      Isn’t this the same as Kohls raising their price of a product by $100 ans then offering the product at a sale price of $60 off?

  3. damicatz says:

    Hope they require prepayment for cash because if they didn’t, I’d be sorely tempted to end up paying in pennies.

  4. Invader Zim says:

    I seem to remember being charged ten cents more for full service.

  5. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    IIRC my credit card processing agreement is what says I can not add a surcharge (but I can offer a non cc discount). I do not think it is a legal matter, just a contractual matter between the merchant and the processing (and Visa/ MC/ AmEx…) companies.

    • Buckus says:

      Came here to say that. I don’t think there’s any law about advertising two prices, it’s more a contractual issue. Lot’s of places advertise two prices: one price without the membership card, one price without. Or one price for bulk, and another for smaller quantities.

      • mischlep says:

        In New Jersey there are laws that govern the signage at gas stations. I know we had a 2011 bill to regulate this at the state level, I’m fairly certain there were county-by-county laws in place. In my county, a station could advertise the two different prices, but the letters in the word “CASH” or “CREDIT” would have to be at least half the height of the numbers in the price, or something along those lines.

        http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/03/senate_bill_would_require_nj_g.html

    • SabreDC says:

      And not just that, the cc agreement also says that you can’t add a surcharge “without written approval” from the processing company. I’m pretty sure that Bob’s House-o-gas probably doesn’t have a written agreement, but since it’s not publicly known who does and who doesn’t, it’s hard to say for sure that there is a violation.

    • GearheadGeek says:

      It seems like if they’re advertising price $x, and charging you $x+$1 if you use a credit card, that’s a surcharge. If they advertised $y and charged $y-$1 for cash, that would be a discount. Hopefully their business will suffer for their crappy practices, I wouldn’t buy gas from them unless they either advertised both prices, or advertised the higher and offered a cash discount.

  6. Alan says:

    There are a few gas stations I pass (ohio) that gives a small discount for diesel. Granted, it’s only like 6 cents, but it has been up for a while. A dollar per gallon… that’s a bit much…

    • Woden says:

      This is mostly due to the large amounts of diesel purchased by truckers. When the credit card company gets a percentage of the entire purchase it makes a lot of sense for the gas stations to tell the truckers that they’ll give them a discount when they pay cash so that the gas station can cut the credit card company out of the loop and split the difference with the trucker. Its essentially a win-win situation for the trucker and gas station, and its a small enough loss of money for the credit card company to not mind it too much.

      It wouldn’t surprise me a bit though if the credit card companies did decide that they mind this big of a “discount” for not using a card. I’m guessing that the next time these stations have to re-sign their contract with the credit card companies there’s going to be some new terms limiting this.

    • jheyneman says:

      Ah yes, the number of gas stations along I-75. I believe Love has the LED sign that flashes between cash/credit for diesel prices.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I assume that they have to advertise the higher rate, yes? Otherwise it violates the premise of a credit instead of a penalty.

    I’m okay with this. Their choice to advertising higher prices and hope for the best.

    • jenolen2161 says:

      I live on Long Island, and these places don’t. They advertise “$3.85″ and when you drive up to the pump, that’s when you see that that price is for gas, but it’s more for credit. It’s usually not on the giant sign out front nor does it indicate that it’s for “cash.”

    • Jawaka says:

      Most gas stations in my area (Connecticut) have signs with both the cash and credit prices. Perhaps its a state law, not sure.

  8. humphrmi says:

    While I’m OK with gas stations offering a discount for cash, I usually don’t use them. I usually find that the discounted price is somewhat similar to the price that gas stations that don’t differentiate charge.

    • jesusofcool says:

      Agreed. I think the free market will win for these people. Personally, I like my cc rewards points for gas, so if you make it more expensive to pay by cc or your credit card machine isn’t easy to use and self-explanatory, I’ll be buying gas elsewhere.

  9. voogru says:

    Heres an idea, if you don’t like it, don’t buy gas there.

    What a concept.

    • Cat says:

      Great idea, until all the stations adopt this policy. You know, like the airlines with their fees.

