The brightly glowing red led lights politely display the price per gallon of gasoline at gas station and convenience stores all over town, but they can be very misleading sometimes! Just the other day I was in need of gas on my way home and I've driven by this station many times and it always seemed they had less expensive gas and now I know why!

The display on the sign showed the price of gas being $2.09 a gallon, so I decided to go ahead and pull in there and fill up instead of taking the chance on running out of gas before I filled up at one of my usual stops around my house. Not really paying attention to any other details, I went ahead and chose the $2.09 unleaded gas and started filling up my truck. After filling up for a while I noticed something very different about the price of gas on the pump, instead of paying $2.09 per gallon, I was paying $2.16 a gallon!

Lucky Larry, Townsquare Media
Lucky Larry, Townsquare Media

I was shocked at what I saw being displayed on the pump and stopped filling up and went in to the store and asked the clerk why I was being charged $2.16 a gallon instead of the $2.09 a gallon like their sign displayed. Their response was, "You're paying by credit card right?" My response was "Yes", because who uses cash these days, we're a cashless society right?!

"Oh, you're paying more for it when you use a credit card. You have to cover our credit card fees," was the response I received from the clerk.

So my next option was to either stop filling up and leave or continue to pay $2.16. I went ahead and overpayed for gas this time and while I was standing there next to the truck filling up with over priced gasoline, that's when I saw it, right there on the sign next to $2.09 - in small letters, cash. The signs typically show prices for different grades of fuel, not this one, the darkened spot on the sign was supposed to be showing the price for unleaded credit. When thinking about it, I've never really paid attention to the text on the sign because it normally reads unleaded or unlead.

Needless to say I've been paying more attention to gas station signs for the signs that say - cash or credit - and I've noticed quite a few of them around town. One commonality I've noticed with the ones that display seperate prices for cash and credit is that most of them appear to be independent stations and not membes of a chain. So just be aware the next time you fill up, you might be paying more for gas when you pay for it with a credit card and you will not be paying what those polite, bright red led lights show on the sign by the street!

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