Paying for Gas With Debit vs. Credit Card: What’s the Difference?

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Paying for Gas With Debit vs. Credit Card: What’s the Difference?

Paying for Gas With Debit Card vs. Credit Card: An Overview

Should you use a debit or credit card for daily purchases? You may not believe there is much of a difference between these two methods, but a deeper look shows that using a credit card has a lot of benefits, particularly when filling up your tank at the petrol pump. Not only does using credit give a stronger feeling of security against potential theft, but most credit card companies actually reward users for using their cards for petrol.

Key Takeaways

  • Debit cards enable you to pay for petrol promptly and without incurring interest costs.
  • Because the money are not instantly removed from your account, a credit card provides extra safety at the pump.
  • Some petrol stations give you the cash rate when you use your debit card, while others handle debit card transactions the same as credit card purchases by charging a premium.
  • Using a debit card for petrol is problematic because credit thieves like gas stations and may be able to access your account using a device known as a skimmer.

  • Aside from added security, credit cards may give benefits when you pay at the pump.

Using a Debit Card at Gas Stations

Paying for petrol using a debit card may seem to be the better alternative. This is because you won’t have to worry about forgetting to pay for your petrol later. Because you’re using a debit card, the money usually leaves your account quickly. This helps you to avoid paying exorbitant interest rates. To top it all off, you can definitely prevent overspending since you can only spend the money in your bank account.1

Some stations have two price levels: cash and credit. If you use your debit card, you will usually receive the cash rate. When clients pay for their gas with cash or a debit card, these businesses often charge them less (sometimes as much as a cent). However, to prevent any misunderstanding, ask the attendant before using your card to fill up.

However, there are several disadvantages to having fast access to your money when at the gas pump. Data breaches at gas stations have resulted in millions of stolen debit card numbers and account information. Federal laws regard debit cards differently from credit cards, and your responsibility is determined by how promptly you notify a breach. This might amount to $500 or more. 2

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While paying at the pump may be more convenient, paying for your gas inside the gas station may be the best method to prevent debit and credit card theft.

Using a Credit Card at Gas Stations

Credit cards enable you to buy petrol (or other products and services at gas stations) without having to part with your money right now. This is true as long as you have a credit line with a balance. When you use a credit card, you have up to 25 days before the amount is due. 3 In addition, if you pay off your debt every month, you will avoid interest costs. If you don’t, you’ll be charged interest and additional costs (including late fees if you don’t pay on time), making your fill-up much more costly.

Many credit card issuers provide their cardholders with stronger identity theft protection than debit cardholders. 4 This is a good argument for using your credit card at the petrol pump. Furthermore, preventing identity theft isn’t the only advantage. Some credit cards provide benefits such as airline miles, hotel points, or cash back.

The idea is to use your credit card like a debit card, charging just what you can afford to pay at the end of the month. You don’t want to be charged an additional 20% in interest just to buy petrol in your vehicle, but if you don’t pay off your debt each month, you’ll be charged interest at the card’s annual percentage rate (APR). 3 Debit card purchases are an obvious alternative for folks who have difficulty regulating their expenditures.

Whatever the incentive, the important point is that you’re getting something in return for using a credit card.

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Special Considerations

Examine the many tales you’ve heard about data breaches and consumer fraud, and then consider how gas stations are at the forefront of this trend. The petrol pump is one of the most common locations for fraudulent behavior against someone using an acard.

Both debit and credit cards include consumer safeguards that shield you from responsibility for the majority of transactions. However, if you don’t catch the fraudulent purchases within two days, you have less protection with a debit card. If you report the error between three and 60 days after the transaction, you might face a $500 fine. 5 Credit cards limit your responsibility to $50, and several promote no liability. 4

Top Credit Cards for Purchasing Gas

In addition to some of the benefits of using a credit card at the gas pump, there are a few specific cards that provide extra points on petrol purchases.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card rewards you with cash. If you are a new cardholder, you may take advantage of the following benefits:

  • APR of 0% for the first 12 months
  • For the first 12 months, there are no fees on Buy Now, Pay Later programs (which enable you to divide major purchases into smaller, equal payments).
  • When you spend $3,000 on the card during the first six months, you will get $300 in cash in the form of a statement credit. 6

Following the first deal, you’ll get 6% on groceries, 6% on streaming services, and 3% on public transportation (taxis, ridesharing, and tolls among others).6

The annual cost for the card is $95 per year. This card’s welcome incentive includes a waiver of the annual fee as well as a 0% introductory APR for the first year. 6

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

Another cashback option is Bank of America’s Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card. As the name suggests, you may personalize how the card pays out your rewards so that you can earn 3% in any area you like, such as petrol, online shopping, or home improvement. Bank of America gives you 2% back in grocery shops and wholesale clubs (like Costco) and 1% back on all other purchases. 7

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New cardholders may receive $200 if they spend $1,000 or more during the first 90 days of receiving their card. A 0% intro APR option is also available for the first 15 months, after which the APR varies from 13.99% to 23.99%. There is also no yearly charge. 7

Citi Premier Card

If you travel often and feel that earning travel points is important, consider using the Citi Premier Card for petrol purchases.

In addition to earning 60,000 extra points after spending $4,000 in the first three months (redeemable for $600 in gift cards), you may earn three points for every dollar spent on any travel transaction, which covers not just petrol but also airline, restaurants, hotels, and other services. 8

The card has a $95 annual fee and a variable APR that ranging from 15.99% to 23.99%. 8

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card

The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card needs membership in the PenFed Credit Union but has no annual fee and a variable APR dependent on your credit rating ranging from 3.49% to 17.99%. 9

New cards may take advantage of a 0% balance transfer intro offer for the first 12 months, as well as a welcome incentive of 15,000 extra points when you spend $1,500 within the first 90 days of establishing your account. 9

You may also get five points for every dollar spent at petrol stations and charging stations for electric vehicles, and three points for every dollar spent at grocery stores, including most Walmart and Target locations, restaurants, and streaming services. 9

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