      • voogru says:

        You know whats a really big fee? The TSA fees.

        I hear that you pay TSA fees no matter which airline you go on. And don’t give me any hyperbole “Oh well thats so a terrorist doesn’t blow me out of the sky so I have to pay that one!!!111oneone”

    • longdvsn says:

      What about people that live in areas where all stations use these deceptive practices??? And why shouldn’t we encourage companies to do the right thing by shaming them through media (in addition to our wallets)?

      If your solution is always just to go elsewhere – well, I’m not sure where you would shop.

      • LanMan04 says:

        Go to the fucking ATM, or pay a $1/gallon convenience fee. Not complicated.

        What about those of us who live in states with high gas taxes? We truly have no choice except to pay $4.29 way out in the north ‘burbs.

        • Jawaka says:

          Don’t most gas stations have ATM machines?

          • maxamus2 says:

            Yep, and you probably pay $3 to $5 to access your money there…..

            • Cor Aquilonis says:

              Unless you have an awesome fee reimbursement deal with your bank. I just have to mention that, because I have one, and I like it.

              Carry on.

              • drjayphd says:

                I used to have a bank that did that, just like you. Then they went from seeing customers as humans to seeing customers as gold mines. Instead of refunding ATM fees, now they just charge their own. Lick me, Regis Philbin and/or Kelly Ripa.

                (Also, while I didn’t take an arrow to the knee, I sprained it a few days ago, so it feels like I did.)

        • maxamus2 says:

          But you pay those higher gas taxes to have better roads, better infrastructure. And most states where you pay the higher gas taxes you have substantially higher income, better paying jobs, etc… Sure, I’d love to live in NYC but pay like I lived in Timbuktu.

          • shepd says:

            If that were true, Ontario would have roads so damn good you could drive with 4 flats and not feel any bumps. And yes, our gas tax only goes to roads, it isn’t for healthcare or any of the other extra social programs we have. And yes, we have a toll road. It’s “only” $2.26 US per mile, so I can totally see how we need the high gas prices to subsidize such low toll fees!

            $4.90 US/gallon and rising…

  10. Hoss says:

    I hope the IRS and state taxing authority gets word of this. They’re clearly trying to force all cash sales and we all know why small business likes cash…

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Why? I didn’t know.

      • Hoss says:

        Cash sales are easy to hide since it’s difficult to trace cash that didn’t get deposited back into the business.

        • ShruggingGalt says:

          Not really. I would say any gas station that is currently running has a state of the art computer system now, which tracks everything.

          Why? Because of environmental regulations. Forge those and you’re going to jail if caught.

          They would have to forge a ton of records in order to show that they aren’t making any money because the gas vendors don’t accept credit cards or cash themselves – I’d say it’s 99% ACH now. So you have to make deposits in a bank account in order to cover the gasoline costs, which defeats the purpose of an under-the-table accounting system. I don’t think they would be able to explain how they sold a lot of gasoline for pennies on the dollar.

          Plus if they are audited, it doesn’t look good if your state of the art computer system wasn’t keeping good records. Getting caught is easier now because the credit card processors have to report the credit card revenue to the Feds.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Why small businesses like to deal in cash:

      So you don’t have to deal with chargebacks from assholes.
      So you don’t have to deal with bounced checks from assholes.
      So you don’t have to deal with delayed credit card declines from assholes.
      So you don’t have to wait 3 days for the money to hit your bank account while your merchant processor plays with it AND charges you a fee for the pleasure.

      • Chmeeee says:

        Why they like credit cards:

        You don’t get robbed by assholes
        You don’t worry about counterfeit cash from assholes
        You don’t get shot by assholes

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Also a good point.
          Thanks for reminding me to call my husband to tell him I love him in case he gets shot. Fucking hell…

        • Hoss says:

          Not to mention that competitors that don’t call customers names freely accept non-cash payment. You know — they ones that don’t get chargebacks or stop payments.

        • etz says:

          not to mention they don’t have to deal with assholes who buy $3.12 worth of gas at a time because that’s all teh money they can find in the ashtray or under the seats. With credit, it’s fill ‘er up!

