Many people do this action everyday and don’t think twice about its consequences. Just pull out a card, step out of your Camry and grimace while you pay for that tank of gas you just got.
Paying for gas with a credit card is an understandable idea in theory: it’s fast and it’s easy and it saves you time, which can be rewarding at the end of a long day. But you also have t44o understand it’s just like anything else you do with a credit card: it’s subject to a lot of problematic areas.
“I don’t think people realize how destructive one of these public, mass-used places can be if the wrong person is involved, and, unfortunately, we never have the guarantee that the wrong person isn’t involved somehow,” stressed an expert at Credit-Land.
In that set-up, it’s best to ask yourself how safe is the pump, like you would any other POS, be it at a grocery store or a convenience store or anything else under the sun. If it seems sketchy or you believe you are being monitored (by anyone other the gas station attendants or their cameras) perhaps opt for good old paper money.
Exercise normal precautions, as you would otherwise. But don’t get too worried, because as opposed to cash, credit cards can dish out nifty rewards for their usage, especially at the pump nowadays.
“A lot of card issuers have surveyed their users to see what it is that they desire most in their card,” said another expert at Credit-Land.com. “And the places users really seemed to want the most bank for their buck, so to speak, was at the pump, as well as the grocery store. These are the two places people tend to spend the most money.”
Take into consideration the card the Chase Freedom Card, which gives users the ability to earn up to 5% back every three months on gas, as well as groceries and other common household expenses.
Cash doesn’t give you that! Neither does debit, for that matter.
There are credit card scams at the pump, sure, but there are scams in plenty of other places too, all waiting for your credit card information to fall victim to them.
The type of credit card you want to employ ideally at the gas station would be one with no annual fee, in addition to a high cash back ability that is good for any gas station you go to. Imagine how out of luck you would be if you went to a BP and found out you had your credit card, only good with Citgo gas stations. That would be a letdown, not to mention, a little embarrassing.
Be sure to pay for your gas solely when at the pump and nowhere else, if you can. Furthermore, if you can have one credit card you use strictly for gas, that might end up being your best bet. Try to aim for one with no annual fee, if possible.
A solid rewards card would even be more ideal, if you can get one! In this situation, investigate the Platinum Cashback Rewards Visa. Keep a disciplined approach to how you tackle your gas station spending and be wary not to be too trusting and using a credit card at the gas pump is A-OK.