Gas stations cap amount of gas purchased by credit cards

Fujio Tsuneoka
Fujio Tsuneoka

By Stephen Florino - bio | email

KAHALA (KHNL) - With gas prices climbing, it's more difficult for some drivers to fill up.

Not because they can't afford it.

But because credit card purchases at the pump are capped.

Here's how it works.

Most gas stations cap the amount of gas bought by credit cards at the pump.

It's to protect them if the card is stolen.

So with prices so high, some credit card users aren't able to fill up.

With gas prices well above four bucks a gallon, it's costing a lot for some to fill up.

"More than $75," said driver Fujio Tsuneoka.

"No, $75 doesn't fill up at all," said driver Dave Witherwax.

75 is the magic number.

That's because most stations cap credit card purchases at the pump at 75 bucks.

That's the amount they're protected for, in case the card is being used by an unauthorized person.

At $4.14 a gallon, 75 bucks gets you 18-gallons of gas.

Not enough to fill up bigger vehicles.

"I usually fill up about 1/4 tank. That'll fill it at 75, for now," said Witherwax.

"No, it's about 3/4 for this truck," said Tsuneoka.

"I wouldn't be able to fill up. Especially the bigger trucks, some of them have dual tanks, and you fill up both tanks will cost you big bucks," said driver Justin Seguirant.

"Well, I'm just trying to cut down my driving," said Witherwax.   "Carpooling with my friend kale here to work, and might even by a moped soon.

Other ways around the cap -- you can go inside the booth and sign for your purchase.

Or you swipe your card again.

"No, I didn't know that but caps doesn't bother me too much. 75 is enough. I'll just stop by again when I get low," said Witherwax.

"I didn't know that, but I think I'm lazy to do that. That's why I'm using a credit card all the time here right. Not to go in, it's faster too," said Tsuneoka.

Some gas stations are asking credit card companies to raise the protection limit.

Visa just did it in April from 50 to 75 bucks.

But spokesmen for Visa and Mastercard say they're not sure if it'll be done again.