        • frank64 says:

          There are many benefits to credit cards, but mostly exaggerated by those that want to tell the merchants to accept them. One problem is that the CC companies have been raising prices, such that the benefits are getting to cost more and more.

          The more the merchants are just allowed to pass on these costs, the more pricing pressure the banks will have. Since the costs are passed on to consumers, the direct way gives us more choice, and tells the banks raising rates encourages cash.

        • Jawaka says:

          Meh, if they’re going to get robbed they’re going to get robbed. The kind of thief that robs a gas station doesn’t know how much cash is going to be on hand. In fact, it can be argued that when you are robbed and only have a handful of credit card receipts you’re more likely to piss off the person with the gun then if you had a handful of cash.

    • frank64 says:

      This is not the case, they are trying to reduce their credit card fees. There are other records especially for gas that would make it extremely hard to be able to hide cash sales of gas.

      • Hoss says:

        It’s not hard at all because nearly all gas stations sell more than just gas.

        • frank64 says:

          But we are talking about gas price discounts here.

        • frank64 says:

          There is a clear cost to accept cards, and a clear benefit to many to at least charge more for credit. It seems a real stretch, and real negative spin to say the only reason they would do it is for tax avoidance. Any state authority would need much more to go on.

          You hope? Why the hate?

          • Hoss says:

            There’s a cost-certain, not something unpredictable. The drivers of gas pricing already take into account the 3 or 4 cents that represents card fees. It’s not a dollar.

            • frank64 says:

              No it is more like 15 cents and it used to be about 5. There is a point where the costs of the fees do not support the benefits. It is up to the merchants to decide how to balance the costs, and how to pass it on. The more flexibilty they have the less the banks will be able to increase the price, which does get passed on to us no matter if the bury it or not. I think it is better to not bury it, that way I can avoid it.

              • frank64 says:

                Just to make clear, I am not saying $1 is fine. That hasn’t been your point in this thread though. You were saying that charging for credit card use at all should be investigated as tax fraud. Now you are saying a $1 is too much, which we all are saying. You changed the subject.

      • Willow16 says:

        We have a gas station in town that does not take credit card payments at all. One price and it’s for cash. They have the lowest prices in town and there are almost always lines to buy gas there. Today it was $3.52 while the station down the block was $3.69. I think, because they don’t deal with credit cards at all, they can keep their prices lower.

    • Yomiko says:

      There are two very sketchy bars in my town which are cash only. Like girls giving… service… in the bathrooms for beer money sketchy. No credit cards, no tabs, no class.

    • blueman says:

      That’s BS. Credit card processing fees are extremely high for a small business. Giving up 2-3 percent of your revenue to the bank is a big deal.

  11. canaguy says:

    lucky are those prices…….as most of CANADA has been sitting around $5.00 per US GAL for the past 2 years………………..an expense for commuters, delivery of goods and services everywhere to everyone………..

    • Hoss says:

      Is gas taxes a big part of it?

      • Woden says:

        Pretty much everything in Canada is more expensive from what I saw on my camping trip up through Toronto last summer. I’m guessing that it is in fact from taxes and other fees, but all in all I think it’s probably worth it. The interstate we spent most of our time on going north through Toronto was heaven compared to the interstates in some areas of Ohio where I live, and Illinois where I travel often (Illinois interstates and roads in general are horrid!).

        • dragonfire81 says:

          The Canadian government does tax gas more heavily than Uncle Sam, but here’s the stupid thing. They take the base wholesale price of the gas, which INCLUDES a government tax related to gasoline, THEN they add standard provincial and federal sales taxes to it.

          That means they are effectively charging a tax on their own tax. It should be outlawed, but seeing as how it brings in so much money…

          • MrEvil says:

            Sounds like the taxes are also based on a % of the price. Unlike in the US where the tax is a fixed amount per gallon sold.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Which is then used to provide a substantially higher average standard of living than in the US, including vastly superior healthcare and infrastructure…

    • crispyduck13 says:

      The hell? What happened to all those tar sands or whatever? Do you know how much of that $5 is tax?

