Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Default Gas Station Advice


    We are coming over to the US in June 2013. We will be visiting the following states:

    Maybe Arizona (Pheonix)

    We both have Capital One credit cards and they will both have a zero balance when we plan to visit. Both cards have a limit of $1000 so I have no problems there but my query is concerning Gas Stations. I know that most of the Gas Stations especially in the built up areas offer pay at pump using your credit card however do these Gas Station Pre Payment pumps work with our Chip & Pin style cards. Over in the UK when I use my credit card I have to put in a 4 digit pin number.

    There is a magnetic strip but there is also a chip.

    I don't want to look like an idiot when I get to the pumps!

    I know you can pre-pay but don't plan to have lots of cash on us and its hasstle going into the Gas Station then coming out again especially if there is a big queue

    Please Advise ?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Problem with Prepay Cards

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your credit cards should work just fine, but be sure to notify them that you will be traveling abroad. There might be a minor problem in that US pumps often ask for your zip code as a conformation number. They will have no way to enter a British postal code. It may be encoded on your card to ask for your four digit PIN instead, but in the end you may have to go in and pay at the counter. Unfortunately my own experience with pre-paid cards is that they will not work because they are in your local denomination (e.g. £25) and the local pumps can't do the conversion from $s to £s in order to decrement the card correctly.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Multiple currencies

    All of which can be overcome if you have a bank which will issue you a pre pay card in US dollars. They are available here, I would be surprised if you cannot get them. (We can also get them in Euros and Pounds.) Handy to load up each time the dollar stands favourably against the pound.

    Often cheaper too, since most credit cards attract a (sometimes hefty) fee for international transactions. The prepay cards are fee free - at least they are here.


  4. Default

    Thanks for the advice, I forgot about the need for the Gas Pumps to convert GBP to USD. I have done some further research and Travelex offer a pre-pay MasterCard that holds the balance in USD only. Its still chip/pin technology but hopefully this will resolve my issues.

    The card is free and there are no transaction fee's other than a flat $2 fee for withdrawing cash from a ATM which to be fair is the same with any credit card.

    One last piece of advice, when prompted at an ATM etc would a Pre Pay MasterCard be classed as a credit card ? I assume yes but it works like a debit card ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Don't think so.

    Check with Travelex, but I think it is not treated as a credit card. I thought you select Savings at ATMs. You might also check which ATMs in the US charge their own fees. You may well find that most charge $4 for you to use Travelex. This can be avoided by trying different ATMs. I find that the Bank of America does not charge me to use their ATMs, and in Canada the bank of Montreal does not charge. But I have heard that it is different banks for different cards.

    The other way is to use it as an eftpos card at retail stores, where you can draw out money. Most do not have a minimum purchase requirement, nor charge a fee.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Foreign currency cash cards.

    A house guest of mine has one of these cash cards. At 60 he is back packing his way around the world. I was quite surprised to learn that some of these cards can have up to ten different currencies loaded on to them at the same time. It appears there are quite a few of these around. Might pay to do a little research.


Similar Threads

  1. Gas Station Loyalty Schemes
    By cokes316 in forum Saving Money on Your Trip
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-22-2008, 10:52 AM
  2. from College Station, TX to Seattle, WA
    By star12v in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-19-2007, 03:27 PM
  3. Ft Stockton Gas station trick
    By Quebec Gen in forum RoadTrip Field Reports
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-14-2007, 08:43 AM
  4. 3 friends and a station wagon
    By 2dreamx in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-23-2006, 05:48 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name