Gas stations may be advertising cheap prices, but chances are your paying another if your using a credit or debit card.

(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
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Pay close attention the next time you go get some gas.  The price some gas stations are are advertising, isn't the price you may being paying.  Some stations are putting the word "cash" by the price, meaning that price is only good IF your paying with cash.

Here's the kicker, if your paying with a credit card your paying whatever they feel like charging you.  Even worse, others are advertising one price and charging you another at the pump, with no warning at all.  It happened to me in Lake Charles!  I was pumping gas on the corner of Broad and Enterprise and at the time, the sign read $1.99 for regular gas.  It wasn't until I started pumping that I realized I was really paying $2.12.  Is it a big difference?  No.  But it is false advertisement. An yes, I was using a credit card.

So, I checked into it and this is what I found.  According to consumerismcommentary.com, whether you knew this or not, there are two tiers of prices: one for customers who use credit cards and one for those who use cash. So far, this is completely legal in any state IF THE STATIONS HAVE SIGNS POSTED.  Courant.com reports, the Department of Consumer Protection recently fined six gas station owners after receiving complaints.

Frank Greene, director of food and standards explained why saying, "They're required to have a posted sign," he continued "They are allowed to charge a differential price for the debit card because, they have explained to us, there is a cost related to using the debit card. It's kind of unfair because part of the cash credit is they're not paying the credit-card fee or other fees related to it. That's why they can give you a discount."

Bottom line, some gas stations are being honest by posting signs in the appropriate places that alert consumers they will be charged the "credit" price, if they pay for gasoline with a credit/debit card. However, NOT ALL gas stations are doing that, so beware.  Pay attention to what your paying at the pump, vs the price listed on the sign. If they differ, feel free to report them by clicking here.