Credit cards offer the convenience of plastic without having to keep track of cash in your pocket or purse. Another benefit of credit cards is the fraud protection you’ll receive in the event of theft or unauthorized charges. When filling up your car with gas, the pay-at-the-pump option can be a convenience, as long as you do it safely.
Pull your car up to the pump so the gas tank of the car is right in front of the gas pump. Turn off the engine.
Press the “Pay at Pump” or "Credit Outside" button on the keypad of the gas pump. Some gas pumps give the option of receiving or declining a receipt. If you want a receipt, press “Yes” and if you don’t want one, press “No.” Open the door of the gas tank and remove the gas cap.
Check out the graphic image on the credit card reader on the gas pump. You should see a picture representing the magnetic strip on the credit card, showing you how to position the credit card to swipe or insert it in the reader. Often, the magnetic strip needs to be at the top or the bottom and facing to the left.
Hold the credit card, oriented correctly according to the graphic, and position it immediately above the swiping slot. Move the credit card firmly and quickly through the slot to swipe it. Watch the process on the gas pump to see whether the swipe registered successfully. If it did, the pump displays a message telling you to proceed. If it didn’t, the pump displays an error message. Reswipe the card, if necessary, until you swipe it correctly.
Choose your gasoline grade by pushing the appropriate button on the pump. Different grades of gasoline have different prices.
Lift the lever on the appropriate nozzle and remove the nozzle to pump gas. Pump the gasoline into your gas tank, stopping when you fill the tank or when the gas pump shows the dollar amount you want to purchase. Lower the lever on the pump and replace the nozzle. Place the gas cap back onto the gas tank. Close the door of the gas tank.
Wait for your receipt if you opted to receive one. Tear it off when it prints out. If you want a receipt but don’t get one, walk into the gas station store to ask the clerk for a receipt.
- Dick Luria/Photodisc/Getty Images