Went the other day to put some gasoline in the BMW 135i Convertible BMW USA has arranged for me to test while I'm down here.
As some travellers to the US may have noticed, some American gas pumps now require you to key in your 'zip' code when paying at the pump.
I was going to use 90210, the only American zip code I know. But my friend down here in Palm Desert told me it has to match the billing address on your card.
He also said that if you key in the three numbers of your Canadian postal code, followed by two zeros (so, M5E 1E6, for example, would be entered as 51600) it usually works.
Pulled into an ARCO station just off Interstate I-10 near Palm Springs. There was no card swiping thingee on the pump; had to go over to a separate kiosk on the island.
Swiped the card. Entered the 'postal code' as above.
Crawford tried his card.
Hey - Canadian money is worth a lot down here now! What's up?
I went into the store to inquire. The lady said, 'We only accept debit cards."
WHAT? A gas station that doesn't accept credit cards?
Who ever heard of such a thing?
Debit cards of course make no sense whatsoever. Why use YOUR credit when VISA will let you use theirs for free?
Assuming of course you pay your balance off every month. And why wouldn't you? You CAN afford the things you buy, can't you?
I know credit card fraud and 'drive-aways' at self-serves are fairly big issues down here.
And I guess debit cards take the money out of your account BEFORE you fill up, so they got you without having to worry if you DO have money, or whether you WILL pay off your credit balance - eventually.
But a gas station that doesn't accept credit cards?
Sometimes down here it feels like you're in a different country...