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Sept 15, 2005 - Select Debit to get more Gas

We recently rolled into a local gas station to fill up. The price was $2.75 a gallon for regular unleaded. Taped on the left side of the pump was a typed message that detailed why you may want to use your debit card instead of your credit card.

With price of gas so much higher these days it seems that using a credit card may have its limits at the pump. Depending on your card, you may find that your credit card company has placed a limit on how much can be charged for certain transaction types.

Protecting You at the Gas Pump

When you slip your credit card into a pump there is no signature, no address entered, nothing. You lack a level of protection you get in most transactions. For that reason, many credit card companies will place a limit on how much can be charged at the pump. After talking to several gas station attendants the limit appears to be $50. At $2 a gallon most people don't spend $50. But at $2.75 a fill up can easily reach that level.

The solution to this credit limit at the gas pump is to select debit instead of credit. When you select debit you are forced to enter your pin number. This tells the credit card company that it is you using your card and the $50 limit is lifted. The next time you go to fill up do some quick math - here comes the scary part. At $2.75 a gallon you can only buy 18 gallons for $50.

Anyone with a full sized pickup or SUV and most work trucks will easily hold well over 18 gallons. And if you have an RV forget it. We watch an RV load up with $500 worth of gas. If you think you may hit the $50 mark, pick debit.

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