  12. etz says:

    how does this work with places like ARCO? They charge a 0.35 fee to pay by card, and it’s communicated as such. It’s not a discount for non-card (cash) purchases.

    They only accept debit cards, not credit cards. Are the cash-discount rules different for debit cards?

    As much as I dislike Arco, the surcharge works out to like 0.02/gal when I fill up my car, and their price per gallon is well more than 0.02/gal less than all the nearby competitors. If I fill my bike, the surcharge works out to more like 0.08/gal, at which point it’s not nearly as worth it.

    • SKChance says:

      Except for the fact that the fee was $0.45, and ARCO recently both removed the fee and started taking credit cards (which are a different thing from debit cards and are regulated differently – your card may act as both, but the regulations under which your transaction falls depend on whether that transaction is signature-based [credit] or PIN-based [debit]).

  13. techstar25 says:

    I see that same thing in Orlando, especially near the theme parks. They are preying on foreign tourists who obviously aren’t going to be carrying cash. It can be maddening.

    • Jawaka says:

      Gee, if only there were ATM machines in convenient locations, you know, like at gas stations or convenience stores

  14. SJ says:

    Solution: the state should tax the station the cost before discount.

  15. ChronoZaga says:

    I used to work for a state Petroleum Marketers Association. What this article doesn’t mention is that due to Credit Card Interchange Fees, banks make almost as much profit from the gas you buy as the station owner. Giving a discount for cash like this is a strategy to fight the banks, not to take advantage of the consumer.

  16. ajaxd says:

    Until last year all gas stations in NY were same price for cash and credit. Now most switched to different prices. I don’t mind paying 10 cents per gallon extra ( my CC gives most of this back as rewards) but this creates lines and traffic at smaller gas stations: more people park at the pump and go inside to stay in line to pay.

  17. lihtox says:

    Gas stations shouldn’t be able to advertise the “discounted” cash rate as the actual rate. It should say “$4.85″ up there on the sign, right at the top, or it’s false advertising as far as I’m concerned.

    Im sympathetic to small merchants wanting to recoup credit card costs, and if this method works, more power to them. But not if it involves deception.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      They’d have to be making up for a 26% credit processing fee to justify charging that $1 on $3.85 for that purpose. If that really were the case the first thing they need to do is get themselves a new processing company because that is outrageously high.

      • longdvsn says:

        lihtox probably meant to be more general. If the difference is 5 cents, it should still be the higher price posted on the sign and advertised. It’s misleading to wait until people have pulled up at the pump, turned off their car, and walk around to the pump before telling them they’ll be charged more.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          I agree with both of you, was just pointing out how much they stand to “recoup” with that $1/gallon. I absolutely think it’s deceptive to not advertise the credit card price on the road sign, and instead only have it at the pump.

    • Jawaka says:

      The stations in my state advertise both prices.

      • drjayphd says:

        Depends on where they are. I live in CT too, and some stations just post the cash prices for various grades on the big signs. They also label them as cash prices, but sometimes, it’s impossible to read the added-after-the-fact “CASH” label.

  18. Cat says:

    “It gives the industry a bad name”

    Huh?

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Maybe he meant “worse” name?

      • Jawaka says:

        Well to be fair, the price that most brand name station owners charge for gas isn’t really within their control. My friend worked at a gas station and told me that they had to price their gas at whatever price their parent corporation told them to. He would come to work every day and get his updated prices electronically. some times he’s be instructed to change his prices more than once a day. I think that in most cases its fair to blame the oil companies but not necessarily the station owners.

  19. frank64 says:

    I think they should be allowed to do it, and it makes sense to charge 3% less per gallon. $1 is way to much, it is telling me you don’t want CC sales, and you don’t want me as a customer.

    I get 5% back on my CC, so I am taking that into account when I make my purchase.

  20. Lyn Torden says:

    This is what happens when the credit card companies demand payments from merchants, or don’t pay out as much.

  21. natebum says:

    The average price at other stations was around $3.85 at the time.
    he posted cash price was $3.859 per gallon earlier this week, but credit card customers were charged $4.859

    how is that a cash discount when everyone else is charging $3.85?

