ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » News » Other » Gas Credit Card Transactions

Gas Credit Card Transactions

February 14, 2008 | Updated on February 14, 2008
Add to Favorites:
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Some Visa and MasterCard Credit Card Applications Put on Limits on Gas Purchases

Some of the most practical credit consumers know that a specified rewards type credit card allows them to have the biggest savings and discounts on purchases at specified merchants. The opportunity to save is never more attractive than when you stop at a gas station to fill up. With gas ever prices rising, car owners, especially long distance truck drivers are always seeking ways to save on a gallon.

Credit cards with gas rebates can be a beneficial deal if you want to pump up your vehicle and save at the same time. Logically, the more fuel you buy, the more rebates you pick. But as it actually happens, you face strict limits when using plastic at a gas station.

What's the sense of limiting your gas purchases, when credit issuers make revenues from your credit card spending?

Merchants and credit companies site fraud as the main reason for setting limits on gas purchases made with a credit card. The amount charged restrictions are imposed on all cards, but it becomes twice as annoying when you are cut off from gasoline cards rewards.

What does credit fraud and have to do with gas purchases restrictions? A gas station is a safer place for a thief to check a stolen credit card as there are all chances to remain anonymous. It is a different thing when you go into the store where a face-to-face transaction will expose the fraudster.

So, to avoid mutual losses from fraudulent transactions, banks and merchants put up a limit of $50 to $75 on gas purchases or make a "block off" on a larger than needed credit to fill up.

It makes no difference what type card you pay with, a business credit cardor a consumer one -if you are a customer of Visa, Discover or MasterCard, you are going to face limits leaving your tanks unfilled or having you swipe the card twice, which is a way out.

Basically, every card has its own limit, but merchants tend to put the limit at the highest amount that the bank is obliged to pay the merchant in case of a fraudulent transaction. Thus, if you charge, say up to $50, the transaction will easily pass, because even if the card is stolen, the issuer will compensate the merchant for the loss.

However, there is another thing that can sting you at a gas station. The so-called "blocks" are applied in the process of authorization, when the final price is not yet known. Banks should hold the money for only the moment the transaction is processed, otherwise it may force the customer to go over the credit card limit and pay fees.

However, credit issuers and merchants offer you some not at all bad options. If you want to avoid the limit on the gas purchase, you are allowed to start a second transaction as the limit is applied to every single transaction. Do not forget about a per-transaction fee.

To avoid the blocks, they suggest you use cash and offer discounts on the cash made purchases. It's up to you to decide which way to choose, but remember that the limits and "blocks" are made for credit card protection and your security. Anyway, you can always go to another merchant where these restrictions do not apply and there are still lots of such gas stations.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Add to Favorites:
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!