Should I Use a Credit Card at the Pump?
Q: Is it a good idea to use my credit card to pay for gas?
A: People commonly use their debit cards or pay in good old-fashioned cash when filling up on fuel, but there are several advantages to using a credit card to pay for gas. Here are four reasons to use your credit card to pay at the pump.
- Track your spending
Cash is the overspender’s vice, and leaving no paper trail whatsoever. When you pay with plastic, though, there’s always a record of the transaction. Just check out the credit card statement each billing period or look in your online or mobile banking tools to see how much you’ve spent on fuel costs. Easy budgeting and tracking at its best!
- Earn rewards for every gallon
If you own a credit card that offers rewards or miles for every purchase you make, you can earn a fair amount of rewards by using your credit card to purchase the gas you would buy anyway. In just one year, you may have enough rewards or miles to fund a full vacation! Just make sure to choose the card that offers the most bang for your buck.
- Fraud and theft protection
When it comes to protecting your funds from fraud, credit cards are the go-to choice! A credit card purchase can be disputed if found to be faulty. Many cards offer a zero-liability plan in cases of fraud as long as the credit card company is notified reasonably soon after the transaction hits. Finally, paying with cash always carries the risk of theft. A stolen or hacked credit card, on the other hand, can easily be closed.
- Free up your money
To avoid theft, gas stations authorize cards by placing a hold on the debit card account as soon as the consumer transacts. The hold is generally between $50 and $150. After the consumer has finished pumping gas, the card is charged for the appropriate amount. But, the hold on the card may not clear for several days. If you need every dollar in your account now, you may want to use a credit card rather than a debit card when paying at the pump.
Using a credit card to pay for fuel can have unique advantages. The next time you’re at the pump, consider pulling out your credit card instead of paying with a debit card or cash.