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Every gas station I’ve ever been to in this country rounds down to the nearest cent for posted gas prices. The ones that post to a tenth cent always have that 9 out there. You can safely assume that those paying $3.85 and those paying $3.859 were charged the same price.

    • kella says:

      It’s actually an attempt to trick customers. In NY, stations with a “cash discount” usually advertise the cash price (sometimes marked with a “CASH” sign). You don’t see the credit price till you reach the pump. The hope is once you get to the pump you’ll pay anyway. For those who don’t carry cash on them, you’ll either pay with a card, or go inside and pay a $3-$5 fee to use their ATM. Either way, they’ve got a higher profit margin than the station next door.

      That is, until customers boycott the station in disgust.

  22. Squeezer99 says:

    i hope they lose lots of business. they already get to write off credit card transaction fees as a cost of doing business

    • frank64 says:

      They get to write off every expense as a cost of business, doesn’t mean that all costs aren’t considered in pricing a product. Go and ask your boss for a $5,000 raise and tell them they should just give it to you because they can write it off.

      That a business can deduct an expense because it is an expense means nothing in almost any argument it is brought up in.

      I hope they lose business too, the $1 is too much, but recognizing the cost of the fees in their pricing is OK.

  23. mad_oak says:

    If you pay cash, you must go in the store. How many times have we heard that gas stations only make money if you buy something else besides gas. Sounds like a bit of a twisted plan to drive more folk into the station!

  24. dush says:

    Credit card fee is illegal. But Cash discount is legal? Stupidity.

    • twinprime says:

      “Boo-hoo, I don’t want to pay for a convenience service”. credit card fees should be legal, and mandatory. it’s total bullshit that a cash paying customer should have to pay a higher price which factors in credit operating costs when a cash register can very easily calculate the fee and add it to your bill.

      Maybe if fees were realized by the customer directly, instead of indirectly by cost incorporation, then consumers would care more about how the CC lobbies killed a bill which would have hurt their enormous profits by reducing the amount they can charge merchants (aka small business owners).

      • dush says:

        Dude, stop crying and realize that neither should be illegal.
        If a business wants to charge a fee that makes their product more expensive then that’s their business. A service station should be able to charge a credit card fee just like a bank should be able to charge a checking account fee. The government should step out of it and let paying customers decide which company survives.

  25. tacitus59 says:

    Actually, its not a rip – in fact every store should be allowed put pass along the fees associated with using a credit card to the customer. Right now cash paying customers have to support the corrupt credit card industry. Now after saying that there are reasons credit cards are better for stores as far as safety goes (less cash on hand) and for gas theft prevention. Now they have to advertise clearly and accurately whats going on, which might not be happening here.

  26. Bog says:

    I think the article is wrong (above) with the statement “It’s not legal for a store to charge an extra fee or percentage when customers pay by credit card.” Maybe like that in some states you can‚Äôt, but in other states like mine you are legally free (by state law) to charge a higher price for non cash prices. The catch is the agreement with the credit card company, in which there may be a breach of contract… which is between the merchant and the processor. That said… I think that if it perfectly legitimate and moral for a merchant to charge a higher price for using a credit card. There are extra costs for credit card use, like the exchange fees, the card readers, the phone/data line, charge-backs, etc….

    Many stations here are doing just that now. They post both a credit and cash price. Currently the difference averages 15¢ per gallon.

  27. joe h says:

    Gas station owner says- we don’t make any money off gas, it goes to the cc company, distributor, and franchise.

    Distributor says- he only makes pennies off the gas, it all goes to the to the company running the the pipeline.

    company running the pipeline says- we are only making 10 cents a gallon, talk to the refiners.

    Refiners say- our overhead is ridiculous, talk to the drillers.

    drillers sends you to the landowner, landowner complains he isn’t getting a fair deal. The endless loop continues, and it turns out anyone that is involved with the oil industry is barely getting by, yet it the highest priced commodity, second to only gold.

    • frank64 says:

      The margins on gas are real low, and the CC fees take a huge chunk of it. This is pretty well established.

