Around 1970, self-service gas stations became the norm for pumping gas. Before this became the “new normal,” there were full-service gas stations. You could get your gas pumped by an attendant, get your windows washed, and sometimes even get your oil checked while waiting for your gas to pump without leaving the car. While those days are behind us, you do have the convenience of only walking a few feet to pay at the pump while using your credit card. You might be wondering how and why you should bother to use your credit card at the gas pump. It’s pretty simple and has lots of benefits.
How to pay for gas with a credit card
The process of using a credit card for gas is pretty straightforward. Still, there are specific steps to follow, usually right on the pump. When you get to the pump, most gas stations have a credit card option for paying inside or outside. You want to select the option for paying outside. Next, insert your card. If you get stuck on which way to insert, there is usually a diaphragm indicating which way the stripe and chip should face. Some pumps require you to insert and remove your card quickly; this option will note this. Other pumps need you to keep your card in a little longer and notify you when to remove it. Once your card is inserted, you might be asked for the billing zip code associated with your credit card. You could also be asked if you want a receipt. Once your payment is approved, you will remove your card, if you haven’t already, and pump your gas like normal. If you requested a receipt, it would likely come out once you’ve completed the transaction.
Reasons to pay for gas with your credit card
Credit card rewards
Some credit cards offer big rewards points for using your card at the pump. Offers can range from triple points to a percentage back on your monthly statement. However, some credit cards do not offer rewards when you pay at supermarket gas stations or wholesalers.
Let’s face it, saving time is usually a big priority for people, and paying for gas with your credit card at the pump is faster. You don’t have to leave the pump to pay. In minutes you can pull up to the pump, pay, and fill up without missing a beat. You can also avoid the line unless.
Paying with your credit card at the pump can protect you against fraud. However, using your debit card at the pump can put you at risk of skimming devices that can gain access to your bank account by stealing your debit card pin. Using your credit card instead means that even if someone hacks your account, they don’t have access to your cash on hand holding up your funds. Another safety consideration is not having to go into the gas station. If you are avoiding crowds or have a little one in the car, paying at the pump can limit exposure to others and even allow you to pump gas while keeping your little one within your eyesight.
Easy to track spending
Using your credit card, specifically, if you only use it at the pump, can make tracking your spending much more effortless. For example, you can have a card designated for purchases like gas, allowing you to track how much you are spending on gas monthly easily. Tracking your gas cost could also be helpful if you drive for work and receive compensation.
Can help you build credit
Gas is something everyone needs if you drive a car. It is a purchase you know you will need to make at least monthly, if not weekly, depending on how much your drive, and it can get pretty expensive. Frequent gas purchases mean consistently using your card at the pump could help you build your credit. Make sure you are staying on top of your payment, and if you can, pay over the minimum balance each month. You don’t want your credit card debt to become overwhelming.
Dangers of using a credit card at the gas pump
Paying with your credit card at the gas pump is pretty easy, but there are some things to be aware of when paying with your credit card. Like most things, convenience can open you up to some risks you would not usually have to consider. Skimming devices target devices like gas pumps, making it easy for criminals to access your private information. There are ways to protect yourself from skimming devices to ensure your information stays secure. Check out the card reader before inserting your card. Look for any tampering; some pumps even have seals that indicate if the device has experienced any tampering. If you have any concerns, pay inside if you can. If you do find that you have been exposed to a skimming device, the added advantage of using your credit card is you typically have fraud protection. Inform your credit card company immediately to freeze your card to stop any additional charges. An investigation will likely occur and the unauthorized charges will be returned to you.
Quick, easy, and convenient
Using your credit card for gas is a quick and easy way to fill up your tank without taking too much time out of your day. Aside from keeping your car running efficiently, buying gas can also have positive financial implications. You can earn points, track your spending, and potentially build your credit by paying at the pump.
Can you use a credit card at a gas station?
Yes, you can use your credit card at the pump or inside the gas station.
Is it possible to manually enter a credit card number at the gas pump?
No, there is no way to manually enter a credit card number at the gas pump. If your card is not able to be inserted into the machine then you might have to go inside.
Is it safe to use a credit card at a gas pump?
Paying at the pump with your credit card is safe. Though you are at risk for skimming devices, there are certain safety measures put in place to avoid them.