When Cash or Credit Makes a Difference

August 24th, 2014 | Posted by fantabulessmedia in Spending Wisely

I'm sure you have all pulled up to the pump and saw the credit price and the cash price. Well in case you haven't, here in California many of the gas stations have one price for cash/debit customers and another price for customers paying with a credit card The price per gallon can be as much as $.20 difference. 

safeway gasb

I normally use my credit cards for everything that I possibly can because I get cashback and airline miles. Even though the cash/debit option was cheaper, I decided to use my credit card for this purchase and here's why.  My American Express card gives me 5% cashback for gas and grocery purchases. When I purchase 20 gallons of gas at $3.69 per gallon my cash/debit price would be $73.80.  When I purchase the same 20 gallons of gas at the credit price of $3.79 a gallon my total would be $75.80.  Even though though it costs me $2 more to use my credit card, I will be getting $3.79 cash back which makes a difference of $1.79.   So I ask myself do I want to pay the cheaper cash/debit price up front or get $3.79 cash back for a net profit of $1.79 later.

For me the choice was easy and I chose cash back later, because we have mulitple cars in our household and the cash back adds up quickly. Keep in mind, this scenario works for my family and I do pay the bill in full monthly. If you cannot pay the bill in full when your credit card statement arrives I advise you to pay cash/debit and save yourself the interest charges. Cashback credit cards can be a great tool in your financial arsenal when used wisely.


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My husband and I have thought about doing this. We are just very hesitant to use credit cards for anything. 


We don't have a cash back credit card but I can see how it can come in handy. I hate seeing that price at the pump different for casha nd credit,

Michelle F.

I usually use credit for almost everything. I would start using cash if it saved me money. 

Melanie S.

Wow; that's a big difference in price.  I always use a credit card to pay for my gas.  I think I'd cry if they charged me that much extra!