  28. webwbr says:

    You have to admit, that is a pretty clever tactics.

    In the end, we – the people with the money – have the final say. If people don’t like it and actually spot going to this location, the owner will revert back as soon as he/she starts making less money.

    Consumers always have the final say but we are usually too lazy and sheepish to exercise our power. We complain, but still have over our money… then they win and we wonder why.

    Try it sometime, it works.

  29. webwbr says:

    You have to admit, that is a pretty clever tactics.

    In the end, we – the people with the money – have the final say. If people don’t like it and actually spot going to this location, the owner will revert back as soon as he/she starts making less money.

    Consumers always have the final say but we are usually too lazy and sheepish to exercise our power. We complain, but still have over our money… then they win and we wonder why.

    Try it sometime, it works.

  30. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    “It’s really aggravating to me. It gives the industry a bad name,” ….Too Late!!
    And the politicians still wonder why business and people are still leaving NYS. I swear everyday on the news they are “investigating” why Western New York has higher gas prices than the rest of the state or the country….morons!!!!

  31. JohnDeere says:

    well thats price gouging then. if the regular price is $1 more than everywhere else before the cash discount.

  32. libgeek says:

    Lawmakers in NY are jumping at the chance (free media coverage!) to deal with it. Various plans include: requiring the same price for cash or credit, limiting to a $.05/gal difference (either of which would close the “discount” loophole), or requiring that the price advertised on the larger street-facing signs show the higher price.

    • frank64 says:

      Why have a set price limit? Number 1 the CC charges are normally a %, so .05 wouldn’t cover the real cost. When prices rise stations would be stuck, when prices go to $5.00 the real cost may be as high as $.15.

      There doesn’t need to be a law on this, no more than if a pizza shop charged $20 extra for pepperoni. Let the price be marked and then let people shop elsewhere. We don’t need to make a law because some guy is a kook.

  33. ldillon says:

    Not so sure if it’s “illegal” as it is against most (all?) credit card agreements. Though, it’s hardly like merchants have a meaningful choice in the matter.

    But it does cost retailers 2~3% of the transaction to process a credit card transaction. It seems fair to me to pass that on to credit card users versus making cash payers subsidize credit card payers.

  34. Tim says:

    Now we know what gas station has a ton of cash lying around …

  35. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    This is ridiculous…but to be honest, I wouldn’t be opposed to allowing vendors to recoup the % that they pay the CC company for the privilege of selling you stuff. It’s a loss to the vendor…

    …although really, vendors should be pricing their products accordingly – assuming you’re going to pay with credit. Which is why some vendors who are on the ball offer a cash discount – because they’ve already baked-in the CC fee.

  36. MerlynNY says:

    Thats fine by me, I just avoid those stations and they don’t get my business. No slack off my back.

  37. kataisa says:

    What about using a debit card which is supposed to work the same as cash? Do they get the cash discount?

  38. twinprime says:

    OH NO! Gas stations are ENCOURAGING people to not rely on CREDIT!!!! WHAT CAN WE DOOOOOOOOOOO?

    If you really cared about this issue you would be talking about legislation to cut the profiteering of the credit card/debit card companies so that gas stations, who make pennies on the gallon, wouldn’t need to prefer cash customers so much.

    For everyone who cried “unfair”, I think what you meant to say was “less convenient”.

  39. Mit Long says:

    I wonder if they accept checks?

  40. frank64 says:

    I think they should charge the rich much more, then we can get a subsidy!

    $1 extra is nothing to them, they get to use credit, and I have to use that stinky cash. It of course is a war on the middle class. (:

  41. HogwartsProfessor says:

    How about the invisible customers that don’t buy gas there anymore? Think that will get their attention?

  42. SloppyJoe says:

    Actually, I’m surprised this isn’t the case with more businesses. It would be nice to get a cash discount for purchases such as groceries, clothing, etc.

    As far as the gas station, if it is clear and up front about the credit price, the go for it. Don’t like it? Hit the ATM or don’t shop there.

