Using Credit Cards May Cause a Rise in Gas Prices

CardRates.com Staff • May 11, 2015

At least one recent report shows an increase in the use of credit cards in paying to fill up our gas tank may be causing a rise in gasoline prices.

With fewer people carrying cash and almost all stations having convenient card readers, the use of credit cards to pay at the pump is on the increase.

Drivers at a gas station in Wisconsin were asked whether they pay a fee for gassing up with their credit card. “Not that I’m aware of, it doesn’t show up on my statement,” said one woman.

She may not be paying a fee, but the fact is the fee is still being charged.

“One gas station owner said he pays

up to 10 cents in transaction fees.”

Gas station owners and the Petroleum Marketers Association have long been at odds with the credit card companies for these fees – called interchange fees.

They are charged in addition to the transaction fee that every merchant has to pay when using the credit card system. The credit card companies earn hundreds of millions of dollars a year on these fees alone.

The credit card industry’s official line on the charging of interchange fees for using a card at a gas station is that it is a “convenience fee.” And while this fee technically comes out of the station owner’s profits, it gets passed along to the consumer in the form of higher gas prices.

As more consumers turn to plastic to pay for gas, we can expect to continue paying more at the pump. We can also expect more push-back from gas station owners toward the card companies.

As one owner put it, “We make less than 2 percent profit on the gasoline that we sell as it is.”

Now that’s a tough business.

If you’d like to save some money at the pump, considering opening a credit card with attractive gas rebates.

Source: wisn.com. Photo source: minnpost.com.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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CardRates.com Staff

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