I want to once again thank those of you who arrived here via this Money Magazine article about families who are living without credit cards.
According to this article – some gas stations have stopped accepting credit cards! Why? From the article:
The National Retail Federation says gas prices point to the unfairness of the system: Gas stations are paying more in interchange fees because the price of gas has gone up, while the cost of processing credit or debit cards remains the same.
Credit card companies charge gas station owners (and all other merchants who accept credit cards) an interchange fee – usually about 2% – each and every time someone uses a credit card to make a purchase. Apparently, gas station owners have grown tired of sending credit card companies a cut of each sale – and some have gone to a ‘cash only’ policy.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with these changes, it might be time to start carrying a little more cash around, just in case you find yourself in an area where there aren’t any gas stations that accept credit cards. (There are also interchange fees associated with the use of debit cards. I’ll assume that a station that has stopped accepting credit cards has also stopped accepting debit cards, as well.)
For those, like me, who live in rural areas, this could be a very big deal. In our small town, there are only four or five places to buy gasoline. Personally, I use my debit card for most gasoline purchases, but I’m going to start adding a bit more cash to my ‘Gasoline’ envelope. (For those of you unfamiliar with the envelope system – a great system for managing your cash – I have created a video detailing what it is and how to use it.)
I’m sure that most stations will continue to accept credit cards. But, those who are traveling with children – or going out of town to unfamiliar places – might consider keeping a few more greenbacks on hand, just in case.
Side Note: While I found this article very interesting, in my own experience, I’ve found that several gas stations appear to be encouraging the use of credit cards and discouraging the use of cash. Many now require that users ‘pay at the pump’ or ‘prepay inside’ when using cash. So, while the article is interesting, I’d really love to hear from my readers. Have you experienced this in your area? Are gas stations where you live going to a ‘cash only’ policy. And, if so, how has (or will) this affect you?