  43. Extended-Warranty says:

    Instead of getting mad at the gas stations who aren’t as rich as you think, blame the CC companies. They have a monopoly on the market, and don’t have to do a damn thing to keep their money flowing.

    Beyond the fees, there’s also chargebacks. Too many customers abuse this option, and it costs retailers a LOT.

  44. Package Man says:

    I’m fairly certain there’s no law regarding charging extra for using a credit card but it is against the terms of service of most credit card processors.

  45. Halfabee says:

    I have a Mobil station in town that lists $3.95 for cash and $4.05 for credit. The words “cash” and “credit” are so small that it took me weeks of driving by twice every day to notice that the second price was no longer for the premium grade. I buy all my gas at Costco or at the station across the highway with a grocery store affinity card program, so I can safely say that they will never get a dime of my money as long as I have to stand in line to pre-pay cash.

    Now that I think about it, that could be a clever ploy by the franchisee, who’s gas margin is probably so thin that all the profit is in the convenience store. Credit card swipers can’t make impulse purchases if we don’t step foot inside the store.

  46. gman863 says:

    As a small business owner (PC repair), I’d like to see the government force MasterCard, Visa, etc. to drop their policy of not allowing merchants to tack on a service charge and/or minimum purchase amount for credit/debit card purchases (so long as the surcharge is clearly posted at the register).

    I estimate that (including the Chinese menu of mystery fees charged by MC, Visa and AMEX), it costs me between .75 – 1.00 every time I swipe a credit card – not including the 2% – 5% discount fee depending on the type of card.

    While I consider this a cost of doing business on an average repair ticket of around $100, it pisses me off when people try to whip out plastic on a tiny sale. Unlike Best Buy, I don’t sell my USB cables or batteries at a 500%+ markup. Although it’s technically against the rules of my merchant agreement, I’ve refused credit cards on under $5 sales (one a–hole tried to use a credit card on a 99 cent pack of batteries!).

    I suspect there are millions more small businesses who feel the same way. It’s getting to the point I may start marking everything up an extra buck or two – just like most other stores do – to pack in the cost of assuming everyone will pay with plastic.

    Please don’t bing up the idea of offering a “cash discount” instead. The moment you post a sign like this, everyone acts like I’m Wayne Brady and wants to play “Let’s Make a Deal.”

    • frank64 says:

      I hope you see this, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law says the CC cos must allow you to have a minimum payment below $10.

      http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-minimum-payment-purchases-law-1282.php

      I agree with you, and the reward cards are getting consumers in as accomplishes to the banks too. We get a kickbacks for your fleecing, and you have to pay it, not even being able to say no.

      Many will say rewards are a good marketing tool Maybe, but the merchants should be able to choose to participate. I think it is more a marketing tool for the banks. They get the loyalty and encourage the use, but the merchants pay for it. Then the banks charge more interest on the rewards cards. They make money both ways.

  47. Broke_Daddy says:

    I don’t see the problem. Their “discounted” price is the same as the other guy’s regular price and the other guy takes credit cards. They’re doing themselves a disservice by taking away a convenience for the customer.

  48. JollyJumjuck says:

    At the way gas prices are going, by the end of the year one would have to carry around $200+ in order to pay for a fill-up with cash.

  49. krunk4ever says:

    I believe at least most if not all of the credit card processors (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) have removed the clause which disallowed merchants from charging more for using credit cards.

  50. Errenden says:

    You know, companies can just stop taking credit cards and fix the problem at the source.

  51. karlmarx says:

    This is really charging more for a credit card with different wording.

  52. Optimus says:

    This prime agrees. A million and one internets to you.

  53. Jimmy37 says:

    Using credit cards or checks is a priviledge, not a mandate, so giving significant “discounts” shouldn’t be illegal. Nothing keeps people from using cash. If any merchant wants to either make lots more money off people that are hard-up to buy something with a credit card, or turn their business into all-cash, let them.

    And if people don’t want to use the gas station because they are so addicted to their plastic and their rewards, the owners will find out when people vote with their bucks.

    I prefer to use cash if I can get a significant discount. But I haven’t found any gas station that makes it worth my while to pull out cash and carry it around so I can buy gas.