A: On average, Americans pump close to 392 million gallonsopens in a new window of gasoline a day. That’s more than a gallon for every American! Each day! With fuel prices spiking, you want to make sure you’re paying for that gas in the best manner possible. Many people reach for a debit card or cash when filling up on fuel, but there are several key advantages to using a credit card to pay for gas. Here are four reasons you may want to use your credit card at the pump.
Cash leaves no paper trail. Once you’ve spent it, you have no way of knowing where that money went unless you actively record the expenditure at the time of the purchase. When you pay with plastic, though, there’s always a record of the transaction. You can review your spending habits, or calculate how much you are spending in one budget category (transportation) to help you stay on top of your finances as best as possible. Just check out the credit card statement at the end of the month or billing period to see how much you’ve spent on fuel costs.
If you own a credit card that offers rewards (like the Acclaim FCU Mastercard Credit Card) or miles for every purchase you make, you can earn a lot of rewards by using your credit card to purchase the gas you’d buy anyways. In just one year, you may have enough rewards or miles to fund a full vacation!
When it comes to protecting your funds from fraud, credit cards are the number-one choice of payment methods. Unlike payments made in cash or with a debit card, a credit card purchase can always 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 within a predetermined amount of time. Finally, paying with cash always carries the risk of theft, but a stolen or hacked credit card account can easily be closed.
When you choose to pay with a debit card at the pump, you’re choosing to put your money on hold. Gas stations present a unique risk to their owners, as the consumer can fill up and drive away without paying. To avoid this form of theft, gas stations will immediately authorize cards by placing a hold on the debit card account as soon as the consumer initiates the transaction, which is before they’ve even begun to pump fuel into their car. The hold is generally between $50 and $150. After the consumer has finished pumping gas, the card will be charged for the appropriate amount. However, the hold on the card may not clear for several days. If you need every dollar in your account immediately after paying for gas, you may want to use a credit card rather than a debit card at the pump.
Many drivers choose to pay for gas with cash to save on surcharges that some stations issue for payments made via credit card. However, if you use a rewards card and get cash back on every credit card purchase, the small surcharge can be more than offset by the rewards. In addition, some stations will waive the surcharge upon request.
It’s important to note that, as always, credit cards should only be used responsibly, even when paying at the pump. Only use a credit card if you know you will be able to pay the bill in full before it’s due. Otherwise, the interest charges you’ll accumulate mean you’ll be paying for far more than the actual price of gas.
Using a credit card to pay for fuel can have unique advantages over other payment methods. The next time you’re at the pump, consider pulling out your credit card instead of paying with a debit card or cash.
At Acclaim FCU, combating fraud to protect our members is our top priority. In addition to our standard fraud monitoring, we are now providing fraud alerts to Acclaim FCU debit cardholders via text message. Through our Fraud Protection System, we are committed to notifying you quickly and giving you the tools you need to take immediate action against fraud.
Here are some sample message you may receive:
FreeMsg: AcclaimFCU 8882412440: APR 14 card ending 1234 $99 Dollar Discount Las Vegas NV. If authorized reply YES, if not reply NO. To Opt Out reply STOP.
If reply is NO:
FreeMsg: AcclaimFCU 8882412440: Thank you for your reply. Your card is now blocked. We will call you between 8AM-9PM or call us toll free 24
If reply is YES:
FreeMsg: AcclaimFCU 8882412440: Thank you for confirming this activity. Your card is safe for continued use To Opt Out reply STOP.
Simply reply YES or NO to confirm whether or not this was your transaction. If there is no response within 5 minutes, you will receive a phone call alert.
Please ensure that your information is up-to-date .
Looking for some summer fun? Why not skip your auto or personal loan payment this month and start knocking things off your bucket list!
Summer is blazing, so is the grill. These grilled pork chops served over a fresh salad are cost effective and easy to make. Plus, you can keep your kitchen nice and cool in the summer heat by firing up the grill instead of the oven.
Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl.
Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake, pour desired amount over salad.
Tags: summer meal, budget dinner, inexpensive meal, healthy
With prices rising on everything, including hotel stays, record numbers of vacationers are choosing to rent private homes or apartments on sites like Airbnb and Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO). Unfortunately, though, vacation rental scams are on the rise as well. Here’s all you need to know about these scams and how to avoid them.
How these scams play out
There are several variations of vacation rental scams.
In one version, the vacation rental advertised on Airbnb, or on a similar site, does not exist or is in very poor condition. The scammer uses online images or doctored photos to create the bogus listing, and rounds out the ruse setup by creating several phony reviews. If a target falls for the scam and rents the “vacation rental,” they’ll be disappointed to arrive at the posted address on the listing and find that the rental does not exist or is quite run down.
In another version, an individual rents a listing and receives a message from the renter just before their arrival about a last-minute plumbing emergency at the rental site. They’ll be directed to go to another rental instead. This substitute rental will be in far worse condition than the one the vacationer has actually rented.
In yet another variation, a vacationer unknowingly books a rental on an Airbnb look-alike site. Scammers lure their targets toward these sites by utilizing “URL squatting,” or creating a site that has a similar URL as a well-known site, which in this case, is Airbnb. The fake website enables scammers to capture the payment information of their victims and use it to empty their accounts, or worse.
In a more recent version of the vacation rental scam, criminals are exploiting people’s kindness and the war in Ukraine to con victims out of their money. Here’s how it works: Generous donors are booking vacation rentals in Ukraine without intending to actually use them as a means to get money to Ukrainians. Airbnb has been supporting this initiative by waiving all host fees for rentals in Ukraine. Unfortunately, though, scammers have been creating fake listings in Ukraine and simply using the money to line their pockets.
Avoid a vacation rental scam by looking out for these warning signs:
Take these steps to protect yourself from a vacation rental scam:
Don’t let your dream vacation turn into a nightmare. Follow the tips outlined here and stay safe!
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Lost/Stolen Debit Card: 888.241.2510
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